What are Your Core Values?

Even though a little late, since this is my first post for 2018, I think it’s just apt that I write about something that can guide you in knowing yourself more this year. Whatever that means! Haha! 😛 After all, in life, there are things we value and then those we don’t. But even the things we do value also have different levels of “importance” or “significance,” depending on our background, character, personality, etc. As we go through life, we continuously change — and through this, hopefully we grow and mature. As I transitioned last year in a new “season” in my life, I realized that it gave me a lot of lessons, including being firm and fighting for the things I value overall. And of course, in order to understand other values, I had to put importance first to the one I ought to highly value:

MYSELF. ❤

It’s also helpful that I’ve been reading some books that help me understand myself and others more. I’ll make some time to share with you the books that helped me in my journey, but for now, I’ll share with you these two:

This book speaks more about my professional life. I was able to read this because my (dream) workplace supplied it to me and my colleagues. We were given a copy each (yay!), and we were required to read it and take the exam in the end to assess what our strengths are. Basically, the book teaches people to focus on our strengths instead of wasting a lot of time trying to make a strength out of our weaknesses. Simply put, it’s like me focusing on my passion for the written word more because that’s something I know I’m great at, rather than getting frustated at endless numbers for something when I know I can just hire someone to do the job for me (I hate math, and the feeling’s mutual for math! Haha!).

My top five strengths (based on the exam) are 1) Connectedness (relational), 2) Input (strategic), 3) Context (strategic), 4) Belief (executing / executive), and 5) Positivity (relational). So I’m like half relational, half strategic, with a sprinkle of executing / executive. When I understood what each strength meant, I wasn’t surprised. It’s sooo me! Then again, if you want to know what these strengths really are, I highly suggest you also get a copy of the book and take your own exam. 😉

This book speaks more about my personal life. I’ve heard about the “five love languages” since time immemorial, but it was only in 2015 when I first took the quiz. I took it again after more than a year, and if there’s one thing consistent about my results, my primary love language has always been 1) Quality Time. Next are 2) Acts of Service, 3) Words of Affirmation (this used to be my second, which just means that people change! haha), 4) Gifts, and 5) Touch (I really am not a touchy person! Wahahahaha!).

my love language/s

The book was originally written for married couples, so I’m glad that the author, Gary Chapman, wrote a version for singles like me. Aside from being helpful in romantic relationships, understanding the five love languages also helps all kinds of relationships — family, friends, and even God (there’s another version of the book that’s about God and the love languages!). Interestingly enough, the author also has other books and quizzes about one’s apology and anger languages! I also read and took them, and I can say that they’re really, really helpful!! So thanks, Mr. Chapman!!! 🙂

After reading and even taking assessments, the hardest will always be the application IRL. Having knowledge is one thing; acquiring wisdom is another (I’m a firm believer in the saying, “Intelligence without wisdom is destructive.”). When I reflected about what my core values are as a person overall (as in not just me as a professional or lover, but more of me as a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, etc.), I came up with my Top 10! Hahaha! Sure, I came up with that list on my own, without any company-certified tests, but I believe that aside from the One from up above, the only one who knows me best is yes… ME. 😀

But of course I won’t share with you my entire Top 10 for brevity’s sake! If you’re close to me, I can just share it with you in person some other time! (To my best friend and tesh, Nour, are you ready?! Mwahahahahaha!)

Anyway, I’ll be sharing only my Top 3 Core Values. They are:

1) Love – Love in all forms, not just “romance.” This includes love for my family, my friends, and yes, myself. Most especially, this core value of mine speaks about the kind of love that’s like Jesus‘ — the most difficult one to follow, yet the most fulfilling one at the same time as well!

2) Faith – I’m a devout and practicing Roman Catholic Christian. I was born one, and I’d die one. But no, I don’t claim to be perfect — in fact, I’m far from being one! That’s why I need Jesus. That’s why my faith is truly, madly, and deeply important to me. This also includes my advocacy on chastity / purity — which I already wrote here.

3) Hope – My description of this core value can be summed up in four words: positive. outlook. in. life! Those people who really know me can testify that I have a very positive outlook in life despite all the setbacks/trials that come my way. Even my strengths showed “positivity” in it! Need I say more?

Love. Faith. Hope. Sounds familiar? Well, yes. Just read the book of 1 Corinthians in the Bible, and you’ll come across those words in a different order. Those are my Top 3! I can only hope and pray that I’ll be given the strength to always execute these in my life properly, and if not, be humble enough to never stop learning from my mistakes and shortcomings. 🙂

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:13

How about you? Do you know what your core values are?
And are you willing to be firm and fight for them?

Of Dream Chasers, Invisible Crowns, and Yes, Pia Wurtzbach!!!

It has been a great week for the Philippines and yes, we’re still on a high! If you haven’t heard about the news yet, let me be the one to break it to you: the Philippines’ representative to the prestigious beauty pageant Miss Universe, Ms. Pia Wurtzbach, just won the 2015 crown (albeit “with reservations” — if you already know what happened! hehe)!!! But overall, I’m very happy. Call me biased or not (since I’m Filipino), but just based on her final answer alone, #PiaPinas truly deserved to win!!! 😀

"Pia Wurtzbach Miss Universe 2015" by Melvin Villacote - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia [click image]

“Pia Wurtzbach Miss Universe 2015” by Melvin Villacote – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia [click image]

But more than the “destination,” it was Wurtzbach‘s “journey” to the crown that’s truly inspiring. Luckily, I found this viral screenshot from Mr. Dex Galban (I don’t know him personally, but we have common friends) on the Internet, which basically sums up everything. He said:

Pia Wurtzbach joined the Ms. Philippines pageant for 3 consecutive years. Only on her third try did she win the Ms. Philippines-Universe. And now, she’s Ms. Universe.

