Unlock your fullest potential

There are epiphanies that we suddenly realize as we grow old. If we are to compare ourselves from who we were a year ago, five years ago, and ten years ago, we’d notice that we changed a lot because of our experiences. I find this constant process of discovery as an interesting journey. You have these expectations about who you are and who you will be and yet you surprise yourself that you have turned out different. As we tread these changes, I think the consistent theme in these different phases of our lives is, we can be at peace with where we are when we are making sure that we fully unlock every version of ourselves, and hopefully before our last breath, we can say that “I have exhausted everything, I did everything that I possibly could.” There will be no regrets nor what ifs.

The next question is, “How do you unlock your fullest potential?” I can only speak based on how I approach life and what I have learned overall, and that is by breaking it in to tiny, actionable steps. 

1. Make an irrevocable decision about the life that you want.
       When you know where you are going, there will be less mental burden about the decisions you’ll be making. Decide what kind of life you want, without any sort of guilt. Do you want to be a millionaire? Do you want to travel all over the world? Do you want to live a simple life on a hill or in the middle of a forest? Ask yourself this question everyday, “What do I really want?” and listen to your gut’s honest answer. Write it down. To be honest, I feel sad whenever I meet someone who is just wasting precious Earth time wandering aimlessly. We all have moments of uncertainties, but at some point, you have to choose your path. Ten years from now, what does a beautiful life look like to you. Make it as detailed as possible and then that’s it, that’s the life you want.


2. Schedule it. 
      If it’s not scheduled, it’s not getting done. This is just honest advice. If you keep on saying that I want to be financially successful, or have a family, or a car, and you’re just sitting there on the couch and praying to be abundant, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not happening. You have to put it in your calendar and make time for each step that will take you closer to the kind of life that you truly want. Start small. Take those baby steps which might seem insignificant at the moment. You’ll see that those tiny actions will accumulate and result to something great, something that only sheer hard work could ever do.


3. Eliminate anything that brings you down. 
      Are you spending so much time on social media? Do you have thought patterns or belief systems that aren’t helping you rise? Well then it’s time to let go of them. Turn your phone off when you have to focus and just concentrate on whatever task is at hand. Stay in the moment you are in. If it’s not making you a happier and better person, then let go of it. It could be a bad habit, or a dragging relationship, or even people who disguise themselves as friends. Choose your energy. Make sure that even if you plummet in to negativity a few times, you still take steps to keep yourself on a higher energy vibe.


4. Ask for help. 
      You are not an island. You belong to a species of organisms who need socializing. The news, COVID, financial setbacks, illnesses, they all are heavy to carry alone. The thing is, you don’t have to face every single one of them on your own. Ask for help. Be brave to humbly seek assistance whenever you need it. I can’t tell you how this simple step changed everything for me. I used to be the person who wants to prove that she doesn’t need any help from anyone. It’s pathological. This attitude has allowed me to be strong, independent, brave and extremely self-reliant, but it also made me a loner and somehow it closed my doors to opportunities and relationships that could have been good for me. Be self-reliant, but when you need help, please ask for it. 


5. Surround yourself with people who want to see you win. 
      Be careful who you spend most of your time with. If you just gossip, drink, or watch TV with your friends, I hate to break it to you, but you are not with the right people. If you want to become successful, you have to make sure that you are in an environment that will allow you to grow at the level that you want to. Talk about goals and how you are achieving them. Discuss ideas, passion, and creativity. Generate that energy of relentlessness. Assess if the people you are with want to see you win. Filipino culture taught us to value family, but sometimes extended family members can cause too much toxicity. You will get opinions you didn’t ask for or unwanted visits and demands. If that’s the case, stop complaining, save up, and move out. If they are not helping you, just get out of that negative space. You can’t possibly grow in a soil that isn’t capable of providing the nutrients that you need to achieve your highest potential.


6. Expect setbacks. 
      This is not a world of unicorns and rainbows. But I guess you already know that. Following your passion or chasing a dream can be equated to going through loopholes with fire on its outlines. It’s like running on a track with lanes with shards of glass or burning coal. It’s kind of morbid but there will be times when you will want to give up because it’s hard and painful. Circumstances will get out of control just when you think everything is okay. Expect setbacks, my love. There will be highs and lows but just hold on to hope. Keep the faith and know that nothing is permanent, even trials.


7. Have a go-to person. 
      To say that we have that one best friend is false in my opinion. I have a friend that I confide in depending on what I am going through. I hope you have these people. They will give you honest advice and a listening and non-judgmental ear. Having real friends is very comforting. They get you back to your senses when you are getting off track. They will patiently hold your hand when you are still healing. How do you have these people? Be a friend. Be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on for others, and when it’s your turn to be punched by the world, someone will always be there for you.


8. Come back stronger. 
      When setbacks happen and you feel like you can’t take another blow anymore, rest. Allow your body and your mind the time and space for recovery. Stop pushing when you know within yourself that you are mentally and physically exhausted. This time frame varies for every person. When you are already rested, roll up your sleeves and with courage, start again. You have learned the lessons, and now it’s time to use that wisdom in getting back up. Know that you are strong because you have gotten through the unthinkable. Nothing is impossible for someone who doesn’t have the phrase “give up” in their vocabulary. 


