Archive of ‘Relationships’ category

Blessed to Bless

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Photo from mindfulnessandcompassion.ie

What act of generosity has created the most impact in your life?

We don’t become generous by accident, for man is naturally selfish. To become generous is a choice – a choice formed by modelling. We become generous because someone did it to us first. Someone showed us how. Someone modelled it for us.

For me, it was my mother.

My mom is the most generous person I know. Not just to us – her children – but to everyone. Growing up, she consistently showed me how it was to be generous. To be giving. To be compassionate. When someone needed her help. she would not hesitate to extend a hand. When she  had a sibling who wasn’t doing well financially (as was often the case), she would help them out. Even if at times we were also a bit tight – she would still choose to help. My mom would give even when  it wasn’t always easy or convenient. She would give even when she didn’t need to.

Giving is not giving until it hurts.

-Mother Teresa

The bible says that “It is more blessed to give than to receive. “There were a lot of times when my mom gave until it hurt. That’s just the way she is. Her example made an impact on me. It showed me that giving is a privilege.

When you bless people, they in turn, will bless others. Generosity is contagious.

Blessed to bless.

The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work.

-2 Corinthians 9:6 – 9

I learned that when you bless others, you’re fulfilling God’s purpose as to why he blessed you in the first place. It’s a lot better to give than to be the one who needs to be given to. To be able to give is a privilege. And I’m not just talking about money. You can give far more than that. You can give compassion, kindness and encouraging words. But I believe that the best thing you can give to others is your testimony. Your story about how God changed your life. Because the benefit for the other person when he receives Christ in his life is not just temporary. It’s eternal.

Our time here on earth is limited. Why not spend it on something that will outlive us and create an impact?

-Mel Santos

One of the best ways I know to show generosity is to genuinely care for others and share the gospel with them. Sharing Jesus is a privilege. Accepting God in my life has been the best decision I ever made. The joy that I get in serving Christ and in pointing people to him, knows no bounds. It has turned my life around, 180 degrees. It has changed me from the inside out. It has given me a sense of purpose and direction. Having Christ in my life is the best thing that happened to me. How can I possibly keep Him to myself? How can I not share Jesus?

Blessed to bless. This is what we are.

You don’t know how big of an impact a small act of generosity can make.

Choose to be generous.

Share Jesus.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

 

Memories From Last Summer

The best thing about memories is not only in making them – but in keeping them. I found this poem that someone wrote for me. Even though it’s been years, reading this still makes me smile.

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Photo from increased-revenues.com

MEMORIES FROM SUMMER

A summer we met as this summer ends

I can still remember the feel of your hands
As it is known that all it is but imagination
To have that night again would be ambition

One with adventure that runs through her veins
And a spirit of gold that shines though it rains
Just like how birds fly south for the winter
I’d give anything and everything for her

Opportunities that pass wont come another time
Just like this poem doesn’t always have to rhyme
Its the only way to show the beauty she has inside
For in this poem are feelings i just cannot hide

But what she knows is just i do care
Nevertheless in this world it isn’t fair
But the question remains if i have a chance
To make it a bit more than just one dance

So its goodnight for tonight and tomorrow again
For me to finish what i started then
Before this day ends i just hope you knew
That you’ve been on my mind and i miss you

 

My Take on Heneral Luna

Heneral Luna is a movie about courage and love for country. In the movie, Heneral Luna was portrayed as a General who would die for his country. Although he came from a rich family, he didn’t just stay within his comfort zone. He could have lived a comfortable life and yet he chose to lead the country in the war against the Americans. He was a brilliant strategist, President Aguinaldo’s best general and a fearless fighter. Yet, it’s ironic that he died not in battle but in the hands of his fellow Filipinos.

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Photo from m2.behance.net

The main thing I learned from the movie is this: Anger gets you nowhere.

Heneral Luna was a superb general. He knew how to attack, when to attack and when to retreat. Yet in the movie, his clear limitation as a leader was his temper. He would have periodic outbursts of anger and he would say things in rage.

Fools give full vent to their rage, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

-Proverbs 29:11

I believe as a leader, your main responsibility is to lead yourself. If you can’t hold back your temper, how can you be effective in leading others?

heneral luna movie

Photo from cdn1.clickthecity.com

You may be the most intelligent and talented person on earth, but if you can’t work with other people, then your influence as a leader will be severely limited. You wont be able to be the best that you can be both as an individual and as a leader.

