Wednesday, November 28, 2012

See You at the Top, Zig!

Today, we are one less genius mind in the world after one of my favorite and respected author slash inspirational speaker Zig Ziglar passed away November 28, 2012 at the age of 86.

Until now I never realized that Zig was in his late 80's, I've always imagined him in his ravishing 50's wearing a sharp-looking suite and tie with his welcoming smile and right finger pointed at me.

I've first met him when I read his book "Something Else to Smile About."  I fall in love with him after. And I was never the same again. Once you read his book, you are destined to change.

Here are some of Zig's famous quotation that I admire the most:
"Ability can take you to the top, but it takes Character to keep you there." 
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
 “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing-that's why we recommend it daily..”
"Money won't make you happy... but everybody wants to find out for themselves."
"Don't become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific." 
"Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs."  
 “You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” 
“Some people find fault like there is a reward for it.”  
“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.”  
“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” 
A friend once said, "See you at the Top(one of his best-seller, self-improvement book) will have a different meaning now." True that! I even get goosebumps reading this comment.

Zig you are one in a million. You have demonstrated that a person's life doesn't necessarily end in his lifetime. For the ripples of your existence will extend to boundless generation after generation. Thanks to your life-changing books, inspiring talks and substantial life quotes. More than your brilliant mind, I will always remember you for your humble spirit and big heart for God and your readers.

My deepest condolences to Zig's family.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Para Kanino Ka Bumabangon?

Lately I found myself awakened in the wee hours which is a bit disturbing. During those still moments my thoughts find its freedom to wander. If I get lucky enough, I would be able to ignore its petition so I could sleep more. Today I am doomed! I found myself engaging on these ideas and before I knew it I couldn't go back to sleep anymore :|

As the day breaks, I remember this coffee commercial I used to watch back in the Philippines - Para Kanino Ka Bumabangon? Literal translation could be - For whom do you rise? - but my personal conversion would be - What drives you? The advertisement's storyboard describes what makes ordinary people, of different work industry intentionally get up early in the morning. So powerful that it made me think, just like today, what is it that I should look forward for the day? Why should I get excited? 

It's not everyday that you feel like getting up in the morning. I know. Bed's invitation to stay a little longer is so hard to resist. Deceiving. Knowing your purpose where God called and placed you to do gives you that extra stir you need for the day. Search for it! It's more than finding a treasure gold.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why."  --Mark Twain
Purpose is a BIG word. It's debatable. But more than anyone, you and your heart alone could tell you that. Listen to it! Do not overthink it. Oftentimes the ones that you're searching for are the ones right in front of you. It could be your job, your responsibility to your family, your personal aspiration in life, your hobby or someone you love dearly. Something that inspires you to face the day and its limitless surprises.

Have a great and purposeful morning everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Diwali Festival 2012

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. " Genesis 1:3
This was the very first thing that pop up to my mind as I stroll along the road of Little India last Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

There was light. In fact lots of lights. This day, Indian folks celebrate Diwali or Deepavali, popularly knows as "Festival of Lights," which is a big thing for them to celebrate with their families by lighting lamps, wearing new clothes, sharing sweets and firing up firecrackers. Interesting! Pretty much like celebrating New Year in the Philippines.

As I drift through the crowd, my eyes feast in the carnival of people and the jovial ambiance. Lots of Indians and foreigners loitering the place; women wearing colorful sarees with ornaments and jewelries; wide array of goodies being sold along the road; and of course who will not be captivated by the thousands of multicolored, bright and illuminating lights made into archway posted along the highway stretch. Dazzling!

Diwali made an impression to me that day. Just like how Filipinos view the new year as new hope, new opportunities, new chance to make our lives better. And what about the lights? I am the light. You are the light. We all are. You give hope. You inspire. You influence. 
"You are someone’s friend/co-worker/child/mentor/hope/inspiration/example and if you didn’t step into these roles, the world would be horribly crippled. You are a necessary light and you do not know, you will never know, how far the ripples of your existence extend. You are a cause to celebrate. There is no one in the history of the past or future who can move the present the way you do." -- Isabel Garcia
Just like these lights, you are at your brightest, when placed at the dark. Even at times that no one seem to notice and care. You shine better, as you continue to be grateful in everything... As you share yourself, your passion... As you love  and sacrifice for your family... As you give to those who are in need.. As you work efficiently in your job... As you continue to dream and never give up... As you choose to forgive... As you excel in everything you do... As you accept people with their imperfections.. As you listen with compassion.. As you do your homework..  As you, being who you are.

Remember that even in the most insignificant action you could think of, You do make a spark! Keep shining!

