inspiration, Uncategorized

He decides to downgrade

Finally found the courage to speak my truth….

It’s 7:37 pm and I’m listening to the raindrops falling from the rooftop (like the song from Tamiya) the small pad I’m renting near my University. I’m tucked in my bed feeling the cold chilly breeze the monsoon brings, waiting for the hot water to boil for my evening tea (green tea chamomile). I just had my dinner and a good bath; it feels like such a lovely evening (eventhough I was not able to have my sunset meditation), something I have been enjoying for almost 2 weeks now.

Yes, eversince (June 2nd week) I went back to my Uni to finish my masters, I’ve been taking my time and have lived on very simple and basic things. A major downgrade. To describe my current living situation: I only brought one medium size suitcase that has 2 long pants, 1 slacks, 3 casual shorts, 2 shorts, 3 boxer shorts, 5 briefs, 8 T-shirts, a polo shirt, casual 5 long sleeved top, a suit, and tie. I also brought a gym bag with 3 shoes: 1 black shoes, 1 sneaker and 1 training shoes, 4 pairs of socks, 2 towels and a jacket. I also brought my mini-ref, osterizer and heater for my food and tea/coffee. It might seem that I will be here for only a week or two, but these things I have right now, will be the only things I will live within the next 6 months; that’s a total of less than a hundred item including my toothbrush, computer, phone and 2 mugs (1 for cold and 1 for hot drink). I have no idea how this is all going to work out for me, but I’ve been having really goodnight’s sleep, and surprisingly, I’m doing okay. Did I mention I don’t have internet connection or wifi in my room?

What could have been the worst in all situation, turned out to be the best thing for me. Having no internet connectivity inside my room (though I have mobile data on my phone, but I have to go outside for the signal) has actually given me so much time doing things I really love: reading and writing. In a span of 2 weeks, I have finished reading 7 books and have done so much writing (thesis and blog). For 4 months I was wondering and doubting myself because I could not finish reading my books, or be inspired enough to write. I was too distracted, especially with social media and the internet. Now: Major downgrade on the lifestyle but a major upgrade on the personal goals. Albert Einstein once said “I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be”, and it finally made sense to me now.

A year ago, I was in Metro Davao, probably eating dinner and having drinks with some colleagues in our corporate attire, taking snapchat videos and posting pictures on Facebook. I was once a person who would never miss out on anything. Honestly, I was earning much( but not as much as my counterparts), I  had a great social circle, yet still I feel very left out,  and I was living sinfully because I can afford, and I was not okay being lonely then. I was in Kuantan, east coast of Malaysia, November of last year, when I was confronted to make a choice to continue that life or change it; to continue the chase until something happens, or to stop and begin again. I chose the latter.

Fast-forward, I decided to downgrade.  I now live in a very small and basic room with a fan, a 1x1m bath and toilet, a bed, a table and my less than 100 stuff. I didn’t know I could do so much with so little. With all honesty, I can say I’m happier now, even happiest. My fear of missing out(FOMO) has been turned into appreciating simple joys of life; like a long conversation on the phone with a good friend, a funny text message, videocall from home, catching up with old mentors, and even sunset meditations by the beach.

Life indeed gave me something beautiful after I let go of the things that I thought were best for me. Sometimes, our fear of losing control and unguaranteed future keeps us from enjoying the present, having fun in the now. We always chase after perfection and a good life, and we forget to appreciate the small things in it, we ignore the present because we are too preoccupied with the uncertain future.

What this downgrade has taught me is that vanity is different from pride (actually from pride and prejudice), and that I can keep my pride, but I should give up on my vanity (narcissism, ego, self-centeredness); that I should always be humble and never forget to help others in any small way that you can; that we should always be kind to everyone no matter what or how difficult the situation is; and always be patient because God has His purpose for our existence. We are exactly where God wants us to be.

I am so much thankful for this second chance, and I know this is just the honeymoon phase, easy, slow and joyful. I am expecting bigger challenges and even bigger test of faith, patience, and wisdom, but I know that with God’s grace, I can and I will overcome them. It won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.

 

 

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inspiration, Uncategorized

Requirement: Experience Needed

EverWing: Life Lessons, and Experience

I’ve been hooked on EverWing in the past few days. It’s a game in Facebook Messenger that lets you and your group chat members, compete and work together for victory. I have been playing it religiously because it’s quite addicting, especially when most of your friends are playing it very seriously as well.

