Focus, Captain

Have you experienced pausing while you’re cooking and trying to remember if you already add salt to your meal? Have you ever experienced reading and then forgetting the contents of a page the moment you flip to the next? Have you experienced entering a room only to wonder why you did?

I do think we all have experienced those kinds of things. We’ve all fallen confused and that’s because we let ourselves slipped into autopilot. When the mind got too used in doing a particular task, it can really get so full of itself. It will no longer put its attention to the task but rather, it will process other thoughts. This is when accidents happen like us cutting ourselves while dicing onions or adding salt to our coffee instead of sugar or misinterpreting other’s words.

The antidote to autopilot is focus. The mind is not the pilot, you are. Wake up, captain! Look at where you’re going. Be present. Be in the moment.

I know it’s not easy to focus on the task at hand especially when you know that you still have a lot of things to do after it. But, if you’ll weigh in all the pros and cons of being in an autopilot, you’ll see that there’ll be more cons. The greatest con for me is losing the moment.

When you’re in autopilot, you may miss the butterflies, you may not see the beautiful smile of your friend as she stares at her crush, you may not feel the fresh air, you may not hear the songs of the birds, you may not notice the blue sky, you may not catch the lovely leaf that falls from its lovely tree, you may not be able to enjoy…

So, take things one at a time. Just one at a time. Don’t rush living. Always focus, captain.

24 New (and not-so-new) Habits

As I’ve mentioned in my post, Decluttering, I’ll be turning 24 next month (specifically on the 7th). I want to improve myself and my life now that I’m becoming a fully bloomed adult. I want to be proud of myself and inspire others too. For me, that’s my main goal in life – to be of inspiration in any positive way.

To achieve my goal, I’ve decided to pledge to observe 24 new and not-so-new good habits. This is also my way of becoming aware of the things that I do wrong and then ultimately stop myself from doing them.

I want to share to you these 24 habits. You can borrow some or you can also create your very own established habits. I think the last one is the most important of all.

1. Be Less Digital

I will be honest, every single day, I’m in my phone the most. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of us who prioritize social media. It’s like missing out on a news about our idol or about the person we care about is the greatest sin of life. In my case, it’s getting out of hand. All I want to do is be on social media all-day everyday. It’s such a bad habit.

From now on, I will only go on social media whenever I’m in my desk. I will also try my best to not be on my desk all-day everyday. This is only the first step.

2. Stop being lazy for myself.

I take a bath twice daily since I’m living in the hot and humid Philippines. But I know, that’s not enough self-care. I really get lazy to put on mask, to clean my nails, and the likes. This time, I’d be more industrious and willing to be more physically pleasing. I will tend to my nails once every two days and I will do mask twice a week. I’ll do other hygiene tasks more often.

3. Eat clean.

No more junk food. No more fast food. I’ll eat more vegetables. I will stay away from fatty and salty food. I will also drink lots and lots of water daily.

4. Be fit and physically confident.

I will workout even if I don’t feel like it. I’ll get back to my morning walks. My body clock has quite been messed up for a couple of weeks and so I wasn’t able to get up early. I’ve forgotten the day I last did a morning walk. But, I’ll get back to it. I really would.

I will make my body stronger through strength training and yoga and then, I’m certain that I could be confident with it. I will also be able to maintain my blood sugar at normal level.

5. Stop making excuses.

For the longest time, I’m not making any progress in my life due to excuses that I’m making up. I always say I can’t because of this and because of that. This time, no more excuses. I will be a doer now.

6. Stop complaining.

I don’t know why but I always find time and reasons to complain. I complain about my life the most and complaining does not benefit me. So, I would stop. I will also stop comparing my life to others’.

7. Use my time efficiently.

I will find new things to do that will make me more productive. I need to find something that I will enjoy so that whenever I feel bored, I will not resort to using my phone. Hopefully, I could find something profitable.

8. Read more.

I really want to gain more knowledge about anything, but mostly those I could use practically. I also want to enter new worlds and meet new awesome people by reading fictional stories.