To everyone who has been repeatedly heartbroken, delayed academically, denied a job, or lost confidence in one’s self, keep fighting the good fight!

You just won’t be back. You’ll be Wurtzbach! 🙂

#MsUniverse #Philippines #PiaPinas

Credit goes to Mr. Dex Galban :)

Credit goes to Mr. Dex Galban 🙂

That made me look back in the year that was (2015) and the years before it (FYI, this is my year-ender post! hahaha!).

Have I been heartbroken before? Yes! Many times! But it’s true that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all (as Alfred, Lord Tennyson once said). Besides, if it weren’t for those past heartaches, I wouldn’t be where I am NOW: happy, in love, and definitely loved back. ❤

Have I been delayed academically? Errr, not necessarily. I actually graduated college at the age of 18. However, graduating early also has its own CONS. But I can say that I’m already past that, so let’s move on. Harharhar.

Have I been denied a job? A BIG YES! Heck, that’s even the gist of this post and how I came back, rather Wurtzbach-ed, after it!!! 😀

Have I lost confidence in myself? Every. single. day. But I don’t let the feeling linger because I know that there’s more to me than my flaws and imperfections. Which brings me to the next question…

Have I been fighting the good fight? Yes… and no. Of course I’m not perfect (who is, anyway?), so I also have my fair share of pathetic moments when emotions come in to play. The important thing is I KEEP fighting the good fight. It’s a struggle but as long as I know that the people who truly matter and God always got my back, I continue to bounce back from every setback life throws at me — stronger and wiser!

Having said those, this year alone, I’ve been through A LOT. I’ve felt both happiness and sadness. I’ve made tough decisions in my personal and professional life (probably my highlight of the year). I gained new friends (as well as felt distant to some old ones). I learned new things (self-publishing, surfing, cooking, etc.). And the list goes on…

Just take my 2015 highlight — my dream workplace — as an example. Like what I recently posted on my Facebook timeline, I can’t help but relate to Wurtzbach. No, I can’t relate to her sexiness (ahem!) and pageant experience (especially what happened in the end! hehe) — but I can relate to how she never gave up with her “dream.”

How exactly can I relate? In May 2012, I wrote THIS blog post after not landing a job at my dream workplace. Fast forward to today, I can’t help but SMILE. Two weeks ago, I just “celebrated” my sixth month at the said dream workplace! 🙂 Sure, I’ve had a few more “rejections” here and there in the years that followed before making my dream come true, but I sure realized that those rejections were just “redirections.” I needed to experience those for the lessons I learned along the way — which surprisingly prepared me for where I am today. #everythinghappensforareason

And that’s probably one of my takeaways this year and what I’d like to impart to you as we start another new year. If you think that only “famous” people can make their dreams come true, think again! If an ordinary citizen like me proved that it can be done, YOU can too! After all, it’s true that the only time you “fail” is when you give up and stop trying. Kaya basta walang involved na “agawan” at talagang paghihirapan mo, i-push mo lang ‘yang dream/s mo, friend!!!

#TiwalaLang, darating din ‘yan sa #TamangPanahon! 😉

Most importantly, keep dreaming, especially big dreams. As David Cook once said (or sang), “if you don’t dream big, what’s the use of dreaming?” Because it’s true, our “dreams” in life, whatever they may be, fuel us to continue. Combine that with your faith in the Supreme Being and your surrender to His mighty hand, and you’ll be making your dreams come true in no time! Believe it, I’m a witness to this!!!

"Always wear your invisible crown."

“Always wear your invisible crown.”

Of course once you make your (big) dreams come true, don’t get used to always having your chin up, up, up. Stay humble. Learn to touch the skies when your knees hit the ground (#HillsongUnited).

So to all of you reading this, especially to my fellow ladies, always wear your invisible crown — always be classy! (Your laugh is an exception, though, just like me! That’s probably the only unladylike thing about me: my laugh! Just ask my friends! WAHAHAHAHAHA! But hey, that’s one of my “classy” advocacies: learn to always LAUGH your heart out while you still can. Many people don’t have that privilege.)

Anyway, I can feel that I’m already rambling. So before I completely make you lost, I’ll end here and bring you back to DREAMING. No, my other dreams don’t involve titles and crowns (except maybe my dream to see the British Royal Family in the flesh — but who knows what can happen next year?! *hint, hint*). But if there’s one thing the Pia Wurtzbachs (yes, plural!) of the universe and I have in common, it’s that we’re all dream chasers. We know what we want (dream). We work hard to get what we want (act). And we definitely don’t give up, despite challenges and setbacks, until we succeed (persevere/persist). So again, if we did it, YOU can too! Let’s all aim to make more of our dreams come true this coming 2016! Again, claim that you won’t just be back, you’ll be Wurtzbach! #push 🙂

“Disappointments are just God’s way of saying ‘I’ve got something better.’
Be patient, live life, have faith.”

Join me in my 2016 adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL!!!

Join me in my 2016 adventures! HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL!!!