Monthly Archives: July 2014

Forming the Habit of Celebrating Small Victories

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Photo courtesy of heallovebe.com

Growing up, we are so used to being told what “not” to do and what not to be. Don’t say bad words. Don’t stay out too late. Don’t hang out with that crowd. Don’t get pregnant. Don’t dress inappropriately. Don’t act like a kid. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Once we’re older, it kind of sticks in our system. I believe society as a whole has this deficiency.

People usually try to find fault in others first. Teachers would usually pay more attention on their students’ mistakes. Employers have more regulations focused on punishments instead of rewards for their employees. Advertisers would pick on their target market’s imperfections so they can sell their products that promise perfection. People would spend more time talking about everything that’s wrong in their lives and other people’s lives than what’s good. It seems like most of us are always looking at the negative side of life to such an extreme that we’ve forgotten to relish in the beauty that also exists.

With spiritual direction, I realized the value of celebrating small victories. This means, in every good deed that you do or positive change that you experience, no matter how small, savor it. You don’t have to tell the whole cyberworld about it but you should acknowledge it to yourself or share it to your closest friend. This is an attempt to look more closely in the brighter side of things.

When making goals, instead of I want to lose 20 pounds, make it I want to gain more muscle mass.  When searching for Mr. Right, instead of “I want to meet someone who wouldn’t hurt me,” say I want to meet someone who would love and cherish me.”

Choose more positive adjectives to describe your feelings, too. When someone asks how you are, choose to say, “I’m fine” over “Not Bad.” When giving instructions use more “dos” rather than “don’ts.” your subordinates will appreciate it.

When you fail in something, accept it, learn from it, and try harder next time. It’s still okay to identify the wrong things that you have done in order to learn from them, but don’t drown yourself in self-pity, worry, and self-deprecating thoughts to a point that you forget your value as a person and as son or daughter of God.

Celebrate your small victories. Your future self will thank you for it.

 

The Secret to Happiness

 

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If you want to be SAD, all you have to do is COMPARE.

She is prettier than me. She is effortlessly sexy but I’m fat. She seems to be going steady with her beau but I’m still single. She’s so popular with the guys  but I seem to repel them. Her bag is from the latest collection but mine is so last year’s. He has a thriving business but I’ve been struggling to keep mine afloat. He bought a new car but I’m still stuck with my old rusty ride. They went on another European tour but I haven’t been to a single one.  They bought another house but I can’t even afford to buy one.  The list goes on and on.

When you keep on looking at what others have and what you don’t have then you’ll really end up sad and pathetic. Also, don’t mistake identifying how fortunate you are than other people as counting your blessings. That is still comparing and you won’t really feel happy doing that. Comparison ends up negatively. Simply stop yourself every time you do it consciously and catch yourself every time you do it subconsciously.

If you want to be HAPPY, don’t compare yourself to others. The guaranteed path to happiness is to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.

I am blessed with a loving family. I have food to eat. I have a place to go home to. I have amazing friends who love me for who I am. I have a supportive work environment. I can watch the awesome sunset right outside my office window. I have a complete set of limbs. I can smell the delicious aroma of a home-cooked meal. I can hear the sweet voice of my one-year-old nephew. I can see the light of day. I am alive. The list goes on and on.

Before you go to bed tonight, count your blessings. Do it tomorrow night. Do it every day. You’ll be amazed at how blessed you are and how happier you’ll be.

Be happy for you are blessed. Here’s one for your list tonight-it’s a Friday!

Have a happy weekend!

A Piece of Advice from Fr. Chambers

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A True Israelite

“FOR GOD”

An Israelite was asked, “Why do you send your children to school?”

He answered, “So that they will learn how to read, if they already know how to read, they will be able to read the Bible, then if he/she/they read about the Bible, they learn about God, if they learn about God, they tend to love God, and if they love God, they are able to serve God.

He was again asked, “Why do you feed your children?”

He answered, “So that they will become strong and healthy, if they are strong and healthy, they can read the Bible, and then learn about God, then love God, then serve God.

He was then asked, “Why do you have a roof on top of your house?”

He answered, “So that something will shelter/cover my family from all outside forces that might harm them, and if they are protected, they could read the Bible, then learn about God, then love God, then serve God.

Everything he did was for God.

Everything we do is for God. 

I was fifteen when I encountered this one-of-a-kind teacher who taught me lessons that would last throughout the years. It’s been nine years since Fr. John Chambers SJ told his Values class about the story of a True Israelite. In his short simple story, he wanted to teach us that the ultimate reason to everything we do in this world is “For God.” Every day is an opportunity to show Him how much we love Him. Everything we do should be done for God. Indeed, He is the reason for living. Even though we get caught up with the things of this world, I hope we won’t lose sight of the reason we do the things we do: FOR GOD.

 

The Starfish Story

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Photo courtesy of http://www.wallconvert.com/

Happy Friday, everyone! It is really wonderful to be alive and thriving amidst the otherwise gloomy weather in my town today. Here’s a short story that reminds us that everything we do, no matter how small, makes a difference. Enjoy!

A Starfish Story

By Loren Eiseley

“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”