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Author Archives: HARDPEN

Mga Maling Akala

downloadAng maling akala ay nakaka-istres. Wala itong magandang idinudulot. Para itong bumerang na kapag inihagis mo ay babalik sa iyo. Tanging ikaw lang ang maaapektuhan nito. Kasabihan pa nga na nakakamatay daw ang maling akala. Kaya makakabuti na umiwas dito. Iwasang mag-akala ng kung ano-ano. Ang payo nga ng “Eraserheads” eh bago maniwala’y mag-isip-isip ka muna.

Marami kang maling akala. Hindi ba’t inakala mo na ang lahat ng tao ay kikilos, magsasalita, at mag-iisip sa pamamaraang iyong inaasahan. Maling-mali ka diyan. Huwag mong asahan na ang kapwa mo ay susunod sa mga panuntunan at paniniwala mo kapag sila’y kumilos, nag-salita, at nag-isip. Tiyak na madidismaya ka lang at mai-istres. Baka pa masira ang tuktok mo sa kaiisip at sa sama ng loob eh sumabog ang iyong dibdib.

Hindi mo kontrolado ang pag-iisip ng ibang tao. Hindi mo puwedeng igiit sa kanila ang konsepto mo ng tama at mali. Tanging ang sarili mo lang ang pwede mong diktahan at manduhan. Hindi mo mapipigilan  ang gustong gawin at sabihin ng ibang tao sa pamamaraang kanilang pipiliin. Tanging ang sarili mong kilos at pananalita lamang ang pwede mong bantayan.

Huwag mong isipin na porke natapos ng kolehiyo eh aasta na may-pinag-aralan. Ito ay isa pa sa mga mali mong akala. Minsan kung sino pa iyong hayskul lang o walang tinapos na ano mang antas ng edukasyon ay siya pang edukadong maituturing. Madalas kasi na kapag nagiging titulado ang tao ay tumataas masyado ang pagtingin sa sarili sa punto na nawawala ang respeto sa kapwa  at nakakalimutan ang kababaang-loob.  Akala ang diploma eh lisensiya upang maging walang-hiya at mapagmalaki.

Ang kagandahang-asal at kabutihang-loob kasi ay hindi lang sa paaralan itinuturo. Nagsisimula sa tahanan ang pagkakatuto sa mga bagay na ito. Tungkulin ng magulang na imulat ang kanilang mga anak sa mga ito.

At sana’y hindi mali na akalaing ginagampanan ng bawat magulang ang tungkuling ito dahil kung hindi, kung hindi naturuan ng mga tatay at nanay ang kanilang mga anak ng tamang disiplina, eh medyo mahihirapan na ang mga guro sa paaralan na turuan ang mga bata ng kagandahang-asal at kabutihan-loob.

Huwag mo ring isipin na porke may-gulang na eh husto na sa pag-iisip. May mga matanda na pero kilos-bata at isip-bata pa rin. Marami rin namang mga nasa katanghaliang-gulang o mas bata pa subalit kakakitaan mo na ng kahustuhan sa pag-iisip at pag-kilos.

Tama naman na i-base mo sa edukasyon ang mga ekspektasyon mo dahil nga sa kung nakapag-aral ang tao at nasa kahustuhang gulang na eh aasahan mong siya ay disente, matino, at maayos kung gumawa ng desisyon. Pero huwag kang pakakasiguro. Huwag kagyat na magtitiwala at umasa na ganito o ganoon siya dapat umasta  porke siya ay edukado at nasa tamang-gulang. Magmatyag ka muna at makiramdam.

Eh paaano kung pala-simba ang tao, nagnonobena, at deboto pa ng kung sino-sinong santo? Kagyat mo  ba siyang pagkakatiwalaan at aakalaing  may takot siya sa Diyos? Lahat ba ng taong kakilala mo na tuwing Lingo at unang Biyernes ng buwan kung mag-simba ay puspos na ng kabanalan? Porke ba ang kakilala mo ay naglalakihan ang mga santong isinasali sa mga prusisyon o napaka-aktibo sa  mga aktibidad ng simbahang kinaaaniban niya eh akala mo na maituturing na siyang isang taong banal at perpekto? Ikaw, nasa sa iyo iyan. Kung sa tingin mo nga ay katiwa-tiwala ang tao dahil halos sa simbahan na siya natutulog eh “good luck|” na lang.

