Reminders for Senior Citizens

It is not every day that I come across nuggets of wisdom worth sharing. This one is from an ex-officemate, Jimmy Cabangis. In his Facebook post on our group page, he credits his guru, Andy Ferreria. Whether this is originally Jimmy’s or his guru’s does not matter. If you are a senior citizen or nearing that age, read on and internalize the words.

What do you think of the advice? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

 


Reminders for Senior Citizens…

1. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned capital. Warning: This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Continue reading

If you liked this post, here are ways to share:

Ladies: Always live from your true selves

I was ecstatic when El Gamma Penumbra won the first Asia’s Got Talent. It was a moment of pride for the Philippines.

But I got caught up in another story — the story of how Gerphil Flores, who placed third in this same show, was once rejected in the local version of the talent show, Pilipinas Got Talent, five years ago. Two lady judges told her that she was better off using her voice to sing pop songs rather than her classical choices. As a result, she was eliminated. Gerphil (known then as Fame) stood her ground and told the judges that it was what she did well, that she was hopeful that her kind of singing (a cross-over combining pop with classical singing) would catch on with the young people.

Gerphil Flores (from her Facebook profile pic album)

Gerphil Flores (from her Facebook profile pic album)

Continue reading

If you liked this post, here are ways to share:

Steve Jobs, on life

Upon waking this morning, I opened up my iPad. The familiar ding sounded and a push notification from MacWorld popped up on my homepage with the nightmarish news that Steve Jobs had died.

The brilliant, creative genius of Apple products that kept blowing us all away was gone. He was only 56.

Tribute to Steve Jobs on the Apple homepage

Many will remember him for the genius that he was. Colleagues who worked with him probably remember him either at his best or at his worst. Most of us know him by the everyday devices we bring around with us that have become part of our identities.

But what struck me today, listening to the CNN coverage on Steve Jobs, was how he pursued his own version of a meaningful life with such a driven, focused passion.

Steve’s life has been very colorful. But his close encounter with pancreatic cancer in 2004 made him realize how life was too short. This mindset shift was clearly reflected in part of his speech at the 2005 Stanford commencement speech:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new…

Such profound words from a man who had a love-hate relationship with so many people who knew him! This must have been why he seemed so driven despite his illness. He wanted to go with a bang. And he has. He has left us with a legacy and many life lessons.

To me, what left a huge impression was Steve’s thoughts on death as a life-changing agent. It truly is. When we realize life is short, then we stop being a sham, a fake if you can call it that. We stop living someone else’s life. We begin focusing on who we really are, what we want to really do, where our passions lie, what counts in life, WHO count in our life. We realize that walls that we erect to ‘protect’ ourselves from hurt are actually walls that shut out people who love us. We begin to see people and things around us that, in many busy seasons of life, usually go by unnoticed. We learn detachment and see material things from a functional point of view rather than from an obsessed, never-ending acquisition binge.

To get a better sense of Steve’s mindset, watch this video of that 2005 Stanford commencement speech:

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for how you changed our lives in a dramatic way. How the world will communicate and connect will never be the same again. You will be truly missed.

If you liked this post, here are ways to share:

2010: New Decade, New Self

 

To whoever designed this 2010 wallpaper: I owe a debt of gratitude to you. This is going to be my 2010 wallpaper and avatar in most of my social network sites.

A little flashback…

Those who know me from about 2 decades back know that I came from a different mold altogether.

Dad was an accountant. He had no chance to take the CPA exams so that dream must have been something I absorbed in my growing up years so much so that I followed his footsteps, albeit blindly. Along the way, I did have a chance to discover my creative side. Mom made sure I took piano, ballet and jazz lessons. Yes, I even did Tahitian dancing at one point.

I was not a nerd in school but studying hard was a habit that paid off as I graduated at the top of my class both in high school and college. Getting a job with the premier accounting firm then was not so difficult with grades like mine and I must say that staying with that firm for the next 16 years taught me even more about discipline, hard work, teamwork and many others. My determination to make it big in the corporate world got me a firm scholarship to an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania. Even when I left the firm to join a universal bank as head of its Corporate Planning Division, I carried those very same work ethics. Because of the intensity with which I worked, I almost lost my youngest son in a really bloody incident in Baclaran during a meeting. At one time, I spent Christmas Eve in the bank till past 6pm – practically the only one left on my floor.

