Organizing my Thoughts

Frankly speaking this piece would be more of a mind babble than anything as I need to get a lot of things off my mind and chest, I’m at a point in life when I’m paralyzed by fear: I can’t get comfort through playing games or to move forward with business because of the things to come, and there’s a lot of things to come since I’m moving out of my comfort zone once more.

Bracelets of Promise

One of the biggest reason for fear is that I’m starting my own business, it’s not a big one, but it’s something that I have been fond of: beaded bracelets.

The brand is called tomoe.ph and it’s still at a very young infant stage where the possibility could be endless — which includes success and failure. Tomoe bracelets won’t empower you spiritually like some other brands claim, and it’s not for pure aesthetics either (but it does look good if I can say so myself). The greatest reason why I want people to wear my bracelets is not as a fashion accessory but as a symbol of a promise one has made to themselves, to remind them everyday: “I can grow greater, I will be greater and there are better things for me when I choose to get out and live beyond my comforts.”

I believe that everyone who can remind themselves of their own goals and focus, can achieve what they have set their heart and mind in to, sometimes we just need help in the reminding — and our bracelet solves that.

So here I am, starting this life of discomfort of what are to come, because I crave for a greater purpose, a higher calling and a better ability to serve others. I hope you can be part of my journey in this business not just as a buyer but as a listener, a mentor and a critique on how I can make this adventure better as an audience, a customer or a friend.

Audience of One

There was an activity over Instagram that made a lot of people write essays about other people in quite a semi-anonymous execution and on the few people I participated, there’s one sentence that stood out the most, I don’t remember the verbatim statement but it went something like this:

It is easier to be me because of you

As introverted that I am, I always hoped that I could influence the life of some people, be someone that matters among the multitude of strangers but here and now, in the age of 29, I have never mentored anyone in a level that’s personal or that I could say I was part of their success or happiness. Heck, I was just bantering a little over my partner about how I wanted a “deep connection” above all. So, to see those 9 words to be dedicated to me is… Overwhelming.

Purpose for Publishing

I read this book titled “do less, be more” by John Busacker recently and it had a very interesting quote in it:

To pass away without passing on your own story is like having the town library burn down — and its one-of-a-kind historical archives with it.

That struck a chord hard because I know a lot of people do live my story:

Good child, got good grades, graduated and got a job.

I was neither a failure or a success, I didn’t have a dramatic history turn around nor my high standing go crash and burn, I am ordinary, normal, probably 70% of the middle class life that just strives and survives. It’s a rat race, a cycle and a frustrating one at that.

Thankfully, I was saved and I learned to be content and happy.

Maybe, just maybe that is why I should write, because in the number of people around the Internet, I hope to have even just one read my story and say “Hey I should try that!” or “If that guy can do it, so can I”, because my story is not about drastic miracles changing from rags to riches, steel bars to gold, about how people change 180 degree with a flip. No, it’s about seasons and how time and mentorship can change a life from the warm colors of autumn into a vibrant season of spring.

I have stood in the shoulder of giants with the help of my brother, if he can change as average guy like me a to a man with respectable status, what makes you think you can’t be. I believe you can and I hope my story moves you from where you are to where you can be.

Leading a Revolution

It’s the first time in the 6 years of me working in the company, that now, I can truly see that I am part of a team that can make a dent in history.

Ever since the creation of a “leaders committee” initiated by the CEO, we have gained more honest, and brave opinions about matters ranging from anything regarding improvements. As much as possible, we’ve dealt with it and created solutions. With better processes, the company have seen individuals bloom from sheep to beasts on their maturity. Two things I have understood that are the most precious commodity in operations: Trust and Accountability. As long as these two thrives in the community, we will be able to burn the weeds that come into our field and let the right ones flourish with potentials way beyond our expectations.

I have read the book “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown, and again and again, one of the core message is that to be great is ironically, to be vulnerable. Because the more we guard ourselves: our pride, our wants, our weakness, the less we are capable to understand others. To empathize is to let them see you are just as human as them. That is when people see, that is someone they will rally to and if a number of people start to rally for each other, they become unstoppable.

To be vulnerable is to be courageous that this life is not about your personal achievements anymore, but to reach out a hand to live this life together with each others’ differences.

