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Stories, lists, and essays that will tweak your mind and pinch your heart

An Inapplicable Quote from Confucius

A famous and inspiring advice that you often hear from career counselors, especially when you are finding your niche in the society (like in selecting a college course or looking for a job), is that you should choose the kind of work that you love or you are passionate about. Of course, who the heck wants to be put in a field of work where your heart does not beat its fullest? No philosopher has put such concept into better words none other than Confucius, and I quote…

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Recently, however, there are some findings that state Confucius did not actually say or write it. Yet, for the sake of the discussion at hand, it is best to leave that debate on a separate venue.

Statue of Confucius

Whether it is Confucius, Steve Jobs, or some other inspiring men or women who said it, it does not really matter. Majority of people who heard or read it, not only find the quote motivating, but they also accept it as truth carved in stone.

It is indeed inspiring, it is certainly motivating, and you cannot deny it is soothing to hear and believe such quote. There is no question about it – if you want to be happy, then work on something you love and passionate about lest you endure misery dragging yourself daily. The thing is, reality says something contrary and you need to bear the hard facts that go with it. After experiencing a lot of ups and downs in your life, you realize that this Confucius quote has become inapplicable more often than not.

1. Money takes precedence


Previously, I wrote an article about What Prevents You from Fulfilling Your Passion, and I mentioned money as top of the list. The need to pay the bills and feed some hungry mouths in your household becomes your lifelong mission. It has become the most important reason of why you earn a living.

Some will say that, if your job is something that is very much related to your passion, the wealth will come in automatically. Yes, maybe it is true, but it will come not in an instant but gradually. It will need some amount of perseverance and patience. The thing is, you do not want the loan sharks grabbing your house and properties leaving you and your loved ones homeless and hungry while waiting for the wealth to come from your passionate kind of work.

2. Competition is tight


One of the main reasons why you cannot land in a career you truly love is because there are ridiculously too many people eyeing the same post. Even if you have the necessary competence and skill set, if you are last on the line, your chances of getting that dream job can become nil. Once you feel this situation is taking very long and you notice that your pockets are nearly empty, you will start to think that maybe it is time to move forward and apply for an easy-to-land job. Before you know it, you are staying long in that field of work (you do not love), something that deviates from what you have planned in the first place. Your professional experience is established and it will be difficult to do a career change.

I believe this is the case for many employees in the sales community. Let us hear them speak in the comments section.

3. Demand is non-existent


You have finally found the kind of work that you can love and be passionate about, and look, there are not a lot of people competing for that job post either. The reason why there is no competition – the demand for such work is less than expected or simply does not exist.

I know a man who is so good at fixing broken gas stoves. He is so passionate about it that he claims he can make a rusting stove into a sparkling new and functioning piece of a kitchen gem. I myself would love to see him succeed and get rich with his gas stove mending prowess. The problem is, he does not have a solid market for this business. If a household gets its stove broken, the owner himself will just fix it up. If the stove needs more than a simple repair, then he would just decide to buy a brand new one.

You see, even if you are an expert on a certain field and your passion resides in it, it is still no guarantee that there is a market for it – no assurance that there are people who are willing to be your customers.

The best advice I can give the gas stove expert guy is to apply in a factory that manufactures stoves and like products.

4. Road is narrow


Competition is one thing, market demand is another. Succeeding in your chosen passion can be a matter of supply and demand, as what was explained in the 2 previous lists. How about level of competence, can this be an issue? Oh yes, it is an issue you have to accept and deal with.

I know not a few people in the neighborhood who want to be in the ranks of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Jesse J. and the likes. Some of them may even want to supersede Jennifer Lawrence in fame and stardom. Yet, these good friends of mine have not passed the initial auditions in the local singing and acting workshop.

Most of the time, the reason why it is not realistic to choose the job you want is because you do not have the talent that comes with it. No discouragement intended, but I guess only fate and your own determination can contradict that statement.

