Archive for April, 2016

Connecting to People: See People

April 24, 2016 Leave a comment

I have observed many times where people walk in to a Starbucks, get their coffee, then walk out, all the while looking at their phone for the most part.  They ignore the welcome and departing greetings they get from the baristas as if they weren’t there, and it just pains me that this very basic courtesy isn’t even given to them.

Nobody deserves to be regarded as “invisible.”  You can still manage to be the loneliest person in the world in the midst of a crowd.  That happens when you ignore people.  And that happens when everyone ignores you, too.

See people.  The easiest way to connect to your fellowman is to notice that they’re there; it’s not enough knowing for a fact that they exist.  That can be as simple as responding back to greetings, especially if such are coming from people who aren’t like you.  Acknowledging each other’s presence in this world fulfills a very basic human need for connection that we all have; it gives us the reassurance that we’re not alone in this world, and as part of the family of man, we’re all in this together.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Genuine Christianity and Genuine Atheism

April 24, 2016 1 comment

If you’re going to be a Christian, then be a genuine Christian.  Being a follower but only in name isn’t enough – you need to apply your faith in this world.

Let’s be realistic here: Following Jesus is the most difficult thing you’ll ever do in your life.  You’ll fail plenty of times and in more ways than you’ll care to admit.  But the point is, at least you try, and I think in the end that’s all that would matter.  God appreciates the effort; we can and should trust in His infinite love and mercy.

Contrasting this is not ever trying at all.  If the Christian life is something that you can’t be bothered with, it would be just honest and right to leave the faith and follow another belief, or follow no belief anymore, whichever is a better fit for the life you want to live.  At the end of the day, it’s important to be true to yourself.  And knowing how much God respects our free will, He wouldn’t want it any other way.

And if you’re going to be an atheist, then be a genuine atheist.  Some people don’t believe God exists because, in good conscience and reason, they sincerely believe that He doesn’t exist.  But some people don’t believe God exists because they have reasons why they don’t want Him to exist.

Categories: Religion

Strategies for Success

April 17, 2016 1 comment

In reflecting upon my own experience and observations, I think the following strategies are worth employing if you want to be successful both in the office in particular and life in general.

1. Have a stress coping mechanism that works for you (more or less).

No one is exempted from the stresses of life, so it’s important that you have a strategy to deal with it.  Sometimes it can come down to just having a coping mechanism that can make or break your sanity, and enable you to function and continue fighting, or not.

2. Get to know the people you need to interact with, whether as colleagues, subordinates, superiors, partners, or competitors.

The better you know people, the better positioned you’ll be to influence them because you know what’s driving them; the better you’ll be in dealing with them if they need to be handled in a certain way (especially if they’re the rebellious, stubborn, arrogant, difficult, and generally disrespectful and annoying type); and the better you can position yourself to have a stronger connection to them, which is an investment that will reap rewards for the long term.  Though you can use this knowledge for evil, knowing people enables you to interact with them with sincerity of intentions, which is the best use of such knowledge.  Also, don’t make the mistake of underestimating anybody; you’ll be surprised what some people are capable of, given the chance.

3. Find a way to turn disadvantages into advantages.

Framing your perspective of the situation is instrumental in making this happen, for in doing so you get to see how things are connected and how these play out on a grand scale, and what aspects you can use to your advantage.  At the very least, force yourself to see the good in your situation so that you’ll have such a thought as a coping mechanism.

With the right perspective (and attitude) with your predicament, you might discover something in your situation that you can work to your advantage.  For example, if someone is overbearing towards a lot of people, then you can be the counter-point to that individual’s personality, drawing people near to you as a result, and thus gaining their support instead.  If you feel like you’re not being recognized, then since no one notices you, use that power of anonymity to “do things and get away with it” (I’m not saying you do something bad, but it can be whatever you might want it to be!).

4. Adapt and respond to change.

You don’t need to do something bad to fail; it’s enough that you don’t do anything at all.