Kasi nga napakadami daw na mga banal na aso at santong kabayo. Kaya nga natatawa si “Yano”…hihihihi! Paano daw ba naman eh iyong aleng kasabay niya sa jeep, nagrorosaryo habang nakapikit, na nang pumara sa kumbento eh hindi huminto ang mamang tsuper baka daw hulihin siya ng pulis. Nagmura nang nagmura daw iyong ale hanggang makababa.

Ikaw… may mga kakilala ka bang nagbanal-banalan? At teka, akala mo ba na lahat ng tinatawag mong father, sister, pastor at ministro ay puwedeng pagkatiwalaan? Maraming lobo ang nag-aanyong tupa. Kaya kaiingat ka!

Ingat ka rin sa mga tumatawag sa iyo ng brother at sister, sa mga inaakala mong kaibigan, dahil hindi lamang sa gubat maraming ahas. Minsan nga eh may mga ahas na ang tawag sa iyo eh BFF. Ingat ka sa mga kamag-anak ni Hudas. Ingat ka rin sa mga “kaibigan kapag may kaylangan.” Linta ang mga iyan,

Hindi ko sinasabing pagdudahan mo ang lahat ng taong nakapaligid sa iyo. Pinag-iingat lamang kita. Nais ko lamang na ikaw ay matutong magmatyag at makiramadam dahil nakakamatay nga ang maling akala. Kilatasin nang mabuti ang mga taong nakapaligid sa iyo at tiyakin mong ang pagtitiwalang ibibigay mo eh hindi mo pagsisihan.

Ang tunay na kaibigan eh parang ginto. Kilatisin mo sila ng mabuti. Alam mo naman siguro ang pagkakaiba ng ginto sa tanso. Sana sa bandang huli eh hindi mo sasabihing – “Akala ko si BFF ay 24-karat, peke pala.”

Heto ang pinakamatindi sa mga mali mong akala – na ang kapalaran mo ay nakaguhit na sa iyong palad bago ka pa man isilang.

Sa maniwala ka o hindi, ikaw ang guguhit ng sarili mong tadhana.

Huwag kang umasa sa suwerte. Akala mo ba na totoo na ang kapalaran ay umiikot na parang roleta at hihintayin mong huminto sa jackpot at pagkatapos ay “you will live happily ever after”? Eh paano kung sa bokya tumapat?

Huwag kang umasa kahit kanino upang iangat ang iyong sarili at makamit mo ang tagumpay na inaasam. Tama ka kung iniisip mo na tungkulin ng mga magulang na tiyakin na magkakaroon ka ng magandang kinabukasan. Dapat ka nilang palakihin at papag-aralin. Eh papaano kung wala talagang kakayahan ang iyon mga magulang na suportahan ang iyong pag-aaral? Tapos na ba ang laban mo?

Totoong may gulong ang kapalaran na iikot habang nilalakbay ang buhay. Pero ang gulong na naturan ay nakadugtong sa isang manibela. Hindi ka sasakay sa ibabaw ng gulong at baka pag-ikot nito ay magulungan ka bagkus ay humawak ka sa manibelang nakadugtong sa gulong. Darating ang panahon na dapat huminto ang mga magulang mo, o sino pa man, sa pagkontrol ng iyong buhay. Ikaw ang magpapasiya niyan kung kaylan.

Ikaw ang magdedesisyon kung kaylan mo hahawakan ang manibelang nakadugtong sa gulong  ng iyong kapalaran upang ikaw na ang magmamanibora nito. Akala mo ba na magdaramdam ang mga magulang mo kong kung gagawin mo iyan? Hindi! Tiyak na magiging masaya sila kapag naramdaman o nakita nilang gusto mo nang hawanin ang mga damo at tinik sa daang gusto mong tahakin.

Kung walang kakayahan ang mga magulang mo na pag-aralin ka aba’y magtrabaho ka at mag-ipon upang matustusan mo ang iyong pag-aaral. At sana lang eh hindi ka isa sa mga nag-aakala na tungkulin ng gobyerno mo na bigyan ka ng trabaho. Mali ring akala iyan. Pasalamat ka kung may trabaho silang maibibigay sa iyo pero kung wala eh gumawa ka ng sarili mong paraan. Dumiskarte ka. Huwag ka nang dumagdag sa napakarami ng pasanin ng mga namamahala sa bayan natin.

