9. Work is not THE life.
With the tension of this so called rat race, I’ve witnessed people competing with others treacherously and contending with colleagues excruciatingly. They’ve done every possible means to surpass one’s achievements, acquire position, and impose influence. Whether you aim for promotion, aspire for commission, or simply hope for appreciation, just do your job. There is no need for you to overdo it to the point of killing another person. Yes, of course, I have meant figuratively. Nonetheless, what I’ve learned for all the moments I’ve spent sitting on swivel chairs, wearing headsets and answering clients is that life should never revolve in just four corners of the office. Whatever field you’re in, work should never be the end of your existence. Whatever advancement you dream of, losing yourself in the process will always be futile and wasted effort. Because no matter how you enormously love it, no matter how you efficiently do it, no matter how you blindly perceive it, this can never compensate other lacking aspects of your life. But at the end of the day, it’s still your discretion to either live to work or work to live. Entirely up to you.
10. Chase seemingly impossible dreams.
Perhaps you’ve been wanting to be an entrepreneur and be a millionaire at age 25, or you’ve been dreaming to be world renowned designer comparable to the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Monique Lhuillier, or you’ve been yearning to be a full time mom at the age of 30 but can support your progeny up until college, or you’ve been aspiring to be a military officer and first female scout ranger; whatever it is, pursue it. Like passion, chasing dreams make us more resiliently oblivious to petty failures and shortcomings, more inspired to wake up every morning and continue inevitable mundane routines, more determined to overcome undeniable trials and challenges, and more open to accept changes just because. This I believe make our lives more worthwhile. Dreams hand in hand with passions. Two wonderful words.
11. Take good care of yourself.
Whether you are sheltered or an orphan, you need to lookout for yourself. Whether you are single or together with someone, you need to care for your wellbeing. Whether you live in opulence or poverty, you need to secure your own safety. Whether you always have someone to support you or not, you need to fight on your own. Be it on simple troubles or immense adversities. For the world is harsh. We may haven’t noticed it but it was, it is and always will be survival of the fittest. Where, figuratively, people would want to devour us, savoring on our ignorance and tolerance. So prioritizing you welfare is not selfishness, it is imperative. No one, yes, no one will be offering it unless you do it for yourself first.
12. Passion before money.
At 19, I have already graduated from college, became a registered nurse, and entered the working force. I’ve been in the BPO Industry since then. That was more or less four years worth of earning my own money. Money that has been ceaselessly expended on my needs, guiltlessly spent on my wants, gleefully financed my trips, occasionally sent to my family, and reluctantly paid for bills. But what I’ve realized for all these years that I’ve been receiving my pay, money is not the means and the ends even though it plays a monumental role on how we can survive everyday or on how we are perceived by society. If you are torn between pursuing your passion or just generally earning money, I’d say choose to continue that passion. Unless your passion involves generating money, that’s a real different matter. Good for you, actually. But for the rest who is in the brink of giving up it, please don’t. Whatever it is, choose it. Life is hard. Earning ample money is way harder. But what is living a life without passion? I think it’s like a ground full of wilted leaves and dried-up twigs. Somber and cold. Because this so called passion, be it in fashion, science, writing, or culinary, makes us happier. And when someone said that no one can buy happiness, he might be really telling the truth. One good example is the ones I know who pursued to be hospital nurses despite meager salaries. I believe that passion in helping and caring makes them continue putting their white caps on and doing their jobs every rotation they have. Even my own sister has started practicing such profession with the lowest salary I’ve ever heard of. But hearing her fervor when narrating and gesturing how cute and bouncing some babies were when she was still working in nursery at a private tertiary hospital near our place, I know she’s really happy with what she has chosen–a full fledged nurse.
13. Being trying hard is better.
We always have presumption that putting extra effort can make us uncool and laughable. Have you ever heard of this phrase, “Dili ko ganahan niya kay trying hard mana siya oi. (Translation: I don’t like him/her because he/she is trying hard.)?” This goes to dressing up to wanting for change to studying for grades. But what we don’t realize is that we all are trying-hard. Every single day. We constantly face endeavors from possibly trivial ones like on how to come in on time when you are in the middle of traffic jam to difficult ones. And by not trying hard, you cannot do something. You can achieve nothing. You cannot solve anything. In the long run no one really minds if you’ve tried hard to reach whatever state you’re in. It’s a need for success. It’s a vital for improvement. It’s something we deny doing but keep on doing anyway.
14. Travel is bliss.
This may have been initially influenced from the numerous times I’ve transferred places since birth. Short summary of it includes being born and raised in Bulacan for 8 years, then another 8 in several parts of Mindanao (General Santos, South Cotabato, Davao City, and Sarangani) and here in Cebu City for the past 8 years. I am an NPA. Yes, pun intended. But I believe that whatever background we had, travel is necessary for our wellness. Quoting Mark Twain’s, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, narrowmindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Very true, indeed. Travel can immensely enhance our way of thinking. It widens our tolerance on people’s behaviors, clears our views be it on political or social matters, diminishes our adamance on circumstances, and liberates our minds on what are acceptable from the nots. Plus, you get a lot of memories to cherish and live by once that inevitability happens to you–old age.
15. Don’t limit yourself on shirts and denim jeans.
This should be worn sparingly. It’s overrated. It’s generic. It’s security blanket. People should start wearing what glimpse their personality, individuality and some creativity. A quick related story, I’ve been close to someone who wears this combination everyday. Then there was a time that I saw her wearing a black dress, boy, how surprised I was to see how refreshingly gorgeous she looked. So if you have similarity with her, I suggest to end this combi fandom the soonest. You don’t need to start with flamboyant colors, edgy cuts or flimsy fabrics. Your clothes should not necessarily be bought in expensive boutiques nor be based on brands and trends as well. Personally, I accept old clothes from people, prefer discounted ones at any given time, make my own outfits, and borrow items even from my brothers. So just start wearing what you’re comfy with, and yes, aside from those two items. Usually the beginning is always the awkward phase but you’ll eventually get used to it that in an ordinary day, you’d not automatically search for your shirt nor jeans.
16. Knowing a bit of everything is better than knowing nothing.
Being a millennial, it has been more of a trend to be a jack of all trades. Or a Jane in my case. Well, I prefer Zyleeka of all trades though. But a huge disclaimer I want to stress is that I don’t know everything. Even just a bit of knowing everything literally is an amazing feat already. And for that, I think I need a lifetime. However, I’m playing with some terminologies’ definition here that are possibly contradictory and tangent to Webster’s. Anyhow, what I believe in is that we, especially Generation Y, have limitless sources we can acquire knowledge from and infinite options we can learn skills from every single day. We have 60 secs in 1 min, 60 min in 1 hour and 24 hours a day. We have a lot of time to understand a concept, develop a skill, question a fact, and discover an interest. Again, another decision we need to make. To either learn or refuse to understand. To either discover or pretend not to mind. To either master or continue to be mediocre. But since opportunities are everywhere for our own disposal, we fall short of excuses not to know a bit of just anything. Just anything that arouses your curiosity is a good start.