I have never felt more vulnerable in my life at this point professionally. That I am more available to fail, to follow opposing orders, more candid in opinions and to answer against problems raised. All the 10 handpicked individuals can break me should they betray their allegiance, but till that time comes I’d rather choose to believe these people will be the legends and foundation of a legacy of a brand that millions of people will aspire to be in.

The Cure to Fear

When we hear the word fear, most of the time it may trigger the idea of speaking to a crowd, being one step away from the edge of a cliff or being chased by someone with malicious intent. While those are things that do inflict fear, they are the type of fear that happens a few times in a lifetime. Meanwhile, I’d like to address the ones that haunt us consistently throughout our lives.

There is a fear we rarely address, the ones we are gotten so used to, we frame it as if it’s because of our inability to focus. While seeking escape might be the end result, the ones that trigger procrastination just might be fear of subduing what seems to be daunting task.

Procrastination.

There’s lots of cases wherein we don’t finish a job not because we can’t but because we dread what comes in doing it and after it.

It comes to no surprise that I am a victim of this paralyzing emotion. Examples in my situation are:

  • Talk to a client with a bad temper
  • Finding more bugs on the code
  • Innovating an application
  • Tampering with money for payments

Some can definitely be accomplished, some even in the span of 5 minutes or less if given enough attention. The capability to solve it is present and lingering, what’s not is the courage to do so and accomplish it till the end. So, how can we cure this inability? The paralyzing fear of the unknown?

Act.

There’s no better way to overcome fear than doing something about it. A lot of people fail because of too much thinking how to not fail. The best way to solve a task when you have no idea how to, is to do it, or in a more Millenial term: Google for it.

The mind is like a puppy training for tricks. Don’t expect it to be as driven or wise as you think. Just because it thinks something is important doesn’t mean it will do it. All it knows is how to stay happy, entertained and comfortable. Heck you can even expect it to forget what it doesn’t find important but others do. (That’s the worst) 

So, this is definitely why you have to learn to tame that cute thing. While it might bring you so much joy and good times, it’s only for the temporary and present. You have the capacity to do what you can think of if you act on it. The greatest difference between the genius and the successful is not what they’ve thought about, but how they fulfilled their plans in making it come true.

The root of being able to act against your interest depends on these two factors:

Triggers

Don’t expect your body to just move just because it should do so, especially if you’re not interested in the task at hand like a chore or work. You can on the other hand, expect it to be delayed till kingdom come and shit is about to go down.

So give yourself a trigger that will ignite your brain. You’d be surprised to find that just like a command that signals the puppy that to do what, the mind also works the same way. You already have the gasoline, all you need is a spark. Everyone has a different trigger that’s most effective for them. No one solution for all. As for me, setting up alarms and writing them down on a list works best.

There are a lot of ways to do this, but this is what works for me and I hope it becomes a starting template for you to create something efficient in your productivity:

  • Separate different aspects of your life: For now I only have 2 lists: Personal and Work
  • Be sure to bullet form an actionable step not a category of a job
  • Don’t list down an item such a “Create a Website” which seems like a daunting task with subtasks waiting. Instead write “Create Design Proposals.” which is immediately actionable and achievable fast without being too easy. 
  • Make a balance between things you can schedule and items you can do indefinitely. Don’t be too obsessed with format, have the right balance for what’s just needed. Focus on being informed and now how to be informed

While I hate being swarmed with items on lists, I love seeing them clear up. That’s the trigger I work with. I make sure to keep the list very visible in my life, and have atleast 3 scheduled within the day. This way, I’m always asking myself to keep working, way beyond just brain power. Something concrete rather than just my thoughts is a stronger motivator.

Reward

While not failing seems like a good reward, it isn’t. The clear reason behind this is not seeing the lack of success as a failure. In matters that you find trivial you won’t seek a reward at all, instead you seek where a bad performance gets least penalty. Don’t see lukewarm as a neutral identity, neutrality is a failure to move towards progress.

In my story, I believe my reward is clear, I love keeping my list to a minimum. The act of deleting or completing an item on my list is one of the most satisfying acts I look forward to, and to see my list at the end of day to a manageable size helps me sleep soundly at night.

What I’ve written here is not an end-all, it is only a thought or a bridge to get you from where you are to somewhere. Each of us has different seasons and different tastes to keep us motivated. Never stop trying and experimenting to understand yourself. Because in the end, we never die the same way we’re born or when we passed through puberty or our first heartbreak.

