BOOK: Normal People by Sally Rooney


GOODREADS: At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. 

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Reading the book was quite exhausting. The love story of Marianne and Connell was tiring but the book carefully dissects the character of both. Communication in a world full of judgement and people acting cool and the contest between who can care less and invests no feelings in the relationship is lonely. Both of them obviously have feelings toward another but not being able to tell it directly makes them go in continuous circle.

Both characters have complex personalities but the way they think is so raw and real and exactly what happens every single day. But as you continue to read the book, you’ll watch how the characters develop and learn more about themselves, embrace them and finally be comfortable in their own skin (without having to think about what other people would think)

  • Don’t delude yourself. I have nothing to learn from you.
  • Everyone has to pretend not to notice that their social lives are arranged hierarchically, with certain people at the top, some jostling at mid-level, and others lower down.
  • ‘People in school don’t lie her, do they? So I suppose you were afraid of what they would say about you, if they found out.’
  • It’s easy for them to have opinions, and to express them with confidence. They don’t worry about appearing ignorant or conceited.
  • He knew then that the secret for which he had sacrificed his own happiness and the happiness f another person had been trivial all along, and worthless. He and Marianne could have walked down the school corridors hand in hand, and with what consequence? Nothing really. No one cared.
  • I suppose I didn’t want you to think I was damaged or something.
  • There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
  • Is the world such an evil place, that love should be indistinguishable?
  • Life is the thing you bring with you inside your own head.
  • She feels pleasurably crushed under the weight of his power over her, the vast ecstatic depth of her will to please him.
  • She is an abyss that he can reach into, an empty space for him to fill.
  • I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I cared what people thought of me.

What they have now, they can never have back again.. But for her the pain of  loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They’ve done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks really. People can really change one another.

‘You should go’. she says. I’ll always be here. You know that.

BOOK: Regretting you by Colleen Hoover


Goodreads: Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading Coho books. ❤ ever since I saw her post about working on this book, I’ve been reeling to get my hands on this!

The story of Morgan and Clara blends together so well. Two different individuals with two different personalities going through the same loss paired with confusion and lots of heartache. It’s like Coho gave us all three books in one. You’ll see a grieving wife and a sister who’s experiencing the worst betrayal but continues to fall in love and learns to put down her walls. You’ll see a teenage girl who’s grieving for her hero yet finds out one of the most painful secrets. You’ll see how the relationship of a mother and her daughter grows through life experiences.

”Everyone around me seems to have a purpose, yet I feel like I’ve reached the age of thirty four and have absolutely no life outside of Clara and Chris”. From this book, I think I appreciated my mother better. Morgan’s pent up feelings and issues of self doubt felt so painfully real. You’ll see how much mothers sacrifice for their children, putting their dreams and life to a pause or to a complete stop. I wonder if all mothers go through that? feeling like you have no life other than being a mother to your children and a wife to your husband. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong. But like Morgan, that’s one of my fears too. Coho illustrated it so well. I wish every mother knows how important they are and how respected, appreciated and loved they are.

It makes me wonder how a seemingly good husband seems to be perfect one time and hurts you so much without knowing it? How can anyone be perfectly good liars in front of your face? I hate that I liked Chris at first. ‘What if your future wife doesn’t like it?’ ‘ You won’t’.

I love the adoring banter between Miller and his gramps. Gramps is pretty witty himself. ❤ And the way Jonah freakin saves all the watermelon jolly ranchers ever since they were kids? GAH. And the way Miller has been stalking Clara for three years!! I want a promposal, just like that. ❤ ‘One of these days, that girl is gonna notice me. You just wait’. 😀 Plus miller named his truck Nora!!! The character Clara played in the theater. ❤