I could relate to Heneral Luna because I used to be at the mercy of my temper. As the eldest of three children, I became accustomed to telling people what to do and then expecting them to obey me. Tact wasn’t something I had as a child.

You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

-Dale Carnegie

If you want someone to do something, it would be so much easier if you got him or her to like you first. And then ask them nicely. Because then, they would “want” to do it instead of them just being compelled by you. As we often say in Toastmasters, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Over time I learned to be a team player. Because really, no person can achieve anything of lasting value alone. You need a team. Even Jesus had his 12 apostles.

 Anger gets you nowhere.

 Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook at insult.

-Proverbs 12:16

All in all, Heneral Luna made me feel proud to be a Filipino. The courage he showed in fighting for what he believed in is something we should all emulate. We often take this freedom we have now for granted. Let’s remember to live for our country as so many died so we could have the freedom that we now enjoy.

May you live a Truly Wealthy life!

-Alex

Act With Compassion

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Photo from tohigherconsciousness.com

In this fast-paced world, we often rush from one thing to another without taking the time to consider the needs of other people. Yet it’s also important to stop and help out someone in need when you are given the opportunity to so. You don’t know what that person may be going through and your simple act of compassion maybe what he needs to point him to God.

Compassion gladdens the heart for those who travel the world of pain. – Kenny Luck

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. – Mark 1:40-41

Compassion is the signature of God for it allows people to get a glimpse of God through you.

The world needs so much help that it can be tempting to just overlook the need we see around us and focus on our own lives. What we see on the streets everyday numbs us to the pain these people must be going through. We become accustomed to it. After all, you can’t feed every street kid or clothe every beggar on street. Right?

But according to Kenny Luck, compassion is the willingness to do what you can in that moment.

It’s not about solving the world’s problems. It’s about doing what you can, with what you have, where you are.

The main reason why we can’t shake off the needs of others is because God never shakes off ours. Compassion is the highest form of holiness.

– Kenny Luck

One of my partners in Truly Wealthy Realty, Mitch, is one of the most compassionate people I know. She always looks at each situation from the perspective of the other person. She considers how that person would feel.

This is a personal struggle of mine. I have the tendency to focus more on how it will benefit me and less on others. Slowly, through Mitch’s example, and by regularly attending and leading a Dgroup, I am coming to understand the importance of being compassionate.

Compassion is not about me but about fighting for others.

– Kenny Luck

Compassion is not just a word. It’s a verb. And we need to put it in action.

Who needs your compassion right now?

It may be a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on.

A street kid who hasn’t had lunch yet.

A grandparent who needs someone to talk to.

Take the time to act with compassion to someone today.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

How Do You Use Your Time?

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Photo from ilikewallpaper.net

Time is the most important commodity today. That’s why we break it down into years, months, days, hours, seconds… Our culture today teaches us to value each second because time is money. But, is that really all there is to time? Or is there something more?

Most people today spend more time at work, pursuing whatever goal they’ve set their mind to. Days turn into months, which turn into years, which turn into decades. Then suddenly we realize that we’ve spent all this time trying to accumulate wealth but we’ve let the relationships we have die.

Life is about moments.

The memories we share with our loved ones, the experiences we chose to create, and the time we spend worshipping God…These are what truly counts.

How do you use the time you have?

Ends are for yesterdays, not for tomorrows. – Mitch Albom

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Photo from photography.nationalgeographic.com

There was once a Westerner who took a vacation in a small fishing village in Mexico. He would often have a cup of coffee in a café at the port. He observed that the fishermen would get up at 9am, spend time playing with their kids, eat lunch, then in the afternoon they would start fishing. Then at 4pm, they would return to the docks for some latin dancing at the local bar and have a cold beer with their buddies.

Then one day, he asked one of the fishermen. “Why do you spend only 3 hours a day fishing?

To which the fisherman replied, “What do you mean, señor?”

“Well,” the foreigner said, “If you spent 8 hours a day fishing, you would catch twice the amount of fish than you do now. Then you can sell these at the market place for more profit. You can use the extra profit to buy more boats. To manage these boats, you’d have to extend your working hours to 10 hours per day and hire more people. Then you can buy ships, perhaps even move out this small city to expand your business. You can go corporate and ship your catch all over the world.”

 “And then what would happen when I become wealthy?” the fisherman asked.

