It’s been a very busy two weeks for me, my family, and my organization Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy. That’s why it took me some time (two weeks) to write another article.
My wife and child are both quite enjoying our vacation in our newly-constructed home in Lipa City. As you know, the new house we’ve built is sitting on a paradisiacal and quiet village of nature farms and retirement homes of celebrities and political personalities. Once you sat on the porch, it’s hypnotically relaxing. As if it would be fine to be late for your work or appointment.
The only letdown is the weak internet signal which is really disappointing for someone like me who make a living online and depend on it 24/7. God is definitely sending me a positive message on why I have to surrender my internet life for now.
The place is so mesmerizing that whenever we ask our 5-year old daughter if she wants to go back to our home in the Middle East her answer is always a straightforward “No! I don’t want to go to Saudi! Only in Ruru’s house!” (That means our house here in Lipa).
Makes me really think whether to bring them back with me or let them stay when our vacation ends next month. Anyway, it’s just our 11th day and there’s nothing that can compare the happiness being with our loved ones.
How to be happy in relationships? Just be with them in heart, body, and spirit.
We Made History at the 1st Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards
Everyone in my team is still ecstatic and in high fever after the historic success of the first ever indie financial literacy awarding event in the country. Most of them could not believe that we were able to pull it off despite the so many challenges we’ve faced from day one back in 2014. But yes, we did it!
A day after the chaotic BIR deadline on tax filing, the Angat Pilipinas team was also cramming in finalizing every bit and details for the awards night. Some presenters and host backed out, sound technician losing his equipment, banner and tarpaulins were not yet printed, and other unwanted issues.
Some volunteers had even gone skeptic and have not showed up on the last minute, which is understandable. It was a daring feat for a 5-year old advocacy group who has experienced numerous ups and downs and critical changes in leadership and volunteers.
But then, as my friend and former Angat Pilipinas president Seph Romana would always say, “offer it to the Lord and everything will fall into places.” He was very correct. Nothing beats praying and believing that God will never forsake a cause and objective that is meant to help and uplift the lives of His people.
The 1st Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Awards was a huge success in every aspect of the event. It was an opportunity for everyone to interact and be connected for different purposes and reasons.
How to be happy in your personal and group missions? Pray, think, plan and work together. Believe that anything can be achieved if offered first to the Lord.
Creating a Profitable Business and Desiring to be Happy
I was having a chat with the legendary Filipino musician and composer “manong” Joey Ayala on our way to SMX Aura for the awards night and one of his intelligent argument was that, “why strive for monetary prosperity when you are already enjoying your life, freedom, and security for your future? As for helping others, why wait to be wealthy before you start helping others? Be joyful in giving NOW regardless of your financial condition and you will be surprised how you are slowly getting prosperous not only monetarily but also physically, relationally, and spiritually.”
Incidentally, another friend and author Kooky Tuason gave me a copy of her book “Picket Lines” and discovered very profound messages that desires true happiness written on the bodies of influential Filipino women.
Kooky also gave me “The Leader’s Way by HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama and Laurens van Den Muyzenberg. In this book, it is mentioned that money can’t buy happiness. This is based on a wealth of date in recent decades that once the personal needs of food, shelter, and basic comfort have been met, increased in wealth has little bearing on happiness. People in industrialized nations may become more consumerist but not seek out a greater sense of belonging or activities that lean toward self-actualization, and so happiness eludes them.
This may sound very Buddhist but as a Christian I still find it very true. Many “rich” peoples are obsessed with wealth and focus on unwholesome rather than wholesome consumption. Unwholesome consumption uses goods and services merely to satisfy desires and for ego gratification. Wholesome consumption contributes to the wellbeing of people and takes care of basic needs.
Perhaps this is one reason why my vacation is mostly being spent quietly in a home amidst the trees, grass, and plants without the internet connection. To re-think and reflect whether I am desiring to be wealthy only or desiring to be wealthy and happy and while giving back and forward to others, whether they are human beings, elementals, animals, or the trees.
Always choose to be happy.
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