39

If you think about it, 39 is an interesting number. If you multiply the first digit by itself, you get the second digit. If people reset their age every time they become teenagers, I would have been teenager 3 times by now. Most importantly, it warns of an ending and signals a new beginning. The end of a decade is on the horizon and the fourth baton in life’s relay is already being waved.

This probably explains the pensive mood. I am spending this day in deep thought of what this particular day really means to me. I believe that age is just a number and not a milestone. One may spend so much time, maybe even as long as 39 years going nowhere or nowhere significant. Comparing time with distance however measures a performance. It makes me wonder if I’ve covered enough grounds given the time I’ve spent on this planet. It boosts my pride that I’ve done well considering all the stops  and detours I had to take in this journey. It keeps my ego in check knowing that I did not do well enough to say that what I did is spectacular enough to consider worth emulating. As a matter of fact, I can say with humility that much of my life is rather a study of “”don’t s” than of “do’s”. My children would know what I mean. I know that I’m taking this journey on my own terms, my own rules. From time to time, I have to remind myself that because I sometimes tend to compare with others and wonder if my own terms and rules are not made as excuse for not being at par with others.

39 to me sounds like a deadline, a reason to hustle, to achieve something  more significant, something I can use as a starting capital for the next decade. I look at the time and the scores and realize it’s time to rethink some strategies. I am both excited and fearful of that thought.  That’s because I am both excited and fearful of change. I am just thankful of the guiding light my father left me. He said fear is no reason to quit. Fear is a reason to get better, muster all my strengths and do my best. That’s why he’s the bravest person I’ve ever known.That is also why, failure although it scares the hell out of me, never stopped me.

So 39, I guess is a milestone afterall, a milestone of my journey in time.  As I ran pass the marker,I decided that 39 is going to be a year of more more and less less. This year I promise to enjoy more and complain less, to give more and need less,to appreciate myself more and punish myself less, to appreciate others more and criticize less, to work harder and play even harder, to celebrate life and prepare for more years of celebrations.

There are very good reasons to celebrate 39 – a bigger family means more special people to love and a bigger network of friends to share this life with. The thing I celebrate the most is the daily opportunity to touch another person’s life. My wish for the next few numbers that will come to my life is more opportunity to spend time with family and friends and more opportunity to be of use to other people. To the numerous people who greeted me today, thank you! May you stay my friends forever.

Drink from Life

Take a swig, then another and another.

But do not hurry, drink slowly

Let it linger, taste the sweet, notice the bitter and feel the bite.

Acknowledge how it flows down your throat and then to your body.

Be engulfed by its spirit, feel how it turns your world around.

Be here now. Savor every breath, every human experience.

Let today explain yesterday. Let tomorrow take care of tomorrow.

Take what you are given, give back as much as you can.

Drink life, enjoy it, experience it, be intoxicated by it. Know the low, appreciate the high.

Notice who you are drinking with

Every moment is important only if you live that moment.

If

If I have a good voice, I’d sing my heart out and fill this world with music.

If I could dance, I’d take every chance to strut and show them what I got.

If I could draw, I’ll paint many pictures for people to appreciate.

If I’m an athlete, I’ll win me as much medals as my abilities will allow me.

If I could do the math, I’d use that talent too, to solve the complexities of this world.

All I have are words to describe what the world is saying… or not saying.
If I could use this little talent to inspire the world to use their gift to the hilt to make this a better world…

Well, here it is.

The Frog, The Scorpion and The Philippines

Have you heard the story? A scorpion wanted to cross a river but couldn’t because he can’t swim. He found a frog, then asked him to carry the scorpion across the river. Knowing the destructive nature of the scorpion, the frog hesitated. He asked, “how do I know you are not going to sting and kill me while I take you to the other side?” The scorpion is smart and skillful with his words. He said “I would be too grateful to kill you, it wouldn’t be fair at all for me to harm you in anyway. Besides, I will die if I do that”. The frog believed the scorpion, so he carried him on his back trusting that the scorpion will keep his promise. Midway through, the frog felt a stabbing pain on his back. In the corner of his eyes he saw the scorpion pulling his stinger out of his back. “You fool! Why did you do that? Now we’re both going to die!”  The scorpion responded as they started to sink. “i can’t help it, it is in my nature.”

Now, think of the Philippines. Think of the coming elections. Think of the candidates… Make sure you don’t have a scorpion on your back.

The Hula hoops of Our Lives

I just saw a girl very effectively twirl three hula hoops around her waist. I thought she must have been bored with one, so she tried two, and then wondered if she can do three, and then she did. I also wondered how long it took her to keep three hulas up. She must have tried and failed several times until she got it. It’s fantastic what people can do if they know what they are good at and then explore how far they can go with it.

We must all have our own version of this girl’s hula hoop. I mean, we cannot be good at nothing. What is yours and how far have you gone with it? If you can sing, have you at least tried to get better at it so you can take a shot at stardom? If you think you are creative, have you exploited that creativity and let it take you as far as possible?

Don’t set your limits, push it.

What is Your Saw?

Stephen Covey said sharpen your saw.

It’s a very powerful advice that very many people know but not as many heed.

The saw of course is a metaphor for one’s abilities. sharpening it is improving it. You can’t do it if you are not sure what your abilities are. You see, this is why so many people can’t do it.

Sharpening your skills come easy if you know what it is. The bigger challenge really is discovering what it is and how it works.

So, find  your saw and then sharpen it regularly. Invest in self discovery.  Right about now is the best time to start if you haven’t started yet.

Yes, now… Don’t argue.

The Bus Passenger’s Dilemma

Passengers have it easy. They can sit back and choose whether to enjoy or complain about the ride. They don’t have to negotiate through the traffic, decide which lane to take, take an alternate route, speed up and or slowdown. There’s a price to pay though, for letting others take control of the trip for you. They dictate the pace of the journey. You cannot get to your destination faster than how fast the driver is willing to drive. You are at the mercy of the quality of that driver’s driving skills. You can complain and then maybe get off the bus if you don’t like the experience but you cannot take control of the wheel.

In life, you can choose to have it easy and depend on others to take you where you want to be. You can choose to be thankful for what you are getting or complain about the driver’s seeming disregard for what you want. But then, you can choose to take the driver’s seat of your life. Run it as fast or slow as you want to. You can go straight to where you want to be or take all the detours you see along the way. Passengers to your own bus can only complain or get off if they don’t like the ride. It’s your bus. When you’re driving, you are driving.

Are you self-driven or are you driven by others?

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