Nokia CEO ended his speech saying this “we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost”

The advantage you have yesterday, will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow. You don’t have to do anything wrong, as long as your competitors catch the wave and do it RIGHT, you can lose out and fail.

To change and improve yourself is giving yourself a second chance. To be forced by others to change, is like being discarded.

Those who refuse to learn & improve, will definitely one day become redundant & not relevant to the industry. They will learn the lesson in a hard & expensive way.

Be open to explore other and different ways and opportunities in work and relationships.  How something has always been done isn’t necessarily the best or most relevant way; there could be a better way of doing things.  Success waits for those who do not fear and are willing to break out of their comfort zone.  The possibilities in life are limitless to the one who is open and willing to adapt to the ever-changing nature of this world.

To be successful in life it’s crucial to be quick and nimble to adapt to change.  It can sometimes feel like there’s no sense of stability in a situation when things are constantly changing.  However if a situation or decision no longer makes sense then it’s important to quickly change and adapt to fit the new reality and needs of the situation.  The change you make should add value, of course.  Refuse to be stagnant for such will be your death.  Adapt to change – oftentimes doing so is absolutely necessary in order for you to survive, conquer your fears, move forward, and thrive in this world.

5. Be aggressive in pushing your agenda and getting what you want.

It’s a harsh reality of life that if you want to get ahead in your career or whatever you want to become, it sometimes does help a lot to be a jerk about it.  The good news is you don’t necessarily have to be a jerk to be aggressive.  Being aggressive is part of the process, even necessary, to get things done.  You won’t be successful and you won’t go very far if you won’t be pushy about your own agenda.  So run after that opportunity that you want – and if it doesn’t exist, then create it, for it’s a waste of time just waiting for such to happen, so you might as well find a way to make it happen.

6. Build your skills, gain experience, and attain mastery of your talent.

This is like grammar: It can mean the difference between knowing your crap and knowing you’re crap.  Make the most of the opportunities you have to build yourself; create these opportunities if necessary.

You know that you’re successful if people ask for you by name when they need something important done.  When that happens it means that you have arrived at the point wherein people have a certain comfort zone – a strong confidence – that you are the best person for the job and you will do the needful to get it done.

It might be an advantage to be “invisible” to avoid further hardship, for as you know, the reward for good work is more work and what-not, but this can only go so far.  People need to know what you’re capable of doing, and for that you need to shine like a super star with what you have and where you are now (another analogy: “bloom where you are planted”).  Your success in small matters will give the attention you need to be given the chance to prove yourself in bigger matters – it’s important that people know you exist and you can do it.  The more opportunities given to you, the more confidence you gain in handling bigger deals, the better you become at your craft, the larger and further your reputation grows, and the greater you effectively become in the eyes of many.

The reward for good work is more work.  It will definitely entail a lot of hard work.  But it’s in being given the chance to do better and bigger things where you will have more to gain in the long run.

7. Accept that getting hurt, falling down, and breaking up into pieces are part of the process of becoming successful, for such make you a better person in the end.

What doesn’t kill you might try again – but if you still keep on getting up, putting yourself together, pushing forward, and learning from your mistakes and improving upon the same, then the experience only makes you faster, better, and stronger.  Sometimes failure and disappointment are the best ways for you to become the best person you can ever be, and more.

When you play the game, you’re bound to get hurt many times – keep on playing anyway, for the prize awaits those who are persistent enough to go after and get it.

Go forth and do whatever you need to do to become successful.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Be Careful What You Wish For: A “Sweet Lemon” is Still a Problem

April 16, 2016 2 comments

Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.

