The Little Things

I just came from an online supporters night with Bro. Bo and Marowe Sanchez and the topic was about the secret of little things that make your marriage great.

Inspired by that conversation, here is my top 5 list of the little things I do to express my love to my wife Weng.

1. I hold my hunger to have breakfast with her

I am an early riser. I normally wake up at around 4:30 in the morning. I would usually go down to my office and start my day. My wife normally wakes up at 7AM. By the time she goes down to have breakfast, it would be around 7:30AM and I would be very hungry. Over the years I have managed my hunger because the pleasure of having breakfast with my lovely wife always outweigh whatever pain I feel in my stomach.

2. I drive her to work

Every Tuesday and Saturday, my wife goes to Manila to see her students at Trails. That is roughly around 20 kilometers from our house in Laguna. My wife is not really fond of driving and neither do I. But knowing that it would be a long day for her, I would always drop whatever I’m doing just to drive her to work. Sometimes it is a big effort on my part, especially during Saturdays. You see every Saturday early morning, it is my time to play basketball with my neighbors. But no matter how enjoyable it is to play basketball, I still choose to serve my wife.

3. I drop her off the entrance of a mall

When we go a mall or watch a movie, I usually drop her off on the mall entrance before driving the car to the parking lot. I do this so that she doesn’t have to walk far. If I know what she needs to do or buy in the mall, I would drop her off on the nearest entrance to where that store is.

4. I say I love you to her when I wake up in the morning and before I go to sleep

Saying I love you everyday is like renewing my vow every single day. Words are powerful. There are time that I don’t feel like saying it, but when I do, it changes my perspective and it reminds me that whatever differences we may have, love wins.

5. I take the smaller or lesser part

Every time we eat and there are two pieces left on the serving plate, I take the smaller or lesser part. If there are 2 hard boiled eggs left, I would get the imperfect one (the one whose white flesh was also taken when they removed the shell), if there are 2 fried chickens, I would get the neck or the smaller insignificant piece, Even in gadgets, my wife gets to use the latest gadget first.

My wife and I have been subscribers of a telco for many years and usually we get the new phone that comes along with our lock in contract every 2 years. Mid last year, both of us were using iPhone 6 but I was already due for a new one while her contract would end this year May. My phone had only 16gb of storage so it was already occasionally failing and slow. When we went to the telco store and inquired about my contract, the telco staff told me that I was eligible for an iPhone 8 plus with 64GB capacity. What an upgrade! So I renewed my contract and got the new phone. When we arrived home, I gave it to my wife. She goes first.

So there you go my top 5 little things I do for my wife.

How about you? What are your 5 little things that you do to your spouse, or fiance or partner?

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The Four Thieves of Happiness : Fulfillment and Happiness Part 2

I was an unhappy child. God gave me a lot of blessings and yet I was unhappy. I was unhappy because I allowed the four (4) thieves to steal my happiness away. Who are these four thieves and why should you guard yourself against them?

The are four thieves of happiness are:

Compare.

Life is not supposed to be weighed in terms of having material wealth, talent or the resources we have. It will not always be equal. There will always be people richer than you, more athletic than you, and more good looking than you. When you compare, you will soon find yourself not appreciating the blessings that you have. Then you plunge your way to misery as nothing is going to be better for you.

Don’t be caught by peer pressure. Always remember each one has his own story. When you see your peers having a great life because you see them able to buy the latest gadgets and constantly out on travel, don’t panic and start hating your family because instead of buying the latest iPhone, you are obligated to pay your little sister’s tuition fee.

Don’t be caught up by the standards of the world. You need to look at life in terms of purpose. If you are helping your parents get your other siblings finish college, you are receiving the gift of responsibility at an early age and what a blessing that is.

Compete.

The second thief is competing. Competition should exist only in the Olympics and when you are playing a game. Other than that, don’t compete. The problem with competing is it moves your focus to your competition, not on delighting your customers or your family. Keeping up with the Joneses is a familiar phrase. When your neighbor buys a new car, even if you don’t have a budget for it, you will also buy a new car and sometimes you will buy the higher model. Think about it and how egoistic it can get. When you have this mentality, you are allowing your competition or other people dictate your path in life.

Complain.

All of us are capable of dreaming. What God did was to give us the tools to reach our dreams. God did not give us the fruit, He gave us the seeds, water, soil and the ability to grow the plant so that eventually there is abundant harvest. Most of the time, we are impatient with the process and we don’t see these tools. They are right under our noses. We just don’t see them because we are busy looking for something that is lacking. We also complain why the process is slow. A well-known chef once said, ‘Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve you better, and to please you.’

Criticize.

I urge you to always see the glass half full. In an article in Forbes, research has found that seeing the glass half full not only makes you happier, it also makes you healthier and wealthier. When you see life that way, you expect good things to happen.

Train your mind to start looking what is good about people or the situation. When I play basketball and my shots are not going in, I would tell myself, well I can still play defense or at the very least I was able to break a sweat.

No matter how bleak the situation can become, believe that God has a bigger plan.

Those are the four thieves of happiness. Guard yourself against them. Some of them maybe living in you as a permanent resident, it is time to evict them.

(To be continued. Please leave your comments below. If you like this blog, please share to your friends.)

Fulfillment and Happiness

For many of us, there is nothing special about eating french fries. It’s a staple, it’s so ordinary. But not for my son, Etan. Everytime he eats french fries, it’s like his first time to eat it. He would sway his head as he eats them, he would dance, he would do all sorts of crazy moves while he devours the oily potato.

If you are a parent, I’m sure your kids do that too. I believe children behave joyfully because happiness is built in. You do not pursue something that is already built in.

There was that movie ‘the Pursuit of Happyness’ that perhaps made a lot of people think that they should pursue happiness.

Happiness is a choice that you can choose anytime, anywhere. It should not be dependent on anything, more so to something that you are not in control of. Many people would require things to happen before they tell themselves to be happy. You will only be happy when you get a promotion, when you close that big deal, when you travel abroad, when you have a fat bank account, when your crush smiles at you, etc.

If you have any of these as a requirement to be happy, I urge you to stop because you will never find it. You will forever be in a vicious cycle of wanting it more. This is probably one of the reasons why a lot of people are miserable.

Happiness is in the journey, not the destination.

I used to have this mentality and it really ruined me. When I was growing up, right at time when I was in college and at the start of my career, I was hungry for attention and validation. I would beat myself to work, learn this, learn that and constantly looking for ways to be validated as a human being. I was driven, I am still driven. But the difference between then and now is the why. Then, I was driven because I was seeking for pleasure – I want to buy things to make me happy. But now, I am driven because I want to help people have better lives. I have so much love to give because God loves me so much. I can’t really help it. I am bursting with love that I am compelled to help people see and feel the love of God.

Instead of pursuing happiness, what we need to pursue is Fulfillment.

Fulfillment is growth seeking. We grow in maturity and character when we pursue fulfillment. Pursuing fulfillment makes you look at the future with faith as opposed to pursuing happiness which is anchored on fear.

(To be continued. Please leave your comments below. If you like this blog, please share to your friends.)