We all know our National Hero’s side of the story when he was executed by Spanish colonists because of his ideology and beliefs. But if we try to get to know him as a person, how he lived his life and interacted with others-

Even after more than 100 years, we can still learn a lot from him, that can make us a better individual and Filipino citizen.

Let’s get to know more of Rizal up close on how he lived his life~

1. He was a Loving Son. He studied to become an eye doctor to treat his mother’s eye ailment. He exerted a great deal of effort studying how the human eye works in order to successfully treat his mother’s cataract.

What can you do to become a loving son, daughter or employee to your co-worker? You can probably immediately think of one or two simple things to become one. You can help your parents with daily household chores and sustain financial stability at home once you can start earning through honest work. You can also offer a helping hand to your co-workers once you’re done with your regular tasks in the office especially if you’re familiar with the tasks that they need help with.

2.Constant Learner. It is widely known that Rizal took great lengths to learn several languages- English, Spanish, German and even Japanese. Certainly, no one can learn these languages all at the same time. Historians discovered that he systematically memorized five words from each different language every day until he learned enough words to speak it. This was a practical and simple approach to learn new skills in life.

What can you actively learn every day? You can set aside time each day to learn a new skill like cooking, new skills for work or even productive hobbies. For example, if you’re a delivery personnel, you can memorize one street of your route each day. In time, you’ll be familiar with a lot of different routes which can greatly help you become more efficient with your job.

3.Love for Work. We’re all familiar with his two famous books, ‘Noli Me Tangere’ (1887) and ‘El Filibusterismo’ (1891). These two important literary works inspired the Philippine Revolution. He consistently wrote every day to finish his books and published his first book when he turned 26 years old, and followed it up with his second at the age of 30.

What are simple ways that you do to express your love of your work? This can be as simple as giving your best even when performing simple tasks. Never settle for second best or half-baked work. Soon, you’ll start treating all the tasks given to you with love and accomplish even more.

4.Devotion (Accountability). He always envisioned freedom and independence for the Filipino people. Every decision and daily tasks that he did led him towards this goal until the end- when he was executed by colonists in Bagumbayan which is now known as the Rizal Park. He even disapproved Andres Bonifacio’s call for a revolution since he knows that a lot of lives will be lost forever and that it will only make the situation worst.

In your own small ways, how do you show devotion to your family and work? You can probably come to work earlier, possibly 10 minutes or 15 minutes early and finish your tasks earlier. You can also set aside time for family and work. Be accountable with your commitments.

5.Wise use of time. He died when he was only 35 years old. At this young age, he already had so many accomplishments. He used his time wisely so he can write essays, poems and novels. He also carved images, painted, studied various languages and even became a medical doctor.

Are you using your time wisely? It’s never too late to learn a new skill even during your free time at work. Technology has made it easier for us to learn anywhere. You can watch educational videos with your smartphone instead of endlessly wasting your time away with entertainment.

6.Self-Confidence. Although he was only 5 feet in height, brown skinned and was called an indio [a derogatory term used by Spanish colonizers that meant low intellect and stature]. This did not stop him to pursue higher education, continue to build his character and face all of life’s challenges.

What steps do you take to become more confident? You can practice believing first in what you can do, and striving to do your best all the time. Avoid devaluing what you can do by seeking excuses to avoid responsibilities and deadlines. Always give your best and be proud of your work.

7.Personal Integrity. When he was running short in cash, he did not resort to borrowing money from his friends or relatives. Instead, he occasionally skipped full meals to save up, dined in cheaper restaurants, and even changed to affordable hotel accommodations while he was studying in Europe. It was known that Rizal had to borrow 300 pesos from his good friend Maximo Viola, so he can publish the first 2,000 copies of Noli Me Tangere. He immediately repaid him with the help of his brother, Paciano. He is true to his word even if it could endanger his life and his family, yet he always stood for what he believed in- until the end.

How do you practice personal integrity at work even during difficult times? You can do this by following all agreed company rules and guidelines. Your personal values speak volumes about what you believe in.

8.Concern for the welfare of others. As a young boy, he diligently obeyed his mother’s important life lessons- to become a kind person and not think only of himself but also to always think about the welfare of others. This was apparent until we lost Jose Rizal when he was executed in 1896. He always believed that there was still hope for government reforms. He wanted to avoid a bloody revolution by all means.

How do you show concern for the well-being of others? Think about your contribution at work. Think about what will happen to the organization if you do not carry your job properly. The business will lose customers. Or the product and services will not be worth paying for. Remember, your actions whether big or small, has a ripple effect in your organization, so always do your best for the welfare of others.

These are some of the inherent values that we can all learn from Jose Rizal. Let us all be proud Filipinos and apply it our daily lives. Try answering the question yourself and find out how you can improve yourself as an employee using the examples of Rizal.