  • I wonder if humans are the only living creatures who feel hollow inside.
  • Sometimes when we’re alone, he looks at me in a way that makes me feel empty when he looks away.
  • His words jar me.
  • I love it when he smiles, even after all these years of marriage.
  • Sometimes you have to walk away from the fight in order to win it.
  • I guess that happends when you become a mother, though. Your focus is no longer on yourself.
  • Heartbreak builds character.
  • For some reason, sadness in music eases music eases the sadness in my soul. It’s like the worse the heartache in a song is, the better I feel.
  • I’ve believed in you the moment I met you. I believe in myself now that I’ve finally left you.
  • I think it’s time I figure out who I was meant to become before I started living my life for everyone else.
  • Everything you do is epic, Clara.
  • Grown ups might not have their shit figured out nay more than we do. They just wear more convincing masks.
  • I just love you because I can’t help it, and it feels good to love you.
  • Attraction isn’t something that only happens once, with one person. It’s part of what drives humans. Our attraction to each other, to art, to food, to entertainment. Attraction is fun. So when you decide to commit to someone, you aren’t saying, ‘I promise I’ll never be attracted to anyone else’. You’re saying, ‘I promise to commit to you, despite my potential future attraction to other people’.
  • Relationships are hard for that very reason. Your body and your heart don’t stop finding the beauty and the attraction in other people simply because you’ve made a commitment to one person. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re drawn to someone else, it’s up to you to remove yourself from that situation before it becomes too hard to fight.

I ache, I smiled, I teared up, I hurt. One morning when I was with my colleague buying breakfast, she looked at me worried asking if I’m okay because I was tearing up, and I only said, I’m reading. ❤ This is what Colleen does to me.

THOUGHTS: Things I learned from my Ex


It’s 15 days before Heart’s Day and what better time to reflect on this. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still working on several of the points below but every person that you meet, every bond you’ve created, every memory that you treasure speaks volume and if you look at it hard enough, you’ll see that these experiences are bound to teach you something.

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  • There’s a life outside the relationship.

My friends used to tell me that when I first had a relationship, I forgot about them and that I was completely imprisoned by the relationship. It’s important to spend time with your partner but it’s also as important to spend time outside of your relationship, whether it is to set aside time for your hobby, spend a quiet time with your family, see your friends or whatever it is you like to do. Do it. Your partner is not your entire world. 

  • Learn to trust.

It may be difficult for someone who had an experience before, but your past is not your partner’s fault. If you love the person, trust that he will never hurt you intentionally just as you would not with him.

  • If you are truly important, he’ll wait.

Okay, this one. . . It’s a given. I was in High School. I was known for having the strictest parents alive. I had a school bus service in the morning and in the afternoon. Unlike the other students, I don’t get to socialize and go home whenever I want to. I can only socialize until a given time but I still had to ride with my bus. This certain suitor told me bluntly that the reason he stopped courting me was because I couldn’t get out of the house whenever he pleases. If he cares, if you’re important to him, he’ll spend time wherever you are, even if it’s just inside your house. 

  • Endings can mean a start something great.

It has to be. And that’s the only feasible explanation. God takes away a person because he has someone better for us. ❤ My marriage proves it. ❤ I am in a way, WAY better relationship now.

  • Appreciate the small things

You know how before it was taught to us that God appreciates the Php 10 from a beggar than a Php 1,000,000 from a Billionaire? It’s because the beggar gave everything he has. I was in a relationship before where my someone had to literally skip lunch and drink water from the cafeteria instead for a month to save Php 400 pesos to buy me a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts because she couldn’t save enough money to buy me cake? And honestly, it melted my heart. It’s really the small things that matter, the effort the other person gives. 

  • When you love someone, tell it to them. 

Life is short! If you feel it, tell it to them. If they don’t feel the same way, it’s okay. If they do, then great! Never miss a chance just because you fear rejection. 

From one of my most loved series and characters, ”If you love someone, you tell them. Even if you’re scared that it’s not the right thing. Even if you’re scared that it’ll cause problems. Even if you’re scared that it will burn your life to the ground, you say it, and you say it loud and you go from there”. – Mark Sloan

  • Never tolerate infidelity

Infidelity is breaking that sacred bond you have with your partner. A commitment is a commitment for a reason. I used to be in a semi-relationship with a guy that started when he had a girlfriend. He broke it off with her to be with me. But I realized, how will I be able to trust him to be completely faithful when I know for a fact what he’s capable of? Second Chances for infidelity is still a no for me. But it depends on your values in life.

  • Never pretend someone you’re not

This is pretty simple. If I pretend to obsess over football just because the guy I like loves football — Can I imagine myself pretending to watch football for the years to come? No. just be yourself. If you eat a LOT, eat a mouthful on your first date! Don’t starve yourself. Guys likes girls who are not as skinny as a skeleton! The relationship will lasts longer if you both feel comfortable with each other. 

