Sunday, September 28, 2008


Stick-to-itiveness’ – that’s a word Mom would freely use when reminding me of my goals. She’d say ‘be like glue and be sticky!’ She was kidding of course but she made sense I soon found out on my own when she passed away several years later.

It’s something like this. It’s determinedly focusing on something which you strongly believe in no matter what other people may say to the contrary. It’s working harder than the rest because you know well deep inside that it’s all going to be worth your blood, sweat, and tears someday. It’s pushing the button even harder when friends say you should give it up. It’s trusting in yourself and in what you are capable of even if they say that you can’t or never can. It’s strongly believing in possibilities and potential and that this could happen to you -- Because, to quote Mom, ‘whatever you give fully from your heart and soul the universe in its wisdom will give back to you in full measure too’.

Goals and dreams are not easy to pursue… whatever they are or whatever size they may be, big ones -- small ones. You’d be up against all known resistance or conflict and impediment that all seem to conspire to get you off the track or make things so hard for you that you’d begin thinking of shifting gears and taking another road – an easier one. I often wondered just where these difficulties real or imagined come from. They usually crop up when least expected or least needed. But then again Mom would say ‘they’re there to see if you got the stuff to follow your dream’. Oh they do huh?! Well, I told Mom with the best bravado I could muster ‘this is one person who won’t buckle down with the slightest difficulty’. Mom would simply smile to that (and that made me feel quite uneasy). Why do mothers always see through their children?! And so to make a long story short -- I persevered doggedly, determinedly, persistently, resolutely, tenaciously, and whatever-else-you-may-call-it but which should mean ‘stick-to-itiveness’ in Mom’s dictionary. But I did get there (…to some of my goals; am working still on the rest) and I’ve loved that word ever since…using it like I use my toothbrush everyday. Next to God, Mothers know best.

Consider the postage stamp, my son. It secures success through its ability to stick to one thing till it gets there." -- Josh Billings

(That's Maxie in the picture there, the youngest of our three dogs. She sure can teach you what 'determination' means. lols :-) Yeah, she succeeded to win a piece of Skittles from us.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


There was a time long ago in my teens that I would think ‘doing nothing’ was a crime. So I was careful that nobody would see me idle or resting. Made it a point that I would be seen as ‘doing something’ ‘working on something’ ‘performing’ ‘taking action’ – even when it was not necessary at all. Weird, wasn’t it? Well, life was a struggle and I was made to do my part to keep the wheels turning. Mom worked, Dad too, brother did the same—they all worked their butts out for the family. It got so hammered into me that pretty long the idea of rest became an abomination to my young mind. I was no longer comfortable being at rest. I saw the world and life as w-o-r-k!

So it was then and still was when I joined the corporate world… even if the reasons I slaved myself for were no longer there. Oh I still toiled my bones out on some days like I used to – well, habits are hard to shake off. But by some stroke of providence (that would be quite another long story) I began to change. This led me to a better appreciation of work and life, activity and rest, of what I can or can’t do and of what I should do given the right chance or opportunity.

I began to enjoy the day, time, moments, events, people, and the world at large. To my new eyes and mind the sky seemed bluer, the trees greener, the clouds like billows of cotton, the river waters rolling down merrily. I began to notice everything there was to see – hear – touch – experience – because I took the time to rest from my labors. So if I would be asked again… Doing nothing sitting under the shade of a tree or dipping my feet in the waters by the shore or looking up at the star strewn evening skies – is time well spent indeed, believe me. I realized finally that life isn’t all about work and work is not life and that a good balance between work and rest gives us a better handle on life and on ourselves. And so much more – I learned to see God better and His work in my life clearly… and learned well to appreciate it with my whole heart. In turn He taught me how to appreciate me.

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." -- J. Lubbock

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Why is it that whenever the words chances or mistakes are spoken of most people would cringe hearing it? Now give some reason why that is so. No? You can’t? Okay then, I’ll tell you why – it’s because we’ve been made to believe that ‘sticking your head out isn’t good for your sanity’. Haven’t heard that before? I wonder why because that’s what we’ve been doing all along - all of this time - all of our life. Have you noticed that anything which might or tend to crumple our perceived notions of tranquility or.. those which we think would work to extricate us from our comfort zones we vehemently disallow to encroach on our personal space and time. Yes, we don't. It’s avoided with extreme fear and anathema albeit not understanding the reasons at all or not wanting to. ‘Play it safe’ ‘don’t rock the boat’ ‘Make mistakes and you’re a goner’ ‘Err and you’ll suffer’ are but a few odd things we tell ourselves or we hear from people who say they ‘know’. But do they really?

What I know is this – the only genuine way to true learning is by making or experiencing mistakes and sticking our heads out letting something hit it hard so that we can come to our senses at last. Oh I don’t mean that literally of course, don’t get hurt that way, but of course you know what I mean, right? The best lessons are learned from the strife or struggle wherein we get our hands really dirty and our brains spilled out all over the place and our hearts ricocheting here there and everywhere. Only through heartaches and pain from battles fought tenaciously do we get that which we should be learning from life and own it and finally use it.

"Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being Brave." -- Mary Tyler Moore

Friday, September 19, 2008


Problems, trials, difficulties, struggles, misfortunes, thorns or whatever else it is called but life surely has a good stack of them to keep us at our wit’s end. Whether they are gigantic or minute these problems can prick us where it can hurt us most -- And how we hurt! The thing is we can’t seem to get us out of there and I wonder why. Is it because being so overwhelmed by it we get dumbstruck and stuck to our shoes where we are? Or… because in our muddled up brains we can’t see anything beyond it? Or…that something got lost inside us and we don’t know how to get it back? Or…might it be that we have hang on doggedly to an idea that someone or something will come soon and pluck us out of our misery? To the latter I’ll say maybe and maybe not.

You do know that ‘life is what you make of it’, as a saying goes. So whether to welter in misery or get on the first plane out of there pronto, so to speak, is all up to you. The longer you stay in a situation where it can hurt you the harder it will hurt you – the harder it will harm you. And soon you will find yourself begin to lose the power to change. You certainly don’t want that, do you? -Because change and only change is your relief and deliverance from your perceived misery.

"Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us." -- Voltaire

Sunday, September 14, 2008


‘Do nothing-do something’ or ‘to act-not to act’ --- these are the two things which life will always unfold or present to us - A dilemma which we are made to wrestle with in our lifelong journey. A number of people would say that some concerns do not require earth shaking solutions, sometimes if you leave it alone it just goes away. Oh I don’t know about that, what I see is that when a problem is left alone it tends to fester, seethe, churn, simmer, then evolve or explode into something much bigger that may go out of hand. No matter what the proponents of the do-nothing-resolve would say… that isn’t always the case. It’s rather more of a person’s preference or adherence to his own comfort zones which hold him to take that stand. Still that will not excuse a person from taking a course of action to solve an issue or concern. Problems require solutions, everybody knows that.

Choose to do something, act on the issue – this is far more rewarding and enriching, sometimes life-saving. It does not matter if you can only do so much, nonetheless do it just the same. But if you decide to do nothing because you think there isn’t much you can do, junk that thought right now because it is much better to take those small steps forward ---if that’s gong to take you closer to your goal each time. Try to see it from another perspective, not always yours, and see the problem for what it may or truly could be. There must be something in there you might have missed or didn’t notice. Try to see it with attentive detachment or objectivity. If you are viewing it from a small hill, then go up a mountain to get a better view.

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little." -- Edmund Burke