9. Give. 
      Having a generous heart will allow abundance to flow in your life. I have proven this repeatedly. Whenever I feel like there isn’t enough money or when I am scared, I give. It may be my time, or any form of help that I could give. Surprisingly, abundance follows when your heart is not guarded by the scarcity wall. Volunteer for an advocacy you believe in. Serve. Just give not because you want something in return but do it because it feels good to make others feel better.


10. Surrender. 

For me, life is 50% what happens to you and 50% of it will come from your actions. We can do so much with our precious 50%. When I wake up every morning, I do my best to keep things in order and accomplish the tasks that I need to do so that my dreams will come into fruition. But I also know that there will be circumstances and forces which are out of my control, and so when I pray I surrender that 50%. “No matter how this day goes, I will do my best and the Universe will do the rest for me.” It was hard for a control freak like me to utter the word “surrender.” However, I sleep better ever since I accepted that things will get out of control, schedules will get ruined, annoying people will pop up, but how I perceive these circumstances and my legwork is all that matters. Surrender your dream and each moment and eventually you’ll get there. 

How to not let your job kill you

Many people are saying how stressed they are at work. I often hear these words from my friends, “my boss is demanding, the salary is so small, there’s too much pressure, or I hate my job.” First off, I want you to breath. Sometimes we have too much on our plate that we forget to notice that we are still breathing. I’m here to give you some tips to make work a happy experience.

  1. Gratitude

When you come from a place of gratitude it is hard to hate your work. Make a list of the benefits that you are getting from your job. Your work pays the bills and puts food on the table. You have to be kind to your work because it feeds you and makes you look awesome. So many people are struggling to find a decent job so please thank the heavens that you got one.

2. Set an Intention

Upon waking up, it is very important to set an intention.  Every morning what I do is say these words, ” Dear God, universe, and eternal presence, please guide me throughout this day so that I can be a vessel that serves your highest purpose. Allow me to be a conduit to your grace so that everyone I interact with feels your light.” Setting an intention can make or break your day. If you have a good intention, positive actions will follow.

3. Make a List

Writing your tasks will give you a sense of clarity. You will be able to maneuver the day swiftly because you know what to do next. If you ain’t writing about it, then you really don’t know what you are doing. You’re just like random molecules floating and bumping with other molecules waiting for a chemical reaction to happen. You’re not going to make something out of the day because you’re just letting yourself get dragged by your work.

4. Be early.

If you’re always late at work, it will set the tone of your day. You will be pressured, freaked out and overwhelmed because you didn’t have some grace period to plan your day out. It’s like going to war without some military tactics. You are bound to get shot by revolvers, although in the work place it’s tasks.

5. Get off social media.

Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, are sure fire ways to kill productivity. You have to be wise about where you spend your mental energy. These sites kill your time. I’m not saying you should totally go off grid. What I’m trying to say is when you have a task, disconnect. Respect your task by giving your 100% in it. If you want outstanding results then it’s time to let go of half-ass efforts.

6. Play some tunes.

Music is soothing. If you’re an anxious person, you need this. Play some instrumental tunes. It could be classical, piano, or any relaxing sound. It can calm you and easily take you to that ‘flow’ state. It must be instrumental or else your brain will start interpreting the lyrics and restart its endless overthinking machine.

7. Bedazzle your stuff and yourself.

Dress up and wear make-up. Use colorful pens, pretty notebooks, or decorate your workplace. Colors and looking good makes you receptive to inspiration. When you’re inspired it’s easy to be playful, light, and creative, which is awesome. You will see work as a playground rather than a battlefield.

8. Eat right and exercise.

Maybe you’ve heard the saying that you are what you eat. Love your body by nourishing it with the food that it deserves and the training that it needs.  We get a massage when we want to relax. Treat your body well by providing it with the nutrients that it needs. Our body does the action, and in order to do awesome things it has to be at its best.

9. Get focused.

Do tasks one by one. I am a big fan of just focusing on one task so that the result will have a great quality. Multitasking makes your ideas scattered. If you come to think of it, when you’re multitasking you’re accomplishing tasks but sacrificing its quality. Quality is everything. Rather than doing so many things at once, try to break down your tasks into bits and then do each one with all your heart at a specified amount of time. This keeps you from getting overwhelmed and prevents you from disappointment.

10. Have a break.

Allow your brain to rest. You can walk, browse your social media feed, or talk to your workmates. Breaks prevent burnout. Giving your all the entire time will exhaust you and make you less productive. So if you’ve worked for four hours straight, cut yourself some slack. Watch cute cat videos. Laugh.

11. Smile

A grumpy face will give you a grumpy outcome. Smile and the world will smile back. What if there’s a shit sandwich? Do you still smile? Nope. You’re allowed to get mad, but recognize that at the end of the day you are the master of your emotions. Smile, shake it off, and seize the remaining hours of the day.

12. If your job is draining you physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally, QUIT.

You get what you allow. Some work places are just toxic and even if you practice all my tips above, if your management doesn’t value their employees by overworking them, underpaying and professionally abusing you. Honey, just quit! Life is too short to spend your life in a job that is killing you. Remember the song  ” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,”? If your job does kill you then get yourself out of that situation. Yes, life can be hard but it doesn’t need to be a constant suffering. You can always get another job but if you get sick because of your demanding work, then it’s not worth it. Please don’t die for your work.

Life is fleeting. We always have a choice on how we want to spend this short amount of time we have. Are you going to be miserable or happy? It’s totally up to you. – @misskateykatey