  • Communication is key

I used to be one of those girls who would throw a tantrum out of nowhere. (I AM, rather) I have not been able to remedy this yet. HAHA. but most often than not, your significant others are not a mind reader. Sometimes, they have absolutely no idea what they did wrong so they will continue to do exactly that. For example, If I was scrolling my feed and I saw my husband liked his ex’s or his crush’s picture — I will  not mind him and I will intentionally be difficult. I won’t say anything. But, for him not to do that again, I will have to tell him how it made me feel so that he understands. (but this is me, still a work in progress though). Tell your someone how you feel. It’s better to express it than to hide it in the long run. 

  • Not one of my past is a mistake. 

People will come and go, whether it may be your partner or your friend. If a relationship failed, it may be that someone better will come along or that person or the relationship is meant to teach you something. Maybe your ex brought you back to your passion, maybe your ex helped you bloom, maybe your ex taught you to dance, maybe your ex opened you to a new world, etc. Maybe your past made you realize that everything has its reason and should be seen as an experience to learn from. 

THOUGHTS: Run at your own pace


We are not required to explain everything that’s happening in our lives to other people.

failed marriage, not passing the board exam, leaving a toxic relationship, finishing school at age 25, not having savings at 30.

We live this life differently. Run at your own speed

Charity Delmo

Such a helpful reminder. ❤

 

 

BOOK: Skylarks by Karen Gregory


Goodreads: Keep your head down and don’t borrow trouble is the motto Joni lives by, and so far it’s seen her family through some tough times. It’s not as if she has the power to change anything important anyway. Like Dad’s bad back, or the threat of losing their house. So when Annabel breezes into her life, Joni’s sure they’re destined to clash. Pretty, poised, privileged – the daughter of the richest family in town must have it easy. But sometimes you find a matching spirit where you least expect it. Sometimes love can defy difference. And sometimes life asks you to be bigger and braver 

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It’s refreshing to read something like this. First, this is my first book where the heroine are 2 lesbians. I’ve read a couple of colorful books but it usually features both males. The story also brings me back to a certain point in my life where I was Annabel. The book was really an eye opener.

I appreciate KG’s effort to talk about relevant issues such as poverty, different social classes, political activism and inequality in general. The conversation was not heavy yet you learn something from the daily life and financial struggles and issues that were raised through the character of Joni.

I loved how KG built the relationship of Joni and Annie where it was not rushed. As you go through the chapters, you witness how their relationship grows from acquaintance to colleagues to friends to something mutual to becoming special and until their I-love-yous. Unlike some YAs where they meet and they instantly fell in love. like, what? How did you even? Not . like . that. at. all. The build up was perfect.

Some daily life struggles of Joni:

  • Not wanting to enroll or take another class or attend a seminar because she worries she doesn’t have any smart clothes & it would also mean she needs a decent haircut which would also cost her.
  • Her everyday clothes are old compared to the other students.
  • She has to go to the library really early to do an assignment because her laptop is busted.
  • Worrying about whether her brother can attend the school trip — it would cost them money
  • She checks the price of every single thing and knows them by heart
  • Not being able to shop for your groceries without looking at the price tag
  • It’s a luxury to be able to eat and leave the dishes on the sink because someone is there to clean it up.

Some of the highlights from the book:

  • We all have less because they always have to keep grabbing at more.
  • What’s the point in always looking at what everyone else wants and wishing you had it? That never stops, does it? Someone’s always going to have a bigger house or a better car or whatever. It’s best not to ‘make waves’.
  • Sometimes I wish the most important part of the day was still those playtime, running and shouting, the playground hot under our feet and our futures not even thought of yet.
  • There’s all these expectations that you will do something incredible but it doesn’t actually matter if you do, because someone else is always more extraordinary than you.
  • Having money doesn’t mean life is easy.
  • Even when everything is about crap as it’s going to get, you still have to roll over and get your feet on the floor.
  • When you love someone, it’s an act of courage. You have to let yourself take chances.
  • Courage will find you in the choices you make, to keep fighting, especially when there’s no guarantees.

Overall, it’s a 3/5 for me. It’s an okay read but it’s not something I will reread willingly. Although I’m thinking if I should pick up her other book, Countless. Should I?

