GINspiration — Life Lessons

Talks about Mommy Ginger’s life lessons for Baby Zeeka.

7 before 37

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. 🙂

Will Screws Screw You Over?

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.

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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 series Billions 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.

Emotional Labor

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.

 

 

 

 

Why YOU is More Important

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.

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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.

Why We Should Love Even when It Hurts — Sometimes.

Happy February, everyone! My next favorite month to December, and oh, October (since that’s my birth month), is February. I love February, because during this month, you can clearly see the honest-to-goodness feelings of people. A lot of extreme emotions this month will come into play. There will be a lot of love, lust (yup, just had to say that…haha!), pain, loneliness (love even when it hurts), finding new love, longing for past loves, and a whole lot more!

We have all expressed and felt all of these different emotions. When we were young and care-free, we couldn’t care less. We would love whoever we want to love and we would break-up with whoever we want to break-up with. Most of us didn’t see the “bigger picture”. We didn’t see who it was that we were hurting, because of our actions. We often didn’t see the repercussions of  the great love that we wanted to express. And love to us when we were young, was confined into that realm of romantic love.

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But now that we are all #adulting, we see different kinds of love. We see that love isn’t just about the love that you have for one special human being, whom you consider your soulmate. Love can mean love for one’s self. Love can mean loving your parents. Love can mean loving your sibling, relatives, a son, a daughter. Love can mean loving a friend, a business partner, a mentor, a co-worker. Love can also mean loving someone whom you have lost, or literally someone who is no longer with us.

Understanding love isn’t confined to the people to whom it is given. How it is given, when it is given, in what form it is given are interesting to see and look at, too. There are some people who find love and are lucky to have found them. There are some who give love, and feel great pain when they lose it. But we should love even when it hurts.

Why? Because…

Love helps you understand yourself more.

When you get to experience truly loving someone, it inspires you to go beyond what you are usually capable of. Sometimes, you might even surprise yourself.

Love makes you stronger.

You know that ultimately, everything will be okay. You have gone lengths to express and give love. Even if unreciprocated, you know that at least on your end, you have shown how valuable the other person is. You know that you’re not on the losing end.

Love fuels everything, even if it’s not explicitly mentioned or seen.

The decisions that we make, as we normally say, is for someone else’s good or for your own good. That decision is fueled by love for others or love for yourself. Love is the flame that lights the world on fire.

There are more reasons why you should love even when it hurts. Hope you can share your thoughts on this!

I end this article with a quote:

Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I’m tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become.

– Johnny Weir

This month is about all forms and types of love. Keep on loving!

Greed vs Dreaming Big

Last month, a friend of mine shared shocking news that one of the people we knew was sent to prison. He apparently stole Php 90 Million from his clients while he was working as a branch manager in a bank. I felt sad because I think (obviously) he knew that the day would come when he would be found out. My friend and I were talking on as to what would make him that greedy? We really had no clue. I knew this person and he was an extrovert. I knew that he had big goals and dreams. Did dreaming big get him to where he is right now?

Then, while watching the newest season of Gilmore Girls, a scenario spoke to me once again (I won’t mention the scene to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t seen it. It made me think of greed versus dreaming big. Where do you draw the line when you’ll say that a person is being greedy versus that he/she is just aiming high? When do you say that enough is enough?

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Don’t Step on Other People while on the Way to the Top

I personally think that there is nothing wrong about aiming high and setting big goals for yourself. But when you step on other people, then it becomes an issue. For example, if you dream about being a famous writer, there is nothing wrong with that. When you spread false stories or news about other people just to be famous, that’s where it becomes greedy. Another example is when you want to be the “boss” in the future. There is nothing wrong with that, but how you get there is what you need to think doubly hard about. If you know that you will hurt someone else in the process, try to rethink your strategy. There may be another way to get to the top.

What Good is Winning if you Lose Yourself

In life, there are a multitude of times that a hard decision is presented where you need to chose between two things. The tricky part is that oftentimes, this is not a black and white or a wrong and right choice. Oftentimes, these choices both seem right or both seem wrong. You can actually argue your way out and justify any of the choices. This is what makes life interesting. And the choices that we make define what we value most in our lives.

At the end of the day, it’s about staying true to your values and principles. These values and principles make up who you are. This was explicitly shown in the Disney – Pixar Movie MOANA. The choices that were presented to her were choices that would define who she was as a person. Both options were good, either to stay in the village and be the obedient daughter or to follow her passion which was to set sail into the ocean. The most important thing is to know and to be true to who you are.

You may hear a voice inside/ And if the voice starts to whisper/ To follow the farthest star/ Moana, that voice inside is/ Who you are”

 

*Moana image from http://www.idiva.com/news-entertainment/moana-the-new-disney-princess/1510085

*Moana image from http://www.idiva.com/news-entertainment/moana-the-new-disney-princess/1510085

What’s Next After you Have Achieved it All?

Have you ever thought of what your life would be like once you have achieved all of your dreams? Yes, you say that you want to be a huge rockstar like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Tyra Banks, etc. Have you ever thought of what your life would be like once you get there? What would you have? Who would you love? Who will be by your side? Will you be amidst your loved ones or will you be a lone wolf in the dessert? Will you still have that respect from other people or will people abhor you (mostly because you stepped on them along the way)?

I know that most of us are creating plans to start the year right. I’m leaving these questions here for you (and me!) to think about as we all plan our way to success. I hope we don’t leave anyone behind.