Social Media: Status Update?

If you’ve been following this or one or two of my other blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been off the social media for quite sometime now. Well, I didn’t delete my account actually, but I just went offline for a few days. I was on my way to my second month without Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I just had to login last week cause I had to get a file from someone who’s not yet my FB friend. So while I was online, I accepted some pending invites, too.

Here’s what I’ve realized so far: social media is neither good or evil; it is just as it is-neutral. How we make use of it makes it bad or good.

So, my personal decision to go off line is something I won’t advise other people to do. It may be working for me, but I really don’t know if it will work for you. It’s you who should assess that.

If being on social media depresses you, which happened to me a lot of times before, then you may better be offline. But if you are someone, like most people who find connection with friends and love ones being rekindled because of social media, well and good, continue to do so, but in a more controlled manner.

Francis Kong once said that Facebook [or social media, i can’t remember exactly] is a billboard, it is not a diary. It makes sense, right? It is curated. We only see what other people wanted us to see. So measuring ourselves up with what other people are sharing is actually unhealthy.

I love social media. It was my source of information, my extra pair of eyes to see the world, the tie that binds me to people long gone and forgotten as well as to new connections and friends. But for now, I’ll rather keep it in my arsenal of tools that I can use when needed. It has controlled me for quite some time, now, I’m taking control.

Categories: life's journey

On Time, Strengths, and Other Late Night Thoughts

Everyone, I think, would agree that time is the most precious and limited resource that we have. Yet despite that knowledge we’ve been fools over and over again in the way we’re using it.

On time. A couple of days ago as I was leaving for work, my left arm suddenly got very painful that I couldn’t move it. i thought it was tearing apart. From my shoulder all the way to the tip of my thumb. I wasn’t sure if I twisted it badly or what. Anyway, I got terribly scared I thought I was having a stroke. Luckily, I realized there’s no pain on my chest, so I’d be fine. But that realization came after my thoughts of being ill or dead. My thought exactly was, “I’m not ready.” I can’t leave my wife and kids yet. At that moment, I realized how precious life is and how we’ve been wasting each single moment of opportunity we spend with the people we love. I just wanted to stay at home. But I can’t afford to let Mrs H feel my fear and have her worried. A few minutes later and it’s over, so the day proceeded as usual. It still hurts a bit ’till now.

But it’s not the pain that worried me. It’s the thought that I may have not invested enough time with my family.

Amazing how a simple incident like that could make you realize what life and living really means; that it’s not permanent, it’s too fragile, too uncertain, and that it got to be treasured.

On strengths. I’m glad there are companies that continue to invest in their people’s development. I’m happy to be in one. So there’s this training about harnessing your individual “talents” or strengths to become effective in your career and as a leader. But I believe it can apply to one’s personal life as well. Part of the training is you will answer set of questions that will help you identify your individual talents. It’s kind of a self-awareness (or self-validation on how you see yourself). It’s great because it can give you insights on how your talents can work for you in its mature form or against you in its raw form; which kind of validate what Mrs H used to say:

“Your greatest gift is also your worst curse.”

Now, the more I look at my talents the more I get to know more of myself and how I behave under certain circumstances. Things like, why do I feel good learning new things, talking to and debating with myself, buying books on various topics, thinking how things came about or why people behave in such and such ways, why do I hate conflicts and confrontations, etc.

The more I get to know and understand myself, the more I am convinced of pursuing things I’ve always wanted – be an academician (is there such a thing? Wait, there is!).

On generation gaps and millennials. People should be more forgiving and less harsh towards millennials, especially those at the workforce. It’s often said that they are the most disengaged, difficult to handle, easily bored, unstable, etc., employees today. But the thing is, maybe, just maybe, they didn’t choose to be that way. They could have been molded that way, without them asking for it. We have to remember that who we are or what we are as a person are the sum of a lot of factors, but basically nature and nurture.

People who complain a lot about these millennials are the same generation that raises them up. Significant part of what they are is how generations before them have raised them.

It is not fair to think that the millennials are the problem themselves. People should also ask themselves how they have contributed to this way of thinking. YOLO, self-entitlement, freedom to choose, following one’s passion, etc. Who invented these concepts anyway? These were not invented by this generation, but by the ones before them.This is not about passing the blame, but about being fair and a call for more meaningful introspection.

Social media hiatus. Sometimes, we really have to get disconnected to be more connected.

Yes, in many ways I am now becoming “uninformed”, but I will choose it any time, any day, than being “misinformed.”

On each passing time. Again, time passes by so quickly. One quarter of the year is now about to end. Left unchecked, we’ll be too old to do the things we must do- talk to people that matter to us while they’re still here, pursue our passions and life long yearnings, visit the places we’ve always wanted to visit, love more and love more deeply, connect more, and live more.

Earlier, I was lying in bed and I just realized that our bed is getting smaller and smaller each night for the four of us.

The kids are growing up so fast. I wonder where have all the days gone. Days are short. Our lives are finite. We need to create more memories instead of accumulating more things. I wish I could be much wiser to “do” the things I must, than just “know” what must be done.

On relationships, family stewardship, etc. Get a book by Dr. James Dobson, Jr. and then thank me later. ūüėČ

Categories: life's journey

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 Рmy 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
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