At first, it was just a distraction for me, to spend less time on Facebook and other social media platforms. I wanted to detox and detach myself from the internet because I obviously was very dependent on it: and EverWing was the answer (though it still needs to connect to the internet). After a few days, I had been so hooked that I can sit for long hours and just play the game; earn gold coins, trophies, buy dragons and level up with experience.

In the game, you need to level up your experience (or they call it XP) by playing the game constantly; putting your character on the battlefield to earn gold and gain experience. In the game, the longer you play it, the more difficult the challenges (enemies) become. I exceeded the maximum allowed gold coins (999,999) and have 10,000 trophies amongst my 6-pages of dragons. I felt invincible yet I still find it difficult to defeat the enemy boss at times. Why? Experience and the lack thereof. I have had to play more to gain more experience, for me and for my dragons. 😦

I remembered the time in Singapore when I was in one of my interviews. Being a really good English speaker (and sensible), I would often impress my interviewers with my wits and confidence. I research beforehand the company, its core values, goals, etc., for me to have an edge. By the end of the interviews, I come home disappointed because my personality cannot compensate for my lack of experience (Singapore is very strict with their foreign applicants). I look at my Curriculum Vitae and realized that my professional game is still at entry level.

All my life it had always been a chase for learning new things, for being the jack of all trades: there is nothing wrong with it since it also accounts as experience, as personal growth. But to be able to fulfill one’s true purpose, I believe one must have a single destination of which he can cultivate and be an expert of.

Experience is gaining new strengths by overcoming challenges along the way to your goal. Much like in EverWing, first, you have to set your goals. When you know what you want to do, achieve them one by one, and make sure they complement each other. Meet new people, be in a circle with people of the same endeavors; learn and gain more experience. Lastly, share and be an instrument and an inspiration to others.

It’s funny how life lessons come from such silly game. I am no wiseman but I know that someday, all my efforts will be read, will be heard and will be appreciated. Experience is such a big word for me. I have always said to myself that I wanted to be a writer, I dreamed of being a writer, but I never had the necessary experience to be one. I have written short stories and essays, and looking back, I really have so much more to learn, so much more to improve on, so much more to write about. To fulfill that dream, I must start as soon as possible. I know it’s not too late for me.

PS I will try to write my daily reflections as often (everyday) as possible. So help me God.

 

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inspiration, Uncategorized

5 important values for those who travel

It had been 7 months since I decided to quit my job, took off and traveled Southeast Asia. It all started with a friendly conversation with my friend and mentor Darrel who works and lives in Singapore for a time now. He invited me over to see if I can get a job there, or just probably try to get some sense into me since at that time, I was really confused and I had no direction at all.

From Singapore, I journeyed to the neighboring countries, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, for a total of 100 days. It was not all easy, but being able to experience such adventure is totally life changing.

Over those months, I have done so much more that what I have had done in the past few years of my twenties. I have learned so much about culture, food, relationships, careers, life in general but from a different perspective. I have also gained the confidence and the courage to get things done. Basic things that I wish I knew before, but I guess was timely to know now. I learned values which I believe is important when you travel, values that could also be useful in our day to day life.

Kindness is universal

It doesn’t cost anything, but it is the best thing you can give others; friends, strangers, even people you don’t like. Kindness is the universal language for compassion and respect for individuality regardless of race, culture, preference, age, gender, etc.

When you travel to unfamiliar territories on your own, you just have to trust your instinct and pray for people’s kindness. I have heard so much about other travelers being swindled and robbed in the places that I’ve been to (Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, etc. ), creating a stigma of fear for both travelers and locals. Kindness includes respect and compromise. If you want to go further, last longer and stay safe altogether, be kind no matter what. As they say in Karmic Law: What goes around, comes around.

Be patient: wait and see

The world sometimes unfolds great things in front of you when you least expect it. In a budget backpacking trip, you don’t get to have so much money to spend, you only have time.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, locals take time (at least 4 times) everyday to sit down and drink their iced coffee or tea. Lazy? maybe. But when you are in a place with so many people, so many tourists around, noisy, crowded, busy, and humid and warm, a break every now and then keeps you away from fatigue and stress. The essence of travel is to appreciate where you are, experience the life in front of you and learn from it. You cannot do so if you are in a constant hurry and irritated.