Happy Diwali!

Friday, November 9, 2012

You Raise Me Up

Everyday is a struggle. A choice to face the bright day or remain in the dark night. A choice to believe or give up. A choice to smile or grumble. I know, I've heard this several times. 

But reality caught me off guard. Its not everyday that I feel like waking up in the morning excited. There are times that depression sneak and crawls to my bed at night to knock me down. Then, I miss home. I feel alone. I get bored.   

Today I was reminded. Whenever I get discouraged, to always look back and remember how God's grace pursued me. Knowing that it is He who brought me this far. Trusting that He will see me through. And as always, I feel better. 
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... to more than I can be.
As I quiet my heart, depression finds its way jumping out of the window, as rest and peace march to come in. Inner peace that transcends human understanding. Then, I become grateful. Hopeful. Not because the present is fine but because I know the future will get better. By the grace of God.

While surfing tonight with a heavy heart, I found this encouraging song. Let me just rephrase that. While surfing tonight with a heavy heart, God found me and send me this song to encourage me. 

Listen. Sing. Believe. Be blessed.

What Faith Can Do
by Jayesslee

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes
And make a new beginning

Anyone can feel the ache
You think it's more than you can take
But you're stronger
Stronger than you know

Don't you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining

I've seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn't ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do

It doesn't matter what you've heard
Impossible is not a word
It's just a reason
For someone not to try

Everybody's scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It'll be alright

Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

Repeat Chorus

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That's what faith can do)
When the world says you can't
It'll tell you that you can

Repeat Chorus

That's what faith can do

Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life is Good

Just when I thought I would have the most gloomy birthday in my life for two reasons...

For one, this is my first birthday when I need to report for work. I've always been spoiled in the Philippines where November 2 is declared a special holiday - All Soul's Day :D I know #itsmorefuninthephilippines. But since I am now in Singapore where November 2 is just your ordinary working day, I needed to show up in the office. Second of all, this is my first birthday away from home and family, now that's an absolute tearjerker. Please don't argue with me.

But as always God has His ways of turning my world upside down and vise versa. He overwhelmed me with greetings and messages from family, friends, relatives and colleagues who took time to greet me on my birthday. All the way through 1400 miles away, thanks to the power of telecommunications and technology. More than anytime in my life, its now that I appreciate better that I am blessed with a loving family and wonderful friends.

Another birthday present, I was able to celebrate it with my close friends here in Singapore. Friends whom I can be the real me, friends whom I can confide all my frustrations knowing they will not judge me, friends who never fail to give me advice and encouragement during the time I experienced transition anxiety and homesickness. They are such a relief.

Also I got to celebrate it with my housemates :) New friends I met, who's like a family to me now.

Finally, I had the opportunity to celebrate my birthday with my new colleagues in the new company that I'm working. I am blessed with their thoughtfulness to remember my birthday even though I am only a two month old colleague. 

Lots of celebration there I know. Which I didn't expected.

To top it all, for the first time I got two cakes on my birthday. How sweet is that? I remember growing up, our parents didn't indulge us of having cake on our birthday except on our 7th birthday and debut. As a child, I've longed to always have a birthday cake and promised myself that once I get a job I'll buy one for my birthday every year. Who's world doesn't light up when there's a cake in the table especially on their birthday. And getting not one but two birthday cake is more than a treat to my child-like delight. Best birthday ever! #justlikeakid 

Life is good. Let's celebrate it. #grateful  #choosetobehappy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weird and Wonderful

This morning on my way to work, I noticed some weird girl inside the MRT. After scratching her hair like there's no tomorrow, she took her right earpiece, bite it for like 4-5 secs then bring it back to her ear. Like who does that? So many "like" do you like it?

As I observe her closely, she doesn't care enough. In her world no one is bothered.What an innocent and still spirit. Then something dawned on me... in one way or another we are just like this weird girl. We acted strangely. We did peculiar things. But the question is do we have the same attitude like her.

Weird is not just an expression. It's more than an action.
It's a person. I am weird. You are weird.
Everybody is weird - in our own terms and conditions.

Weird is relative. What's odd for me may never have any scent of quirkiness for you. Vise versa. 
"You laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at you because you are all the same." 
Weird is unique. In the same way, God did not created two similar human beings. Even identical twins have different personality and temperament.

Weird could be fashionable. Often, that's where the trend gets inspiration for its latest chic and fad.

Weird is not an outcast. It's a connection that binds people who share the same queerness.

Weird should not be subjective - to people, race, culture, color or a person's identity or accomplishment.

Weird is special. Just like you and me.