Catching up

No matter how busy we are, no matter how much we try to drown life with activities, life always finds a way to catch up. It just shows up on your doorsteps, always a surprise.

Time flies. And boy, no matter how good you are at procrastinating, you won’t beat life at the end line. It’s always ahead of you. There’s no Mr. Optimistic when reality hits you. And it hits really, really hard. If you are young and you think “adulting” is tough; well, here’s the news: it ain’t the whole part of living. It’s just a fraction of it.

When every cell of your body started shouting at you to start living- and i mean living the life you should- man, hard is not even close a word to define it.

“Well”, you might say, “it’s just a passing phase of confusion at a certain point in life.” Perhaps. So, what are you going to do about it? Just let it slide?

When you started wearing too many hats, trying to be at your best in every one of it, all at the same time, it’s not gonna help. Good news is, you are not the first or the only one to be in that situation. Bad news is, it’s only you who can handle your own balancing act. But still, not a reason to despair. Many have found their way of getting the best out of it.

Of course, there will come a time when your cross feels heavier than it used to. There will be times when prayers don’t seem to work anymore. There will be times when the people around you, even the ones you love and trust, wouldn’t seem to understand or care. There will be times when the days are longer and more tiring and the nights are darker and colder. There will be times you would doubt your own self. But never, even in the most trying and confusing times, should you give up.

Many have been through it and emerged even more victorious. There’s always a way out of it. There has to be. There must be. Find it.

When life caught you by surprise, roll with it. Every waking moment is a moment for the unexpected lemons that life would throw at you; so you must always have that squeezer ready to make the best lemonades.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stoics and Me

October 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Hello again!

It’s been a while, huh? A haitus from writing for some time to focus on some other things is really good for ones’ self, I suppose; so I don’t think this one post would mean breaking that silence for good. Been through of a lot these past couple of years… fatherhood and all.  Well, fatherhood times two.  But I won’t bore you with those things for now.  Let’s catch up again, should we have the time.

Anyway, been trying to get more familiar lately to Stoicsm – and i just want to let you know about it.  It’s a philosophy that started in Greece around 2,300 years ago.  It flourished not only in Greece but also reached Rome and had a cult of followers including one of Rome’s emperors, Marcus Aurelius, said to be a philosopher-emperor and author of the celeberated book “Meditations”.

Stoicsm, basically, is an ancient Greek philosophy (developed by Zeno of Citium around 300 B.C. as a refinement of Cynicism) which teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. It does not seek to extinguish emotions completely, but rather seeks to transform them by a resolute Asceticism (a voluntary abstinence from worldly pleasures), which enables a person to develop clear judgment, inner calm, and freedom from suffering (which it considers the ultimate goal).

So, yeah, that portion there that states “development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions” is what really got me interested.  I don’t know how much things would change but I am hoping for the best.  Oh, wait, there is one passage in the Seneca’s Letter from a Stoic that actually states (quoting another Stoic philosopher, Hecato, I think) “cease to hope and you will cease to fear”.  I wish I could share with you now my thoughts about it, but I have to restrain myself; so, not this time.

Anyway, there’s so much to learn and much to explore. Let’s just live one day at a time.  Before I go, let me leave this quote to you:

“I am writing this not for the eyes of the many, but for yours alone: for each of us is audience enough for the other” (Seneca, quoting Epicurus in Letter VII of Letters from a Stoic).


God Hears Our Prayers

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Many of us are wondering if God really hears our prayers. And I want to believe that He does. There may be times in our lives when all our questions remain unanswered – no matter how much we prayed and asked God for the answers.

Many times, God remains silent to our questions, our petitions, our prayers. There were times when He just keep mum in the midst of all our doubts, fears, and pains.

Or is He? What if God speaks to us in ways so familiar to us, so common, so natural, that we fail to recognize it. We expect God’s answers to be like that of the ancient time when thunder roars, lightning strikes and bushes are consumed by fire.

What if God speaks to you through the gentle breeze, the singing of the birds, the scent of a rose, the hug of a friend, the smile of a child, the kiss of a lover? We will never know unless we open our hearts and take the time to listen.

Most of the time, we expect direct, loud and thunderous voice from the heaven to tell us what to do and give us the answers we longed to hear. But God is the God of the gentle things too. Listen to your heart. Listen to the soft whispers to your soul. God may be talking to you right now but because you speak too loud, you can’t hear Him. Take time to stop talking, stop asking and stop begging. God may have already given you the answers you’ve been waiting for so long but because all you think about is yourself, you failed to hear it.

Let the stillness of the night, the silence of the most boring part of the day, be a moment of listening to God’s voice. A moment of silence may be all that you need to find the answers you’ve been asking God all your life.

