Posts Tagged ‘self-control’

Two days ago, I was requested to participate in a series of corporate training called the “Fearless Leadership Program.” At first I thought it was a waste of my time. I was already being pulled in many different directions and I thought that one more training—with many succeeding sessions—was too much for me to bear. I thought I had more important things to do, but I was wrong.

I didn’t know what to expect from the training. The title itself sparked my curiosity. Fearless Leadership. Will they be providing a lecture on how to become fierce in implementing mandates from executive management? Or teach us how to be tougher or more strict towards our team members? I couldn’t wait to attend and find out.

All my qualms were quenched after the first session. To my surprise, it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. The initial session focused on understanding our entire lives—from childhood to present—and analyzing situations that happened in the past that influence the kind of persons we are today. I was very uncomfortable at first. I didn’t want to reveal some things about the past—my childhood, my family, my experiences—that I’ve always kept hidden, even from myself. But as I saw how the other participants opened themselves up and shared their experiences freely, I allowed myself to open up and share my experiences as well. By doing so, I was able to understand myself a little bit more—why my priorities are such; what motivates me; why I react to certain situations the way I do. It was, I should say, a liberating experience.

As I listened to the stories that were shared that afternoon, I learned that people have common experiences—albeit different scenarios—that either make them or break them. In most instances, seemingly negative experiences that each participant overcame brought about success beyond what they expected or imagined. Those who thrived during the trying moments came out victorious as they looked at their previous challenges as stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks.

Some of us may be in a similar situation today. Some may be struggling to overcome certain challenges that may appear to be too negative at the moment. Let us keep in mind that these circumstances are temporary and if we gather the courage to overcome, we can look forward to that day when we could look back and stand, having a better perspective that these things will be for our own good.

Enjoy the rest of the week everybody! And remember, there’s always a rainbow after the rain! 🙂


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I was moved by my daughter’s shout out this morning in a popular social networking site: “Mistakes don’t define you, they refine you.” How true that statement is.

Have we ever been in a position where we felt more righteous than our neighbor? Have we ever looked down on anyone because of a mistake they have committed? Have we ever held on to bitter feelings or grudges and refused to grant forgiveness to someone who has sincerely asked for it?

When we are tempted to do any of these, let us try to step back and remember to judge not and examine ourselves if we are indeed clean and are in a position to point fingers or withhold our pardon.

I have watched this short clip about being careful on how we judge others and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s called “Looking through Windows.”

Enjoy the film and the rest of the week everybody!!!  🙂

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I was once enjoying late lunch with a friend when out of the blue a large fly swirled around us trying to get its share of our exotic meal! The waitress at the restaurant was embarrassed yet attentive enough to see our situation and immediately brought a medium-sized candle on our table –apparently to help shoo away our uninvited guest.

But instead of avoiding the clear sign of danger, the impulsive insect dove straight into the candle light as if toying with its fate. It naturally burned its wings and within a blink of an eye dropped onto the plate of my horrified friend. We couldn’t believe how fast things happened. We found ourselves trying to get the fly off the table while its body wiggled and struggled to get out of its predicament. It dropped onto the floor and while my friend told me to step on it, I only watched it literally “walk” its way out of our presence, limping and squirming with pain. It must’ve been terrified by the thought of its imminent death as well. We never knew if it made its way back home, or if its wings ever healed again, but it certainly suffered the excruciating consequence of its action.

We paused for awhile and thought how foolish that fly was for going straight into the candle light without thinking of the consequences. Yet between the long pauses, all my friend could utter was this: “Temptation.”

How many times in our lives have we acted like this foolish fly? We recognize danger and yet we sometimes think we are strong enough to withstand it so we head straight towards it and eventually burn our “wings.” Hopefully when this happens we won’t be placed in a situation where it’s too late to turn back and like the foolish fly suffer the consequences of our actions. I pray that in our dealings with our weaknesses and temptations we can gather the essential courage to mend our ways, get back on the right path, and be given enough time to eventually make amends and set things right.

Enjoy the weekend everybody and keep these thoughts in mind the next time you see a fly swirling around a candle light.

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(Photograph by Melanie Gapiz)

After three years of planning, preparation, and thousands of cumulative hours of participant rehearsals, the Jubilee celebration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finally come!!! 🙂

As I sat on the edge of my seat watching the festivity and cheering the other participants, I was extremely grateful and my heart was overcome with emotions for having had the privilege of being part of the momentous occasion! 🙂

Throughout the course of the rehearsals, I witnessed how the opposition worked his way through various means, using different people and their weaknesses, to try to stop this effort from progressing.  I have seen many frustrated faces, and people quitting in the midst of all the preparations due to disappointments and discouragement. Some left simply because they got exhausted and did not see the grand outcome that was meant to be. Many cynics doubted and some begrudgingly supported the event.

