Archive of ‘Self Development’ category

Rise Up: Face Trials Head On

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Our character is shaped not in times of joy but in times of hardship and suffering.

I remember a few years back, when my dad had a heart attack and could no longer manage our hardware business alone. So my mom called to ask me if I could help him out. Initially, I didn’t want to do it. I found managing a hardware too stressful because there was so much inventory, dozens of things to consider and you couldn’t leave the store because clients only wanted to negotiate with the owner. So at first I resisted. But in the end I couldn’t say no to family.

Managing our hardware took me way out of my comfort zone. A few weeks into managing it, I quickly realized it didn’t have a proper system for inventory and finance, and it was bleeding money. I felt like I had stepped into a boat that was sinking fast.

I’m a believer that a person should focus on his passion and do what he loves for a living. Because if you love what you do, you wont have to work a day in your life. But there are times that you need to go through stressful situations and do things you don’t like to do in order to grow. 

Our character is shaped not in times of joy but in times of hardship and suffering.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from that experience, it is this: Rise Up. Face life and the trials it brings head on. Just like gold, you’ll need to go through fire while being hammered and bent into shape to be the best that you can be. Although I didn’t really enjoy managing the family business then, I certainly learned a lot from it. And some of what I learned I am able to use in running my own business now.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

-Helen Keller

There will be times in your life when you’ll have to do something you don’t want to do. Things that you feel you are not prepared for or that’s beyond your comfort zone. You may be tempted to say no and just pass the baton to the next person. Don’t. Rise up. Say yes to the challenge. Do what you need to.

Things that are unfamiliar will feel uncomfortable at first. But as you rise up to the challenge, as you face it head on, that’s when you’ll grow.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

-Henry Davie Thoreau

 

Are you running away from something?

A responsibility? A job you feel you’re not equipped for? A decision you need to make but cant?

Rise up. Face the challenge. Grow.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

The Use of Inception to Influence Others

inception-top-spinning-rotation-2Photo from businessinsider.com

Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starred by Leonardo DiCaprio. Nolan worked on the script for 10 years before it finally materialized into a movie that won 4 Academy Awards. Inception is based on the idea that a person could enter into another persons subconscious mind through his dreams. And through that dream, plant an idea. When that person wakes up, he will think that idea came from him when in fact it came from inception.

When I first watched Inception a few years back, I thought, how devious. Inception is a whole new way of manipulating people to bend to your will. I always thought inception was pure fiction. That it was just a movie. But after watching it for the second time, I realized, it is real. Every time we share our ideas and values to the people around us, we are performing inception.

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Photo from brandibernoskie.com

We live in a world that is highly connected. And I’m not only talking about technology. Almost none of the ideas that we have is purely an original. Every thought, each belief came from someone or something. It may have been from a book, a movie we watched, random thoughts of a friend or the intentional teachings of a parent. We may think an idea is our own, but actually, it’s not. With all the things around us that influence our thoughts, no idea is purely our own.

You are influenced by your environment and your environment is influenced by you.

In the movie, inception could happen only if you were able to successfully get inside the deepest recesses of your subjects subconscious. So your subject had to either open his mind to you or you could get in his safe place and plant the idea without his knowing it. In the same way, in life, you are influenced greatly by two things: the people that you care about most or the incidents that had strong emotional impact. Because we often don’t remember the facts but we remember how we felt in that moment. Emotion is a powerful memory enhancer.

Being able to perform inception, to influence a person to do something is powerful thing. And we each have that power. We each have a certain degree of influence and it is our choice how to use that influence. Through inception, we can either build people up or destroy them.

We can sometimes be careless with our words and actions. But we don’t know how much influence we wield. And how that can affect the life of another person in ways we cant imagine.

With great power comes great responsibility. You have the power to plant ideas into another persons mind. What kind of ideas will your plant? Will it be ideas about love, service and humility? Or will it be about selfishness, pride and greed?

An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.

