Anti-bullying anthem – LOVE YOURSELF

LOVE YOURSELF is a song written by Khari Toure for his daughter who experienced bullying in school. Although he resolved the issue right away, he saw that bullying had a negative impact to his daughter so he decided to write the song to help children understand the importance of self-love.

One of the catchy lines that I like in the lyrics of the song is, “your beauty can’t be measured with that measuring tape.” Watch the entire the video and you’ll be reminded that you are beautiful and worthy.

Toure is known for writing society-centered literary pieces. He also writes songs that praise the plus sized women. For more songs, visit http://kharitoure.com/

Effective Ways to Overcome Jealousy

Although it is not easy to admit, but I’ll admit anyway, I’m a jealous person. I guess I need to blame it to my only-child-orientation. Up to this day, I’m still struggling to change my attitude.  Luckily, I developed some habits that worked for me which I hope will work for you.

Always like a Facebook post

Make it a habit to like the Facebook posts of your friends except for posts like ranting, profanity, sickness, nudity and anything immoral. Posts like a job promotion,  graduation, and vacation are among the types of wall posts that you can see in your news feed. When you see any of the prompts, click the Like button. Click it before you start to get jealous.

We cannot deny the fact that we have well-off friends who enjoy traveling around the world or eating in a fancy restaurant.  We have friends who are diligent and hardworking that they get their dream jobs. We cannot stop them to post their activities because it is their wall.

(If you are annoyed seeing the pictures in your news feed, check the photo below so the posts of your friend won’t show up again. )

untick fb options

Now you know the trick, I DO NOT ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO IT. PLEASE BEAR WITH THEM. IT’S THEIR WALL. (Confession alert! I did it twice.)

Facebook posts about achievements and leisure are jealousy magnets. You’ll be amazed at first, but then you’ll start to compare their achievements to your achievements until “comparing” becomes your habit. Most of the time, when you compare yourself to others, you see yourself as a loser while they are the winner. I believe that wall post is not created for that purpose.  I think that the Like button is intended to show your friends that you are happy for the achievements and rewards they received. I can say to this point that “like” does not only mean “agree” but it is also synonymous to the words, “I’m happy for you.”

Trust the person

Jealousy in the workplace is more hard-hitting than in Facebook. In Facebook, you only see the person virtually but in the workplace you either talk with the person or eat with the person. In worst case scenario, the person you are jealous with is your closest co-worker.

One of the reasons that trigger jealousy is job promotion. There’s no problem if you are a newbie and someone tenured got promoted. But the problem is when it works the other way around. You are left behind by someone new in your team and you end up asking, “Why?”

Instead of questioning the decision of your boss, trust the decision and the person who got promoted. When you start to trust, you are training yourself to welcome changes and new challenges ahead. You will also start to see the good things about the person.

If the person we are talking about is your closest friend, expect that there are many instances that he or she will consult you on certain matters that bug him or her. Is it possible to happen? Yes, because your friend trust you.

How do you close Chapter 2014?

Once again, we will bid farewell to a year that gave us another roller coaster ride. It’s a year of yes and a year of no. It’s a year of hello and it’s a year of goodbye.

Each one of us has its own way of closing the year that has been good or tough. For me, it has been a habit to check my Facebook status and the photos that have been uploaded. It’s a good medium if you are too lazy to write a journal.

I must admit that I’m addicted to Facebook yet I promised myself that I’ll not be addicted to ranting and to depression. In my assessment, practicing those habits make me a better person, more compassionate and a bit empathic.

Unfortunately, not all people benefit from social networking sites. Instead,  the envy and insecurity in their heart get pumped up which drag them to the person they do not wish to be. Imagine a friend who traveled a lot, bought a new car or house, got promoted, got engaged and GOT MARRIED. (Sorry for the emphasis. Haha!) Reading our friend’s wall post and viewing their photos seem to push that “jealousy button” that has not been triggered for quite sometime. In effect, we reflect and evaluate our accomplishments and we ended up getting depressed because we find that we are left behind by our colleagues and our young Facebook friends.

It’s sad to know that some of the netizens were not able to utilize the social networking sites. Been there, done that. But if everyone else will be able to change the way they use it, they will find the value of sharing and giving. (I’m starting to get preachy!)

Anyway, let’s go back to the theme of this post, closing chapter 2014. Let me share you the highlights of my Facebook account for this year.

Quotes

Because I lived by the quotes, here are some quotes that works for me and for some of my friends.

