Mga Imbak na Marka: tips

8 HABITS of JOYFUL PEOPLE

Credits to my friend, Dahlia, for sending me this meaningful sms (text in boldfaced) tonigh

1. Decide to be Happy;
“All the happiness you ever find lies within you.” says an article which listed 10 ways happy people choose happiness. Opting to be happy is always intrinsic in nature. Although external circumstances create impact to our mood, the ability to condition one’s mind makes significant yield on how one should welcome every turn of events with appreciation and less worry.

Smiling at the peak of an awkward plight or at the middle of an unforeseen mishap is the least possible thing one can try doing. But the good news is that “mood is malleable and happiness is yours for the choosing.” It isn’t about ignoring the negativities around you as if they don’t exist. It is about harnessing the strength and will inside you that says “I have all the reasons to smile, after all!”

Life is good.

2. Apply the power of positive thinking;

Whenever troubled or feeling stressed, it has become my habit to repeatedly say “All is well!” Thanks to the movie, 3 Idiots, the 3-word mantra works!!!

Positive thinking proves to be beneficial to our health. Among its benefits as a result of effective stress management, according to this article, include:
>> Increased life span
>> Lower rates of depression
>> Lower levels of distress
>> Greater resistance to the common cold
>> Better psychological and physical well-being
>> Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
>> Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

To harness the art of positive thinking, I recommend that you try browsing this site for some practical and very beneficial instructions on how you can master and apply optimism.

Positive people are healthy people. They are happy ones!

3. Maintain emotional wellness;

Emotional Wellness, as defined by this article, “is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.”

Dr. Guy Winch in his article at Huffington Post, says that “while we apply ice packs to sprains, use Band-Aids for cuts, or gulp down chicken soup when we have a cold”, it is important that we do something for our emotional well being. Protecting our self-esteem, taking control of ourselves after a failure, distracting ourselves from brooding thoughts, finding meaning after a loss, and recovering self-worth after a rejection are among the positive habits he suggested to boost our emotional wellness.

4. Have an attitude of gratitude;

Author and researcher Dr. Robert Emmons has discovered what gives life meaning: Gratitude. In his book, Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, he shares on a scientific note that “regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent”. Amazing!

Well, there should not be much debate on this ground. The more grateful a person is, the happier he/she becomes.

Here are some suggestions from SparkPeople on how we can practice gratitude:
>> Keep a gratitude journal.
>> Take the time to share your feelings; express gratitude.
>> Practice gratitude with your family and friends.

5. Live in the present;

While it is rewarding to recall the lessons of the past and it’s good to positively look forward, it is important to provocatively deal with the here and now.

The same sun rises and sets at the horizons every day. But each day is unique as the other. No two Mondays are the same just as every weekday (and weekend) offers new opportunities for mending broken hearts or searching one’s soul.

The yesteryears and the years to come are significant as it shaped and promise to mold the person in every one of us. But it is the here and now that we do something… to achieve fulfillment – to be happy.

To make the best out of what the present can turn out, Reader’s Digest’s 10 Steps to Mindfulness suggests:
>> Do one thing at a time.
>> Do it slowly and deliberately.
>> Do less.
>> Put space between things.
>> Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing.
>> Stop worrying about the future — focus on the present.
>> When you’re talking to someone, be present.
>> Eat slowly and savor your food.
>> Live slowly and savor your life.
>> Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.

6. Love what you do, do what you love;

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” says Confucius. I have to subscribe.

Working as a classroom teacher in a rural public high school is definitely a very demanding task. Everyday it seems like I’m in a battlefield…ignorance, mediocrity, passiveness and lack of teaching and learning resources (plus some bureaucratic nonsense and lapses) are my common enemies, a source of inconvenience and worry. But at the end of the day, as my co-teachers and I ride the motor boat on our way home, after a hard day’s work, we find ourselves smiling and even laughing at ourselves for what transpired in our classrooms. I’m glad I have become a teacher. I know my colleagues share the same feelings, too.

7. Approach life with humor and laughter;

Humor and laughter are both contagious. When they are shared, they bind people together and foster happiness and togetherness. Scientific studies reveal that laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter provide a boost in the immune system and energy, ease pain, and protect people from the adverse effects of stress. [Note: This blog from Daily Health Post enumerates the healthy benefits we get from laughter (and of course having a good sense of humor)]

To develop a good sense of humor, please visit this article at WikiHow.

8. Observe a healthy spirituality. Do not forget to thank GOD for the many blessings.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
–Denis Waitley

To be happy therefore is to experience spiritual growth which can only be achieved by recognizing and appreciating the role of the Supreme Being in our lives.

Thanks for reading this post. Feel free to share your thoughts.

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Happy trio. We had a wonderful time whenever we're together despite our own personal troubles. I love these ladies!!!

A THOUGHT ON TIME MANAGEMENT AND CLUTTER CRUSHING

“No task is a long one but the task on which one dare not start. It becomes a nightmare.”

Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867)

French poet.

photo courtesy: Flicker
Tempus Fugit... time flies

After a brief pause from ceaseless procrastination, I immediately grabbed the jelly-like keys of my computer and started pounding the keys. I should be prioritizing the project proposal my school head asked me to submit within two days… instead, I played Plants Vs Zombies all night long and got irked whenever the cute looking creatures managed to intrude the house I am supposed to guard after most, if not all, of my plants have been munched by these voracious herbivorous monsters.  I was indeed silly being hooked on this trivial game. Such a squander of time! But I enjoyed (at first).

While on the internet trying to have a grasp of what’s new on the DepEd website while reading, deleting [and sometimes spending time to reply on some] e-mails at Yahoo, and checking the latest announcements in Facebook, Farmville fritters my interest . Thanks God I almost quit clicking on FFS after trying to purchase and buying back friends or even asking them to buy me… I never get rich in the first place.

Whenever I feel like to clean out my paper mess, I always end up doing only the first part and achieved no favorable outcome. The mess remains. I became more stressed.

Peeved on this cycle of procrastination, I’m thankful to browse an entry in EcoWellness [at Multiply] on time management. Here is the post:

***

15 Time Management Tips
Here are 15 practical time management tips to help you get started…

1. Write things down:
A common time management mistake is to try to use your memory to keep track of too many details leading to information overload. Using a to-do list to write things down is a great way to take control of your projects and tasks and keep yourself organized.

My dear Mama Badang always reminds me of parish schedules. A text or a brief call serves just perfectly. I don’t write a lot because I ended up disposing off the sheet on the trash bin. So, instead of writing things down, I avail of the ‘reminder’ feature of my cp to prompt me up about a certain task or event.

2. Prioritize your list:
Prioritizing your to-do list helps you focus and spend more of your time on the things that really matter to you. Rate your tasks into categories using the ABCD prioritization system.

First things first! Chunking backlogs according to their urgency helps us save time and energy.  Why give a spotlight on trivial stuff when you have things waiting to be done in the A-list?


3. Plan your week:
Spend some time at the beginning of each week to plan your schedule. Taking the extra time to do this will help increase your productivity and balance your important long-term projects with your more urgent tasks. All you need is fifteen to thirty minutes each week for your planning session.

Personally, I find Saturdays as the best time for this. While I usually spent my Saturday morning minding my greens, my afternoon is spared for reading, resting, meditating and planning (and even daydreaming!). My week starts on Sunday.


4. Carry a notebook:
You never know when you are going to have a great idea or brilliant insight. Carry a small notebook with you wherever you go so you can capture your thoughts. If you wait too long to write them down you could forget. Another option is to use a digital recorder.

My cell phone is an efficient multipurpose buddy. It serves just right whenever I wanted to take note of the homilies or/and interesting lectures. The recorder perfectly documents all.

5. Learn to say no:
Many people become overloaded with too much work because they overcommit; they say yes when they really should be saying no. Learn to say no to low priority requests and you will free up time to spend on things that are more important.

There is always a perfect time for everything. Whenever people asked me to do even simple things for them, I try to say ‘no’. Committing to other’s requests for consideration purposes usually sidetracked my day’s agenda. I only commit whenever I am sure that I’m available.


6. Think before acting:
How many times have you said yes to something you later regretted? Before committing to a new task, stop to think about it before you give your answer. This will prevent you from taking on too much work.

I rather stay home and read with my headset playing my fave playlist than squander around with people I am not so happy to be with or carry out tasks I found no significance.


7. Continuously improve yourself:
Make time in your schedule to learn new things and develop your natural talents and abilities. For example, you could take a class, attend a training program, or read a book. Continuously improving your knowledge and skills increases your marketability, can help boost your career, and is the most reliable path to financial independence.

Reading books and posts of great authors and bloggers help me discover new things and ideas.  Good thing I am subscribed to WordPress where a vast conglomeration of bloggers offers sundry of information from simple whatnots to very significant concepts.

I am learning every time I browse the web. Thus, I make sure that in my weekly sched, apart from updating my Facebook, Twitter, Multiply and Friendster accounts and checking my e-mails at Yahoo, I do spend time in visiting sites that offer great deal of information.


8. Think about what you are giving up to do your regular activities:
It is a good idea to evaluate regularly how you are spending your time. In some cases, the best thing you can do is to stop doing an activity that is no longer serving you so you can spend the time doing something more valuable. Consider what you are giving up in order to maintain your current activities.

Instead of going to the city for a brisk diversion or minding my greens (which no longer bear flowers), I decided it’s time to make use of my weekends for a more relevant matter. Thus, I enrolled in a postgraduate studies for personal and professional advantage.

9. Use a time management system:
Using a time management system can help you keep track of everything that you need to do, organize and prioritize your work, and develop sound plans to complete it. An integrated system is like glue that holds all the best time management practices together.

With all the things to be done and deadlines to be met plus the extra-tasks that require time and effort, a sound time management system can help one maintain his sanity.


10. Identify bad habits:
Make a list of bad habits that are stealing your time, sabotaging your goals, and blocking your success. After you do, work on them one at a time and systematically eliminate them from your life. Remember that the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit, it to replace it with a better habit.