9. Write more.

Well… 🙂 I also want to create new worlds and new people.

10. Listen more.

This is another way for me to obtain useful information. I also want to understand other people better. And maybe, just maybe, by listening more to other people, I’d be able to understand myself better. Listening, I know, is also a way of doing someone a favor. Let’s admit it, we are all longing for a person who’s willing to listen to us.

11. Talk more.

Since I am an introvert, I tend to be really quiet. This is why people label me as weird and why they cannot understand my personality. I need to talk more. I need to adjust to them so that we can understand each other. I need to do this for myself. I need to learn how to express myself, how to translate my thoughts and emotions into spoken words. I need to finally speak up.

12. Be more open.

Another strong characteristic that I have is being sensitive. It hinders me from growing because I tend to close my ears than listen to criticisms. Let’s be honest, some criticisms are important. They’re our push to improve. I will now be more open to hear out what people have to say about me and think about them rationally.

13. Say “yes” more.

I will also become more open to opportunities. I will explore the world. I will explore my potentials. I will be willing to try on new things. I will no longer let myself regret not doing this and not doing that.

14. Be more myself.

Most people who know me think I’m serious. I’m really not. Although I’m quite temperamental, I also have a goofy side. I believe I can also pull of a good sense of humor. I can be a little cray in public doing unexpected things for fun. People see me as a complicated person but I’m just really a simple human being. I get happy over the simplest things and get sad over the silliest things. I’m just like everybody else. 

15. Take care of my inner self.

I will continue my habit of meditating daily and doing yoga. I will also pamper myself every once in a while for utmost relaxation. I will also attend to my inner child by playing with my nephews and cousins, by watching cartoons, and many other ways.

16. Always be joyful and thankful.

A grateful heart is a happy heart. Instead of focusing on the things that I don’t have, I will always put in mind how fortunate I am for having everything that I have. Everyday, I will take time to thank God.

17. Be thoughtfully honest.

I am honest, sometimes too painfully honest that I already hurt other people. It’s time I change my ways. I’ll find the right words to say before ending up saying the wrong words. I will always consider other’s feelings. I now realize that it’s not enough to be logical, we also need to be compassionate. We cannot straighten a mistake with another mistake. And the reality is, people will only appreciate honesty if it’s kind.

18. Be optimistic.

Despite being an idealist, I admit I’m extremely pessimistic. I worry about the silliest things and did it help me? Absolutely not. From now on, I’d be more positive. I’ll let myself think more of the positive results of whatever that I want to do and be excited about it than of the negative results and just be discouraged.

19. Help more.

Whenever I can, I’ll extend my hand to anyone who’s in need. I’ll make it a part of my nature to help. And I will help without asking for any repayment.

20. Be kinder.

I feel like we all need kindness. Since we’re all going through some tough times in our lives, an act of kindness these days is much appreciated. I will smile to strangers more. I will be more polite and respectful.

21. Be more patient.

I know I need more patience in dealing with difficult people and difficult situations. I also need the longest patience to wait for my destiny to unfold before me.

22. Spread more love.

The world needs more love. We need more love. I want to share more of the amazing love God has for all of us. I also want others, especially those who feel alone, to feel that they are loved. We all are loved.

23. Love more.

I’m scared to love because I’m scared of pain. But maybe if I love, if I only love without expecting anything in return, there’ll be no more pain. I’ll love more without any inhibitions, I believe all of us should.

24. Be committed.

This is the most important because if I’m not committed, I won’t do all the other 23 habits and I wouldn’t be able to reach my many dreams. 🙂

My Pride, My Greatest Enemy

I know I’m not at my best these days. I am extremely moody due to hormonal imbalance, I believe. I currently have my period. But, aside from that I know that my pride’s also butting in. My pride contributes most to me being cranky. I’m writing this now for I’m acknowledging my need to change.

People, lots of people annoy me. They annoy me with every little uneccessary or unkind thing they do and say. In my mind, they’re at fault. They make my head ache, my mood foul, and myself not generally well. Because of that, I speak unkind words to them or about them. Because of that, I think badly of them. Because of that, I hurt them. And when I realize that I became disrespectful and actually have hurt someone’s feelings, guilt eats me up.