The implication in this saying is that you might end up not wanting and even regretting what you wished to get, sometimes for the longest time.  The reason for such can turn out to be one of the following:

  • You realized you’re better off without it, or you didn’t really want it as much as you thought you did.
  • You no longer want it for whatever reason, or no reason at all.
  • You found something so much better, and you don’t want to give it up for what you finally got now.
  • In all honesty, you realized that you don’t deserve it; someone who’s actually worthy of it should be getting it instead.  And if the idea of “the reward for good work is more work” applies here, and you’re not in the mood for more work, then this is definitely an issue.

Getting what you wish for, in general, should be a good thing.  It’s not too much to ask for something that you know you deserve and need to have.  And it’s also only normal to want what (or who) you don’t have.

If you’re the cynical type, such has a tendency to ruin one’s outlook whenever you get what you want.  When something good happens, the cynical will fear that something bad will eventually balance out the positive outcome.  Please don’t forget that although life is bad, it can also be good, and that good things can and do still happen regardless.  You deserve to receive and enjoy the good things that come your way; after all, you also deserve to be happy.

Whatever the case might be, I think it boils down to this: You didn’t really know what you wanted, you only thought you did.  And now you need to deal with what has become the “sweet lemon” you asked life to give you.

No, this isn’t a nice problem to have, for a nice problem is still a problem that needs to be resolved.  You wanted it; now you have it, with all the joys and sorrows that consequently come with it.  Good luck!  (You might need it.)

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Trust in God: The Point of Asking

April 2, 2016 Leave a comment

The thought crossed my mind: God can literally do anything He wants, most especially with how our lives are lived.  He doesn’t need our opinion regarding the decisions He makes on how things will turn out.  Under these circumstances, it makes me wonder if there’s still any point in asking Him for anything since at the end of the day His will is and will be done.

I think there’s still a point in asking Him for anything and everything we need and want.

The Answer to Prayers

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.  (Matthew 7:7 – 11)

1. God gave us the gift of free will, and through this, He gives us the opportunity to participate in His plan for us – or not.

Although God is omnipotent and what-not, His influence in our lives actually ends where our free will to choose to cooperate with Him or not begins.  He gave us this free will because He wants us to take charge of our lives, otherwise He might as well have just created automatons.

How we choose to use our free will to cooperate with Him is also up to us.  In the wedding at Cana, if Mother Mary didn’t intercede then, knowing how good He is, things would have turned out alright in the long run, somehow.  But God gives us the opportunity to influence how things turn out, and so Jesus heeded His Mother’s intercession to help the couple concerned.

2. By asking God what we need and want, we recognize that we need Him in our life.  And recognizing that there’s nothing we can do without God is an act of humility.

I remember Fr. Arnel Recinto, the Parish Priest of the St. John Paul II Parish in Eastwood City, mentioned something in passing in one of his homilies that the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer of petition in its entirety (or something to that effect).  Look at each part and you’ll see that it’s an appeal to God for Him to bestow His blessings on us.  Jesus Himself basically taught us that it’s okay to – and we should – ask our Father for what we need.  I think a prayer of petition is the most sincere prayer we can make because it recognizes that we can’t do everything ourselves and at the end of the day we’re all dependent on God, and that’s the truth.

3. God gives us the opportunity to influence the direction of our lives by giving us the chance to ask Him what and how things should happen.

If what we ask for is in line with His plans for us then it will be granted.  It’s quite possible that God could have had something else in mind.  But if what we ask for will still work anyway, and ultimately He’s okay with that too, then He could give it to us.  It takes a lot of trust in Him whenever He doesn’t give us what we want or diverts us or gives us something else.  In faith we know when this happens that He has something better in mind; we either accept that or we outright reject His will and do things our own way anyway.

Besides, He wants us to take charge of our lives and own the solutions to fix those areas of our lives that require it.  Asking Him for help on how we think things should happen, for as long as it’s in line with His will, is that opportunity to do so.

At the end of the day we have a God Who loves us beyond our wildest dreams.  It’s for this reason that we can continue to trouble Him with whatever concerns us, for He wants nothing more than to be involved in the lives of His children Whom He loves so dearly.


Categories: Religion