Built-in Regulation Mechanism: Part 1

Life is like a buffet, it is abundant.  If you have been to a buffet, no matter how plenty and limitless the food is, you can only eat so much.  Our stomach can only digest so much.  It varies of course between people.  When you have eaten enough, your body will tell you to stop.  You will probably experience tightness in your stomach, shortness of breath, nausea or even dizziness. When you experience this, it is actually too late.  When your body experiences threshold level, it sends signals to your brain to stop.  Your brain takes time to respond.  The lag, which is the equivalent to the excess food that you’ve taken, can lead to high blood, hypertension or even heart attack.

I believe God designed life to be abundant for us to enjoy it.  But He also placed a built-in regulation mechanism everywhere to maintain balance.  Maintaining balance is elusive but should never be ignored when we look at the world in general and in human life.

The World

God made the plants, birds, insects, wild animals, hills, valleys, air and human beings and placed them in one planet to coexist.  In Genesis 2: 15,

Then the LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it. And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”

The story of the Fall of Man tells us about our greed.  There are probably a million trees in the Garden of Eden, A MILLION TREES, yet we still ate the fruit of that one tree, ONE TREE, God forbade us.  Look at what we are doing now.  There are literally thousands of varieties of plants and fruits that we can eat.  There are tons of fish and rice that we can make.  Yet there are people who eat cockroaches, snakes, monkeys and bats.  This virus that is currently rampaging the whole world came from bats.  God made bats look scary and hid them in the darkest corners of the world to tell us – YOU SHOULD NOT EAT THEM.  Yet we ate them.  So now this is what is happening, “for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”

This is the built-in regulation mechanism of the world in action and we are paying the price for it.

Bullying is a hot topic nowadays in school.  As the dominant species in this planet, we are acting like bullies.  Not because we are more intelligent and higher in intuition doesn’t give us the right to impose our will to everything in this world.  We separate the baby cows from their mothers the moment they are born and put them in cages, disregarding the cry of the mother without remorse.  We pollute the air to create toys for our enjoyment.  We destroy forests and cut the trees that serve as homes of several species of birds, to make our coffee table.  The thing that bothers me is that we are all part of this.  Human beings have built systems that integrate this inhumane and disrespectful acts.

If we don’t clean up our acts together, the world will always self regulate and the price could be greater.

It is our greed that is killing us.  This pandemic is telling us that the world can exist without us humans and grimly it seems it is better off without us.  As the dominant species, we need to be RESPONSIBLE in taking care of this planet. There are currently 7.5 billion people in the world.  The population is increasing at an alarming rate of 7 to 8% per year.  The emphasis on nurturing essential skills like respect, responsibility, and self-control has never been more urgent than this time.

Fortunately, there is still time.  We still have our chance to make this right and to be better stewards of the world.

(Part 2 soon.)




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:


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.


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.


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.’


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.)

Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self

There is an artist in all of us. I met a lot of people in the corporate world who wished they could pursue their artistic inclination like painting, acting, making music and dancing, but don’t know where to start because they are stuck in a vicious cycle. These people are rich and empty as well.

I am in a process of recovering my creative self and I would like to share with you how it is working for me so far.

Twenty five years ago, I was searching for my identity. I was already a CPA back then, and working in one of the prestigious Auditing firms in the country. But something was missing. I was not creating. I remember during my childhood days, I love drawing and doing artworks. I used to win poster making contests in the schools I attended. It was not big a deal but I remember every time I draw or paint, I felt so aligned with the cosmos.

So I took up Advertising Arts at UST to pursue my dream as an artist. Aside from dreaming to be a painter and a designer, I also wanted to be a writer. One of the first books I bought, which was recommended by my brother Rommel was the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a book about discovering and recovering your creative self. It is also a 12 week program that gives you specific activities every week. It has helped thousands of people who became novelists, painters, scriptwriters and more. I can’t remember anymore if I finished the program but I remember that I started writing my Morning Pages. Morning Pages is a 3 page of non stop, no editing writing. Whatever comes to your mind you write it. For a time I religiously did my Morning Pages, filling out notebook after notebook after notebook. Then I stopped. Got busy with work and with a lot of things. The dream of becoming an artist and a writer got lost in the daily grind.

Two weeks ago, I attended a Writing Workshop organized by the people of Kerygma Books. It was their first time to organize such an event. Thank God for that. One of the speakers, Karren Renz Seña, author of the Lost Chronicles of Eden: Champions, recommended that we should do the Morning Pages.