This tip applies to me. I haven’t started listing my time distracters yet, neither I have the gumption to eradicate them for there is just plenty [from TV shows, internet, to cp stuff, etc], but I’ll surely try.


11. Don’t do other people’s work:
Are you in the habit of doing other people’s work because or a ‘hero’ mentality? Doing this takes up time that you may not have. Instead, focus on your own projects and goals, learn to delegate effectively, and teach others how to do their own work.

Very true! My students used to ask me to translate local terms to English. Instead of complying with their requests, I direct them to consult to the dictionary in the shelf. I am spared from giving one translation to another. My little brother who used to ask me to help him answering his homework just sought my permission to operate the desktop and headed to Microsoft Encarta this time.


12. Keep a goal journal:
Schedule time to set and evaluate your goals. Start a journal and write down your progress for each goal. Go through your goal journal each week to make sure you are on the right track.
Keeping a journal on your computer has never been easier!

Keeping a journal surely helps one monitor his progress. I have one and am dismayed to realize I’m not doing very well. I should keep track on my activities. (maybe tomorrow, lol)


13. Don’t be a perfectionist:
Some tasks don’t require your best effort. Sending a short email to a colleague, for example, shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes. Learn to distinguish between tasks that deserve to be done excellently and tasks that just need to be done.

I am prone to come up with a very detailed LP just like the days I had my practice teaching. As a result, lesson planning becomes an obligatory burden on my part and updating seems to be intricately demanding. I have always believed in the importance of LP as an educational facilitator’s blueprint but preparing it in the most detailed way I can hastens my retirement. [I have to spend short sleeping hours just to come up with five preparations daily.]


14. Beware of “filler” tasks:
When you have a to-do list filled with important tasks, be careful not to get distracted by “filler” tasks. Things such as organizing your bookcase or filing papers can wait until you tackle the items that have the highest priority.

Filler tasks usually ruin my day’s sched. Accustomed to divert from prioritizing stuff in the A-list to minding trivial errands such as filing papers and reorganizing piles of documents, I ended having accomplished no relevant concern.

15. Avoid efficiency traps:
Being efficient doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being productive. Avoid taking on tasks that you can do with efficiency that don’t need to be done at all. Just because you are busy and getting things done doesn’t mean you are actually accomplishing anything significant.

Ample preparation time is the key to a successful activity. On the same hand, cramming doesn’t yield best results.

***

Tempus fugit! Time flies! Make the most of it!

Four Ps to Ditch your Fair–Weather Friends

Four Ps to Ditch your Fair–Weather Friends

Courtesy: Flicker

Let’s face it. Not everyone is a friend! This statement surely violates Christian norms but let’s be realistic. Not all has the bearing of a good friend, more specifically and ideally, an authentic friend.

While it is true that real friends aren’t part of the endangered species yet, we should realize by not sounding scornful that sorting friends is a big deal. Ditching the unreal (people) is therefore, a must!

On a very personal note, I pause to ponder on the cliché, I quote, “Prosperity makes Friends; adversity tries them.”

I have a lot of friends and I enjoy being with them. We have our own share of differences yet we have one thing in common – we love our friendship.

Circles of friends, I have plenty. Some are very casual, plain acquaintances as we always call them. Many are nice ones.

Good and better friends, they are more than a handful, and I always appreciate them and the joy they always bring me. Close and intimate friends – there are only a few of them! They are true friends and are very hard to find. Truly, rare as they are, finding them is a gold mine. No more argument on this.

But what about those who shammed an image of a friend just for egocentric intentions? Those who are only around during your ups? Or those who manifest their presence only to demand a favor? We all loathe this kind of people! Bloodsucker!

So how then do we test our ‘friends’? How do we bring out the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ in them? And finally how do we get rid of them just in case they failed us?

Hmm, I have four Ps for you:

1. PUT your friends to the test. It’s either you play the sucker or you’re on the provocative side, designing a plot that will unsheathe your friends real characteristics. Add some drama in your day-to-day relationship or your casual togetherness. Be a creative (but never be an offensive) leg-puller!

2. PLAY the spy – Be devious in your affairs. But be cautious not to cause too much trouble. Your role here is to uncover who’s being true or not among your friends. You are not supposed to intentionally inflict grudges in them for in the end you’ll end up the rogue. Just play it safe.

3. PITCH INTO their ploys – in case that their plots are way too obvious, be straightforward to overturn their backbiting. The more they know that you are not an easy victim the lesser they become aggressive in leeching up on you.

4. PUT UP your scarecrows. Chase your opportunistic friends away by setting up a character that is frightening yet not very dangerous. In one of the sms I received, it says – “Never design your character like that of a garden where anyone can walk into”. Instead create an aura of suspense where their deceiving friendship should come to wane.

Life is but short. Friends and friendship do add colors to our lives. So why bask on people who aren’t even real to you?

Treasure real friends and be thankful for them. They are our earthly angels. They deserve our unconditional love and respect. They are indeed great blessings!

Then, DITCH those fair-weather friends. Spare them in your friends’ list before it’s too late!