Paradigm Shift

The great thinker Stephen Covey once said, “If you want to make minor, incremental changes and improvements, work on practices, behavior or attitude. But if you want to make significant, quantum improvement, work on paradigms.”

A paradigm means perception, theory, or a lens how you view the world.

You are in your world because that is how you view the world.

If you believe life can be richer, abundant, and amazingly incredible, you will experience life exactly what you believe. If you believe life cannot anymore be better, you will live in mediocrity for the rest of your life.

As much as possible I veer away from talking politics here in OBT because that is not my realm.  I always look at the positive side of things and try to capture the purpose why words were said.  We all know that President Duterte has been in the news because of his remarks about ‘a stupid god’.  Why did he say that?  What was his purpose?

Allow me to give my honest opinion.

We all know President Duterte is not good in words.  He can say bad words in front of the public and doesn’t really mind.  Don’t listen to the words but try to understand in between words.  His image is a tough guy, not a good guy.  He is capable of making drastic changes.  But I do believe he will do everything to make the lives of the Filipinos better.

Having said that, so what was the reason behind his remarks?

I believe the reason behind his remarks was he wanted to change most of the Filipinos paradigm.  Many Filipinos live in poverty because they believe God wants them to suffer.  Many Filipinos misinterpret the image of Jesus Christ on the cross as a message that to follow Christ we too should suffer and live in poverty.

You can’t really do much on a person who has locked his paradigm on poverty.  Even if you give him all the opportunities and resources, he will still go back and continue to live in poverty.

I know this because that was how I used to believe.  I used to believe that I don’t deserve the good life because of my sins.  I used to believe that God is angry at me because at times I was lazy, I didn’t do well in school, etc.  I used to beat myself for the sins I committed.  Because of my twisted belief, my life back then was gloomy, dark and poor.

I totally misunderstood the Catholic faith.  Thank God I kept on searching for the truth.

When I started to understand that our God is a loving God and whatever I do He still loves me, that changed my life.  Now I work hard because I want to love more and serve more.  I always pray that He will use me to the hilt in spreading His love.

For those of us who are enjoying the abundance and richness of life, we need to go out of our comfort zone and be a light to those who are still in the dark.

Be Jesus to somebody today.

Simplicity and Happiness

My son likes animals and insects. Among his favorites are horses, elephants, spiders and lizards. Such a wide selection. Whenever we are in a mall, he never misses riding the merry-go-round. He would hug the horse like a long lost friend. Every time we get home from work, the first thing my wife and I do is to play with him. My wife is great at telling stories. Me, I just wrestle the young boy.

Watching my son play reminds me how simple life should be. Advertising everywhere, they all bombard us of things that make our minds think we need those things. It is great to dream big. It is not a sin to buy expensive toys. I have big dreams. I do sometimes buy expensive things. But I believe what we need to ask is, does it contribute to our joy or remove us from what we value most?

After I got married to the woman of my dreams, I knew I have to spend more time with her. I’ve identified my treasure and there is no way I am going to let it go. As a CPA and an IT Professional, I knew I could get a high paying job abroad. But that never became an option for me because that would mean spending less time with my treasure.

After identifying my treasure, I have to be with my treasure because I know that is where happiness is. To be happy – isn’t it that is what we all strive for?

I believe there are two trails – the money trail and the relationship trail. As the head of the family, I know that providing for your family is important. That’s why a lot of parents follow immediately the money trail. They follow it religiously, then they follow and follow until they find themselves too deep into the trail that they cannot turn back and repair a broken relationship trail. To prove a point, how many OFWs have said that they would choose to be with their family than to work abroad?

“Money is important, but it is not everything.” – from the book Raising Heirs by Eleanore Lee Teo

Many people don’t do Cost Benefit Analysis in choosing a career. We normally just see the dollar that we are going to earn, not the time that will be taken away from own family. If it is just a few months, probably that’s ok. But if it means missing a good number of years away from your family, you may want to think about it.

What good does it do if you have all the money you want but have a broken relationship with the ones you love?

I’m an analytical person. I did not follow the money trail. I followed the relationship trail. I just have faith that anywhere I go I can make a living, but there is only one place to have a life and that is with my loving wife.

So the solution is this – I believe it should be you follow the money trail with respect to your relationship trail. What do I mean? You find a way to make money around your treasure. In my case, we started a business, a business that is closest to my wife’s heart – a center for children now known as Trails. In a business, you need to have structure and content to make it viable. At Trails, I take care of the structure, she takes care of the content. In anatomy, I am the bones, she is the flesh. We are yin and yang.

It is not a perfect ride. We have some disagreements. But that is what makes life interesting. Whether we disagree or agree, we are doing it together.

We are at a point we believe we can accomplish anything as long as we are together. With that I’m pretty sure more wealth will follow.

Matthew 6:33 says, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Seek love first and everything will follow.

Father’s Love

We have a lot of pillows in our bed. We use these pillows as cushion on walls to protect our son. This leaves me and my wife one pillow each for our head. During the course of sleep, these pillows would be rearranged. My son moves a lot. At first, he would sleep beside my wife, cuddling her ears. Next thing you know, he will be upside down with his feet on my face. Earlier this morning while I was half asleep, I found him with his head near the wall with no cushion on. When I saw that, I immediately grabbed my only pillow and placed it against the wall so that if my son turns, he won’t bump his head.

The instinct of a father is to protect his family whatever the cost maybe. A father will do anything to give his family a better life.

My dad is a retired ship captain. A few months ago in one of my rare moments with him, he revealed to me that every time he left home to get onboard for another long voyage, he would cry when he reached his cabin. My dad didn’t show to us that he was having a hard time. He didn’t tell us that life at sea and being away from your family for years is such a heartbreaking experience. Keeping his tears from us was his way of telling us that life goes on and not to worry whether there will be food on the table, I have clothes to wear and a shelter to keep us warm. Our dad gave us this luxury that we never appreciated. All we saw was his mistakes and his absence on times we needed a father. For this, I apologize to my dad for being cruel. Cruel for not understanding what he needed to go through to keep us afloat. He gave his all and I am forever grateful.

For my dad, his version of love was to provide and probably thought that the need for time will be compensated by our mom. Time was something he cannot give.

Now as a father and a husband, being the head of the family is more than just providing for your family’s needs. You’ve got to give your time. My son needs me and I’ve got to be there.

The greatest joy I have right now is whenever I see my wife and my son having a special moment together. I took this picture and incidentally you can see in the background Fuel Express. Indeed, this is what fuels me everyday.