 

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1

2

3

4

Photos

To intensify the value of a Facebook wall post, pictures are added. It’s more powerful than words alone. Maybe, it is the reason why jealousy is triggered when smizes are found in the photos.

1 (2)

2 (2)

3 (2)Final Note

To my dear friends, Myla, Roselyn, Jhaqui, Daisy and Nicole, I promise to meet you all next year. I promise!

To the readers and followers of my blog and Facebook page, thank you for the comments and likes.

For now, I’ll leave you a recycled quote I posted last Dec. 31, 2013 in my wall. I guess it’s still relevant today. Here it goes:

“When you move forward, aim higher than what you just did. But always keep in mind, as you lift your feet, it must get back to the ground. This way you’ll keep moving forward and you keep yourself grounded.” – Michelle Felicano Mapa

 

 

 

 

Freelancing Facts

For originality purposes, I preferred to make my title as “Freelancing Facts” rather than “Freelancing Myths.” That’s so selfie, of course! Anyway, I can formally say that I’m a real freelancer now because I’ve been doing this business for a year. Now let me share you the three facts about this business.

 1. You’ll love this business only if you’re not after the six-figure income.

 Who doesn’t want to earn much? But if you want to happen this very soon, better not move your feet towards freelancing or even test the water. If you’re persistent about it, preparation is the key. You must read more about the business and ask other freelancers so you’ll don’t get shocked with the challenges that are waiting for you.

Freelancers experience in the early stage of the business the feast and famine cycle. Feast because you have a client, famine because the contract already ended. Your first contract may give you a one-figure pay-out (in U.S. Dollar) and the next contracts will give you up to four-figure income. Six-figure? Not for a newbie.

There is no assurance in this business because most of the time, it is the client who dictates if you’ll still have a project tomorrow. Of course, they just can’t leave you without paying but it’s written in the contract when the project will end.

When the project ends, here comes famine. Then, you’ll find another client and the cycle repeats over and over and over again. It is necessary as the “come-and-go cycle” is the nature of freelancing. You may have more than three clients at a time but once the contracts ended, you’ll go back to the first stage, “Finding a client.” 

 As friends come and go, so the clients do.

 2. Freelancing is a business and you are the boss.

Honestly speaking, I thought that my clients were my boss. That’s why I just agree on their terms just to have work. However, along the way, I realized that it is me who must dictate my rate. At first, I’m reluctant to bid higher as I’m afraid that no one will hire me. But when I tried to increase my rate and a client agreed, the fear just fly away.

Since freelancing is business, it must grow and expand. That’s why it is necessary that you equip yourself with knowledge necessary for your chosen field. Learning is inevitable and you must embrace the value of innovation.  You must also establish yourself as an expert for the clients to include you in their shortlist. Typical clients would ask, “Who’s the plumber in town?” while high-end clients would ask, “Who’s the BEST plumber in town.”  The pay-outs will dictate the difference of the two.

Remind yourself that you are in the battlefield, you must know how to spy your competitors. I said, spy, not pirate their clients. Take note of their offers and services and evaluate yourself if your skill is competent. If not, learn the basic then inject innovation. In this way, you will not be accused of copying because you just updated the basic.

3. You have more time to spend for yourself and your loved ones.

Obviously, this is the number one reason why freelancing attracts many people.  But this reason will definitely doom you once you’re in.  Because most people think that freelancers have more time to do chit-chat, many of your friends will engage you to appointments that are not income-generating. They will ask you to come with them and catch up on things and spend it like there’s no tomorrow.

Who’s to blame? Of course, the ever-popular, freelancing myth. Though it’s hard to make yourself unavailable because of the fact that your time is flexible, although not all the time, you must tell them that you’re observing work hours. If you plan to work from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., you must inform your friends. If you have a deadline to meet and adjusting the schedule will affect the outcome, tell them that you really can’t go with them. In this way, they will be aware that freelancing is not about having fun but it is a real business.

It really depends on the kind of business you are running on how much time you’ll spend with your family and friends. If you work home-based, as in literally working like a caveman, you definitely have more time to spend with your family. But if you do outdoor freelancing such as photography and event planning, well, that’s a different story. 

Now, are you ready to drop your 9 to 5 job like a hot potato? If no, make freelancing your part-time and test if this business is for you.

 

Let’s Spread the Good Vibes this 2013!

No year-end post last year. Epic fail.

