You are Successful even if you think you are NOT!

From the writer of 10 Habits of Really Happy Couples, I am sharing below the 20 signs that you are succeeding in life, even if you don't feel you are.

Note that success here is not isolated to a career or business or relationship, but on how you experienced life as a whole and the perspective you acquired through these experiences.

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be.
Drama is not maturity. As we age, we should develop maturity. So maybe your relationships were drama-filled in your past, but if you have moved beyond that, then you are successful.

My two cents:
I know I've been such a cry baby. I tried to always win the arguments even over something petty. I used my brain to analyze things and worked on my wit to make a point (even if it's pointless, I realized now). I cried when I get angry, I cried when I was frustrated, I cried when I felt neglected. 

My boyfriend then (who is now my hubby) kept his silence whenever I have my fits. His way of dealing with me just added fuel to my emotion. I ranted, sending him essay type arguments thru text. There were times that he kept his distance for about days. I felt so neglected and unloved. But actually he was just waiting for me to cool down. Looking at it now, I am thankful for the patience he had with me most of the time (I said most of the time because there were really times that I got on his nerves.). And I can see now who is more matured and rational between us in handling things. 

2. You are not afraid to ask for help and support any more.
Asking for help does not equal weakness. In fact, it is a strength. No person has ever succeeded in isolation. It takes teamwork to accomplish goals. Asking or help is a sign that you have grown as a person.

My two cents:
My first job, I was always afraid to leave my seat and go to my supervisor's desk to ask for help for the fear of being branded as "stupid" or "bobo" or someone who does not know how to use her common sense (well I have history on this, I've been told to use my common sense by one of the technical lead when I asked her about how to run the PL/SQL script they gave me on the report I have to test in one day without a project walk through). Talks about trauma. If you have similar experience and you have overcome that fear, you've evolved!

I didn't know then that someone who's afraid to ask is actually afraid of learning and I didn't know then how to raise questions properly.

Asking is another way of fueling your growth. As I evolved into the person that I am now, I was able to practice the good approach of asking:
a) know the first question to ask so you can approach the person in charge CONFIDENTLY. Yes, even if you don't know or don't have any idea, approach with confidence so the other person will treat you with respect. Don't be such a mouse!
b) analyze the whole scenario so you will know what your follow up questions will be
c) understanding the purpose of what you are doing will lead you to the right questions
d) it's good to sum up and discuss the scenario to your supervisor first before diving to your main question. Don't assume that because the person is a supervisor, he/she already knows what you are about to ask

3. You have raised your standards.
You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. You hold people accountable for their actions. You don’t spend time with the “energy vampires” in your life anymore.

My two cents:
I evolved big time on this one. I was timid, a yes-man, passive, with fear of rejection, I hate confrontation and even healthy arguments. I've met bosses who treated me like I was one of their lady servants - doing personal errands for them, who felt stomach cramps at the sound of their voice whenever I felt like I've made a very tiny mistake (talking about my first corporate job). Knowing your grounds and your rights will help you not to tolerate bad behavior of other people. Don't spend time with them and seek their approval. Avoid them as much as possible. But if you are working with them on the same project, learn how to deal with them professionally - with confidence. If they see you cringe, they know they have an advantage on you. Don't be a bully of your own self.

4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.
No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. Self-love is success. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t serve your purpose, or drags you down.

My two cents:
As I have said, don't spend your time seeking approval or people you don't like.

5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.
Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you do it more than you used to, then that is success. Love yourself. You are awesome.

My two cents:
It helps in boosting self-esteem in looking yourself at the mirror and saying "you look good today" every day before going out. The first person who can extend love and affirmation to yourself is you - don't wait for others to notice it, start it yourself now.

6. You have learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.
Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. That’s just not realistic. Life is about victories and losses. So look at your setbacks as stepping stones to something better. In reality, there really is no such thing as as setback. It’s all just part of a wondrous journey.