-Cobb

The next time you share your ideas to the world, think for a moment, will this make the world a better place?

Go live a Truly Wealthy Life.

-Alex

 

Trick or Dream Big?

dream-big-hd-1080Photo from mastipedia.wordpress.com

You’d think that Starbucks would be near empty on the 1st of November. But no. It was bustling full. Apparently people still wanted their Starbucks fix even on a Holiday. Which brings me to my next question – what do people do on the 1st of November?

I asked my friends about it and most of them hung out with family and visited their deceased in the cemetery. For others the day was merely an excuse to eat a lot and not work out as almost all the gyms were closed. Others still, took advantage of the long weekend and went on a vacation.

For me, aside from remembering my deceased loved ones, it was a day to relax and not think about work. I love my job but every girl needs a day off. It was a day to write. Which brings me to this article.

They say that if there is one thing you want to do well in life, then you’ll need to do it regularly, consistently, as often as you can. One of my goals this year was to write a book. But I didn’t quite know what to write about or where to start. So I have decided to start blogging again. Who knows? Maybe by posting daily on my blog, I’ll eventually find out what I want to write about. My goal for my book is to educate and inspire people to go after what they want. To dream big. I’ve always been a fan of big dreams. After all, you only live one life. You might as well live the life you want.

“Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”

-Robert Greene, Mastery

Some people say, don’t dream big because you’ll just end up disappointed. And yes, that is a valid point. But what if you do get your dream? Think about the kind of life you can have living it everyday. Dreaming big is not a trick. It’s a treat. Because the more you think about your dreams and what you want, the more you’ll be able to find ways to make those dreams come true. As Brian Tracy said, one trait that successful people have is clarity. Successful people are clear about what they want.

Dig down deep inside you and unearth that long forgotten dream. Take out your treasure box and shake off the dust. Buried dreams will remain forever out of your reach if you don’t let them see the light of day.

What is it that you dream to do?

Other people are living their dreams. You have as much a right to live yours. You decide. Trick or dream big?

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

Toastmasters District Conference 2016: Cebu (Day 2)

IMG_8370Day 2 of Discon 2016 was just as fun and exciting as Day 1. Despite the lack of sleep from last night’s Fellowship Night we had to go to the venue early for the judges briefing since my friend, Stef, was a judge in the International Prepared Speech contest. The morning started off with learning sessions about Leadership and Branding. Then came lunch. Afterwards, it was contest time!

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discon 2016 cebuToastmasters of the Day

discon 2016 internation speech contestContest Chair DTM Dulce Ranosa

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The International Prepared Speech Contest started at 1pm and was hosted by incoming District 75 Director Dulce Ranosa. All the speakers were true story tellers and I had a great time listening to one story after another. I’m sure the judges had a hard time picking their top 3. From climbing Mt. Apo to killing to a giant python to growing up in jail – their stories had me captivated from start to finish.

discon 2016 internation speech contest 3 discon 2016 internation speech contest 4discon 2016toastmasters discon 2016discon 2016 internation speech contest 5International Prepared Speech Contestants

discon 2016 internation speech contest winnersInternational Prepared Speech Contest Winners
Champion: Amy Pagdanganan, Division A
1st Runner-up: Nedo Sasing, Division L
2nd Runner-up: Chris Dao-anis, Division G

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After the contest, there was an election of the  next district officers and then we were given time to prepare for the District Directors Ball. The theme for the District Directors Ball was Casino Royale. The ball is usually held on the last night of the District Conference. This is where we honor our district officers, past district governors, give out awards and bond with our fellow toastmasters. I see it as a grand conclusion to every discon. And this years ball was grand indeed. We were all dressed in either black or white and the room was set up like a casino with giant cards as the centerpiece of every table. I felt like I was in a James Bond set.  We were entertained by different production numbers. There was singing, dancing, gravity defying acrobatics, singing again but this time on hoverboards and a whole lot more.  IMG_8419 IMG_8421 copy IMG_8423All in all, it was a great district conference. I commend Discon Chair Benzon Lim and his team for all their effort and sacrifice in making this conference possible.