Now, I’m coming to realize that it’s not really about these other people. It is about me. I should stop expecting them to be no flaws. I should start accepting them for what they are. If what they’re doing are no longer right, I should talk to them using only kind words. Hating them and hurting them would only hurt me too. Hating them and hurting them would not result into something good.

I should, before anything else, give my pride up. What people do hurt me because of it. If I give it up, I would be more kind, patient, and understanding. Most of all, I would no longer have guilty feelings for I would no longer hate and hurt someone. Every day would be a good day then. And, I would start to get along with everyone.

I will do all of these for myself. In the process, I hope I could inspire others too to create positive environment and relationship with everybody. 🙂

By the way, to all the mothers out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! You all are awesome!

Sino ka?

Sa tingin ko, ang pinakaimportanteng dapat magawa ng isang young adult ay ang kilalaning mabuti ang sarili niya. Alamin kung ano ba talagang gusto niya, kung ano ang makakapagpasaya sa kaniya, kung sino talaga siya.

Dapat nating malaman kung sino ba talaga tayo…

Sino ba talaga ako?

At kapag nalaman na natin kung sino talaga tayo, pakiramdam ko hindi na tayo maaapektuhan ng kahit anong pangungutya pero ang mas importante doon, magiging confident na tayo.

Confidence. Hindi lang mawawala ‘yong hiya natin kung hindi magiging confident din tayo na umalis sa comfort zone natin para magsimulang maglakbay sa path na gusto natin. Confidence… Confidence to make big decisions… Confidence to mold our life as how we want to… Confidence and strength to stand up with our own feet.

Kapag kilala natin ang sarili natin, hindi tayo malilito. Hindi tayo maghahanap ng kasagutan kung saan-saan sa tanong ng buhay na: ano ba ang gusto mong marating? Kapag kilala natin ang sarili natin, alam na rin natin kung paano ifu-fulfill at pasasayahin ang mga sarili natin.

Alam ko mahirap din talaga. Pero siguro, dapat nating mag-effort. Gaya kung paano tayo nag-e-effort kapag may taong gusto tayong makilala, pagtuunan din nating ng oras at effort ang pagkilala sa ating mga sarili.

Sino ba ako? Ano bang gusto ko? Anong ayaw ko? Bakit ako galit? Bakit ako malungkot? Bakit ako masaya? Paano pa ako mas sasaya? Paano ko masasabing kontento na ako?

At sa bawat tanong na nasasagutan, matuto tayong tanggapin ang mga katotohanan. Huwag mong i-expect na perpekto ka. Mayroon at mayroon siguradong hindi ka magandang katangian na maaari mo namang baguhin. Mayroon at mayroon ka siguradong matutuklasang kahinaan mo na maaari mong i-improve.

Kilalanin mo ang sarili mo. Tanggapin mo ang sarili mo. Mahalin mo ang sarili mo. Then, I believe dahan-dahan, unti-unti, magiging maayos na din ang lahat. Ika nga, “…start with yourself.”

Just Be You #notetoself

Stop worrying about what others think of you. Give your parents more credit and respect. You were not born in this world to impress people. You’re here to live and enjoy life and do what makes you happy.

Don’t over think who you are, what your attitudes are, or what your personality really is. Instead, just be you. Just let yourself organically react at each situation you find yourself in. Trust you; you know what’s right and wrong. You are not stupid; there’s no need to over think everything.

Just be you. Do what you feel like doing because that’s what will make you happy. Every day doesn’t have to be a productive day. You’re not a superhuman. You’re only a human, you can take a break.

Be yourself. Don’t pressure yourself to be what you want to be. You’re okay just being you. You’re already an awesome person as it is. There’s nothing wrong with letting time mold you into a better person and letting life circumstances improve you. Don’t rush things.

Be you. Smile and confidently show to the world who you truly are. The world needs that uniqueness that is only in you. The world needs more genuine people. Be one simply by being you… by embracing the person that is you. Just be you, okay? That’s everything the world needs from you.