My two cents:
Hindi araw-araw pasko -- the line I heard from my husband when I had a hard time getting my Barangay Clearance for our marriage certificate registration. Whenever there are unexpected delays on the things I need to accomplish, I always resort to a thought that maybe God used that delays for a reason bigger than mine - could be for me to avoid an accident, or to give priority to someone who's really needing it, etc. Setback, failure, losses - these are part of life, treat them as naturalizer so everyone could have a balance life on earth.

7. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.
If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. This is a painful realization, but once you learn to see the signs of betrayal, you can stay away from those people.

My two cents:
When I was younger, I count my friends and I am saddened because I only have a few in my circle. I envy my husband because he seems to have lots of connections from every season in his life. He's got a group of friends from grade school to college, previous office mates and church mates, new found friends from just around the corner. But come to think of it, if he's in need can he go to all of these friends to ask for help? Only few will respond for sure. I may have few friends in my circle, but if I count them I have about 1, 2 or 3 real friends. And I am pretty much sure I can count on them. If you know who you're friends are, you are lucky.

8. You don’t complain much.
Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. Unless you really have gone through some horrific life experience and had unimaginable losses, most of what we all experience on a day-to-day basis is just mundane. And successful people know that. And they live in a space of gratitude.

My two cents:
True, you have realized that there is really nothing to complain about because what you are experiencing are pretty much the same with what others are going through. Or maybe what they're having now are much worst than yours. You cannot complain how mundane your everyday is, or being always late because you live far and getting to office will take you three rides through traffic, or that you're salary is not enough to sustain your needs. You cannot complain how your frizzy hair ruined your date or your ankle hurts so bad when you walk because you wear a high heeled shoes. You cannot complain about how your life is taking its setback. Complaining won't do you no good and there's only you who can actually resolve that complains, no one will work out the solutions for you. Complaining is an energy-eater. However, being thankful and cheerful no matter how life gets you down gives you an energy to propel you through life.

9. You can celebrate others’ successes.
Just because other people succeed, that doesn’t make you a failure. Applaud the people who rise to the top. The more positive energy you give to other people’s victories, the more you will create your own.

My two cents:
Be happy with your fellow's achievement. Don't be bitter. Comparing yourself to the success of others won't give you a sense of satisfaction over your own accomplishment. There's always this feeling that you want to achieve greater than what others have. Compete with your own self not with others so you could beam with pride if you surpass the challenge you set for yourself. Don't view other's success as a prize to win.

10. You have passions that you pursue.
You are not stagnant. You know you have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You have unique talents and gifts. Not only do you know that, you pursue it.

My two cents:
If you like writing, don't give up on it. Have your own journal. Nothing can compare to the blissful feeling of completing something you really like. I feel the same every time I finished an entry, even if mine is far from making an entry into a magazine.

If you love serving others, join an outreach program.

If you're fond of running, join a running club and encourage fellow who wants to shed off some extra baggage.

Don't ever give up your passion. It will help you to be less grumpy and be more lively/happier.

11. You have things to look forward to.
If you don’t have exciting things going on in your life that you are eagerly anticipating, then you are slowly dying inside. Successful people create goals that they are passionate about pursuing. They let this excitement drive their life.

My two cents:
Dream and live for your dream. Aspire and work hard to achieve it. Live for your goal. Have you ever experience being lazy about doing something because you don't know what's the purpose behind your action? Pretty much the same thing if you wake up every day feeling miserable all day. Living a life with a purpose enable you to look beyond tomorrow.

12. You have goals that have come true.
Even though “failures” are a part of life, you have stuck to your goals and dreams long enough to make them come to fruition. You have  some tastes of victory. It fuels you.

My two cents:
Have you heard the song entitled "Count your Blessings (instead of Sheep) by Jose Mari Chan?

Usually we see success in life through milestones and major accomplishments that if these major things failed, we are quick to jump and judge our life as an epic fail. Learn to see life from a microscope point of view, every details can be seen (green flag for success, red flag for failure) and I bet you will see more green flags than red ones.