At teka, akala mo ba na kaylangang tapos ka ng kolehiyo upang magtagumpay sa buhay? Maling akala rin iyan. Hindi lahat ng tao na nakarating sa rurok ng tagumpay ay may naka-graduate. Marami ang naging tanyag at yumaman kahit wala silang tinapos na kurso sa unibersidad. Sino sila at bakit sila nagtagumpay? I-google mo.

Uulitin ko – huwag mong i-asa sa iba ang pag-angat mo sa buhay at ang katuparan ng mga pangarap mo. Tanging ikaw lang makakagawa niyan. Siyempre, puwede mong sandigan ang Panginoon. Pero tandaan mo itong paulit-ulit nilang sinasabi – “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”

Sa palagay ko’y nagkakamali ka kung akala mo na ang estado ng buhay mo sa kasalukuyan ay resulta ng kapalarang itinakda para sa iyo ng Panginoon. Kung miserable ba ang buhay mo ngayon eh hindi ako naniniwala na  iyan ang itinakda  ng Amang nasa langit para sa iyo? Baka naman may mga mali kang naging desisyon sa nakaran kaya ka nagkaganyan

Ang isang katotohan na sana ay matutuhan nating yakapin ay ito – ano man ang kahihinatnan ng buhay natin, ano mang meron tayo ngayon at kung saan tayo nakarating, ay resulta ng lahat ng desisyong ginawa at gagawin pa natin. Kaya sana maging maingat tayo sa anomang desisyon na gagawin natin.

Sabi nga ng “Eraserheads” – “Huwag kalimutang magdahan-dahan kung ‘di ka sigurado sa kalalabasan, kalalabasan ng binabalak mo.” Dagdag pa nila, “Hindi mo maibabaon sa limot at bahala kapag nabulag ka ng maling akala.”

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Where Has “Positive Thinking” Brought Me?

growth

“Positive thinking” as a concept is like a narrow street that seemingly leads to nowhere. When you embrace it and take the first few steps forward, it would make you feel like you’re not going anywhere.

Consider that normal. When you venture into the unknown and leave your comfort zone, it’s normal to feel iffy. It is your old negative mental programming taking control of your thought processes. As you take a few more steps forward, doubts would start to set in and you’ll be tempted to go back where you came from. That temptation to abandon the journey just beginning would become stronger when people around you start saying how crazy you are to even believe that “positive thinking” works. But should you succeed in conquering all the negative chatters and take the courage to just keep on walking you would soon hit the main road.

The main road that narrow street called “positive thinking” leads to is “personal growth and development.” That was what I personally discovered.

When I decided to dive deeper into “positive thinking,” I realized that it is but the tip of the iceberg. “Positive thinking” is not the main thing. “Personal growth and development” is.

My journey to “positive thinking” started with my accidental discovery of a “self-help” film. I stopped by a stall selling old (pirated) DVDs of old movies. The label (title) of the one of the DVDs – “The Secret” – caught my attention. It intrigued me. So, I picked it up thinking that it’s either a mystery-thriller or a sci-fi movie.

I described in full that encounter with “The Secret” in my essay entitled “Beyond Positive Thinking.”

It is that “self-help” film that got me into positive thinking. For me, anything that advocates positive change is worth my time and worth trying. I though I had nothing to lose but everything to gain when I decided to give it a try.

When I watched that film for the second time, I took off my “critic’s hat” and emptied my mind of all those philosophies that tried to filter all the information the film conveyed and was leading me to analysis paralysis. Anyway, all of those philosophies – all of those isms – which I previously learned were seemingly not leading me to what I want to be and what I want to achieve. Honestly, at that point in my life, I was not even so certain of what I really wanted to be and what I really wanted to achieve. That “self-help” film offered me an option, an opportunity to try another system of beliefs that might help me have clarity of purpose.

I really thought then that my PhD would transform me into the best version of myself. I was wrong.

So, I took a leap of faith and embraced “positive thinking.” I walked down that narrow street that seemingly led to nowhere. I struggled but succeeded in overcoming doubts, in shooting down skepticism, and in turning a deaf ear to the internal and external negative chatters.

And I don’t regret that decision I made.

Then I probed deeper. I read existing literature about “positive thinking” and watched lots of videos about it. That’s how I came to discover that it (“positive thinking”) is the narrow street that leads to the maid road called “personal growth and development.”

“Positive thinking” is the springboard to “personal growth and development.” The former is the key to unlocking the latter. I strongly believe that only when a person develops dispositional optimism, when that person expects good things to happen, and when that person hopes that he/she could be a better person and live a better life  that he/she would become open to the idea of undertaking the necessary steps to venture seriously into growing and developing further as a person.