Accept Yourself

I knew that it is extremely important to love yourself and forgive yourself for all your mistakes. I hadn’t realized that it is also of utmost importance to accept yourself, first actually before you do the other two.

I’ve always been shy. I lack self-confidence and so, I don’t know how to carry myself. I don’t know how to talk people. I have no idea how I can make friends. I just realized that it’s not really because people don’t like me. It is mainly because I don’t like myself and then I just assumed that everyone doesn’t too. Sad, right? I’ve been too hard on myself. I deprived myself of happiness, of joy.

Yes, we all need to strive to be better persons but vitally I believe, we have to learn to accept ourselves first as we are. We have to accept our weaknesses, and not just be proud of our strengths. We have to accept that we’ve failed, and not just proudly accept our recognitions and accomplishments. We have to accept that we could do others wrong, just like how they could do the same to us. We have to truly accept that we are way, way, way… far from the word “perfect”.

It’s difficult, I should know, to accept your flaws. It’s difficult to accept that your body is not as fit as how you wanted it to be, no matter how huge the effort you allot for it. It’s difficult to accept that your eyes are not as big or not as small, your nose is not as pointed, your lips is not as thin or as thick, your face is not shaped… as you wanted. We’ll always have fantastic visions in our mind of what could have been, not only on our physicality, but then again, there are simply things that we cannot change. And even if we can change them, we have to accept them first.

Even the life’s most excruciating experience demands acceptance, for what else would it demand other than that? And so do you… And so everyone of us. If you love someone but not accept them fully, could you really call it love? If you forgive someone for the wrong they did to you but don’t accept them, could you really call it forgiveness?

Maybe, just like me, you’re struggling with your life right now. And maybe, just like me, you very much needed self-acceptance. I know the process will not be easy and it may take a while but I also know-and believe with all my heart-that it will be worth it.

On Being Ordinary

I’d always thought that I’m above average or a tiny bit extra-ordinary because that’s how people perceived me to be. I could still remember when I was in gradeschool, relatives were always asking me if I’m part of the Top 10 in our class. I wasn’t until grade 4 really but somewhat, I don’t get why they’d been thinking that I’m smart. Well, hey, come to think of it… They probably just didn’t have anything to ask me that’s why they kept on asking the same question over and over again. That makes sense.

Come high school and this is the time when it hit me. I’m not smart at all. My Math’s grades were line of 7 for two grading periods in 1st year and one in 2nd year. I couldn’t keep up with my classmates in first year so I was transferred to the lower section. Yup, I’m definitely just an average student. But then, I’ve excelled again. When I was in the lower section, I was always getting the high score. So, I was transferred back to the first section in third year.

But wait, maybe I just excelled because I was working harder during those times because I didn’t want to be in the lower section. And actually I wanted to prove to one of our professors back then that I’m worthy to be in the first section, that I’m smart too. Probably, it’s just the motivation that made me excel and not because I’m truly above average.

Come college. There’s an expectation in my part to do well because my uncle is a professor on our college and he is a good one (always Teacher of the Year, my friends). So, I strived to be a good student. I always have my homework, always following teachers’ orders, always reviewing before exams. I guess that’s why I but again appeared above average. It was just I was putting more sweat and blood than my classmates. Definitely.

I think no one’s really above average or below average, no one’s really special or extraordinary. We’re all just ordinary people. Some of us do more work than others; they’re more industrious or motivated. Some of us do less work; they’re undedicated and maybe, distracted. But at the end of the day, we’re equals. Yes?

My mistake was I thought I was in some ways above. And this thought brought me too much pain due to too much pride and pressure. It was an honest mistake. I’ve thought highly about myself and maybe that’s why I’m in my situation now. God’s probably teaching me to be humble. Yes, He, definitely, wanted to make me realize that I’m not the star of the show.

We’re all playing vital roles in the show. All roles are equal, although sometimes they seem not. So, no one has the right to feel more important or special. No one should act like a star.