Happiness: It’s Not Really Complicated

Last April 14, I have attended one of the highly anticipated conference of which aims to spread happiness to the world. The Mission Happiness Conference 2018 facilitated by no otheBer than Ms. Sha Nacino is truly a fun-filled learning experience to all its particBeipants. All the teachings impart by Ms. Nacino on how to be happy is a no non-sense, straight forward approach as to uplift one’s emotional well- being and develop a holistic view in achieving a Happy, Inspired and Meaningful life.

I have yet to indulge myself into the four key learnings that I have learned during the workshop. Here are some of the key points that I have picked up on the discussion that is truly simple yet we oftentimes forget to look for in our quest of true happiness in life.

Find the things that matters to you most

There is a saying that we often neglect to see the light of the moon because we are busy chasing the stars. In our every day lives, we often have so many things that we need to do and most often than not, these things are the contributors of our stress and unhappiness. We blame our unhappiness to the stress brought about by work, our relationship with others or even the traffic that we encountered in our every day commute. But have we ever thought that it is our own choice why we need to go through all these things every day? Is the life we are living now exactly the one of our purpose and passion?

We often hear life coaches talk about passion and purpose but what they exactly mean to ordinary people and how important they are to our lives? For me these two simply mean the things that really matter to you. These are the things that you really want to do and that you do best. These are the things that make you excited to wake up every morning and not feel stressed whenever you need to tackle tasks related to them. These are the things that make you optimistic even if the odds are against you.

Finding things that really matters to you is important so you will be able to do things that you enjoy most. And if you are not yet there on your ideal place, at lwast you have the inspiration to work so you will be able to pursue what you really want in life.

Be a blessing

There is a connection between doing an act of kindness and happiness. It is said that our body and mind are hardwired to giving. The more we do good deeds to others, our cortisol level (aka stress hormone) goes down and our endorphine (aka happy hormone) increases. Thus, we become happier. There is this kind of euphoria when you are able to accomplish one goof deed or an act of kindness more than any material things in the world.

So if you are stressed or overwhelmed, do one random act of kindness and find the good vibes slowly slip into to your being.

Develop an attitude for gratitude

How often do you say thank you? And what are the things that you are grateful for? Do you know that gratitude is a secret to a happy life?

Being thankful even for the smallest and simplest things that come your way such as waking up in the morning and living another day, or having a hearty breakfast is the best way to find contentment and happiness. To borrow a lyrics from a Jose Mari Chan song, “when you are weary…count your blessing instead of sheep.” When we concentrate on the good things in life instead of those things that make us anxious and unhappy, we can derive a sense of calm that although we face so many challenges in life, there are still beautiful things that happen to us that we can be grateful for. In gratefulness we find our strength to face every day with hopes in our hearts that all will end well.

Strive to grow as a person

Remember the excitement you get when you achieved a milestone when you are young? Even as simple as learning to write our names make us excited and happy, right?

Most of the people who already stepped out of school and started working, rarely have the time to celebrate or find time to seek new milestones for themselves. It seems that they stop to grow anymore. That is why they see each day as just another busy, hectic day to live. As one author puts it “we work hard to earn a living but we stop to live a life.”

Why don’t we seek those little milestones again in our lives and celebrate little victories in achieving them? Instead of just putting up with mundane, every day routine, we find time to seek growth for ourselves. Even as simple as learning soft skills like managing your temper, or curbing your vices, or striving to have a healthy relationship with your family are considered life’s milestone and contribute to your growth. Self- improvement will bring back the joy to your life and it also changes your perspective of who you are to the world. It teaches you self-appreciation and the more you recognize your feat, no matter how small it is bring you contentment and happiness.

I learned so many things in the span of four hours and I left the venue a changed person. Now I am looking forward to share what I captured during the workshop to spread the message that happiness is not that complicated to find at all. 😊

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20K and Counting: Ways to Grow your Php 20K

What will you do if you have Php 20,000 in your wallet? 

Nowadays, Php 20,000  not a fairly big amount in terms of purchasing power unlike several years before.But if your are wise enough, you can grow this Php 20k over time. All you need you neec to do is to know where to invest it. Not sure where to put it? Here are some tips to invest your 20k smartly:

Start a small business


With a 20k capital, be your own boss and start your own small business. There are a lot of business ideas out there to choose from ranging from food to fashion to service. With the advent of the internet, you don’t need to rent a commercial place in order for you to showcase your products and reach potential buyers. In order to become successful in growing your Php20k to unlimited income you need to consider these things (1). start a business that you are passionate about and (2) offer good quality products and at par customer service.

