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The Ugly Duckling

December 24, 2012

The ugly duckling

Category: Banking & Finance
Published on Monday, 12 November 2012 20:18
Written by Edmund Lao / Personal Finance

ONCE upon a time, there was a mother duck who laid eggs and had been sitting on the new eggs. One nice morning, the eggs hatched and out popped six chirpy ducklings. But one egg was bigger than the rest, and it didn’t hatch. Mother Duck thought she laid 6 eggs, and before she could think further, the last egg finally hatched. A strange-looking duckling with gray feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a worried mother.. As the little chicks grew, the ugly creature was always despised by his siblings no matter how hard he tried just to be like them. He seemed not to fit with them. Later, he will turn out to be a very beautiful swan.

In 1940, there was an Asian mother who would give birth to a future beautiful swan in America. The family returned to Asia later where the child grew up. The boy, in his teen years, later became  involved in gang wars and street fights, owing to the influence of the environment. Although his parents enrolled him in good schools, he turned to the streets to find his identity. His father, who was concerned for his safety, sought a great Wing Chun master to train his son for self-defense. Where he did not fare well in school, he found his passion in martial arts. During a martial arts encounter between two schools, he hurt his opponent badly and that resulted to his arrest. The family had no choice but to have him leave for America at a very young age of 18. Similar to the ugly duckling, he was just not fit to live in this Asian country.

Arriving in America with only $100, he started a new life. He earned by giving dance lessons (he was a good dancer).  He also worked as a waiter in exchange for a free room to live with his father’s friend. His rebellious boyhood had been dumped overboard from a trans-Pacific. He earned his high-school diploma which allowed him admission into the University of Washington to study philosophy. It was also there that he started to teach kung fu to small groups. Eventually he established his school and be challenged by other masters who were against teaching kung fu to Westerners. He never turned down challenges and was always successful in fighting for his belief.

Always never a mediocre person, he sought to improve martial arts through physical perfection to improve punches and kicks (one of the weakest and most neglected aspects of Chinese martial arts).

He later had a badly injured spine due to his weight-lifting training. Doctors said that he would never be able to practice kung fu again. Being a positive-minded person, he defied odds and was able to practice martial arts again. He would later appear in a TV series as a supporting actor, but that role was his gateway to stardom. Unlike when he was broke before, he now owned a Porsche. Later the series was canceled. Returning to his homeland, he discovered that the TV series made him very popular. He was able to communicate with a film producer who believed in him when he said “I will be the biggest Chinese star in the world.” The producer saw in his eyes a steely determination. True to his promise, he became the greatest Chinese actor up to the present. So famous he was that Hollywood stars like James Coburn and Chuck Norris became his students, He also revolutionized the martial arts industry and up to now, he is still the recognized King above all. From this man, we can learn the following:

Anything is possible, as long as we believe we can. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. In building our finances, the biggest factor is our mindset.

In martial arts, physical training is essential to becoming a good fighter. Usually it involves sacrifice from the student. In terms of finances, sacrifice is also necessary to be able to ensure a good financial future.

When faced with adversities in life, there is always hope for recovery. In investing our money, we may face crisis and losses, but it is during this time that opportunities for growth occur.

Dream big. Dreams are free and no one can prevent anyone from dreaming. Dreams are our driving force to improve our lives. Dreams also come with a price. To achieve our dreams entails hard work, perseverance, and discipline. The same holds true for building our finances.

The ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan that flew high. He is the famous Dragon of the industry. His name: Lee Jun Fan, the King of the Martial Arts. Up to now, even in death, the legacy he built continues to earn passive income. Although dead for 40 years already, his star still continues to shine.

His American name is Bruce Lee, the founder of Jeet Kun Do which means “the way of intercepting fist.”


Edmund Lao is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about financial planning and how to become RFP, attend our FREE personal finance talk 7 p.m. on Nov. 28 at PSE Center Ortigas. To reserve, email at or visit


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