Wait. And see that there is so much wisdom in waiting for the right time. Appreciate the beauty of waiting and the great lessons it unfolds.

Trust people.

It was in Batam, Indonesia where I was at my lowest point. It was my first destination after Singapore and I was held in the immigration for some 30 minutes or so. What was even worst was only few can understand and speak English, and I was so scared of getting ripped off by the taxi drivers because I judged them as if they were hoodlums with bad intentions.

After an hour, I finally let my guard down, gave up my so-called “rational thinking”, and just go with my instinct and asked for their help. These people were not so bad after all. They even gave me the directions to my hotel, hailed me a public transportation and reminded me of how much to pay, where to get off and how to get to my hotel.

Building trust is not easy even if you know the person, it’s even harder if you don’t. But trusting others and their kindness is a gift from God that may be broken a lot of times but can still be whole over and over again.

Let others be

Along the way, you will meet diverse people: take that opportunity to know them, hear them and relate. It won’t be easy as there are many radical minds out there. Your patience and understanding will be tested. But it’s up to you and how you react to them, that matters.

All throughout my journey, I have been discriminated a lot of times for my color, race, and preference. May it had been said in a normal conversation, or as a joke during a drinking session, I honestly get offended every time. I just keep quiet and pray for the peace of mind and understanding. I do not need to carry the burden of imperfections based on other people’s guidelines. I let them be because my peace is more precious than their judgment.

In everyday life, you have a choice over the battles you want to fight. People will be what they believe to be. You can only do so much for and about others. It is up to them to accept or reject you. Let others be because that is their way of life. Do not be so easy to judge and backbite. Hear them out and act upon your judgment with wisdom and understanding.

Respect

Lastly, to stay alive and unscathed whenever or wherever you travel, always learn to pay respect to religion, culture, gender, traditions and to people. We bring our culture and upbringing with us when we travel to different countries, make your country proud by always being respectful.

In Bali, Indonesia, you only get respected and treated right if you know well how to respect others. Some tourists think that if you have the money, you’ll get the best service. In Bali, it’s different. Money can’t buy you a good relationship and special treatment. People in Bali are very kind and honest, they have a culture that is respectful to others; humans, animals, beliefs, traditions, etc. Respect, together with their other values, make Bali a successful example of good tourism.

I know you don’t need to travel far or travel wide to learn all these things. Sometimes, it just comes difficult for others like me, because maybe we were always used to the easy life and compromising life. I pray for another chance to travel abroad again, hopefully soon. For now, I will stick to these values and make sure I learn to 

I pray for another chance to travel abroad again, hopefully soon. For now, I will stick to these values and make sure I get to share them with my fellowmen. These are small things that make huge differences.

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inspiration, Uncategorized

GENUINE HAPPINESS

Others say happiness is hard to find. Others found happiness and then easily lost it. Others haven’t really found it, and some just gave up on it.

Happiness is a state of mind, they say. For me, happiness is something that you feel not only for yourself but for others as well. We say we are happy when we obtain the things we like or when things go our way, and as we have expected it to be. We say we’re not happy when we think, everything is going wrong.

Sometimes, our so-called happiness becomes others downfall. We may deny it, but sometimes, we have gone through that stage wherein we are happy for the misery of others.  I had been there before, and I had also been a victim of it. It was painful, I got hurt and I was sad.

We don’t need to brag about us being happy. True happiness comes from within. You will feel good and free when you feel that kind of happiness. You forgive, you sacrifice and you share your happiness with others even without any intentions of doing so. Genuine HAPPINESS will always prevail to show its true meaning in you when you make others HAPPY too.

Others will say happiness is a superficial feeling. I say happiness is acceptance. It is one’s ability to accept reality for what it is, and to live with what is there at that moment, and then continues to be inspired for a better future and for a greater life; no sourgraping, no sugarcoating, no bitterness.

Be happy. Everything will be okay.

Original post from unconscious mind on the lose . For more good reads click here.

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inspiration

5 life truths

(I am writing this entry in the presence of 3 people drinking brandy and singing karaoke at broad daylight, while I am waiting for my mother’s car to be finished. I am in a carwash/ karaoke bar on a fine Sunday afternoon. )

Below are 5 life truths that you should be able to manage in your quarter life.

