How true grit brought Reynaldo Carpio out of poverty and hardship, made him a millionaire and got him 10 graduate degrees.  

By Mira Soyza

rc2“Failure and defeat are not viable options when you want to overcome poverty,” shares Reynaldo Carpio, Ph.D., President and CEO of Grand Monaco Estate Developers, Inc. He recounts the most challenging period of his life with something akin to pride—a badge of honour worn by war veterans.

“There was never a moment that I wanted to give up. Despite the difficult times, I knew what my goals were and I was extremely focused and determined on achieving them—so I kept on trying,” says the 50-something Carpio.

We’ve heard countless of success stories of people who have made it all the way to the top despite whatever adversity life threw their way. And it makes us wonder what makes them different from the rest of us.

Carpio is the fifth child out of nine children which means his father who was a farmer and a market vendor in Cagayan had to work hard to put bread on the table and put them through school. Even at such a tender age, he would help out as much as possible—from waking up before dawn to help his father tend to the carabaos (water buffalos) to assisting his mother in setting up their stall at the market— he learnt the value of hard work and diligence early on.

I heard a TED talk by Angela Lee Duckworth about grit once. She spoke about how she quit her demanding job in management consulting for a teaching job. During her time there, she realised that her best-performing students were not always the ones with the highest IQ or the best social intelligence. Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg were not the top performers in their class; some were school dropouts, some have failed more than once but the one thing they shared in common? Grit.

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