As a professional blogger, I need to be observant. Observant of the things happening to different people, observant of what the latest trends are and observant of what will come out in the market and the different innovations that products bring. That’s one skill as a “freelancer” that I have and I need.
This past year (2018) though, I’ve been looking out a lot. And looking at other people’s lives didn’t make me feel good, and it just made me compare my life with them. Obviously, I’m smart enough to know that what you see in social media is not the entire reality. But, looking out still didn’t make me feel good about myself.
Aside from looking out, I was so caught up with just doing things for the sake of just doing it. I got caught up with my day to day tasks as an entrepreneur and a freelancer that I forgot to take care of myself. I also “semi” forgot how feeling passionate about my craft was. I don’t know if this was just the feeling of being burnt out, or if this was being frustrated that things didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, or if it was just me being impatient, but I hated the feeling.
I’m not a complainer. I just end up feeling tired. Although, I am thankful for having a super duper great support system (family and friends who are uberly great!), but I end up tired and feeling sad about my life.
The thing that helped me a lot this year are our prayers at night and my quiet time in the mornings when I run. In the evening, we take turns in the family to say what we are thankful for. Then in the morning, I love the stillness. I love that everything is so quiet, and it would be just me and my thoughts.
So my resolution for this year for both my personal and professional life as a freelancer and entrepreneur is to do more looking in rather than looking out. I promise to do more introspection. I know that this will lead me to become more self-aware and self-awareness is the key to happiness and success. Why? When you truly know who you are, you capitalize on your strengths. You become happier with yourself, and when you are happy, you make other people happy.
So this 2019, I promise to:
Look at my strengths and weaknesses again and use it or act on it.
Try new things.
Blog about what I feel and what I think about things more frequently.
Set aside time to improve myself and my craft.
Spend more time with family and friends and have deeper conversations.
Build deeper relationships with people.
Continue to fix systems and process for my freelancing career and my business so that I free up time — time that I can use as “ME-Time”
I know that by doing this, I’ll be a better wife, mom, freelancer, entrepreneur, etc. I’ll be good at whatever role I need to fulfil in 2019.
Recently, I’ve been feeling a bit stressed with everything that has been happening at home at in our business. It’s mid-year and we need to give more effort and push more to get more clients for our business (Taxumo). For things at home, we need to make things work financially. As you know, my husband and I are “all in” in running the business that we have. We have freelancing gigs on the side, but we both don’t have day jobs and we are working with whatever we get from the business and from our side gigs.
Between this and being a parent, there’s a chance that we’ll go crazy anytime soon! It’s not easy (for both of us) to keep calm, stay strong and keep sane, but we have to. We need to be all of these things for our child and our employees (who we consider to be our other “kids”).
One day, I was invited to go to a Sanicare event. I thought it would just be another event. Amidst all of the things that I was thinking about, I decided that I needed a break from thinking and planning. Plus, I really wanted to have a Sanicare Play Day (#SanicarePlayDay) with my daughter. I decided a play day would be good for us. I missed spending quality time with her.
In the event, there were a lot of nice and really cool activities.
Sushi Making and Creating your own Headband Stand
Zeeka got a bunch of cotton, wrapped it on Nori-looking paper and decorated the top with cute designs! After creating “pretend” sushi, she created a headband stand. She has a lot of headbands at home and this DIY-headband stand will be great for keeping her accessories. After playing, she automatically got some Sanicare wet wipes to clean her hands.
Obstacle course and Playing at the Mini-Playground
This little girl loves exploring. We actually did all of the activities at the #SanicarePlayDay. There was a part with a wooden obstacle course and a wooden seesaw. She played happily in this area, as I watched and wondered on how big she has gotten! I still remember the time when she was still learning how to walk and talk. Now, she’s a brave little lady with her own mind, making her own decisions.
Playing with Sand in a Sandbox
We then played together with sand in the sandbox. I hid things under the sand and she would look for it. She loves treasure-hunting.
Singing in the Rain Photo wall and Frame your Hand Print
We then had our photo-taken and she also did the activity where you get to frame your hand print. She covered her palm and fingers with paint and pressed it against a Sanicare paper towel. It was then framed and we took it home as a keepsake. It was so cute! I loved this the best.
I also loved that all around the venue, there was an ample supply of wet wipes and paper towels to keep out little one’s hands clean.
While having our food, there was a program. I really thought that this was just another event for me until, I heard some things that struck me while Lea (Sanicare Marketing Communications Director) and Bianca Gonzales – Intal were talking. They were talking about Lea’s Sanicare story. She said that when they were kids, their mom would continuously hover over them and would go crazy chasing after them, so as to keep their hands clean while they play.