Failing

In your life, you will fail in many endeavors and in too many times. You win some, you lose some they say. You will fail people, fail expectations and fail yourself. Nobody wants to fail intentionally. But along the way and as a part of growing up, we fail and recover somehow.

We fail to learn.

We lose to gain.

We fall to rise. 

We disappoint to surprise. 

Favor

A favor is a favor whether you asked for it or someone gave it to you. If you have to have a favor, take the former. Lay your cards on the table and whether they approve, support, help you or not, you already decided for yourself. Do not be indebted to what they want for you. You are you. Do your best to repay that favor by small acts or grand gesture. Always be thankful.

Believe that there are still good people who are willing to help without expecting anything in return. Know that kindness will never run out of style.

Focus

Distraction is a product of your wandering mind because it feels like it can accomplish so much more when it can only do so much at a time. From time to time, you will be distracted by other people, by a youtube video, by a call from a friend or by just about anything. Take some breaks, appreciate small breathers, and then come back to your goals, and focus.

My greatest distraction is alcohol and heavy drinking. I tend to do less whenever I drink more. My travel to places where alcohol was expensive helped me accomplished more by drinking less.

Focus on what is important at the moment, and get rid of the unnecessary.

 

Frustrations

Life is never going to be easy. You will be tired, hungry, sick, angry, frustrated. Amidst it all celebrate failure and distress because it is your spiral staircase towards satisfaction. It’s the safety net to your failure.  We become frustrated when we expect so much and it doesn’t go our way. After all our efforts, our hard work, and resources invested at something, if we are not satisfied we crumble.

Frustration, though, teaches us to expect less and do more. It breaks the monotony of life’s “what you get is what you give”. Give it your all, hope for the best and expect the unexpected.

In your journey, if it’s all safe, all familiar, all easy, then there is nothing new, there is no more growth.

Fears

Ego, pride, frustrations. People will hate you, lose their trust on you big time, leave you and eventually hurt you. Those who will stay, no matter what, continues to support you, trust you and love you, they will be your rock, your foundation.

A true friend will bet on you, count on you, invest in you, like a true family who puts all their faith in you, and whether you succeed or fail, as long as you did your all, and you are kind, you will never disappoint.

My greatest fear was to disappoint the people who have so much faith in me. It was the only reason why I cry myself to sleep at night. Eventually, the ones who truly matter doesn’t really care if you fail. If they love you they will support you unconditionally.
Faith

The happiest people I’ve met have one thing in common. They have a great faith in God. Different religion but same faith in God. I am surrounded by people who are either extremist in their religion, mediocre followers, agnostics and non-believers. I used to shy down about being very spiritual, just because I didn’t want to look like a pagan believer. But eventually praying has been my greatest refuge when I am overwhelmed or angry, overjoyed or frustrated, through my little victories and failures, and it humbled me.

 My faith is my foundation, it brings me joy and comfort. It clears my mind and it gives me my daily drive to live to the fullest because God guarantees me victory.

We will always have our share of good and bad. We will meet people who will stir up our humanity and step hard on our ego. We will be shattered more than ever. We will cry. But no matter what, just so as long as we have faith in God, in ourselves and the people that matter to us the most, every tear and every pain will be worth it.

 

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inspiration

How to chill

There is a never ending try towards being the best and I leave it all to my friends and the people on facebook because they are always chasing after their #LifeGoals and #Blessed feels.

As a first, Today, we learn how to be #Chill and how we can #LiveToBe

  1. Be a MESS in this world full of in control people and those who tries so hard to “fit the mold”

Being accomplished and perfect is so normal (and pretentious) nowadays. Surprise people by being a mess, not figured out and confused. It may look (and sound) devastating, but no matter how wasted your life may seem, people will be inspired by how you are managing to hold up. We all just wanna be a mess sometimes, but don’t be a real mess though, recover in every blow, stand up after every fall. Just dont think so much about being in control and do not overthink any situations. It’s okay to be not okay sometimes and being a mess, as long as you clean up after is actually okay.