The 2016 Midyear conference this October will be in Davao. See you then!

-Alex

Photo credit to Ed Fabonan

Toastmasters District Conference 2016: Cebu (Day 1)

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toastmasters discon 2016 1

This years Toastmasters District Conference was held in the Grand Convention Center of Cebu. The event was opened in true cebu fashion with the marching of colors and various cultural presentations. For those who are not familiar with Toastmasters, it’s an international organization that helps develop your communication and leadership skills. There are different clubs all over the Philippines. A group of clubs form an area, a group of areas form a division. We have 11 Divisions in the Philippines and they form one District – District 75.

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We have 2 conferences a year. The District Conference in April and the Midyear Conference in October. The highlight of these conferences are the speech contests.

There are 4 Speech Contest Categories in Toastmasters:

  • International Prepared
  • Humorous
  • Evaluation
  • Table Topics (Impromptu Speaking)

For this Discon, the 2 contests were the International Prepared and Humorous Speech Contest. The Table Topics and Evaluation Contests are scheduled in the Midyear Conference.

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toastmasters discon 2016 3District Director Boy Archie giving his welcome speechtoastmasters discon 2016 4toastmasters discon 2016 7Toastmasters of the Day

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toastmasters discon 2016 2Past District Governor Noli Espina announcing the winners for the Humorous Contest

toastmasters discon 2016 12Humorous Competition contestants receiving their certificates

toastmasters discon 2016 9Humorous Speech Winners

  • Champion: Joanna Katrina S. Magalong (Division B)
  • 1st Runner Up: Jinnelyn O. Li (Division C)
  • 2nd Runner Up: Leonilo S. De los Santos (Division D)

Fellowship Night – Coachelladiscon 2015 coachella

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In the evening was the Coachella-themed fellowship night. I loved the decor and the relaxed feel of the venue. I especially enjoyed the Tawag ng Tanghalan – the Toastmasters version of a Karaoke showdown. We got to witness a representative from each Division showcase their singing prowess for all 3 rounds. That is, if you don’t get gonged during the first round.

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Congratulations to our Tawag ng Tanghalan winner – Joanna Katrina S. Magalong! We’ll be expecting to hear wedding bells soon.

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All in all, the first day was a blast! I met some old friends, made new ones and generally enjoyed myself. Learning can be fun. And it’s fun learning here in Toastmasters.

-Alex

*Photo credit to Ed Fabonan

 

My Ike Pono Experience (Day 4-6)


ikepono davao batch 13Ike Pono Batch 13

The 2nd weekend of Ike Pono was different from the first. This time it was more upbeat as we focused more on goal setting and creating visions. There were more activities and games too. One of the best ways to teach is through games. Even the simplest games can carry heavy lessons when you look at it in a different perspective.

As we did the many activities and games, what struck me was that most people want the same things in life. We have similar goals – financial freedom, happy family, trips abroad, great relationships. Of course we had divergents. One made it a goal to have 50M followers on Instagram in 20 years. (Please help make her dream come true by following her on IG @Libnifortuna). 😛 But for the most part, we had similar dreams.

The question is, are your dreams what you truly want?

On the 2nd weekend of Ike Pono, we were taught to not only set goals, but to set the right goals – the ones that you really want. You may be wondering, “Why am I still not successful?” Maybe those aren’t really the goals that you want. Maybe the goals you have are the ones that others picked for you. You need to find what you really want. Your true choice. When you do, success will come. It’s just a matter of time. When you truly want something you will stop at nothing in order to achieve it.

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Another thing I learned about goal setting is the importance of focus. In order to achieve your goal, there are a lot of things we must do. A process we should follow. The danger of that is we tend to focus too much on what we are doing that we take our eyes off the prize. The moment we do this, we lose. In order to win, we must never lose focus of our real goal. The successful man is the average man, focused. Even the sun’s rays don’t burn unless brought to a focus.