13. You have empathy for others.
A person without empathy is dead inside. Empathy equals spreading love and positive energy into the world. Successful people know this. They love others as if they are family.

My two cents:
Remember that sympathy is different from empathy. Sympathy is feeling what other feels but with boundaries. Whereas if you have empathy, you will have this urge to help out the needy, to encourage the burdened, to guide and share knowledge to those who were like you once - starting up with their career. Empathy = deep sense of consideration with others. An emotional quotient that is very essential when leading people.

14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.
Love is risky, and sometimes scary for people. It’s the one thing we all strive for, but it’s also intimately tied to the one thing we fear the most – rejection. If you open your heart enough to love and be loved, then you are successful.

My two cents:
You are not afraid of getting hurt. Because you already know that suppressing yourself of giving the love and depriving yourself of not feeling the love equate to the feeling of "you love but you lost". It's more painful 'not knowing because you have not tried' versus the 'you tried and were rejected. With not trying at all, there will always be wondering, unanswered questions, what ifs and worst regrets.

15. You refuse to be be a victim.
You know that life doesn’t always happen to you. Many times, you are a co-creator of your life experiences. Successful people know this and refuse to be kept down by life experiences. The rise up and conquer anyway.

My two cents:
You won't appreciate the happiness if you don't experience the sorrow. There will always be a time in your life that you will be played as victim, use this experience to relate with others, to grow empathy within you. Being a victim is part of your growth. If you have not been a victim even just once for your entire life, you have not been on the other side of life yet.

And to highlight the opposite of this -- STOP PLAYING A VICTIM. Stop shifting blames. As already mentioned, you are a co-creator of your life experiences.

16. You don’t care what other people think.
You know you can’t please everyone. You know that the standards with which society judges people is many times unrealistic. So you just keep true to yourself and love the person you are.

My two cents:
You already realized that you can't please everyone and you really did stopped pleasing everyone.

When we were preparing for our wedding, we were constrained with both time and budget. Though ours was a civil wedding, we want it to be like a simple church wedding - sentimental and everything well thought of (from the appointed wedding officiant, reception, food, ring, and clothes that we are going to wear). Challenge was that he was also leaving abroad for a one month project deployment and I was so anxious to get everything done before he gets his visa and flight details. This feeling led me to worry on not accomplishing everything to our expectation. I fretted out! My husband reminded me that we were doing our best and we should enjoy the preparation, not supposed to be stressed out. And that if it won't go the way we expect it to be, we are still getting married  and we are doing this to please God and not anyone else. I was hit straight to the heart :)

17. You always look on the bright side.
Life can be full of disappointments – if you choose to see them that way. Otherwise, they are learning opportunities. No negative experience is ever wasted as long as you learn from it.

My two cents:
You always see the glass half full instead of half empty. You always look at the positive side and you know that the silver linings on every clouds is a sign that there's a sun after the storm. Disappointments and failure? Bring them on! You are using them as your platform to advance through life.

18. You accept what you can’t change.
Let’s face it – there many things you can’t change in life. All you can change is how you view what happens. If you can change your negative perspective on situations to a positive one, then you are successful.

My two cents:
I remember the vow I made to my husband " accept you for who you are..."

There are certain things we can't change. Changing the core of one person is just one of them. In my life, this is a big realization. I used to think that if someone loves me, I can change him. But I now I know that would only be temporary if he change because he only wanted to please me, he will resort to his old ways because the change did not stem from his own desire. I cannot change my husband's past, I cannot change his character no matter how I despise the silent treatment he gave me when we are having arguments. But I am now viewing it as one of his strong characters because with that, we have avoided heated arguments.

You cannot change the government as a whole, it will take one decade of strengthening and sustaining the process by dedicated, service-oriented people to turn our government 360 degree change from corruption. But you can change your view, you can change how you react, you can change your actions.

19. You change what you can.
And let’s face it again – there are many things you can change in life. Successful people don’t sit around accepting the negatives that are changeable. They get out there and do something about it!!!

My two cents:
Talks about initiative. If you don't like a process, you don't go around complaining. You do something. You make something to happen.

