Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spotting The Lighthouse: Clear About Your Desired Destination

Know what you want. Live up to your clear vision and work your way right through it. People are drawn to leaders who have compelling vision and help others forge their own visions, and who help others help themselves.

Growing old and growing up is much like commanding a ship through the vast ocean of life.

As we set out—to drift around or to purposely achieve our goals—our actions and decisions affect the lives of those who are on-board our ship (our families, friends, and even the strangers we meet somewhere). Our every action has ripple implications on the lives of others, whether we know it or not.

This power to affect others is what makes us an influencer, a leader, whether we like it or not.

Being a leader, we need to be clear about our visions and press on them no matter what; in the same way a ship captain needs to be clear about his destination and sail towards the flickering lighthouse, stormy or sunny.

We don’t need an official title, a crown, a salary, a cloak, or a badge to think of ourselves as real leaders or, subtly put, influencers.

A brother or sister who takes care of his/her other siblings is a leader. A teacher is a leader to her students. A traffic enforcer is a leader to a crossing pedestrian. And the most noble of all leaders, a parent who leads his/her family every single day.

You are a leader! When you decide to lead your own self to your new and better self, you are a leader.

When others see your transformation, these people who also want to become better naturally gravitate towards you.

Wisdom of Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” On the contrary, no one can stop someone who is clear about what he wants. People follow leaders who know exactly what they want.

In sailing through this life, we need people for various reasons: to help us adjust the sails when we get out of focus; to talk to when we feel crazy; to man the bridge when we have to take a break, among other things. When we dock for some pit stop, we need to deal with strangers or some new friends.

Simply put, whatever we do and wherever we go, we will be dealing with people and build relationship with them. The way we connect and relate with them could make or break our journey towards our destination, our goal.

Hence, before we set out for any destination or goal, it is very important that we prepare for the journey. Be clear on where you exactly want to go and when exactly you want to get there.

Some of our plans may be dispensable. But planning per se is indispensable if we are to precisely know our direction; get to our destination efficiently; overcome unexpected storms; to be responsive to emergency calls; and arrive at our port of destination safely.

Sail prepared and with clarity of vision.

Before pulling the anchor, we must know where the lighthouse is so we have a clear reference point of our destination as we sail off the coast.

To have clarity [in our lives], we need to remember and live up to three important things:

First, be clear about your vision (the what). Know exactly what you want. An effective leader is clear about his vision. If you don’t cast a clear picture of your future, you will be fixated on your past. God can take away your imperfections, so don’t stay there.

Second, be clear about your values (the why). Have your values intact. If you want to win the fight against temptation, you have to decide to win long before it arrives. Decision-making is hard only when you’re not clear about what is most important to you.

Third, be clear about your vehicle (the how). Show people how to do things right. Lead others by example. Live up to your clear vision and work your way right through it. People are drawn to leaders who have compelling vision and help others forge their own visions, and who help others help themselves.

If you are clear about your vision, values, and vehicle, people will naturally follow you.

Know what you want! You can be whoever you want to be. You can go wherever you want to go.

Be clear. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

As you begin you journey the challenge is, will you be a good influencer/leader to the people around you?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thinking Out Loud in My Boudoir: Escaping Reality

This will always be the reality and you can never escape it: you are in charge of your choices (mind) and your happiness (heart). Freedom is a gift. Reality is a guide. Do not escape freedom and reality.

When we were kids we wanted to grow old and assume responsibility, we were curious about a lot of things and wanted to try them.

Now that we are adults, we want to be like childrenconsciously or unconsciously. We want to be stress-free, problem-free. We want to be free from responsibility.

I remember just a little over the death of my father, my perspective of a lot of things changed and I started to become aware of many things, perhaps necessity dictated and demanded. I believe that was the first turning point of my life, and my “official growing up” was way too early, or so I believe.

Part of my new perspective then was that I should be grateful and excited when I recognize I have a trial. When I feel uncomfortable—pain, difficulty, negative emotion—I thought I had new things to be thankful for and to look forward to. I have new things to learn.

When I was a kid, trials or challenges or problems meant new experiences, new lessons, and wisdom.

As I (we) grow older, we think we have had learned more than enough about life, that we are better equipped after all the various experiences we have gone through in life. So we stop being interested about life and we start avoiding pains and stress brought by problems thinking we've had more than enough.

Little do we know that our knowledge of things, our mind map of our lives and our future, needs constant revision, and sometimes major revisions.

We all know that growth
in any area or aspect of our livesrequires pains and taking responsibility as we face our problems. Yet, most of us we ignore this obvious fact. As a result, we avoid responsibility and suffering.

What we don't realize is by avoiding responsibility and suffering, we either let our problems grow as we hide them and deny them, thinking they naturally go away; or we let others handle them for us.

By doing so, we either unconsciously pet our problem like growing a monster we're too scared of or we give away our liberty and control to decide for ourselves. Consequently, either way, we keep our problem and we hamper our own growth.

As adults faced with problems, we tell ourselves now:
1. It's all my fault, but I'm tired of this. I will let it be, anyway all this shall come to pass. (Blaming oneself)
2. It's his/her/their/this world's fault. I have no control over them. Why should I bother myself with his/her/its mess. The heck I care. (Blaming the world)

If we will not take the time to look at things or situations, we will not be able to identify the source of the problem and the significant problem we need to solve.

With our era, where everything is fast paced and new information is available everyday, we must be willing and deliberate in equipping ourselves with skills and knowledge to be able to keep up with time and grow with it.

Let us engage ourselves with our peers. Observe and learn from others.

Most importantly, nurture our relationship with our very own selves. Let us take the time to know ourselves better
—skills, weaknesses, strengths, potentials.

Let's live in the now. Face reality. Take accountability. Embrace and accept ourselves. Know, feel, and believe that we are valuable whether people around us perceive us as such or not.

One day we will be surprised, solving life's trials and managing our time for pain and pleasure becomes natural and easy for us. What will be more surprising is, we will naturally become more grateful, blessing expert, and happy persons.

When we know in our deepest fiber that we are valuable, then we start realizing our need for constant growth and the importance of taking hold of our freedom to choose and decide for ourselves are both indispensable parts of having a good life.

And the result?

We become more willing to experience pain and we become more open to new things because we know that through them we become capable of understanding and helping ourselves, and it's ripple effect is we become resilient, understanding of others, generous, and happier than ever... All because we grow and refresh our perspective.

There will always be people and situations that will make our lives difficult, and that's the reality. Our pains or discomfort will always be part of our lives as long as we breathe. Hence, we need to constantly recognize those which are necessary problems and unnecessary ones.

To do that, we must take time to spot the source of the problem; make ourselves comfortable with it; take reasonable time to study the necessary problem; focus; solve it; and learn from it.

Know you are no longer a child totally dependent, helpless, and problem-free.

Live and act your age. Enjoy your independence in deciding for yourself and utilize your control over whatever consequence your decision may breedpainful or joyful. Take responsibility.

Nonetheless, balance your life by acting your age yet enjoying that childlike gratitude, zeal about life, and courage.

This will always be the reality and you can never escape it: you are in charge of your choices (mind) and your happiness (heart).

Freedom is a gift. Reality is a guide. Do not escape reality and freedom.


Thinking Out Loud in my Boudoir is a column for some of my random thoughts that, perhaps, other ladies my age are also experiencing or thinking of—whether from same vantage point or another. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just my own voice reverberating in my own world. I will do my best to discriminate my reason in this column, and just write spontaneously the first things and thoughts that a normal lady could think of. Just writing as I think...