“You can then retire to a small fishing village, sleep until noon, go dancing in the afternoon and grab a cold beer at night.”

Sometimes, we can be too busy that we forget to enjoy life and make the most of what we have – now. You can think – someday I’ll be able to enjoy what I have. But, what’s wrong with enjoying it now?

There is a reason God limits our days. That is to make each one precious. – Mitch Albom

Imagine what it would be like to live forever. You would then have no sense of time – because you know that you wont ever run out of it. I can’t comprehend being immortal. Nor would I want to. Many people dread growing old. After we reach a certain age, we stop counting our years. But each year added to us is a blessing. Because wisdom comes with age.

In this quest for more hours, more time, more accomplishments, for progress…the joy of simple living has disappeared. We have ceased to appreciate the beauty of each sunrise or the majestic mountains. We look at all this natural beauty around us and no longer see it. Our minds have become consumed with the next meeting or the impending deal to close. Even when at home we are not fully present with our family as we are constantly preoccupied with checking our emails, answering texts, updating our status on facebook or surfing the internet. We stay connected at arms length.

When you measure your life too much, you cease to truly live it.

Life on this earth is temporary. That’s why we must be intentional in making every moment count. Our relationships are something we ought to treasure. Our relationship with God, our family and our friends – these are what truly matters. Let’s not be too busy for the people that matter the most.

Last week it was my mom’s birthday. And although she is a few thousand miles away, I still managed to surprise her with a birthday gift (with the help of a friend). My mom has been such a positive influence in my life. I wouldn’t be where I am now without her. Things like these are the least I can do. Although I’m so busy with the realty and with going after my dreams, I promised myself I would never be too busy for people that matter to me – especially for my family.

Time has a habit of flying too fast. The last thing I want to do is sacrifice the relationships I have in the pursuit of wealth. Because really, money is just a tool to honor God. And that’s what I truly want to do with my life – Honor God and make disciples. Everything else is secondary.

How do you use the time you have?

It’s not about being busy. Because, let’s face it, we’re all busy. It’s about setting priorities.

I have my priorities.

What are yours?

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

To Love or Not to Love?

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Photo from strangenotions.com

Human beings, by nature, yearn to love and be loved. We all want to have that special someone whome we can share moments and memories with. And yet, when true love comes along, we surround ourselves with walls to avoid getting hurt. We tend to withdraw early into the relationship to avoid the pain. We put up defenses to avoid being vulnerable.

I have always been like this. I have never allowed myself to love anyone fully because I didn’t want to be vulnerable. Why put yourself at the mercy of one person? And so, I have always held back with love.

Then I realized, by holding back, I was only cheating myself out of my happy ending. How could I experience true love if I didn’t allow myself to love truly, madly and deeply? (Enter Savage Garden song) I’m so fearless when it comes to other things but when it comes to love, I can be such a chicken.

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return. -Moulin Rouge

Since my theme for this year is Fearless 2015, I’m applying that theme to love as well. For the first time, I won’t be afraid to love unconditionally, to love fully, to love truly. I want to be able to love people the same way God loves me – unconditionally and without limits.

If you love truly, you can never lose, as love is always beautiful.

It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. -Alfred Lord Tennyson

What about you? Are you holding back from love because you are afraid of getting hurt? You risk losing more if you don’t open yourself up. Don’t be afraid to go all out. When you find the right person, it will be worth it.

Be fearless in love.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!

-Alex

Ever After

david k ever afterEvery couple has a different love story.

His first impression of her was that she was a know-it-all primadonna.

Her first impression of him was that he was a poor kid who couldn’t afford what she was selling.

It’s a good thing first impressions don’t last. Because fast-forward 1 year later, they tied the knot at a beautiful beach resort in Dapitan. I was their maid-of-honor. Sometimes good things happen when we least expect it. Who would have thought that these two would suit?

So, yes. Last weekend one of my best friends got married. It was a beautiful wedding. The family and friends of both the bride and groom were there to celebrate with them. I had a great time catching up with my college buddies (insert pillow fight photo ^_^ ).

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The wedding itself was unique. It was the first “musical wedding” I attended. There were so many song numbers in the wedding! The bride sang her vows as well. Plus, I loved the sword salute. The venue itself was magical. I can definitely fall in love here.

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I guess it’s true that opposites attract.