20. You are happy.
To me, this is the ultimate definition of success. It doesn’t matter what the balance is in your bank account, how big your house is,  or how many fancy vacations you take. If you are happy, then you are succeeding in life.

My two cents:
I remember having asked several times by friends "are you happy?" after revealing the intricacies of my relationship with them. This question helped me evaluate the bottom line of why I was staying in a relationship I viewed complicated then. One of the most important things in life  are happiness and love. If you have these with you, you are full, content and are experiencing one of the success factors in life.

Roadblock anything that renders you difficulties to make progress or achieve your goal. A barrier.

Why such statement?

Three years and 11 months with my current company and I am feeling this itch again - you can compare it to a seven-year-itch. I can feel the symptoms all around me - happiness declining, my drive to become better and to explore loosens. My thought is like wading towards new environment, new people, new application to play around, new things to learn.

Like the seven-year-itch, there is also a pattern I'm feeling here which I am so alert I already raised a red flag to warn myself "this is not sooo good!". I do procrastinate a lot!

For one thing, I've been putting some task to a later time when I am fully aware I can do it alright within my 'now'. Another thing is that I am losing my focus and I am easily distracted with little things like chatting, social networking, songs on youtubes, frequent little breaks -- not so evident but steals my time softly.

Going back to roadblock, I know I am facing one right now. And when I recognize a problem I am up for a solution. Before I go down to a pitfall and ending up demotivated, I might as well heed my self-warning flag. It won't hurt to do a little self-motivation.

And right when I need it most, I happened to drop by Powerbooks at Alabang, scanned thru racks and found this book 'Motivation' by Jeff Davidson, a 60 second solutions to why we do a lot of putting off, delaying or deferring an action to a later time.

Why do I need this book? Because I answered most of the questions on page #7!

- spending too much time on periphery tasks
- finding it difficult to get started on some tasks that I know to be important
- putting off tasks and starting it when there is really a need to

Laziness is a sure one way of procrastinating. And when we do this, it lowers our initiative.

Now, why do we tend to become lazy when things are not tough? Reasons.
- We are comfortable and confident that task is easy and you can do it in no time
- We fear of failure that's why you are only maintaining your status quo
- Allowing little distractions get in our way
- Demotivated

Whatever your reason is, in the end you will know procrastinating is such a bad habit. In the end, you will always comes down to two options: either you do it or you will not do it, either you succeed or you will fail. I learned it the hard way.

So why procrastinate? It is just a roadblock to your success.

He Will Not Fail You

When you have given your all. When nothing is left within you but emptiness. When you think you are not enough. When everything else fails. Remember God will not fail you. He will not forsake you. If you are in your situation right now where everything seems to be pulling you apart? God will give you a way out. He will not give you something you cannot bear.


Heavenly Hugs

What's warmer than a hug when we're feeling lonely and sad? An affectionate squeeze encircles our body and embraces our heart. It makes us feel cared for, wanted and valued - Grace Fox

God have arms. Yours and mine are extensions of His. God wants to comfort the hurting. And He magically does that through us. Sometimes, that means literally extending physical hugs to other person. Other times it can be extended by emotional hugs through service, kind words, affirmation, encouragement, showing you care, giving your appreciation, expressing your thankfulness, offering a smile, etc...

Opportunities sorround us. If you are presented with one, don't let it pass without you taking advantage that chance to extend His heavenly hugs.

- Nessy

Waiting With Grace

Waiting on God is not something everyone is used of doing. Usually, our tendency is to get ahead and do our own thing. We plan, we set lifetime goals and we embark on fulfilling these goals without even praying, asking or consulting God if what we have in mind are aligned to His agenda in our lives.

We wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes to mind is our daily dose of concerns -
What to eat at breakfast.
What to pack up for lunch.
How can we be productive.
Our shopping spree, bonding with friends, what best movies to watch, who like our pictures at facebook or what's the best tweet at twitter, and the list goes on.