When I reached the end of that narrow street of “positive thinking” and got to the main road of “personal growth and development,” I confirmed that indeed it (“positive thinking”) is just the beginning of the journey. The road ahead is long and winding. There’s much to be done. After the “thinking” comes the “doing.”

I discovered that in order to experience meaningful growth and development as a person, it would take more than “positive thinking.” There are other requirements aside from having a positive mindset. There are other things that ought to be done and these are what the gurus of “personal growth and development” commonly describe as the practices and habits that made extremely successful people who and what they are. These people became the best versions of themselves and had found the happiness, good health, and wealth they sought because of such practices and habits.

These practices and habits are actually very practical ones. They are not magical and out of this world stuffs. They are as follows: knowing your whys; embracing a solid belief system; goal setting; short and long-term planning; managing time effectively; developing self-discipline; practicing mindfulness; being purposive; becoming self-sufficient; and living a balanced life.

These are the things that Brendon Burchard, Tom Bilyeu, Jim Rohn, Wayne Dyer, Les Brown, Joe Dispenza, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek, John Maxwell, Mel Robbins, and the like, recommend to people intending to maximize their potentials.

The above-mentioned experts in the field of “personal growth and development” pointed out also that extremely successful people have a common hobby – reading. They also practice meditation.

What I consider as the most significant among those practices or habits of people who reached the pinnacle of success in their fields of endeavors is “living a balanced life.”

“Balanced life” is a concept difficult to define definitively. It is so because people have different priorities and live different kinds of life.

But when I sifted through the works of advocates of “personal growth and development” I saw a common pattern about living a “balanced life” that made me understand what the concept is. And it is not rocket science.

Firstly – as people work hard to achieve what they want in life – money, degree, fame, and what have you – they should not disregard their health and relationships. Not disregarding health means eating the right food, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly. Not disregarding relationships means not forgetting that you have a family and friends needing your attention too.

Secondly (and lastly) – become a well-rounded person. Becoming a well-rounded person means bearing in mind that you are a physical, intellectual, emotional, and a social being (insert spiritual if you happen to believe in God). You should strive to develop in all these areas.

This is how far “positive thinking” brought me – to the discovery of these “personal growth and development” practices and habits. They seem to be simple, but believe me, they  are easier said than done – especially if you have a fixed mindset and you keep looking at life and the world using a negative perspective.

REMEMBERING MY DAD

father and sonI sorely miss the best  dad in the world – Mussilini De Villa Ligaya.

My dad was a clever good-looking Batangueño with a great sense of humor. That’s the best way to describe him.

He was a merchant. He would buy different products (clothes, kitchen utensils, blankets, mosquito nets, etc.) from Divisoria and sell them in far-flung barrios (villages) in the provinces of Central and Northern Luzon. He would bring me along once in a while especially during summer time. I was so fascinated by his capability to interact with people, make them laugh, and convince them to buy.  There were times that my father challenged me to initiate and close deals. I tried so hard to copy his good business acumen.

Aside from teaching me how to communicate with customers, my dad also impressed upon me when I accompanied him in his business sorties the values of hard work and patience. We perspired, huffed and puffed, as we carried the products he was selling and walked together through muddy rice paddies to reach homes of potential customers in places which the vehicle he hired could not reach.

Those were the times that I realized that whatever we want in life will not be served in a silver platter.

My dad was the reason why I developed fondness for reading. He was a voracious reader. Everyday he would read three newspapers – Bulletin Today (now Manila Bulletin), Tempo, and Balita. He did not spend a single day in high school but he was so good at English. He was my first English teacher.

He was also the reason why I included “teaching overseas” among my career options. Way back in the late 1990s, when I informed my dad that I was about to complete my Master’s, he asked this question – “How much would your additional degree add to your monthly salary?” I gave him a rough estimate of what would my monthly pay be should I get that graduate degree. He shook his head and told me that my cousins (and the husband of a cousin) who have no Master’s but are working as seamen are receiving salaries three (3) to five (5) times higher than mine.

In no way that my dad undervalued education. He was the one who pushed (and helped) me to get a college diploma. He merely challenged me to maximize the returns of whatever degrees I earned. That night, I revisited my career path and included ESL teaching abroad as an option.

My coming here to South Korea to teach was not an overnight decision, it was a part of a plan – a plan that was influenced by my dad.

I love you dad!

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