So it was a great surprise to everyone who knew the workaholic ME when I submitted my resignation letter. Which company are you joining? How much more will they pay you? We will match whatever they offer you. You can be Chairwoman of this affiliate company, said the Chairman of the bank. To all these questions, I simply answered that I wanted to just become a homemaker for once and serve my family.

Friends made side bets i would not last 2 years. I should have made a hefty bet because I beat them by a decade.

Fast forward to the present…

3 years ago, I discovered blogging. I sort of dawdled the first 2 years, simply writing for its pure joy and creative outlet. But now, I am exploring that long inert, creative side of my self. I want to reinvent myself into a right-brained woman.

Let me ask you something: Have you ever wondered if your past life was a mistake or has hit a no-growth stage? Are you nursing a deep desire to change course, paddle elsewhere, find out if you still have it in you to do something different? Have you ever wanted to put more meaning into your life?

I have wondered. And I have nurtured a deep yearning to put more meaning into my life.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu

I’m taking life as it comes now and I am amazed at the different opportunities that lie out there for people willing to give it a try. Just in 2009, I got myself into the following;

And more opportunities appear to be opening up in 2010 that will put to bear more writing assignments, among others. In the works also are plans to get more training in internet marketing/SEO and a not-to-be-missed creative workshop with Jim Paredes.

Pursuing it at this stage of life is easier, I guess, now that my kids are teens and adults. They are growing independent of me after years I spent with them, being active in their school activities. But I believe that pursuing the deepest passions in you have no right or wrong age. The time to start is always NOW.

Who knows where else this journey is taking me? I still can’t see the big picture.

But that picture above of the fluttering butterflies and flowers growing delightfully under a bright sun say it all. That’s how I want to reinvent my life –

New, exciting, sunshine-y, positive, growing, free-spirited, love-filled, and God-centered.

Are you also in the process of altering the direction of your life? In what way? I’d love to hear from you as well.

If you liked this post, here are ways to share:

My Journey towards Creativity and Self-Actualization

I am experiencing a rebirth of sorts.

In my 20s and 30s, I was too preoccupied with getting good grades, working on an MBA degree, and balancing a flourishing career with the duties of child-rearing. These activities were not bad in themselves. In fact, if we believe that there is a time and place for everything, then those years were years meant to instill certain values in me like discipline, focus, drive, hard work, teambuilding, passion, and the like.

But midlife brings with it certain realizations about what truly matter in life and my yoga encounters heightened my sensitivity to making the rest of my own life meaningful in a way that takes me on a different path altogether. Many people talk about freeing up the spirit, living in the moment, following one’s heart, and the like. That used to be mumbo-jumbo to me. But now, the achievements of the past are just that — factual achievements. For some reason, these are no longer that important for me. My family and friends are now more important — and I want to appreciate what they are to me and for me to be more to them than I ever was before.

Blogging and internet-based work have also become my daily fare. Nowhere in my formal education have I learned this and the truth is, most bloggers half my age know more than twice as much about these things as I do. But I know that for as long as I still have the willingness to learn, not be afraid to stumble along the way, and simply enjoy the experiences as they happen, I will be OK.

A book that I recently read by John Izzo, “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die” listed down 5 secrets (they are not really secrets because many of us know this already but do not live it):

1. Be true to your self

2. Leave no regrets

3. Become love

4. Live in the moment

5. Give more than you take

This book is my ongoing inspiration. It makes me more keenly aware of each and every encounter, each day that passes, every person I meet, every event that crosses my path, every place I visit. One of my future plans is to attend a workshop being conducted by none other than Jim Paredes (of APO Hiking Society), Tapping the Creative Universe, in hopes that his creativity in many realms (music, writing, singing, etc) rubs off on me and opens up whatever creativity is still dormant.

I am on an adventure — a journey of sorts — to find everything that I am and everything I am capable of doing.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the highest level is self-actualization.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Jim Paredes posted the item below on his Facebook and it came in the nick of time. I looked at the list and realized that I’m actually experiencing some of these already. It’s also a good reminder to keep working on the rest.