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Even the bible stresses on the importance of focusing on your goal.

Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 3: 13-14

Aside from knowing your true goals and focusing on them, knowing how to communicate and relate well to others is also important. A high EQ is necessary for success.

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How do you come off to other people?

I learned from Toastmasters that “It’s not about what your say. It’s how you say it.” This has been affirmed during the Ike Pono Seminar. Your pitch, volume, tone will affect how you come across to others. Knowing how to relate to people is also important because success is a team effort. You can’t do it on your own.

We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.
— Friedrich Nietzsche

The ability to communicate well is vital both in the work place and in relationships. According to Robert Waldinger in his TED talk “What Makes a Good Life? Lessons in the Longest Study on Happiness”, the main determining factor to success is not money or fame. It’s in the quality of your relationships. People who have good relationships are healthier, happier and more fulfilled. This conclusion was the result of a study on happiness that was conducted for 75 years. Ike Pono is mainly about maintaining good relationships with others – Love and Respect. Treat people as you want to be treated. Stop expecting people to be perfect and accept them for who they truly are. Once you do this, you will learn to truly love unconditionally.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

PS.
Check out my My Ike Pono Experience (Day 1-3) post HERE

My Ike Pono Experience (Day 1-3)

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Ike Pono is a unique, self-empowerment seminar created by Bruce Conching, a personal success coach who has been in the industry for 30 years. Ike Pono empowers individuals to fulfil their goals and dreams through the context of Love and Respect. It originally started in Hawaii then spread all over the United States. Now, seminars are regularly conducted in Japan and the Philippines in Davao City and Manila.

ikepono batch 13 davao

Ike Pono is not just an ideal, it’s a way of life. It’s something you don’t just learn but also put into practice. Society can be too focused on responsibility. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you focus too much on responsibility alone, it becomes a “have to”. But if you decide to put love first, then it becomes a “want to”. Doing it becomes a bit easier because you now “want to” do it. Again, Love and Respect must come first.

The venue for the seminar was at Insular Waterfront Hotel. It was right beside the beach so it was really relaxing to lounge outside during break time.

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ikepono batch 13 davao seminar

The seminar was mostly activity based and very interactive, which is a good thing as I tend to get bored pretty quickly. I learned that there are a lot of layers to a person and that everything is not always as it seems. And to get to the core of people, you need to trust and be open. You need to cultivate the relationships you have because when all else fades, relationships are what matter most. This includes your relationship with God, your family and friends – people that matter to you.

I learned that it’s not about the differences but the similarities. We all have a different journey, we have different stories, but the emotions we feel are the same. Anger, depression, hate, love, joy, excitement…We feel the same things. And it is our similarities that bind us.

You may think that you’re all alone in what you are experiencing now but you’re not. Around you are people who can relate to you. You just need to be courageous enough to open up.

Don’t go through life. Grow through life.

-Eric Butterworth

Another thing that can result from painful experiences is that we become callused and numb. And because it’s too painful, some of us choose not to feel anymore. I tend to be like that. When I’m going through something painful, I just want to fast-forward my life so I can rush through the pain and get to the good parts. But I learned that if you don’t feel the negative emotions like pain or sorrow or disappointment, you also prevent yourself from truly feeling the positive emotions. So it’s important to face the negatives and deal with it. Learn to take the lows and highs together. You can’t cheat real life.

Ike Pono was a great learning experience for me. I also got to meet a lot of awesome people who had their own stories to tell. I not only learned from my own journey but from theirs as well. Ike Pono is about sharing experiences and learnings. It’s also about family. Ohana. We were very supportive of each other during our limited time together. Even though we were together for just 3 days, we quickly bonded. I’m excited for the next half of the seminar.

Every experience makes you grow. Ike Pono taught me to treasure each moment and learn from it. To form strong bonds and value relationships.

The only journey is the journey within.