  1. Have feelings. Feel your feelings and be honest about it, even when others can’t and wont.

Times are changing, and everyday we keep encouraging ourselves to be brave and strong, independent, rational, and it often leads us to being numb, insensitive, heartless. Yeah, we get hurt when we become vulnerable and open, but we will still get hurt even if we are not. In this world of rational and instant emotions, it is best to still have feelings and to feel your feelings. It is crying when you are sad, or overjoyed. It is laughing at the silliest jokes and sympathizing over a loss. Feelings make us human and its one way to connect. Be honest to yourself, be honest to your feelings. Live to be a person, not a robot.

  1. Make mistakes in this unforgiving world of perfection and superficial success

Like come on? People WILL make mistakes, real talk. Living is about being able to do what you want to do, failing, making mistakes, learning from it, and doing or not doing it again. It had always been complicated and there is never an easy way to be living one’s life.

Fact: you will disappoint people, hurt and frustrate them, and vice versa. Make your best mistake (just don’t get yourself killed.)

  1. Keep your thoughts and emotions to yourself, and only to the people you care about.

The thing with this fast-paced world is that we tend to say our emotions on social media too often and too much. You will look like a  bipolar or psychologically ill; bursting in anger now and then suddenly being overjoyed in a matter of 5 minutes. We often express our temporary feelings and nobody really (actually) cares except those people in our intimate circle (family and close friends). Out of the hundreds of people you are friends with on facebook and thousands of followers on twitter, only a handful are really close to you and eventually give a damn about you and your feelings. Others just love to pry (because they have no better things to do) and are just waiting for you to just break down, and that is so not cool.

  1. Do not be afraid to miss out on things, like 90% of it doesnt really matter

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. It’s when you look at other people’s snapchat or instagram post or facebook update and they seem to be having so much fun and you are not. Social media has made FOMO so much intense that friendships end, and envy and bitterness is maximized.

Remember: YOU ARE NOT MISSING OUT ON LIFE. You are where you are supposed to be, you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and you are with people you are supposed to be with.

  1. Meet people, fall in love, get hurt, be wiser. Repeat.

Meet people and fall in love regardless of how many heartbreaks you’ve been through and will be going through. There is an incomparable joy to that of falling in love; whether it’s unrequited or it’s a love lost in the end. The best people will always be those who always loves, always gets hurt and always becomes wiser in the end. Let the experience, all the good and bad, teach you a thing or two about accepting the things as they are, letting go of the things that doesn’t matter, and moving on and moving forward.

  1. Sleep. Read a book. Drink tea. Take your time.

Live to be chill, don’t be too hot. Always take time to do small things because time is all we really got and it is the only thing we have for free. In this world of instant noodles, instant replies and instant everything, taking your time on doing some small things like stopping by to watch the sunset, talking to a friend you haven’t seen for 5 years, enjoying a good wine or eating out a fancy steak dinner all by yourself. You need a time off from the entire pretense and trying.

When was the last time you cried reading a book? Or slept in the arms of someone? Small things count.

  1. Travel alone (and far)

Just because it’s liberating. *drops mic

  1. Write a journal, make a blog, do not care if people will like, comment, or share. Just pour your heart out on something.

Not everyone can be a writer, or a blogger, but everyone can express their feelings through art, literature, and/or music. Make art. Keep a journal of your activities, make a youtube page of your performance or create an online portfolio of your crafts. It’s good for you and your mind. It’s basically free on the internet, and most importantly, it’s easy to share (if you want to), and it’s the most efficient way of inspiring other enthusiasts.

The goal is to express yourself by any means that is at your utmost convenience. And did I mention it’s also healthy for the mind and spirit?

  1. (and most importantly) let others be

Live to be, and let others be. STOP shoving your thoughts, opinions and unsolicited advises to other people’s throats, that is so uncool man. Surely we have our own opinions, morals, truths and reality, and that does not make us better than anybody.

To each his own and we can only do so much for others; like listening, giving them our 2 cents and just genuinely care for them. Do not overstep into others personal space, their perspectives, and their morals. We have different journeys and we live at different pages of our lives, do not judge too quickly.

Be yourself, be what you want to be, just not at the expense of others. Succeed in your own little big way, achieve your own personal goals.

Do not follow any list on how to live, or how to be. Just live to be.

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that’s a friendly reminder (with great love) from my 27 year old me to my present me

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