Categories: life's journey

As I write this letter…

As I write this letter, half of the world is asleep, resting and renewing their energy for another battle of the day ahead.  As I write this letter, thousand thoughts run thru my head.  Exhaustion from a day’s work shrinks in comparison with my troubled mind. And yet, as I write this letter, my thoughts are wandering on some distant land where joy and happiness rule together,  a place where love, forgiveness and peace adorn every corner and fill every heart.

My mind wanders in a world where men lives in harmony with one another, where gardens are filled with flowers and the trees are bending because of the fruits they carry.  As I write this letter, my mind wanders in a world where people live with the ones they love, where the only noise that can be heard are children’s laughter as they play on some green valleys chasing colorful butterflies and picking-up some lovely lilies.  As I write this letter, my mind wanders in a world where no man has ever been, where life sees only joy and love and peace; a place without night and without darkness, without hatred, without fear.

My mind wanders in a valley where children are playing while the grown-ups are laughing and talking.  Everyone is out in the sun, but they feel no harm, just the warmth of the golden sunshine.  Not far from where I am, I see the horizon, the shore of an unknown land.  It calls to me.  The more I stare at it, the more it pulls me.  I can feel the soft green grass beneath my feet, slowly turning into warm and dry pebbles  until it turns into a moist, soft and fine sand.  I can feel the warm splash of the water from the sea. I feel the water rising higher and higher – my eyes still fixed to that unknown horizon that calls to me.

It is already past midnight and yet my mind refuses to rest.  My eyes are tired yet they don’t want to embrace the night.  No, not yet.

As I write this letter, I dream of a distant land where I feel no fear to set foot on an unknown land.  I dream of a place where there is no fear, where worries are forever banished from its face.  As I write this letter, I wander into a land where love rules as king and hope and courage and wisdom are the princes, and together, they rule in sovereign.  As I write this letter, I realized that that world is only in my mind.

It’s not about you…

It’s been a while since I’ve created this blog (although this is not the first or the only one that I’ve created).   My first goal is simply to share my ideas.  But the internet told me that blogging can make some money too.

If I am going to earn from my blogs, I need more viewership and I need advertisers.  But the thing is, most of the view statistics of those blogs came from me. So  I got disappointed.  I will visit my blogs for a few inspiration every now and then, especially  “Live the Good Life”, and then check the statistics to know if there are people who visited.  Most often, instead of being motivated and inspired, I get frustrated.  It is so frustrating I wanted to stop writing at all. So I evaluated myself and my articles. Here are the few things that I’ve learned.

Why other people won’t read my article

I’ve been writing all about myself. I wrote about my experiences, about what I know and what I want to do.  I been writing things that I want to say and share.  I’ve been writing for myself and about myself.  Of course, the only reader I will get is myself.  What more should I expect?

How to get other people’s attention

“Writing is communicating, and like every effective communication, it is not how much you say but how much you listen.”  If there’s a genuine intention to write and share ideas, there should be genuine desire to know what other people needs to know.  Writing is not about the author – it is about the reader.

It takes time

Getting credibility as an author of articles that people would want to read takes time.  It doesn’t happen in an instant. Building credibility starts with walking the talk.  If people will know that you practice what you preach and do what you say, they will believe in you.  I’ve seen this in my personal relationships, in my professional career and in almost every aspect of life.  It can apply to writing as well.

Clean, lean and mean.

As a reader, I don’t want to read boring articles with a lot of beatings around the bush.  People are busy.  They need time to do other things than reading my articles.  So some of the improvements that need to be incorporated in the succeeding articles are (1) fewer spelling/grammatical errors (2) conciseness, and (3) straight forwardness (how about limiting it to maximum of 500 words per article).

Write with both heart and mind.

One can write the most scholarly work using his mind and the most touching piece from his heart.  But readers are not simply two-dimensional people who uses either heart or mind.   So the key is to share ideas from the mind and put it in words coming from the heart.

I have to constantly remind myself that

“You the author, not the reader. Write about the readers, not about you.”

Categories: life's journey

Looking for Me…

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  And surely, there must be some place to start.

Analysis-paralysis has kept me stuck in here for too long…  Here.  Here is where I need to start.  With myself.

From John Maxwell I’ve learned that there are only two great days in our lives, one is the day we were born and the other is the day we learn why.  So far we have experienced the first.  And it is going to take a long while before we find out the second.  As for me, I think it is going to take some time even more.

Why am I here is what I often ask myself.  One thing for sure, it’s not all about me.  Because we are created not merely to fill out the spaces on this planet.  We are here for a purpose (at least).