Before going in-depth, I just want to greet a very Happy New Year to every one. Also, I want to greet a Happy Birthday to the late Executive Minister Bro. Eraño G. Manalo and I promised to live his advocacy and pass it to the next generation Church of Christ members.

Going back to the title, I encouraged every one to spread the good vibes this year especially to your friends and loved ones. In the past years, we’ve been tested in terms of finances and may be some of us would almost breakdown because of the severe pain that attacked our emotions. We even encountered news that killed innocent victims by mentally-challenged people which affects us so much though we don’t know them personally. We could even say at this point that it is very hard to win when nature takes its revenge. There are many establishments that shut down its operation while houses are devastated which leaves a hundred or may be thousands of families homeless. Though we wish that this won’t happen again, we all know that it will happen again. Earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis and even death are unpredictable and cannot be controlled.

The best thing that we can do now is to be positive at all times and not be hard on ourselves or even to other people. Have an ocean of patience and understanding to make sure that we protect the relationship we have to the people we love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – I Cor, 13:4-7 NIV

In case that we reach the boiling point and we are about to burst out, the best thing to do is pray. As my dad said, “Pray to God to bless the people who hurt you.” We need to pray for them so they can benefit the beauty of life and enjoy happiness.

If the words will hurt the people you love, seal it. If it is necessary to say, never say it when you’re mad. The words will never be understood because the emotions are louder than your voice.

It’s nicer to be happy and kind, isn’t it?

Days away, 2013!

This year is about to close its doors and forgive me for not posting so often. But I hope you’ll accept my excuses as soon as I’m done with my final post for this year (honestly, I didn’t start anything yet… but I promise to do it). A spoiler – this year is the most special I’ve been so far. So many smizes!

Living a Life Against All Odds!

Successful people often say that they are contented in the life they chose. They are at peace and they feel so blessed that everything has gone into place.  They claim that they had chosen the right path. Some would relate their choice in Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken. It is true that decision making is one of the key factors to make life successful or to ruin it. Decisions we make today dictates what the future can bring us.

Now, what if you know exactly the life that you wanted but the people around you is not supportive about it? What are you going to do? Let’s take this scenario: You’re from a family of licensed professionals. Maybe one is a doctor, lawyer, accountant, dentist or a teacher and you find yourself loving the nature, loving the trees.  Yes! You want to be a farmer.  You want to be that someone they don’t expect you to be. Are you going to pursue it or just follow them blindly?

Well, should I say you’re so lucky? Very lucky, I mean. Not all people know what they want to be and where they want to go.  They don’t have any plans in life. They don’t have dreams. They never see the future. They do not know the importance of choosing a life that will lead to a happy life. They just go with the flow.

But the most unfortunate people are those who know what they want to do and know where they want to go. But they are just afraid!  They are hindered by their financial status in life (even the people over the poverty line thinks this way), by family and relatives that underestimate their choice or simply because they don’t have the courage to do it.

Sad to say, every one of us needs to make a decision. Everyone must choose and deciding is not easy at all. Check the points to ponder below then think things all over again.

1. Follow your heart. When confusion strikes following your heart is the best thing to do. This is where “the voice within” comes from and the place where you store your dreams and goals. If money profits because you risk it in business (not keeping it) the same thing goes with your dreams.  It’s fine to consider our family’s opinion because they remind us to check reality. If you think you can compromise your dream, stop reading this article!

2.  “Work like you don’t need the money.” It’s a cliché but it’s true. We don’t work to earn money, we work to provide service for the welfare of the needy. If the sole reason for working is all about money,  you’ll get tired too soon and stress will definitely hit your health badly. Most of the time stress replaces the valuable time to be happy. If the charitable people and philanthropists work for money, they will stop helping.

3. Take small steps at a time. There are a lot of ways to reach your goal. If you are hesitant to get the bigger part of the pie then take the smaller one as long as it is the same pie. Don’t waste your time doing things that are not part of your goal. Your smaller steps will increase later on then you’ll become an expert. Experts earn more money!

4. Pray and Trust Him. Lord God gives us the best things in life. Nothing is impossible with Him. This must be the first and last step in everything you do. He removes our confusion and provides our needs when we can’t find it because success in life is spelled GOD.

How to Spend Your School Allowance Wisely

School is here again! Yes, vacation is over and you’re back once again with the routine you had last school year. Mom is yelling because you don’t like to rise from bed. You curse your professors because you don’t like them. But if you’re one of the few that wanted to move forward and be an achiever you’ll find some articles in the internet to make yourself better. Then you’ll find some readings that would discuss time management and better study habits. Thus, the bottom line here is changing that bad habits and attitude into good ones.