With Sanicare’s products, parents will have one less thing to worry about (#OneLessWorry) as they won’t need to stress over sanitary worries like these. Then I began to get emotional a bit and think about my situation now. Haha! I stopped myself as people would think that I’m crazy for sobbing in an event with wet wipes, toilet seat covers, paper towels and tissues (then again, there were boxes of tissue all over the place.. haha!).
I think we all just need time for ourselves. This is when clarity comes. We need time to keep sane. It’s nice to know that products like Sanicare go that extra mile to not only to create “functional” products, but also go to the extent of thinking of the situation of different moms and dads — thinking about how to help them keep sane. Being a parent is a huge responsibility. Imagine having that responsibility of forming a human so that they grow to up to be independent, smart, driven, generous, kind-hearted, God-fearing, loving, healthy, etc. It’s hard.
Then imagine having that responsibility and on-top of it all, the responsibility, too, to building up resources to make you capable of presenting that “bright future” to your little one. We, parents, work hard (be it to have a day job, or to build a business or to find clients for your freelancing career, or to grow your profession) in order to provide the best for our children. The “best that we can do” equates to the resources that we build to open up opportunities and to be able to make their dreams come true in the future.
This is what made this ordinary press event into a “not-so-ordinary” event. I went their with my daughter to have a Sanicare Play Day, but I came out stronger, knowing that there are people and brands cheering you on. The universe believes that WE can do it. We just have to trust. There’s something comforting about that fact that we all go through challenges and circumstances, and we know that we will all get through it! We just need to be there for each other.
So, to Sanicare, lots of love to you, too! We’ll be behind you, too, cheering on!
Sanicare or Sanitary Care Products Asia (SCPA) Inc. went through different challenges from the Asian financial crisis in 1998, the burning down of their main factory in 2012, and the flooding of another facility in 2014. They’ve survived and they’re still standing strong! Read more about Sanicare’s story here: http://business.inquirer.net/217905/sanicare-weathers-storms-with-gods-grace
Faces. When I look at different faces — faces of loved ones, faces of friends, faces of acquaintances, faces of strangers, I think about the beauty and the mystery of life. Each face that I remembered tonight was seconds, minutes, hours or years of memories that made up my LIFE. How amazing is that? If you look at your life, how many faces have you seen? How many faces have actually taken up moments in your life?
In 7 days, i’ll turn 37. 37 is actually not a bad age. I think it’s actually the perfect time to contemplate on past actions and on choices that I’ve made, and still have ample time to work on more things.
I know my life isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. And I know that behind the faces that we have are complex individuals that sometimes others may not expect or even comprehend. Sometimes, we can’t even understand our own actions. But behind these complexities, we all have the same objective. Our objective is to be the best version of ourselves for whatever we believe we may encounter in the future (whether it be a God that we believe in, a divine being, reincarnation, etc.). So whatever we believe will happen to us after our death, we’re prepared and we know that we have acted accordingly to reach that “goal” or acted in accordance to what we believe is true to our nature.
I wish that life was that easy.
I wish that life could be as simple as choosing what’s right and avoiding what’s wrong, choosing good over evil. The reality though is that life presents us with tough choices. Some of these choices may all be “good”, depending on who “sees” it or who’s affected by the decision. And some may be bad, but sometimes, different factors can even blur that line of an act being “bad or a sin”.
In the past year, I’ll start with two things that I learned from my own experiences and from what I have observed. Do you know what these are?
It’s that life is made out of several (let’s say) time components, and when you see a single part or a moment in a person’s life, you cannot judge nor draw conclusions. This is because, you haven’t seen all of the components. And another thing is that you only have control over your own actions and decisions. You cannot and should not think or event attempt to control another person’s life. These two points (I think) are the basic premises of respect.
So keeping this in mind, we should not punish ourselves for broken time components, because we know that we can do better and make the next components better. In doing good, we don’t need to brag, broadcast or tell the world about those amazing moments, because what really matters is that you enjoyed those moments, you were present and that you will forever remember them.
So there. Those are my thoughts on this night. Those are the thoughts that came to my mind while remembering the faces, the feelings and the random moments in my life. On this night, 7 days before my birthday, I wish all of you clarity, empathy and hope that would help you live the rest of your lives in happiness and love. 🙂
Discussions in the digital world about taxing robots have been brought up after Bill Gates suggested that idea. He said, “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
will screws screw you over?