BOOK: A Wish for Us by Tillie Cole


GOODREADS: Nineteen-year-old Cromwell Dean is the rising star of electronic dance music. Thousands of people adore him. But no one knows him. No one sees the color of his heart. Bonnie Farraday lives for music. She lets every note into her heart, and she doesn’t understand how someone as talented as Cromwell can avoid doing the same. He’s hiding from his past, and she knows it. She tries to stay away from him, but something keeps calling her back.

The story, it’s beautiful. I just read Thousand Boy Kisses and thought that Ticole is somehow Coho. I loved it so I decided to test my new adoration and boy was I right! Now I just want to read more Ticole because I know it’ll be worth my time.

I love stories that teaches us something new. And in this book, I learned more about synesthesia. I learned about music and tempo and rhythm and classic music.

  • The idea of time, moving, us being useless to stop it.
  • Even if something makes you hate music, whatever it is can often be the catalyst for your next great work.
  • Manners cost nothing, son. Always be gracious with those who want to help.
  • EASTON to BONNIE: She’s good people. She’s my sister. But she’s more than that. She’s my best friend. Damn, she’s my compass. What the hell is the world without Bonnie? Because I will see you again. Look up, and I will always be there with you. And when it’s your time, I’ll be the one to come and get you.
  • I had made many wishes in my life, but Cromwell had been the wish that I never made.
  • Cromwell Dean was an enigma.
  • And like a forever raging sea, my heart never calmed.
  • Her laughter illuminated the room.
  • She was my silver.
  • Obstacles in life sometimes make you look at the world in ways you never did before.
  • Maybe you’re the guardian angel that has arrived to get her through all this.
  • She walked into my life like a tornado and knocked me on my ass. And I fell in love with her. Not just a little bit either. She became my whole world.
  • Cromwell Dean was my sun.
  • The girl, that with one single smile, still completely illuminated my world.

Let’s give Cromwell’s Father the credit he deserves. Yeah? First, he knew from the start that crom was not his son. But he gave him his unconditional love and unwavering support. He swallowed his pride and asked for the help of the person who got his wife pregnant. It must have been hard for him but for his son, he would do anything to achieve his full potential. Hands down.

And Cromwell? to hate his dad so much and blame him for robbing him off his childhood, lashing out and eventually finding out that your father has been killed? To think about the last things you said? That his father died not knowing that he appreciated all his efforts and that he also loved him back. That must have been difficult, the guilt eating you every single day and later finding out that he was not even your father? Whew.

I have to say that I admire how much Easton and Bonnie loved each other. The sibling love for each other is incomparable. The way they hold on to each other, the way they both get strength from each other and how they look out for each other. Wow. And this is ONE BIG SPOILER: Easton taking his own life and eventually saving the life of his twin sister for having a heart failure is BEYOND HEARTBREAKING. My mind is blown and heart is inconsolable.

The creativity, talent and passion in the whole book is truly felt. The lyrics of the song pierces the heart and stays there. The talent and their love for music is all consuming.

I have to say, now I am more freaking intrigued to read Ticole’s other books. ❤ ❤

BOOK: It ends with us by Colleen Hoover


GOODREADS: Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

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When you love a person, you believe them. You believe their promises, their lies and just about anything. You believe in the goodness of their hearts. You believe in their intentions and you believe and hope that they will change.

As the story progressed, I am in awe of lily’s character. As vulnerable as she is, it took a lot of strength to take control of her life, even if there was a child on the way.

  • I feel like everyone fakes who they really are, when deep down we’re all equal amounts of screwed up. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.
  • NAKED TRUTHS
  • There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.
  • You’re already my favorite person but now you’re making it really unfair to all the other humans because no one will ever be able to catch up to you.
  •  I like you. Everything about you. Being inside you, being outside of you, being near you. I like it all.
  • All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t mistakes we make, it’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.
  • Life is a funny thing. We only get so many years to live it, so we have to do everything we can to make sure those years are full as they can be. We shouldn’t waster time on things that might happen someday or maybe even never.
  • Maybe love isn’t something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives.
  • Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still a part of the same ocean.
  • In the future, if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again, fall in love with me.
  • Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not the person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.
  • She left someone she loved so that her daughters would never think that kind of relationship is okay.

My heart simply breaks for both Lily and Ryle. :/  How can you ever willingly give up someone you love and choose yourself? I think Domestic Violence happens to a lot of relationships, not just to women. But only a few brave souls can have the courage and strength to do what lily chose.