For quite some time, I have been looking for that purpose, that “why.”  And in the process, I’ve realized that I have been looking for my self as well.  “How will I know my purpose if I haven’t found my self?”  And so I started this journey looking for me…

I’ve been in this lifetime for nearly three decades, and until now, I haven’t figured out who am I and why am I here?  I know I am not the only one.  If that is something that should comfort me or not, I don’t know.  But I guess that’s just normal but it doesn’t feel right at the same time.

What if the world is filled with a bunch of people like me – wandering around not knowing who they are, where they are going and why they are here?

I don’t know how long I will be in this planet…  Whatever time is left for me, I don’t want to waste that time looking for the kind of person that I was supposed to be.  Because the word “supposed” doesn’t really mean that much.  I mean, what’s the use of thinking what I should have been if I can think of what “I can be.”

Why am I here?  Or, who am I?  I must admit, finding the answers to those questions isn’t that easy.  Even if at one point in my life I thought I’ve already figured life out, I was wrong.  Finding our purpose – our “whys” – doesn’t end in a single point in time.  Finding our “whys” is a never-ending quest…  And as long as we keep on finding our purpose, our knowledge of ourselves, of who we are , will never end as well.

Join me, my friends, as we embark on this journey together… So, if one day you meet me and looking like at a lost in some deep thought, just pop me a question… I might just still be looking for something – looking for me.

Have a blessed week ahead.

P.S.  Maybe you can find one of my “whys” here as I have already figured it out.

What We are Paid For

This was written nearly five months ago and because of the temporary hiatus of  Phase II, it is only by now that this article will be shared to you.  

Phase II hopes that you may learn something from this articles. 


Today, I had an opportunity where I was asked to write an essay based on predetermined topic (something of which Phase II is not very much accustomed to). There are lots of choices and I opted to write about “The value of excellence in one’s job.” I don’t have a copy of my original article but I will try as much as possible to replicate it here.

What We are Paid For

If someone would say that he is paid, let say, Php50 per hour, that person does not have a right perspective about what he is being paid for.  We are not paid for the time we’ve spent on our work.  Rather, we are paid for the value we add into it.  If we are to be paid based on the time we spent on work, people with 12-hour shifts would be the highest paid employees.  But such is not the case.

What is that value we are paid for?   Is it simply for doing our assigned task?  For the sake of compliance?  I think not.  It is about the excellent value we add into it.

You and I are being paid for the value of services and contribution that we give.  As Jim Rohn said, we are being paid based on the value we provide to the market place.


(Because it has been too long ago, I can no longer remember what my exact words were, but let me continue in this current setting)

What we are actually being paid for are for the things that we contribute to our work.  The more we provide, the more we receive in return.  But more often than not, we equate activities, to accomplishments.  I am guilty of it, then as much as today.  Brian Tracy said, mediocre people equates accomplishments with inputs; excellent people equates accomplishments with output.

If only we are to honestly jot down every activity that we do in a day, we will be surprised to learn that most of it are not that important at all.  As they say, 20% of our time devoted to meaningful activities provides 80% of the results we desire, and 80% of the time we really spent produce only 20% of the results.  The unscheduled meetings, unexpected visitors and phone calls, chitchats over snack rooms, emails that demand answers… and a lot more that consumes most of our time at work.  Are we being paid for these things?  Well, even though these are parts of our daily activities at work, we are not necessarily paid because of these things.  We are paid for the results.  We are paid for the excellent results we provide.

But what is excellence?  Is it being on top of the group, the alpha of the pack, the cream of the crop?  Being excellent is not being number one as compared to everybody.  Being excellent means being better than your best every single time.  When you exceed your best, be it attitudes, performances, and accomplishments, you are demonstrating excellence.  It is not being the best; it is being at your best.

So how do you beat your own personal best?

First, know where you are and what you’ve done.  When you know where you are standing, you definitely have the edge over the others. There is no better security than knowing where your feet are planted.

Second, know where you are going to go.  As one of my former bosses told me, “the world makes way for the man who knows where he wants to go.”

Third, commit to excellence.  Daimler Gottlieb once said, “Das Beste oder nichts” which means “the Best or nothing at all.”

Fourth, devote more time to improving yourself.  Again, mentor to millionaire Jim Rohn said, “work harder on yourself than you work on your job.”  Why?  When you excel in your job, you produce excellent results, but when you excel as a personal, you produce an excellent individual – and that is something you can always carry wherever you go whatever job you may take.

Fifth, acknowledge your limitations before God.  You may always be at your best, working out to be the excellent one, but remember that you are still human – subject to errors and mistakes.  So acknowledging your weaknesses and limitations before God means you are acknowledging a higher power.  Only God can truly bring you to excellence.

At the end of the day, what we planted is what we will always reap.  So plan well to be paid well.


Until next time, I hope that you’ve learned something new as we continue our journey towards Phase II… the next phase of our lives, the next phase to excellence.

Have a great day and God Bless.

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