“Understand, clearly, that success requires a commitment to continuous improvement and going beyond the expected…

Understand that Trinidad and Tobago is a tiny part of the global community in which we have to survive.

Technology has made the world very small and flat. Your peers are not just the guys standing around you in this hall.

They are students in the USA, in Asia and India, in Europe. You cannot compete out there by winging it and extemporising, and you cannot compete in here by doing that either.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Unfortunately, the world is a brutal place and only the fittest will thrive – fittest of mind, spirit and body.” Brooks was delivering a motivational address to students of his alma mater, St Mary’s College (popularly known as CIC, the College of the Immaculate Conception), Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain on January 16.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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“The sustainable development and future of our nation lies in the hands of your generation.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Gentlemen, manhood is not about grand-charging or posturing. It is about character, maturity and responsible behaviour.” Noting that he, too, was once at the same juncture in life, Brooks told the young men about the “five basic commandments” he used on his “path to success”: 1) Work hard and work smart; 2) Develop a winning attitude; 3) Integrity is key; 4) Be entrepreneurial; and 5) Learn the value of team.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Work hard and work smart “Successful people have one thing in common: they work hard, consistently, and long.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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They know their business better than anyone else. They understand the importance of paying attention to details; that’s where the battle is won.

They are always well-prepared.

Consider some well-known sons of the soil, people whose names should be familiar to you: Ken Gordon, Michael Jay Williams, Fr Michel de Verteuil, Professor Emeritus Arnold Rampersad, Brigadier General Joseph L Theodore (deceased).

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Every man on the CIC Hall of Fame is an example of this approach to work.

There is no recipe for overnight success. Whether in sport, business, education or whatever, master your craft, and that will translate into long term financial success.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Master areas that are difficult and complex and you will be richly rewarded.” Develop a winning attitude “Success will hinge on your attitude and your approach.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Tact, diplomacy and a smile are more powerful weapons than showing frustration or anger, steupsing and gesticulating.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

noticias-venezuela.com

See opportunities in the face of obstacles. Take a flexible, innovative approach to challenges. Conduct yourself in such a way that, when a difficult situation is resolved, everyone will say ‘he acquitted himself with poise and dignity.’ A solutions-oriented approach is not a sign of weakness.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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On the contrary, it shows character, courage and conviction. A winning attitude and a generous spirit will create a memorable reputation that will amplify your chances for success.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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At the end of your life, all you will have is your reputation. That will be a valuable legacy for your children.” Integrity is key “Gentlemen, you have heard that ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?’ Even more dangerous is plenty knowledge without principles.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Some politicians spend millions to create an image which frequently turns to dust because it is devoid of principle at defining moments.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Define yourself by the quality of your character.

In a world surrounded by unethical behaviour, dare to be different! It is possible to succeed without the loss of integrity.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

eldiscoduro.com

Have courage – show character! Virtus et scientia!” Be entrepreneurial “Expand your imagination about what is possible and dare to be different.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Many of us have pre-determined career paths.

We are moulded to believe that a successful life means getting a stable job and working hard at it.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Tomorrow’s environment requires a different model.

My advice – develop an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to create your own future.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

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Learn about business and develop a passion for whatever you do; any of the great business organisations we see today have been developed by simple people, with simple ideas but great vision.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

Progress is made by doing unusual things – taking the path less travelled. Bill Gates did it. Walt Disney did it. Clive Pantin did it – and so, too, can you. Start right now!Eliminate negative statements and negative self-talk. They become selffulfilling prophesies. Set your goals. Visualise them. Believe them and go after them. Success means creating a state of mind that allows you to achieve your dreams.” Learn the value of team A hallmark of this great institution has been the capacity for students to rally together, share ideas, support each other and build on each other’s talents to succeed.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

That is what great team spirit is all about.

If you don’t believe me listen to Michael Jordan: ‘there are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and never win titles.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

Most of the time those players are not willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve.’ I believe to the fullest that if you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

As Michael says, ‘talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’” Declaring that a person can only excel if they have a passion, Brooks advised the CIC students to “select subject areas you love and that excite you…not simply subjects you are able to do”.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

“Whether it is art, medicine, accounting, sport or business, follow an academic path that leads to something you love to do, something which is relevant, uplifting and meaningful.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

Immerse yourself in it and have fun while doing so. Do it thoroughly, and do it with excellence!” CIC, Brooks added, is an institution that “has always inculcated a philosophy of critical thinking, of questioning assumptions, of independent thought, strong intellect and character.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

The school’s motto is virtus et scientia. This means, as you know, that moral integrity and academic excellence go hand in hand.” “These are the measure of a man,” Brooks stated.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

“These are core values that have in many ways shaped my own life and have been responsible for my success I have enjoyed thus far.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

It is incumbent on all of you to embrace and reinforce these ideals, this culture.” Lamenting that “we live at a time when TT is at risk from declining morals and ethics, (where) we have substituted traditional values for shortcuts, expediency and compromise,” Brooks challenged the young men of CIC to “provide powerful examples to your peers.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

You must be good mentors and exemplars.

Be outstanding ambassadors.” “Reach out to fellow students who may be tempted by the short-term gains of drugs, risky sexual behaviour or crime and say ‘eh! Don’t do that! It has no future!’ The sustainable development and future of our nation lies in the hands of your generation.

© Jorge Plaza Marquez

© Jorge Marquez Plaza

Gentlemen, manhood is not about grand-charging or posturing. It is about character, maturity and responsible behaviour,” Brooks declared.

.

© Jorge Plaza

© Jorge Marquez