So here I am, after 25 years, bought the book again and restarted my Morning Pages. And what a joy it has been to write and allow those thoughts to flow freely into my notebook.

This week is about recovering a sense of safety. One of the activities I need to do is to list down old enemies of my creative self-worth, people who served as building blocks, people who gave negative beliefs that I am not a good artist. You know what, I can’t think of any. Thank God no one really told me I was a bad artist or a bad writer. A lot of people told me I’m a bad photographer but that’s another story. But for visual arts and writing, nobody. If you happen to have people who bombard you with negative beliefs, just remember those are just their beliefs, not facts. In your pursuit of discovering or recovering your creative self, you should PURSUE PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Julia Cameron suggests that we should be willing to be bad artists, and with constant progress, someday we will become great.

In my case, I was blessed not to have old enemies. So what was my building block. My building block was myself. I did not believe in myself enough. I needed affirmations.

Another activity that I need to do is to look and write AFFIRMATIONS. I have a little reminder in my desk that I read everyday. One of the statements I wrote is that I always believe I am a great artist. Lately, I took out the first plate I did during my Advertising days and it wasn’t bad for a beginner. By the way, I got a grade of 1.0 for this plate. I suggest you write down your affirmations and post it somewhere that you can read everyday.

If you have a dilemma like mine, surround yourself with affirmations. This plate of mine is placed on top of my home desk to remind me that I am capable of doing creative work. If I did it before, I can certainly do it again.

The last thing I want to share with you today and the most important is MAKE TIME. If you don’t make time, nothing happens. Your life will be full of what-ifs and could have beens. Stop making excuses. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series when she was rearing a child single-handedly, living on food stamps and with no support at all. I now allot three hours of my time, every morning in doing the things I need to do to become a good artist.

Now is the time to discover the artist in you. If you have dabbled into arts before like me and somehow lost it, no matter what age or state you are in, it is not too late to recover it.

Predict your Future

Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important that knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

A lot of people believe that visionaries are only the CEOs, company directors, the presidents, and the people on the executive level.

No. I believe all of us are visionaries. We are not just visionaries, I believe that we are prophets also. I believe this is so because all of us have the gift of imagination. Our imagination is so powerful that it creates our future. The future that we will live is the sum total of all the imagination of the people today.

Let me tell you why you are a visionary and a prophet.

First, let’s do a little exercise. Imagine what will happen in the next hour? Can you predict with such accuracy? Think about it for a minute.

Done? If you can imagine what will happen in the next hour and with great accuracy that means you are a visionary and a prophet.

Let’s break it down. I will take myself as an example. For the next hour, I’m done writing this post and I will be eating my breakfast together with my family. How did I know?

My mind is quick to consider my pattern and the patterns of the people around me. It considers the time and the activity I am currently doing which is writing this post. So my mind is going into my memory bank and takes into account that the last time I wrote in the morning, immediately after, I ate my breakfast. My mind is also getting some signals from my grumbling tummy. And how can I tell that I will be eating together with my family? My mind goes again to my memory bank, normally my wife and my son comes down by 8 in the morning.

So there you go, I just predicted my future and I am sure you can do the same.

When you are done, try imagining later. Then tomorrow. Then next week. Then next month. Then next year. Before you know it, you can imagine what will happen 5 years or 10 years from now.

The elements that you need in imagining the next hour is the same as the elements you need in imagining 5 years from now.

In my example, assuming I don’t like the outcome which is eating breakfast with my family, then I need to do something different like leaving the house and play basketball. What happens is, our minds consider previous patterns and current signals and gives you suggestions. If you don’t like what your mind suggests, you have the power to choose not to react and alter the outcome.

CEOs and presidents of companies are oftentimes regarded as the visionaries. It is true because it is part of their jobs.

But you see, all of us are CEOs. We are the CEOs and presidents of our lives. You are responsible for your future. Don’t blame anyone if your future is not what you wanted. Blaming is for losers. You are a winner. You need to believe in yourself.

I will give you a tip. Look back 5 years of your life, reflect on your schedule, what activities did you put your time into? Who did you hang out most often? What stimuli did you respond most? Now, consider where you are now. If you like where you are now then just continue what you are doing. If you think there are certain areas in your life that needs improvement, then you need to change those patterns. If not, chances are, you will be where you are now, 5 years from now.