I am a certified coffee lover. It may have started when I was in 5th grade. My mother asked me to prepare coffee for her. I put hot water in a cup, scooped more than half a teaspoon of Nescafe instant coffee, and finally added a teaspoon of sugar. After tasting it, I almost spat it out because it was bitter. But after several days of doing that, I acquired the taste of coffee. Eventually, coffee became a constant companion for late night writing and meetings.
Instant coffee used to be the craze in the Philippines. It probably still is. I don’t know why but it may have been because of advertisements on the radio and TV. Instant coffee, particularly Nescafe’s, is a poor substitute for real coffee beans! Sure it takes more work to brew coffee beans but I know better now.
In March 2015, we let go of about 80% of our possessions. With some misgivings, I gathered my books and sold some, and then gave away a lot more. Our shelves, tables, chairs, and other appliances went to people who responded to the ads I posted on Facebook, Craigslist, or OLX. Even our set of clothes dwindled. Between myself, my wife, and my son, we gave away 4 big boxes full of shirts, pants, and other clothes.
My books are my best possessions and treasures. I had almost all of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi books, Tolkien’s books, the game of thrones books (which by the way belong to the series called “A Song of Ice and Fire”), a bunch of Filipino and Ilokano books, and nonfiction leadership and business books.
My elementary teachers often told us that we have two ears and only one mouth so we could listen twice more than we speak. This is an important reminder in the age of social media and incessant online noise.
If Facebook and Twitter posts are any indication, people chime in and post their comments within minutes, if not seconds, of a photo or status update. What’s even worse is that people drop all filters and say whatever they want to say online!
I thank God for the New Year. It’s a great reminder of the circle of life. The previous year might have been great for you. Or not. But the new year brings fresh hope that things could be better if we make the most out of it.
We should all review the past year to learn from our experiences and celebrate our wins. But we should also plan for the new year that is here now. On the first few days of this year, I sat down to identify my goals. This has really become my habit at the start of the year since 2010.
During a meeting with my team, I just reflected on the renewed sense of commitment and energy. It will probably not last for very long. But by making some changes to my schedule and my lifestyle, I could probably make the most out of the excitement of the new year. I might even make this the year I achieved all the goals I’ve identified!
7 Simple Hacks to Achieve Goals Effectively and Efficiently
Here are 7 Simple Hacks that I am implementing to help me achieve my goals effectively and efficiently.
I’ve been fascinated with the lives of people who have achieved significant success and made a big impact in the world. I’ve read Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs.
While the author
tries to present a full view of these famous person’s lives, I was still left
in awe at the magnitude of what they have achieved.
Elon Musk has introduced significant innovations in online payment systems, in electric cars, in solar power, in the race for reusable space rockets. Steve Jobs also innovated many different industries – computers, animated movies, the iPhone, and the iPad.
As a person of faith, I have also read about the life of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. How he established a movement in the 1700s that some analysts say prevented civil unrest in England; and this movement continued and grew into the global denomination that it is now.
There is always a price for achieving huge success and creating big impact.
Originally published on 21 Feb 2020 at my other blog.
After having two kids, and another one on the way, by now, I should be a better father–accepting both the blessings and limitations imposed by being a father.
I have yet to reach 40. To be honest, I still am adjusting to this role. After all, fatherhood is a process–a life stage. And every life stage takes getting used to. Some of these stages are easier to transition to than others.
Success, Achievement, and Fatherhood
Elsewhere in this blog, I have written about the price of success and achievement and how Steve Jobs focused on his career to the detriment of his relationship with his daughter.
This post was originally published on Feb 28, 2020.
I turned thirty in 2012. It was a huge milestone. I didn’t become depressed or anything. But I remember feeling reflective about my life so far, what I have accomplished, and what the future holds for me.
By the end of 2012, it was a few weeks before my 2nd year anniversary with my lovely wife. We didn’t have a child back then and we were renting an apartment in Anahaw Street, Project 7 in Quezon City in the Philippines.
Although we didn’t have a child yet, we were taking care of three college-age young men–my younger brother Aaron, her brother Chad, and her cousin King. It was fun albeit chaotic sometimes.
I am in my late thirties–and I will reach the big 4-0 in 2022. That’s two years from when I’m writing this post. It’s good to look back and review the milestones of the decade of my thirties.
Here’s a list of how my life changed, including some achievements!
A few months after the pandemic in 2020, the leadership of our organization decided it was best to adapt and move to a fully remote work mode. It was temporary at first, but fast forward a year later, they decided to go fully remote work from home!
Many of us were thrilled.
Goodbye morning traffic. Nashville traffic has been getting worse since we arrived in 2015. A lot of people were moving to the city. It wasn’t quite as bad as Manila traffic, but on worse days, my 20-minute commute extends to 40 minutes one way! So we are saving hundreds or maybe thousands of hours monthly!
Hello flexible work from home. Pants optional! Thankfully, we have an extra bedroom at home and that is where I set up shop. I can shut the door for Zoom meetings and focus on work when I need to. That also meant I can eat lunch with Cha and our boys.
We’re setting up shop away from Nashville and I can still be employed by the same company!
She turned from me and wiped her eyes as the train sped away from the platform of Bambang LRT Station. Tears fell from her eyes, I’m sure of it. And my chest constricted. I looked up the ceiling of the station, trying hard to prevent tears from falling.
It must have been my wife’s monthly appointment with her OB-GYN. It’s the fourth month of the baby in her tummy.
At Malcolm’s karate class last week I saw a dad packing up his 5-year old son’s karate gear while asking his 3-year old daughter to wear her jacket and come to him. Good thing, his other child, an infant, quietly waited in the car seat.
He almost lost his cool toward his daughter. He raised his voice–almost a yell. Perhaps being in public helped him rein in his temper.
I’ve been in that position, too.
Being a father sometimes feel like pulling your own teeth with pliers.