I think it makes it even harder if you love the person. It is never easy to just leave and end things. Coho taught me that right choice will always be the hardest ones. I hope I never get the chance to ever be in the same position.

BOOK: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur


GOODREADS: Milk and honey’ is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

  • He placed his hands on my mind before reaching for my waist, my hips or my lips. He didn’t call me beautiful first, he called me exquisite.
  • You might not have been my first love but you were the love that made all the other loves irrelevant.
  • You’d rather have the darkest parts of him than have nothing.
  • It must hurt to know I am your most beautiful regret.
  • You must not have to make them want you. They must want you themselves.
  • The thing worth holding on to would not have let go.
  • When you are broken and he has left you, do not question whether you were enough. The problem was, you were so enough he was not able to carry it.
  • I will not have you build me into your life when what I want is to build a life with you.
  • I don’t want to be friends with you. I want all of you.
  • Accept yourself as you were designed.
  • Losing you was the becoming of myself.
  • The world gives you so much pain and here you are, making gold of it.
  • You must never trade honest for relatability.

To be quite honest, I was a bit disappointed. I guess, maybe because I was in complete awe of the other book, the sun and her flowers that I expected so much more from this. There are some I was able to relate with, but overall, the bookmarks can be counted. (if you know what I mean. But then again, I would still read her books. ❤

PONDER: All of us


We all have shit days every now and then. All of us. No matter how perfect we aspire to be, and no matter how many tings we promised ourselves we would do, sometimes all the things we wanted to achieve just can’t happen in one day and that is perfectly okay. – momentary happiness

 

PONDER: Be your own Hero


These are not my words. It’s something I want to share and keep here so I can read it whenever I need to be reminded.

Don’t stop being who you want to be – who you’re willing to become – just because people have a painting of who you’re mapped out to be. Focus on yourself. Challenge yourself. Become the person you know you can become. Don’t let anyone make decisions for how you’re going to be or where you’ll end up. It’s not their story you’re writing. It’s yours. Let change be your own. Let who you are be a cause for the kind of change you want in your life. You have the ability to make your own choices and the capability to lead your own life.

Be your own change. Be your own savior. And most of all, Be your own Hero.

  • -Braverhope

BOOK: The sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur


GOODREADS: Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

MY GOD. How can I describe this book? I simply can’t. The only thing I need to recount and share is that I have been bookmarking and highlighting NON-STOP. If I was reading a hard copy, it would be wet with neon markers.

I love 97% of the book. ❤ ❤ ❤

  • You left and I wanted you still yet I deserved someone who was willing to stay
  • It isn’t what we left behind that breaks me. It’s what we could’ve built had we stayed.
  • I could be anything in the world but I wanted to be his.
  • You’re everywhere except right here, and it hurts.
  • If I’m not the love of your life, I’ll be the greatest loss instead.
  • Why is it that when the story ends, we begin to feel all of it.
  • You do not just wake up and become a butterfly.
  • My mother sacrificed her dream so I can dream
  • Never feel guilty for starting again.
  • When death takes my hand, I will hold you with the other and promise to find you in every lifetime.
  • I will no longer compare my path to the other.
  • The day you have everything, I hope you remember when you had nothing.
  • How do I love myself enough to know your accomplishments are not my failures.

GAHH. It’s about loss, self love, accepting your flaws, loving yourself, holding yourself accountable for your actions, living life, finding value and everything in between. ❤

PONDER


The young may not like this but here is a truth to consider:
Sometimes it takes 10 years to get that 1 year that will change your life.
 I spoke and trained for 12 years doing talks pro-bono until that crucial year the opportunity came and turned professional.
Many want to short cut the process wanting instant success. Doesn’t work well.
There is always a process before you can get to achieve long term success. And here is the catch. The process continues. 
— Francis Kong
ROAD

BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker: Chapter 6


The Surprising science behind why everything you know about success is mostly wrong

Chapter 6: Work, Work, Work or Work Life Balance? How to find harmony between home and the office, courtesy of spiderman, Buddhist-monks, Albert Einstein, professional wrestlers and Genghis khan.