-Rainer Maria Rilk

Go live a Truly Wealth life.

-Alex

PS.

For those who are interested to join the next seminar, Ike Pono is a 6-day seminar that’s cut into 3 days each.

Part 1: January 29-31, 2016
Part 2: March 4-6, 2016
Registration fee: 15,000php

True Beauty

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Photo from lifechangingsurgery1.bravesites.com

Beauty is relative. It differs from time, culture and place. I just finished re-watching 200 Pounds of Beauty and I was struck by the lengths a lot of people go to in order to be beautiful. Surgery is no mean feat. There are a lot of risks involved. But studies show that more and more people are willing to go under the knife to achieve what they perceive beauty to be.

I was one of these people. I’ve always disliked my nose and so way back in high school, I decided that when I grew up, I was going to get a rhinoplasty. AKA a nose job. I was contemplating about finally doing it last year. I already researched about it and found a good surgeon to do it. But then I changed my mind.

Why?

Because I realized that having a better nose wouldn’t necessarily make me happier. So I decided to just accept the one I was born with.

True beauty isn’t only about how good you look. It’s about attitude.

How you carry yourself and how you treat others, that’s what will really make you beautiful.

A confident and kind woman is more beautiful than someone who is more attractive but insecure and treats others badly.

Do you want become more beautiful? Own it. Carry yourself with confidence. Be kind.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

No amount of plastic surgery can really make you happy. We will always find something wrong with ourselves. What we can do is to develop not only our physical but inner beauty as well.

Let your true beauty shine through.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

Midcon 2015 Videos

To those who missed the 2015 Midyear Conference in Bulacan, here’s a short video of what happened on the 2-day conference. The videos were able to capture a lot of the fun moments we had during the conference and part of the winning speech of the Impromptu Speech Champion from Division F – Leo Nogas.

MIDCON 2015 DAY 1

MIDCON 2015 DAY 2

The 2016 District Conference is going to be on April 28-30 at the Grand Convention Center, Cebu.

Registration Rates:

  • P 4,500 – Until Oct 18
  • P 5,000 – Oct 19 – Dec 31, 2015
  • P 6,000 – January 1 – March 31, 2016
  • P 6,500 – April 1 to onsite

Hope you can join us! It’s worth it.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

 

I’m Writing A Book in 90 Days (Or Less)!

I did it! I just signed up for Sha Nacino’s 90-Day Book Writing Challenge. I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’ve kept a journal every since I was in grade school up until now. Writing is my catharsis. I feel that there are just so many things I can do when I write. I can express myself, share information, inspire and motivate people…When you speak you are only limited to your immediate audience. But when you write it down, there’s no telling how far your message can go.

How-to-Write-a-BookPhoto from authorsha.com

We all have a story to tell. We all have something to share. We all have knowledge we can impart.

If a story is in you, it has got to come out.

-William Faulkner

There may be someone out there who needs your story. But you will never know who you can help by writing your story down unless you just do it.

It has always been my dream to write a book. The problem is, I don’t know the first thing about writing a book. How do you choose a topic? How do you organize everything you want to say? How do you publish a book?

You can make anything by writing.

-CS Lewis

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Photo from amazonaws.com

The 90-Day Book Writing Challenge of Sha Nacino promises to provide a system on how to do all these and more. According to Sha, you can write a book even if you’re busy and even if you are not a writer. I certainly hope so! Because these days, busy seems to be my middle name. Between managing Truly Wealthy Realty, Toastmasters and my ministry, 24 hours never seems to be enough.

We make time for the things that are important to us.

Someone once told me, when something is important to you, you don’t find the time to do it. You “make” time. So this is me, making time. This is me, taking a leap. This is me, acting out in faith. The course will be starting on February of 2016. This means  I should be done with my book by April. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Target date for the book launch is going to be around June 2016.

Wish me luck guys!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

PS

For those who want to join Sha’s 90-Day Book Writing Challenge, click HERE. Let’s write our first book together!

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