Most of us are scared that with new technology (i.e. cars and trucks which drive themselves, when robots assemble gadgets, when robot lawyers defend people with parking tickets, etc.), we will be displaced from our work and livelihood. We will not have anything to do. We will be stripped from things that we have built and things that make us whole (well, at least from our perspective). And sad to say, we equate our worth and built that connection with the work that we do or with the career that we have. We often equate self-worth with our actual jobs and professions.
Hardly do we encounter people who dig deeper into what their life is all about. I’ve seen movies and TV series where successful businessmen allot time for meditation, from Axelrod in the seriesBillions to Gavin Belson in Silicon Valley. This was also an advice that I got from one of my mentors way back when I was a product manager. Meditation or looking inward makes us see things clearly and makes us focus on what is essential. I guess with the demands of daily life and the responsibilities that we need to do, we lose precious time to think about what we are really meant to do.
When we ask someone about what he or she does, we often tell them our position or designation. I’m the CEO of Manila Workshops or i’m the COO of Taxumo. Related to my previous point, telling them what they can absorb quickly and what we can explain in a concise way, makes sense in the fast-paced world that we live in. We hardly hear people say that they are great moms or great husbands. We also don’t say that we are helping increase the GDP of our country or we are promoting world peace and stopping world hunger. This is obviously something that we don’t share on the onset, because the other person will think that we’re some kind of a psycho or running for office (or both… haha!). It’s okay not to be blunt about what our mission in life is. We just need to be clear on what our value is. If we are clear on what we can contribute, then there is nothing to be afraid of. And let me tell you this, all of us can contribute something.
One of the things that I think robots will not be able to do is emotional labor. Earlier today, I was listening to a podcast about this certain topic. Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfil the emotional requirements of a job. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and superiors (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_labor). This is something that I think robots will have a hard time doing. Even when some robots or algorithms can actually read sentiments and analyze how people react, it will still be humans who will be able to determine and execute the best possible reaction to a particular sentiment. Managing emotions is complex, since there are a lot of factors to consider and it’s normally different from one individual to the other. This is just one of the things that makes humans valuable.
Change in Perspective
Robots are not our enemies. We have to view new technology as something that will help make our work easier, so that we can concentrate on things that we enjoy. We can focus on things that we love. We can focus on building relationships. We can focus more on self-development and loving life.
I don’t think these screws will screw us over. I think what will screw with us is our own perception of who we are. If we feel that we will not be of any value 10 years or 20 years from now, then we’re screwed.
Life is complicated. That’s a reality that each one of us needs to accept. My life is not perfect, and it may seem to be, but under the scrutinizing eyes of of someone more mature, they may be able pick out a lot of flaws and imperfections. No matter how much we strive to make our lives perfect, it will never be.
So, do we just throw in the towel, and live life miserably. No! Of course, not. What makes life exciting and worth living is practically that. We go through life wanting to live it to the fullest (may be not perfect). Each and every breath leads us to things that are new, ideas that haven’t been uncovered, decisions we make that surprise even ourselves.
I was talking to a company last week that mentioned their goal (it was a really great goal), which was to help people achieve success. It truly is wonderful to see a company that aims to achieve that. It was refreshing to see a company go beyond products and services, and to have its main motivation to make it a point that me, their consumer, achieves success. But it got me thinking, do we really know what our own definition of success is.
For the businesses that we create, it may be easier to define. Having a sustainable, profitable business may be it. And to add to that, some of us may even add a higher purpose to what our business is all about. But this is for our business. What about us? We often attach ourselves too much to the business that we have (it’s really hard to separate and some may even say that it’s not really a business but a passion, so it will never be separated), but is the business’ success your own definition of success?
I personally see businesses as a tool to get you to your own definition of success — a means to an end. Some may see traveling the world as their own “end”; being a simple nomad and an advocate of discovery. Others may see living a simple life with no worries surrounded by loved ones as their ultimate dream. Others see that their ultimate “end” is having no end to what they are currently doing, since it’s their passion. It’s something to think about. What is your end? What is your definition of success?
Never forget that what ultimately matters is your own success. Success for me when you are happy with yourself, your choices and how you lived your life. When you are contented with your life, you are successful. You cannot compare your own success with other people, because we all live different lives. You cannot let competition drive you. You have to be your own worst enemy and your own best friend. Motivation will come from no one els, but you.
This is the reason why YOU is the most important thing in this world. Look inside and you’ll find clarity.