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Changing world’s view towards Asean writers
Published on: Wednesday, November 23, 2022
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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Lloyd (right) having a light- hearted encounter with a fan who wants his book signed.
Lloyd (right) having a light- hearted encounter with a fan who wants his book signed.
SHARJAH: Lloyd A. Luna, a best-selling author and motivational speaker from the Philippines, wants to change the stereotype that Asians, particularly Southeast Asians, are inferior to others when it comes to writing.

“I want to stop the preconception that Asians have less and the other side has more. I always believe in our own individuality, in our own uniqueness,” said the well-known Filipino professional speaker and entrepreneur.

“I don’t think the others are better than the other in terms of writing; I think they’re just different ideas, but they’re both important,” he said, sharing his thoughts with the Daily Express on the publishing world and Southeast Asian authors.

“I believe it is about time that we share with the world that we have been there because we are now internationally connected. There is no longer any justification or excuse for us to remain in our shell; we must break the shell and the stereotype that we are less, because we are not.

“We are unique, and if we have fantastic ideas to share with the world, then you must get out there and ensure that we reach the international market,” he said. 

The author of 17 inspirational and instructional books was among the international guests who spoke at the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair, the world’s largest book fair. 

“People say my life as an author and motivational speaker is extremely easy, but it took me so many years to practise the trade,” said Llyod, who has spoken at over 1,500 conventions, conferences, and seminars on leadership, communication, and transformation across Asia, Oceania, and Europe over the last 15 years.

“What people don’t notice is what you show them after you’ve finished working. People may believe that this is simple, but it is not. I still get nervous before giving a talk,” he admitted to the audience during his session, “From Mess to Messenger: From a Painful Journey to a Joyful Destiny”.

“Every time I take the stage, it’s not about me; it’s about the people who will hear my message, and since we serve them, they serve you,” said the Luna Group of Companies’ founder and chairman.

 “Life is not about what you achieve, it is about what you become in the process of obtaining something. 

“Many people are trying hard to acquire something without knowing why or what that achievement should be for. Many people want to make money but are unsatisfied when it arrives. I’ve met some people who are well-off but lonely. I also meet a lot of lonely people that are impoverished.

“It doesn’t make a difference, but that’s not the point. The point is, money won’t truly make you happy, at least not in the long run,” he said.

“If there’s one thing I can tell you about mistakes, it’s that the ones that break your heart are also the ones that strengthen it, so don’t be scared to make them.

“I remember in 2004, I was sitting in a coffee shop, watching people walk into and out of a shopping mall. I was just sitting there since I couldn’t afford coffee, so I kept asking the waiter for water.

“I was just looking around at everyone and trying to think of ways to help, to serve them. And, being jobless, I decided that maybe I could help them if I just wrote, because writing is my passion.

“But the question is, what will I write about? Interestingly, I got a thought, and the idea was to address a common question, particularly among students: “Will there be a job waiting for me after graduation?” 

“With that idea in mind, I sat down and began writing the title, “Is there a job waiting for you?” I started pitching the book to publishing houses when I finished it.

“I was denied the first time, then the second, then the third, and I lost count of how many publishing firms rejected my work until I realised there was no one to help me but me.

“So, when no one else would publish my book, I self-published it. And 17 years after that first book was published, I was able to write more than 15 volumes.

“The most important lesson I’ve learned in my life is that being rejected doesn’t mean you’ll always be a failure. Even rejection can assist you in reaching your objective.

“Do you know what it’s like to be rejected? The feeling of being unwanted and irrelevant? If you are ever rejected, do not be concerned; it is a natural part of life.

“You must recognise that not everyone will like you, that not everyone will share your passion, and that not everyone will agree with your ideas. If you really want to fail, strive to please everyone. That is the most certain means of failing.

“I began to remind myself that the world might not like my idea, but if I believe it will help change the world, I’d rather fight for it and make sure I get to the bottom of it, just like I did when I first published my first book.

“I began writing in 2004 and have never stopped. Rejection is an unavoidable part of life, and if you can’t handle it and start walking away, you’re depriving yourself opportunities for advancement and development.

“So, the next time you get rejected, that’s fine; move on to the next and see how you’re going to work and better,” he said. 

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