K is the typical rich, beautiful and spoiled (just a little bit) heiress. While David, is a military guy who comes from a simple family. They come from two different backgrounds and yet they managed to make their worlds meet. But as the song goes, love moves in mysterious ways.

dakak beach resort + be truly wealthy + david and k ever after We all have a different love story.

Some may fall in love at first sight (if there is such a thing). For some, love may come like a thief in the night in the form of friendship. For others, it may come as a lightning strike – hard and fast, catching you off guard.

No love story is the same. That’s why we shouldn’t become envious of the seemingly perfect love story of other couples. No love story is perfect. Every couple will have their own trials to overcome. But that’s the beauty of being in a relationship. Character isn’t made during the good times. It’s molded and defined during the tough times. And with every challenge a couple overcomes, their relationship grows and becomes stronger.

Falling in love is easy. But staying in love, that’s another story.

Love is a decision. It isn’t some warm fuzzy feeling or a spur of the moment thing. I have always admired my grandfather and grandmother and how they were with each other. Theirs wasn’t a perfect marriage. There were trials, but I could see how happy my grandparents were together – how in love they were with each other despite being married for more than 50 years.

Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice. – Fawn Weaver

Although my grandfather is no longer with us, I can still remember what he told me: “The secret to a successful marriage isn’t grand gestures of love or romance. It’s the simple everyday things that make marriage a success.”

One, I always let your grandma feel that she is loved and appreciated everyday with the little things I do.

Second, we never go to bed angry. We resolve our conflicts on the same day.

Third, I make it a point to speak to your grandma in a gentle manner. (Yes, tone matters!)

For more than 50 years, my grandfather held true to his principles. I’ve always been amazed by how he loved grandma. I know how difficult she can be (and I’m a lot like her).

Although there is no such thing as “happily ever after”, I think this was as close to it as you could get. David and K, I hope you’ll get your own ever after too. Your wedding was beautiful. I hope your marriage will be even more so.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. -Mignon McLauglin

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!

-Alex

 

Single & Fabulous!

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Photo from Buzzle.com

In the 19th Century, it was customary for women to get married either in their late teens or early 20’s. If a woman reached the age of 24 and she was still unmarried, she would be considered a spinster (gasp!).

Now, 30 seems to be the new 24. Today, if you are 30 years old (or more than 30) and remain single, then you are considered to be “on the shelf”. The world often has its own timeline as to when women should be getting married. And that timeline changes from time to time.

I often get asked by my clients about my love life: Do you have a boyfriend? Why don’t you have a boyfriend? What are you looking for in a guy? When do you plan to get married? Even my relatives keep on pestering me as to when I’d “settle down”.

I have one aunt who keeps on telling me, “Alex, you shouldn’t have too high standards. Lower them a little.”

Yes, dear aunt. Unfortunately my standards are so high only Jesus can reach them.”

Yes. Being a single, successful woman can often be a little daunting because society expects us to get married at a certain age and conceive as soon as possible. It’s almost as if getting married were a race or something.

According to Shirley Maya in her blog The Art of Fearless Living, There are far worse things than being alone – it is being with the wrong person.

Do you feel pressured by the world to be in a relationship or to get married? Don’t be. Just because all your friends are getting hitched doesn’t mean you should too. We all have our own love story. If you haven’t met Mr. Right yet, perhaps God is still writing your love story. In the meantime, instead of bemoaning your singlehood, enjoy it! Use the time mold yourself into being Ms. Right.

Even Carry Bradshaw was single for a long time before she found her Mr. Big.

You may be tempted to be in a relationship just for the sake of being with someone. Don’t be. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up going ahead of God and miss out on His amazing plan for you. Our pastors at CCF keep on reminding us to “wait for God’s Best.” And that is what I have decided to do. You don’t have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to your prince. I, for one, prefer to go straight for my prince, thank you very much. Think about it, would you really like to kiss a frog? I mean, really? Ergo, fellow single ladies, you don’t need to go through dozens of boyfriends to find The One. When it comes to love, it’s better to tread very carefully.

A friend of mine asked me before, “You seem content being single. Don’t you want a boyfriend?”

To which I answered, “A boyfriend isn’t something that you look for. I’m sure the man for me will come at the right time.”

To which he answered, “Wow, that’s confidence!”

I just smiled and replied, “No, that’s faith.”

Embrace your awesomeness. Be single and fabulous!

“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” – Carry Bradshaw

Go live a Truly Wealthy life! :)

-Alex

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