As a student, we rarely discuss money matters since most of us receive allowances and least of us are working students. Money is not our top priority but our studies. However, we must put in mind that our parents work hard for every penny that they give us. It’s the fruit of their labor and it should be spent wisely.

So, here are some tips on how to spend that allowance wisely:

1. Create a budget plan. This is a written plan where you can keep a record of the expected expenses for the day, week or month. This includes your food, fare, school projects and even cellphone load. In this way, you will be able to see if you have enough money for the coming days and you will be able to control your expenses so you will not fall short.

2. Save then spend. Always remember that aside from spending, money is also used for saving. After you identify your regular expenses it is also important that you save part of your allowance as your savings. You do not need to save a big amount because that small amount will increase and become bigger as time goes by. Once you’re done putting aside your regular expenses and you’re done saving it is the right time to spend anything that’s left from your allowance.

3. Be strict and stick to it. Controlling yourself on spending is the hardest part of this drill. Friends may invite you to try a new fast food chain, watch a movie or you may want to buy a new pair of shoes because you just feel like buying it. Whatever temptations there are, always remember, if you don’t need it don’t buy it.

4. Use your skills and get pay from it. There are times when you encounter unexpected expenses like group contributions or photocopy expenses that you experience a budget deficit no matter how you stretch your allowance. This is when your skills come into picture. Since you’re not staying in school 24/7 you can use your free time in tutorial services on the subjects you really excel. If you’re good in crafts like accessory-making you may sell the finished products through social networking sites for a bigger market.

5. Share it. After spending and saving, it’s time to share a portion of your allowance. A piece of lollipop or a cotton candy for younger siblings or a handkerchief for the older ones is sweet enough to tell them that they matter most. Giving your parents a pint of ice cream and a free hug from you will be remembered. As the song says, “it’s not about the money, money, money” because the cliché proves “it’s the thought that counts”.

These five easy tips serve as a guideline and you must not get frustrated if you are not able to follow it the first time. Taking baby steps will make it easier for you to adjust on the changes on your spending habits. Making this habit as part of your personality will help you in the future when you land your first job.

Preventing Leg Cramps

Leg cramps can be easily treated by using relieving creams or simply by pulling your toes upward towards your knee.  However, this treatment is helpful only if you experience cramps while playing your favorite sports or you change your shoes from high heeled to low heeled. But when it comes to swimming this is another story. Leg cramps will make your leg immobile and in most cases you may get drowned. To avoid muscle fatigue these tips will definitely help you.

Take your vitamins. Vitamin E does not only help your skin to glow radiantly but it also improves the circulation of the blood that transports oxygen to the body. During leg cramps, a build up of lactic acid happens due to the lack of oxygen. This build up will overwhelm the muscle resulting to cramps.

Another vitamins that can help alleviating the pain are calcium and magnesium. These vitamins confuses the muscle because of its push and pull effect. Calcium is responsible for contracting the muscle while magnesium relaxes it.

Regular training and exercise. If you are an athlete, train regulary. A trained muscle makes the lactic acid build up longer meaning a more improved circulation through out the body.  However if you are a beginner, do not overdo it. You take your time and  listen to your body. When you feel tired don’t be shy to get a break.

Drink water. Dehydration is one of the reason of leg cramps so it’s better to drink water, plenty of it.

Stretch that muscles. Stretching is not only required in exercise. Everytime you use your muscle it is prone to cramps. In order to avoid this, stretching is an option.

Difference and Comparison of Commonly Used Words

Have you ever encountered someone asking you the difference between two commonly used words and get frustrated or confused because you don’t know the answer? Well, there are words that seemed to be synonymous but not at all. Let’s check some words and compare it.

Assertive and Aggressive

Assertive – claiming a right, being firm, but polite

Aggressive – claiming a right, being firm, but impolite

Effective and Efficient

Effective – accomplish task according to the desired result, disregarding time and effort

Efficient – accomplish task according to the desired result, faster and with less effort

Empathy and Sympathy

Empathy – feeling with the person, sharing one’s feeling and understanding it

Sympathy – feeling for the person, recognizing one’s feeling and agree with it

If you were able to observe the words above it does not only teach you its difference but the traits that a person should have. You must be assertive, efficient and empathic to build a stronger relationship with the people around you and for you to value more of your time and effort.