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  • Ted Williams: ‘Hundreds of kids have the natural ability to become great ballplayers but nothing but practice, practice, practice will bring out that ability.’ It wasn’t mere hours that made Williams so great, It was how he spent those hours. He was a perfectionist, constantly trying to improve.
  • Does all hard work produce success? Yes. People who wish to do so must organize their lives around a single enterprise. They must be monomaniacs, even megalomaniacs about their pursuits. They must start early, labor continuously an never give up the cause.
  • Voluminous productivity is the rule and not the exception and individuals who have made some noteworthy contributions. To be the very best, you must be a little nuts in the effort department. Hours alone are not enough. Those hours need to be hard. You need to be pushing yourself to be better.
  • Hard Work creates talent and talent plus time creates success.
  • Libri aut liberi —- Books or Children. If you’re very serious about creating things, you sacrifice family.
  • The people who survive stress the best are the ones who actually increase their social investments in the middle of the stress, which is the opposite of what most of us do. We’re more likely to have faith in the people we joke around with.
  • Don’t do more work if you can do better work.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: We are always getting ready to live, but never living.

Four Metrics that matter most: 

  1. Happiness – having feelings of pleasure or contentment in and about your life. (Enjoying)
  2. Achievement – achieving accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strive for. (Winning)
  3. Significance – having a positive impact on people you care about. (Counting to others)
  4. Legacy – establishing your values or accomplishments in ways that help others find future success. (Extending)

 

Most of us don’t take the time. We’re reactive, like the tribes of the steppes. And the problem with work life balance is that the old limits are no longer in place for us. We can’t rely on the world to tell us when to power down or shift gears. It’s on you now. That means you need a plan, or you’re always going to feel like you’re not doing enough. Your war is first and last with yourself.

For a WLB life, 

  • Track your time
  • Talk to your boss
  • Schedule everything
  • Control your context.
  • End the day right and on time

BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker: Chapter 4


The Surprising science behind why everything you know about success is mostly wrong.

Chapter 4: It’s not what you know, It’s who you know (unless it really is what you know) What can we learn about the power of networks from hostage negotiators, top comedians and smartest person who ever lived

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  • Paul Erdos loved to collaborate. He lived out of a suitcase and routinely traveled to 25 countries, eventually working with 500 other mathematicians. ‘Erdos Number’ – a measure of how close you are to working with Paul.
  • Research shows that you don’t actually need to know more to be seen as a leader. Merely by speaking first and speaking often – people come to be seen as El Jefe and those who initially act shy in groups are perceived as less intelligent.
  • To get ahead, you need to self-promote. This comes naturally to extroverts and is actually more important than competence when it comes to being seen as a leader.
  • Having a large network opens you up to more opportunities, it exposes you to all kinds of other new possibilities.
  • Introversion predicts academic performance better than cognitive ability.
  • If you can’t stand a moment aloe, get that MBA and chase that leadership position over a passive workforce. But if people drive you crazy, dive deep into your passion, earn those ten thousand hours and be renowned as the best in your field.
  • Adam Grant: Read each situation carefully and ask yourself: What do I need to do right now to be most happy or successful?
  • When we collaborate – the gains can be exponential. But when we don’t communicate, we can end up not only missing those benefits but also getting our efforts jammed.
  • Adam Rifkin: Be a friend. It is better to give than to receive. Look for opportunities to do something for the other person, such as haring knowledge or offering an introduction to someone that person might not know but would be interested in knowing. Do not be transactional. Do not offer something because you want something in return. Instead, show a genuine interest in something you and other person have in common.
  • The Rule of Thumb in friendship: Be socially optimistic. Assume other people will like you and they probably will.
  • The groups you associate with often determine the type of person you become.
  • Thank the people around you. Relationships are the key to happiness and taking time to say ‘thanks’ renews that feeling of being blessed.

 

Fundamentals of Friendship

  1. You like Ironman? I like Ironman too. – Introduce yourself. We all choose to be friends with people who are like us.
  2. Listen and Encourage other toddlers. – Ask them questions and listen. You’re likely to hear something you can connect over. Asking people questions about themselves can create a bod as strong as lifelong friendship in a surprisingly short amount of time. Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying now. Don’t be afraid to pay the person a sincere compliment. Asking for advise can really help others warm up to you. Ask what challenges people face. Everyone loves to complain a little about the things that stress them out.
  3. Be a giver. Share yout twinkies. – Offer to help people. When people say they’re having a trouble about something, find a way to help.