We do exceptionally greater things when we respect our fears and it respects us back. Our legacy is not defined about what we’ve avoided but what we’ve done and overcome. Take courage, act.

Learning How to Forgive

You see, this picture of the board which I haven’t touched for a year now had memory markings on it. Marks of the childish personality, love for fun, stupidity and random ideas of whose I used to love. Now, as I work in this spot once more, I have stripped this board with all the lines it holds just because some of it make me remember being betrayed.

You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.

– Desmond Tutu

It’s been a roller coaster ride for months now, for those that are wondering and haven’t caught up, I was just going through a break up. Although I wasn’t in full agreement to go our separate ways as I am a firm believer of adapting to circumstances and compromising with your partner, the opposite party was adamant it had to be done. So, I complied with some hesitation. It was fine, I really accepted there was a loss of spell in that period, it was dry and surviving. I would’ve been happy till the clues piled up and data points and blatantly spelled a different reason.

But enough about that, all you have to know at this point is it hurts to give everything to someone only to be replaced like trash. I’ve been betrayed by a friend, disappointed by my family but I’ve never felt more hurt to be given future to look forward to only for it to disappear not because the spark was gone, but the spark was given to someone else.

These days have been a struggle, I’m seeing that the 3 years I was given wasn’t all romantic, driven and pursuant as I have thought it was. It was seductive, complacent and striving. There was a disconnect on words vs. actions. It’s not how it started that matters, but how it ended.

To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest. It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger. These emotions are all part of being human. You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.

However, when I talk of forgiveness I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person. A better person than the one being consumed by anger and hatred. Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator. If you can find it in yourself to forgive then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator.

-Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness

I’ve been told that signs of being unfaithful are: you should be able to break up without remorse, you should have recovered fast from a breakup without a timespan to mourn, you would be happy immediately and of course, have someone right away. All these straight from the horse’s mouth.

I’m still not over it, It’s been months and I still have fits for anger, “what ifs” and low moments randomly, but if you look at the other party, it took less than a week to be better than ever. Suspicious? Yes. I was bitter that I couldn’t be better. It’s been months and I would still be mad that of all the things I gave, it wasn’t enough. It was ruining me and everyone around me because of my mood swings.

I’d always say that “I’ve forgiven”, but I’d still be furious when triggered about our story. “I’ve forgiven” but I wish he’d be hit by a car and most of all “I’ve forgiven” but the physical tokens left on my life still crushes me to this point.

In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face the pain. You simply have to hurt.

-Joe as Quoted by Brené Brown

Maybe I’m still in denial we’re over, that all of the things I gave: time, money and effort have gone to a complete stranger from hereon out. I’m trickling all the pain down, taking each drop of poison as a bitter sting to my soul and senses. I wanted the past to live, the good version of our story but I guess not anymore, I’m facing the fire, I’m letting who we were die today. I’m choosing to be hurt that it did happen, this is what has become and I accept that not all people who seem good are good.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.

-Zig Ziglar

Breakups will heighten your emotions. And emotions is going to turn your world upside down, you will always seem to be moving but most of the time not in the direction you desire, not in the direction of healing most of all. Being emotional takes more effort to move in the right direction, it always takes active participation to get into a destination you wish, which is being better. This time, with this posting, I make that decision, I will strive to be better.

I’ve never promised an answer on how to forgive, but I hope by staying with me you learned how. Although, from how understood it’s never instant, it’s a process but going through it makes you see that the wound wasn’t that big and hurts can be treated with the right care. The most painful part of it is the denial of reality, that the bad didn’t happen, it was a mistake and everything was supposed to be good.

Shit happened because of their selfishness, let’s get over it.

Forgiveness is not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act, its a process of taking back and healing our lives so we can truly live.

-Brené Brown

If you’re hurting or betrayed, it’s not easy to let go but do let go. It’s gripping on a mirror of truth and hoping that they’d see reality with their backs turned against us. They won’t, not at this time and not while we’re shoving it to them. Their truth is how they perceive it and what benefits them. People don’t like stories that paints them on the bad light no matter how factual it is. On the other hand, there’s no better time to work on what we can control, it’s time to let go. We need that reflection as much as they don’t want it. Let the mirror turn and face us: remind us of what we have, what we are and what is because not all is lost. Forgiveness after all, does not avoid pain but acknowledges hurt and choosing to move on with the experience to be part of our history.