Here, very briefly, are the 19 Characteristics of Abraham Maslow’s Self-Actualizer:

1. Perception of Reality: These individuals tend to have a “superior relationship with reality” and are “generally unthreatened and unfrightened by the unknown.” In fact, “They accept it, are comfortable with it, and, often are even more attracted by it than by the known. They not only tolerate the ambiguous and unstructured–they like it.”

2. Acceptance: “Even the normal member of our culture feels unnecessarily guilty or ashamed about too many things and has anxiety in too many situations. Our healthy individuals find it possible to accept themselves and their own nature without chagrin or complaint or, for that matter, without even thinking about the matter that much.”

3. Spontaneity: The behavior of the self-actualizing individual is “marked by simplicity and naturalness, and by lack of artificiality or straining for effect.”

4. Problem Centering: Self-actualizers customarily have some “mission in life.”

5. Solitude: Self-actualizing individuals “positively like solitude and privacy to a definitely greater degree than the average person.”

6. Autonomy: “They have become strong enough to be independent of the good opinion of other people, or even of their affection. The honors, the status, the rewards, the popularity, the prestige, and the love they can bestow must have become less important than self-development and inner growth.”

7. Fresh Appreciation: “Self-actualizing people have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.”

8. Peak Experiences: It’s been called “flow” or “being in the zone.” Whatever you want to call it, self-actualizers tend to experience it more often than average.

9. Human Kinship: “Self-actualizing people have a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection for human beings in general. They feel kinship and connection, as if all people were members of a single family.” “Self-actualizing individuals have a genuine desire to help the human race.”

10. Humility and Respect: All of Maslow’s subjects “may be said to be democratic people in the deepest sense…they can be friendly with anyone of suitable character, regardless of class, education, political belief, race or color. As a matter of fact it often seems as if they are not aware of these differences, which are for the average person so obvious and so important.”

11. Interpersonal Relationships: “Self-actualizing people have these especially deep ties with rather few individuals. Their circle of friends is rather small. The ones that they love profoundly are few in number.”

12. Ethics: “They do right and do not do wrong. Needless to say, their notions of right and wrong and of good and evil are often not the conventional ones.”

13. Means and Ends: “They are fixed on ends rather than on means, and means are quite definitely subordinated to these ends.”

14. Humor: “They do not consider funny what the average person considers to be funny. Thus they do not laugh at hostile humor (making people laugh by hurting someone) or superiority humor (laughing at someone else’s inferiority) or authority-rebellion humor (the unfunny, Oedipal, or smutty joke).”

15. Creativity: “This is a universal characteristic of all the people studied or observed. There is no exception.”

16. Resistance to Enculturation: “Of all of them it may be said that in a certain profound and meaningful sense they resist enculturation and maintain a certain inner detachment from the culture in which they are immersed.”

17. Imperfections: Actualizers “show many of the lesser human failings. They too are equipped with silly, wasteful, or thoughtless habits. They can be boring, stubborn, irritating. They are by no means free from a rather superficial vanity, pride, partiality to their own productions, family, friends, and children. Temper outbursts are not rare.”

18. Values: “A firm foundation for a value system is automatically furnished to self-actualizers by their philosophic acceptance of the nature of self, of human nature, of much of social life, and of nature and physical reality.”

19. Resolution of Dichotomies: “The dichotomy between selfishness and unselfishness disappears altogether in healthy people because in principle every act is both selfish and unselfish.”

My corporate friends may never understand why I am choosing to start anew on things that are so different from what I was brought up and trained for. Maybe someday, they will.


If you liked this post, here are ways to share:

Reasons and Seasons

img_4239-medres

This is an old email making its rounds up to now. I decided to post this here because its words hold a lot of meaning for me these days. I have had the chance to reflect on how people come into your life, make an impact, then go. Many times, you see the blessings in the presence of these people. At other times, the experience is painful and unexplainable. This Lent, I have been reminded of one thing — to trust in God’s Divine Wisdom. Everything in our lives happens for a reason.

I want this poem to constantly remind me of this so that when I lose people who come into my life, I would be reminded to turn to Him who will never leave me.

A Reason, A Season, a Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason, you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people any way; and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

If you liked this post, here are ways to share: