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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Dream. Do. Enjoy. Share – An Inspiring Event for Goal Setters and Dreamers

I recently attended a National Bookstore event which I stumbled upon by accident while strolling aimlessly at SM Aura Premier last March 24. It was a Kikki K event dubbed as ” Dream.Do. Enjoy. Share. An Afternoon with Kristina Karlsson.” and I was so delighted to know that it would be graced by no less than its founder Kristina Karlsson!

The event also featured workshops conducted by the best resource persons in the Philippine planner community- Liona Jeane Guzman (@lionachinky) who taught about Planner Set- Ups and Vision Boards and TC Morados (@inksandcoffee) who demonstrated Journaling to Jumpstart Your Creativity. But of course the highlight of the afternoon is when Kristina herself took the stage and talk about her journey in establishing her brand.

Planner set up by @lionachinky

What I really loved about her discussion is when she shared her 12 Life Rules. This is where I could identify the most especially when she talked about dreaming big which is my theme for this year. I got very excited so I want to share also these life rules to all goal setters and dreamchasers out there.

12 Life Rules of Kikki K.

Kikki K’s 12 Life Rules inked in my bullet journal

1. Love what you do.

2. Set goals.

3. Don’t take/say no for an answer.

4. Never stop learning.

5. Work hard but work smart.

6. Get up early.

7. Surround yourself with great people.

8. Be grateful.

9. Be healthy.

10. Take notes.

11. Have fun.

12. Dream BIG!

I got the chance to have a small chit-chat with Kristina when I had the post-it that I won in the event’s game signed for an autograph. She asked me if I have big dreams and I said yes! And it is now a work in progress. I briefly shared to her about how I started giving motivational talks to students and encourage them to set goals and strive to achieve it. I also told her about my dream to publish my own book. And she was excited to hear it.

Fangirling

I left the event even more inspired. Hearing encouraging words from someone you look up to is really a big motivation for me to pursue my passion in life.

5 Things to Cultivate for a Happier 2018

2018 is officially here and a lot of us have started to plan their year ahead or have made their new year’s resolution for 2018. But what does it really takes to find fulfillment and happiness today? More than the material things and achievements that we want to have this year, one should strive to cultivate these five attitudes for a happier new year.

Gratitude

Gratitude they say is a dying virtue. For some, being grateful does not come easy. In the world where there are a lot of distractions, gratitude is easily dismissed. However, being thankful to what we have, even the smallest things that we possess will give us a sense of serenity in the long run. Gratitude, when constantly practiced lets us focus on the good things that happens to us instead of the bad things. Thus, whatever happens at the end of the day we can always find something to be grateful for. 

Positivity

Have you ever struggled into finding peace of mind because you are always bothered by so many things? Our world today is so chaotic, fast-paced and hard to keep up. This is why it is hard for us to be optimistic in life. If you have been suffering from so many loses in the past, it is even harder to see a bright future. But if we just stop for a while and try to remove ourselves from the negativity around us, we may find that there is indeed a glimmer of hope in our lives if we choose to focus on them. A flicker of light amidst the darkness is a good sign that good things are just around the corner if we change how we perceive and react to challenges. A positive mind creates a positive outlook that fuels us to work on to our dreams however impossible it may seem. 

Initiative

We often want to be successful in life. We have a lot of dreams and we often make affirmations that someday we will reach the stars. But not all of the dreamers are also doers. Thus, they are having a hard time realizing their dreams. One thing that we need to learn for a happier 2018 is initiative. Simply put, we just don’t dream about success. We need to step forward on our own to reach our goals. We are responsible for our own happiness. Thus learning to get out of our comfort zone and take a step forward is a must!

Acceptance

They say that in order for a person to be happy he needs to learn to accept the things that he cannot change. But it is easier said than done. We have a tendency to hold on to things and try to make it work even if it is no longer worth our effort. We tend to hold on to our “what ifs” even though we are hurting ourselves in the process. Learning to discern the things that is worth our efforts and those that are no longer working out is a necessity so we can concentrate more on taking care of the things that can help us grow and make us happy. Learning to accept the things that we are powerless to change is the key to contentment and eventually to happiness.

Be Fearless

 The one thing that takes away our dreams are our own fears- fear of failure, fear of rejection, etc. We fail to realize that the things that we are afraid of doing become our limitations to achieving what we really want in life and what can make us happy. Because of this we are forcing ourselves to accept our current standing even if we know in our hearts that we can do much more, far better than what we have now.  Learn to be fearless and break free from the things that limit our capacity to be happy. You might be surprise on the things that you can achieve when you choose to face life’s challenges.

I hope that you will have a happier 2018 ahead! 😊

What a year!

I can’t believe that in a few hours, we will be closing 2017 and will start fresh for 2018. New year means new beginnings to make, new dreams to weave, new challenges to conquer and new hopes for a better life. But before we say goodbye to 2017, I would like to take a trip to memory lane and reflect on the things that have changed my life this year.

A lot of things happened in 2017. In general, it is a fruitful year for me despite of the challenges that I’ve been through. This year marks my journey to self- discovery and I must admit that not all realizations are easy to face. However, I would like to dwell on my blessings instead of the hardship and I must say I am truly grateful on a lot of things. 

First of all, I did the most impossible thing that I thought I would not do in my entire life- RUN A RACE. I have challenged myself not only once but three times! Everytime I crossed the finish line it was the most happiest 5k in my life. It opened my eyes on the things that I can do if I just set my heart into doing it. It helped me a lot in boosting my self-esteem.

Second, I celebrated the biggest milestone of my career- 5 years in Huawei! It is the milestone that I am most proud of since I have never stayed that long in a company. It is a testament of my maturity in terms of career growth. It tested my patience but I did survived. 

Third, I made my first solid investments- I bought a house and got insured. These have the greatest impact on me since it opened my mind on the importance of financial security. It made me realized how careless I was in handling my finances and it made me take a detour to really assess myself so I can have a secure future.

Fourth, we celebrated my eldest daughter’s 7th birthday. It made me smile to think that I am experiencing the joys of motherhood for 7 years now. Seeing my daughter blossomed into a young lady made me want to wish that I have more time to spend with my family especially my children. I realized how many milestones I have missed  and that I need to make it up with them. It made me realize that family is the most important above all.

Last but not the least, I lost a friend. My labrador Tetay has passed away a week before Christmas. The sweetest creature that gave me much loyalty and love all these years has crossed rainbow bridge. Although it is painful and hard to grasp, it change my perception on saying goodbye. That no matter how we love and cherish our loved ones it is an inevitable thing to say goodbye. It’s just that we will never know when is the time. It gave me the hardest lesson of letting go and think of the happy times together rather than dwell on the pain of the loss. It taught me to create happy memories together so you will have something to look back and smile about when what is left are the glimpses of the past.

So 2017, I am very grateful for these lessons. Rest assured when the clock strikes to a new year, I will be able to welcome it with a bang! 

Here’s to an easy, breezy staycation, ladies!

Feeling tired and burned out lately? Maybe you have been working so hard that stress is finally getting the best of you. While we need to work our ass off so we can have the finer things in life, it is also important that we look after our health as well. And taking a time off from your routine from time to time is a way to shake off that blues from our system.

Most people will go out of town or even out of the country to get that much needed rest. But if you have limited time and budget, a dream vacay may not be the best option. In fact it may be tedious for some of us. Why not try staycation? It is the best alternative to a short getaway without too much trouble of packing things, going out on a long trip and burning a hole in your wallet. 

Here are some useful tips to make out the most of your weekend staycation.

Pack light. Save yourself from the trouble of heavy bags. You will only be gone for two days. Pack two to three days worth of clothes and weekend essentials in your carry all bag so checking in will be a breeze. 

Plan your itinerary. Just like any vacation, it will be helpful if you plan your days ahead. Draw up an itinerary of the things you want to do and the places you want to visit. Don’t just go shopping. Visit places in the city that you don’t normally go on a regular basis such as museums, weekend markets, and parks to give you a different perspective of the city. 



Book for a good place to stay. Booking a hotel is sometimes one of the hassle of taking a staycation. One needs to consider a place that is accessible and with complete ameneties yet budget friendly. Lucky enough, there are hotels that can offer you this package in the metro today. One example is The Mini Suites in Ayala CBD area that is strategically located to provide you access to different locations of the city since it is connected to the walkway so travelling by foot is easy.  The room and it’s amenities are luxurious, albeit mini in size. And yes, they offer a competitive weekend rates too. 

The Mini Suites

Sneak in a little “me time”. Whatever your plans are, always give yourself a chance to recuperate from the hustle and bustle of your regular grind. Take a lot of rest, get a massage or take a long shower. Soak yourself with happiness and forget your worries so you can come back energized.

Enjoy your weekends! ❤

A cup of tea

Well, it’s a chilly mid-week morning today. As I sit into my cubicle with my hot cup of Moroccan tea while browsing the net, I noticed that I haven’t visited my blog for EONS of years (hehe)! So, where have I been eh? No, definitely not visiting the Queen. 

Seriously, I was just busy on several projects that I neglected to write (sorry…). However, my hiatus has given me opportunities and more experiences that I will share here (promise). For starters, I have started two personal projects that have taken a lot of my time and effort for the last few months. 

Be Fit

Admittedly, I had neglected my health for several years that resulted to health complications and obesity. I started this year with a goal to lose at least 20 lbs this year. So I drag myself to the gym, started working out and choosing healthier food options. And I am so happy that I already achieved my goal in just 6 months! 

From 200 lbs in 2016 to a 180 lbs by June 2017 😉

 Be Ready for Rainy Days

I realized that I am not young anymore and that I need to be more disciplined with my finances if I want to retire in peace when I am in my senior years. That is why I have set up my financial goals this year and push myself very hard to save and invest. And that means learning to curb my spending and be more financially literate. So my first step is build my emergency fund by opening a savings account and take on the 52- week challenge. So far, I stick to my savings plan and now I am reviewing several policies for other investments such as VULs and mutual funds. ✌

Less spending, more savings 👌

In between these two things, I still have my 9am to 6pm regular jobs and family to take care of so my hands are really full. Nevertheless, I am back. 😉

It’s a Planner Thing (& You Wouldn’t Understand)

I’ve recently discovered the art of kawaii planning and I was hooked since the first time that I tried it. Now my IG feed is full of pictures of my planners (yes, I am using multiple planners! 😊) with my personalized and fully decorated monthly and weekly spreads. 


My partner somehow stumbled upon my new hobby (thanks to the messy stickers and washis), scratched his head and asked me if I still really use my planner for the purpose of planning. Well of course I do and my planning gets even better each day. Not sure how to react, I told him that “hey, it’s a planner thing you wouldn’t understand”.

For some of you who has no clue on what I am talking about, planner decorating or kawaii journaling is a way of creatively putting in entries to your planners or journals rather than the usual black and white scheme (which admittedly gets so boring more often). It is in a way a personal work of art with mixtures of different media,paper and pen. And you may ask, what do we gain from it? Let me give you my reasons why I am so obsessed with it now.

It gives my planner its own personality


Decorating my planner not only beautifies every plain pages but also gives it  a personality of its own. Oftentimes, it is a reflection of my own thoughts and emotions. Thus, it is no longer just a Happy Planner or Erin Condren, it has become me. 

It makes remembering things easy and pleasing to the eyes


I am a visual person and I easily remember things by what they look. Thus, when I decorate my planner it is easier for me to remember things  and events by having a visual reference. Plus, when the going gets tough and I have a very bad or toxic day, I have something beautiful to look forward to to lift my mood. 😉

It makes me goal-setting a breeze


I use my planner not only for daily schedules but to set short- term and long term goals. Thus, decorating it with my favorite things create an on the go vision board for me. Planner decorating makes me stick to my goal even more than when it was just the plain black and white it used to be. 

It unleashes my inner Van Gogh


I must admit that I am a frustrated artist.I love arts but because of my busy corporate schedule, I haven’t got the chance to fully explore my artistic side. Planner decorating gives me the license to be creative and to use every pages as a canvass that I can carry with me wherever I go. 

I gain new friends

Planner community is growing fast.And because of social media, planner junkies can easily exchange ideas, share their works and encourage each other. Joining the community opens me to a more diverse perspective and gain new friends who share the same passion. Isn’t that the biggest plus? 😙
I can still think a thousand reasons but it would take a lifetime to enumerate them all. I am grateful that I discovered this hobby. And I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. 

Happy Kalat! 😉