Set up an emergency fund


Most of us are guilty of not considering putting up an emergency fund for rainy days. If you have not set up one yet, your Php 20,000 is a good amount to start it up. Set  a time deposit for your fund and religiously grow your savings until such time that you are confident enough that you have enough money to cover your three month expenses just in case something happens to you or you suddenly lose your job. In this way your mind is at ease that you have something to fall back just in times of dire financial needs.

Invest in UITFs or Mutual Funds


Many people are afraid to invest in the stock market because of its volatility and are afraid that they might lose their money in the long run. However, if you want to grow your money exponentially, stock market is one of the best ways to do it since the percentage of yield is higher than bank interests. You can choose to put your money in a unit investment trust funds wherein your money is being managed by financial managers and are invested in stocks deemed to yield high percentage of return fo a period of time. Or, you can pool it in mutual fund and choose the stocks to invest in. 

Build your retirement fund


We do have the government sponsored retirement plan program like the SSS and GSIS but it is always nice to have a retirement plan of your own to look forward to when you finally quit your job. Many banks and financial institutions are offering retirement plan programs for a surprisingly small amount of money. Start your retirement plan now and enjoy your golden years without worrying about money. 

Invest in yourself


One of the best investments is to invest in yourself. Enrich yourself with new knowlegde that you can use to advance your career. Or you can always learn new things that you can use in the future like new hobbies. 

There is no big or small amount if you set your heart and your mind to grow your money. You have many options out there. All you need to do is to start doing it. 

Moving Up and Moving Forward

Several years ago, I took my last walk into the university quadrangle emersing myself into the ambiance of the academe and trying to recall great memories of my schooling. It was the last few days before we were officially conferred as graduates. That particular moment was of mixed emotions, of happiness and of uncertainty. Happiness because finally after spending almost half of my life in school, I could finally be relinquished to the real world. But a feeling of uncertainty was also creeping in since I was still unsure of the real world. I have spent the last ten minutes reminiscing the good old school days from elementary up to college and thought that I had indeed a lot of memories to cherish. Afterwhich, I stepped out of the campus and never looked back.

I have recently attended the Moving Up ceremony of my daughter in pre-school and this made me think of the other graduates who will march forward on their own graduation day this year. I recalled a piece of my own valedictory address back in high school wherein I had challenged my fellow graduates to delve deeper into the essence of learning and live it up to attain our own success. I was young then, full of hopes and idealism that our future after 10 or so years will all be bright and beautiful. There were many things that happened since that particular moment and I am pretty sure that my batchmates have long forgotten the four-page speech that I had delivered that night ( to be honest, I myself can only recall bits and pieces of that speech). The real world have long since altered my perception of life in general and I can say that I know better now.

If I’ll be given a chance to re-write that graduation speech and speak it in front of newly grads, I would keep it as realistic as possible, not to kill their hopes but give them a glimpse of what they could expect out of the four corners of the school walls. I have listed the three most important things that are not often told to the graduates:

1. School is just another means of obtaining education. Experience is the other half. In the real world, you can only use 70% at most of what you have learned thru the four corners of the classroom but you can always rely on your experience to deal with real life situations. So invest in your schooling but never stop learning from experience. And you can only do this if you are not afraid to fail.

2. Your diploma is not always a ticket to a successful life. To be successful, you must be willing to start from the bottom and work your ass off to be able to inch a notch into the career ladder. And it is never as easy as you have dreamed of. There are a lot of competition out there and the job market is not a stable ground. You might have graduated at the top of your class but you cannot remove the chance that you can end up serving coffee and doing mundane stuff to earn a living. The key to success is perseverance and you need a big grit to be able to level the playing field.

3. You can never fill in somebody else’s shoes so don’t waste your time living the other person’s dreams. Decide where you want to go and live the life you want. Follow your intuition and seize your own direction. There are times that you will find yourself in the crossroads and you might decide to take a wrong turn. People around you will criticize your move but life is too short to be afraid to tread your own path. It is better for you to reach the end of the road with bruise and scratch than spend the last breath in your deathbed with the thoughts of “if only…”, and “wish I had…”

So long, graduates! I congratulate you for MOVING UP and I am hoping that your journey MOVING FORWARD into the real world will be full of wisdom, success and memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.