WE FORGOT TO express our gratitude to our God for giving us another day to live. We forgot to ask Him to bless our day, to give us strength to whatever may come our way. We get ahead. Because we're impatient. We're so eager to do things our own. We are not at peace by just letting God guide us.

We fidget.

Just observe when we are at the waiting end. Say we're supposed to meet a person at 5PM. Before the clock strikes 5 o'clock, here are what we usually do:
- check the time
- five minutes before 5PM, we will be tapping our fingers or wiggling our toes or swaying our legs or pacing around (our way of channeling our thoughts)
- in another few minutes, we will be composing a text message, probably asking for the person's whereabouts (san ka na banda?). If no reply, we'll text again or give that person a ring
- when we get a response 'I'm on my way', most likely we will ask estimate of that person's arrival
- and then back again to tapping fingers, wiggling toes... now with exasperated sighs

I am not saying these apply to all, but I think most of us are (count myself as guilty sometimes!).

BUT GOD taught me better, to wait on things with patience. That there is no better way of spending waiting but to do it patiently.

I know it because I've been tested lately few times already. One instance was when I chose to wait for my boyfriend while he was taking his exam. He was supposedly out at 6 o'clock (PM). He was having a hard time completing his exam earlier than he could, so I had really no idea how long I will have to wait. But what surprised me was the patience and the calmness I had in my heart to just stay and wait, letting time passed by while enjoying being alone. I was never this person before, I so hated being on the waiting side. But as I said, God taught me better. You will never get to enjoy life if you are impatient.

I read somewhere and I reflected on it: Patience is not about how long you wait, it's all about how you behave while waiting.

A time spent waiting for something or for someone is never a waste of time and effort if you know in your heart this is how God wanted you to do, you will still continue your walk with a happy end in mind. You may not know what specific ending that is, but you know for sure that what God has for you is something beyond what you can imagine.

The behavior of waiting is tested and visibly seen on how we deal with small stuff - our daily routines, our daily small encounter with people, on how we react with small matters at hand - impulsive? always with sense of urgency? grumbling? Or calm and poise with surrender to God while having a strength and a positive character, with understanding and with a smile?

Just wait patiently, under God's grace.


One day, you will meet a guy.

And ultimately, he's going to find out how you're a little messy when eating leaving crumbs in the corner of your mouth.

How you smell at any time of the day.

How your face looks when no make-up.

How you don't love chocolates if there's no nuts on it.

How you love singing your heart out, high pitched, off-tune and with wrong lyrics!

How you can be hyper at times.

How little things bring you happiness and how at the same time it bring you to tears. You can earn an award for this, for being a drama-queen.

How cranky you can get when tired and hungry.

How sometimes you misheard things.

How pressing you are when things don't go your way.

How terrible your sense of direction is.

He will know everything.

But despite all these, he's still going to love you. :)

- nessy

Lessons Learned

We've set plans in our hearts.
We embarked on a journey, faced crossroads and eventually decided to change our courses.
We have lost and won some battles.
We have met people and we loved them dearly. Yet, sometimes these were the same people we had let go for reasons we can't comprehend but felt strong resolve - it's for the best.

All of these happened for a reason, way beyond our comprehension. Looking at your 'now', don't you agree that the life you have experienced were pieced out, knitted together to form the better you in your now?

All things - pleasant and those that we want to forever forget - are meant to happen for a greater purpose.

You've break somebody's heart? Not a good one to talk about and I'm sure something you're not proud of but you've played a role in that somebody's life.

You are stuck and you think you're life sucks? Isn't it great that at some point in your life, you have experienced the low so you would know how to appreciate little things?

In any circumstances, we are being instructed lessons of life, just up to each of us to use what we've learned and move forward with a positive perspective. Despite of everything, life around you evolves, they won't stop because you are stuck. So you are left with one choice, to move. Someday, no matter what you do today, you will still end up to a place you are meant to stay and with a person you are meant to be with. Today - what you can do is weigh things and never do things that would add up another complications to your already complicated life.
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