How to get an Amazing Mentor right for you? 

  1. Be a worthy pupil – When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
  2. Study them, really study them – Spend time and be intimately familiar with someone’s work and you want someone who scares you a bit.
  3. Wasting a mentor’s time is a mortal sin – Asking great questions is a perfect way to build a relationship. Never ask a mentor a question Google can easily answer for you.
  4. Follow up – The key is to stay relevant. You need to consistently hit them with a conversation to keep the relationship alive but without being a nuisance. Do what they said, get results and let them know they made a difference.

 

We all have stuff we can learn from someone else. 

THOUGHTS: ’18 Year End Post


In 2018, I turned 27. 10 years ago, I thought by this age, I already have a very successful restaurant or that I’m already at the top of the corporate ladder and won an YMMA award. There are things I’ve dreamed of owning at this age such as my own house, my own car, a very fat bank account which can last a luxurious life for 5 years.

In 2018, I traveled to one of my bucket list places; New York. It’s surreal to look back on it. It’s only my second time in US and though I would have wanted to explore new countries, I am grateful to tick this one off. 😀 I also got to spend time with relatives. I know my mom has been itching to visit her siblings and I know how happy she was to spend time with them.  We were also introduced to one of our cousins there: Brandon.

In 2018, Our family got bigger. My sister finally gave birth to Elle, my goddaughter and she is beautiful and special. I cannot believe how much my sister grew and matured just by being a mother. It’s exciting to see her blossom like that for her child. I finally met Kyle, the son of one of my closest cousin. My cousin Marc also found out that he will be having a kid. ❤ My cousin Derek also was blessed with a new Rodriguez Baby Girl. Lastly, my cousin Alexis also welcomed a baby girl Zoey.

In 2018, I found out I have lumps. I guess it’s teaching me not to ignore APEs. I found out I have 4 and 3 in my breasts and several lumps in my uterus which needs to be monitored. But thankfully, nothing that we need to worry about in the near future.

In 2018, I graduated and earned the three letters, MBA. My journey in earning the degree has been filled with tears, coffee, tons of pressure and grit. I’m glad that’s over but I’ll be missing everything about it too.

In 2018, I got engaged. I still can’t understand how I feel about it. It’s all sort of mixed emotions. I’m beyond happy and excited to start living our married life. I want to skip the wedding preparations and the wedding and jump off to living and facing everyday with the love of my life. But I feel extremely sad to be leaving my family too.  I didn’t know I would miss everything so bad. I cannot believe I will not be spending everyday with them.

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There’s a lot of things that didn’t go as I planned it to be or how I imagined it to be. But I’d like to think that this is what God has planned for me and I know that he knows what’s best, even if it’s not what I prayed for. I’d like to think that this is where I’m supposed to be.

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In 2019, I plan to save more. Not just for the wedding but I’ll try to avoid a lot of mini expenses such as going for 3in1 cofee or 711 french vanilla than Starbucks or opting to walk (cause it will do me good) or FX than booking a Grab or just simply pausing before buying anything new.

In 2019, I plan to stick to basics. In relation to saving more, I plan to only buy clothes that are basics. I’m planning to stick with White, Black, Gray, Brown and all its shades of family.

In 2019, I plan to stick to my weight goal, 97. The ideal goal for my height is 107 – 140 but since I don’t have an active lifestyle, I’d like to keep it to 97. Also, I plan to make it a habit to do a 5 minute of anything workout before taking a bath every morning.

In 2019, I plan to read more books. I’m glad I surpassed my 2018 goal of 20 books. ❤ My goal for this coming year year is to stick to 20 since I’ll be super busy. BUT, I’ll spice it up by following a reading challenge this time.

In 2019, I plan to be more grateful, appreciative and understanding. Things may not work out but I hope to see the good small things that I am blessed with.

 

I’d like to say all of my plans but it might bite me back in the ass if I promise to do something I know I’m not committed to, so I’ll stick with what I’ve written here. I have faith that this coming year will bring more blessings and positive changes and transformation in my life and the people that I love.

Regardless of what happened this year, it’s been pretty amazing and I’m looking forward to 2019 with an open heart and mind. And here’s to praying for a better version of Janna. ❤

P.S. I look awful when blowing something. I just realized. 😀