Yet a great majority withstood the test and endured to the very end. These are the ones who enjoyed their journey and learned the sweetness of its value as they looked forward to their destination. These are they who, despite their mortal differences, learned to exercise the virtue of patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and humility. They are the ones who experienced the joy of service, unconditional love, and found among themselves new and lasting friendships.  

At the end of the celebration, I realized that all the grand preparations made were befitting the occasion. It was a token of gratitude from the Filipino people to our God and King, for all the blessings we received on this land since the preaching of the gospel 50 years ago. It was worth all the hard work putting everything together—our talents, our time—to come up with the best that we could offer Him. Hence, I was moved and most grateful to hear, by the mouth of one of His servants, that our offerings had been accepted.

I think that life in general will be like this Jubilee celebration. The preparations will not be easy for the glorious end. Many will fall and lose their way. Yet those who will endure to the end will receive their sweetest reward—much more than they have ever imagined.

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(Photograph by Edwin Redrino)
Some time ago, I almost let my negative feelings toward one person get in the way of making a good choice. This person had an unpredictable short temper and would oftentimes be unpleasant to be around. I’ve experienced a few disappointing moments with this person that I tried every possible way I could to keep any type of interaction to a minimum.

Once we were alone together on the floor and I heard this person coughing incessantly. It went on for quite some time and while I would usually just ask if the coughing person was alright under normal circumstances, I held off on inquiring this time to avoid any unnecessary type of communication. In my mind though, constant prodding to offer some sort of relief kept popping up and I tried hard to ignore it.

But after a couple of hours (yes, I was that bad), I finally succumbed to the promptings and asked if the person was alright and if some vitamin C that I always carried in my purse would help ease the itchy throat. This person politely declined the offer, but I felt really good that I overcame my “wickedness” and chose to do the right thing.

Our relationship has not changed since then, but it was a moment that taught me a great principle that choosing to do good—even to those who are not very nice to us—reaps great intangible rewards that will stay with us for a long time. It’s always easier to be bad, but it pays more to be good.

There’s a saying that goes: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” I think that statement is true and I hope that we will all exercise a little bit more of kindness in our lives in the coming weeks.
Have a wonderful week ahead and take care everybody! 🙂


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(Photograph by Franco Advincula)

At the temple last night, I was reminded by an old acquaintance to do a “write up” for my blog this week. I promised her I would and I am keeping my promise.

Oh, how I miss writing! I’ve been pre-occupied with a lot of things that I’ve been procrastinating doing some of the things that are equally important and those that I truly love. Some of the things I’ve been postponing to do are mundane and do not have any major impact in my life, such as seeing that one good movie that I’ve always looked forward to and missed, and failing to book that dream out-of-town vacation flight that was offered for a promotional price! Argh! But some are essential and have caused me pain (literally!), such as seeing my dentist for a regular check-up and changing my worn-out spare tire for a more reliable one.

Simple and trivial as it may seem, I know that it is important to see our dentist at least every six months for a regular check-up. I’ve always been good at doing it except this year. I rationalized that I regularly brushed my teeth anyway and that my schedule was so full that I just didn’t have time for even a prophylaxis. So I pushed out the schedule for a dental appointment month after month until one day I was surprised to wake up with an uncomfortable toothache. Still my full schedule prevailed that I didn’t set the dental appointment and had let it become sore and swollen. 😦 Needless to say, I endured the pain and suffered all the discomfort that could’ve been avoided had I only done what I was supposed to do at the right time. I painfully learned that the old adage is true—prevention is always better than cure.

Many of us easily fall into the temptation of procrastination. It’s as easy as taking a deep breath of air. Although some things we procrastinate are small and insignificant, there are those that we need to address right away before it becomes too late and we run out of time.

In the scriptures we read: “But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of the righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head” (Helaman 13:38).

I know it is wise to heed this advice not to procrastinate and waste the days of our probation. It is a temporary life and tomorrow may never come to some of us. We do not have to suffer the consequences of our inaction in order to learn the lesson.

May we have the wisdom to make correct choices and set our priorities straight so that we don’t miss out on the essential things in life. Let’s think about the important things that we’ve been meaning to do but have been setting aside for so long. Let’s get up and get them done NOW—before it’s everlastingly too late.

Enjoy the rest of the week everybody and let’s strive to avoid procrastinating things that are truly important in our lives!! 🙂

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