5. Excuse for laziness


If you have no desire to earn your living and contribute some good to the society, this famous Confucius' quote on work and career is the best excuse. “I have not found my passion yet, that is why I choose not to look for a job. I just do not want to become miserable doing something I do not love, you know.” If this is your outlook in life, you have become a slave to the fleeting pleasure of sloth.

Sometimes, it is best not to give the Confucius quote as an advice particularly if you are dealing with a person who has decided to follow the path of Belphegor. It is surely inapplicable if you are a hippie; I do not think Confucius can motivate you.

If you are really passionate about something, you will get up from your couch and look for ways to develop yourself in doing what you really love. The best quote that can be applied to you is what the Apostle Peter said to the lame guy who sat at the temple area all day…

Sts. Peter and John at the Temple Area

Lastly...


I admire people who have found passion in their work and I find inspiration on those who succeeded in life and continue to achieve success by doing what they love to do. However, let us not put judgment on the person who lovingly bears the weight of daily toil just to feed the feeble mouths who depend on him/her.

As a final tip, I want to leave you with another quote from Confucius.

Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned?



Photo credits:

Statue of Confucius c/o ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay

Rise Up and Walk! meme created by Antennor Squad from "Albrecht Dürer - St Peter and St John Healing the Cripple (No. 16) - WGA7311" by Albrecht Dürer - Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Albrecht_D%C3%BCrer_-_St_Peter_and_St_John_Healing_the_Cripple_(No._16)_-_WGA7311.jpg#/media/File:Albrecht_D%C3%BCrer_-_St_Peter_and_St_John_Healing_the_Cripple_(No._16)_-_WGA7311.jpg
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Two Heads of the Green Eyed Monster

Humanoid with Green Eyes
I wonder why artists and sages have associated the human emotion of envy to the color green. It is an irony that green also symbolizes life, freshness and growth due to the fact that it is also the color of vegetation on which all the other kinds of life depend for food and sustenance. Without plant life, animal life (and humankind for that matter) will all just come to a halt.

In Christian Liturgy, green is used to signify ordinary time to differentiate it from the other liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. As such, green becomes the color symbol of hope for the faithful who continue living their lives here on Earth.

So why in the world did such an optimistic color become associated with a Deadly Sin? Researching on the Internet, I see a consensus among forums and literary websites that Shakespeare might have popularized the connotation. In his classic play, Othello, he made use of the phrase “green eyed monster,” but literary experts say that Shakespeare intended to describe jealousy rather than envy.

“Oh, jealousy and envy, why'a they're just the same,” you might exclaim. No, they are not. Jealousy is the feeling that something you (already) have is being taken or has been taken away from you. On the other hand, envy is the feeling that you lack something because someone you know has that something you lack. I have dealt with this subject matter in more detail on a separate article.

Allow me to go back to what you have read on the title, dear Reader. It says something about the double head of the green eyed monster. Yes, there are two heads present on this emotional and spiritual monster, and no, they are not Jekyll and Hyde. They are something else.

1. Ghost Parasite


A parasite is an organism living inside you eating up your nutrients and causing damage to your bodily organs. The first head of envy is the ghost parasite: a ghost, because it cannot be seen but it can be felt, and a parasite because it eats up the sustenance of your soul. As commented on a previous paragraph, envy is a feeling that you lack something which is triggered by the impression that someone you know has this something you lack. Envy causes you to feel inferior; it makes you think that your lack of something is a huge part of your life, on which you blindly focus all your energy. It can make you cry and feel depressed, prompting you to question your self-worth.

You Are Not Alone Ghost
It is embarrassing to acknowledge that some (if not most) of the causes of your gloominess are coming from the fact that you have been left behind by your friends and colleagues on matters of money, career, and family life. It is the emotional insistence that what others have should also be on your palate. Sometimes, you will not even feel you lack it until you start comparing yourself to other people.

What happens is that your primary motivator in life is envy and the standard of your happiness is based on what others own and have. Setting your goals based on that is likely to make your endeavors either a dead end or a never-ending labyrinth of emptiness and discontent. You have imprisoned yourself in an internal cycle of misery where a ghostly parasite resides because a willing host has permitted it.

2. Scheming Goliath


Between the two heads of envy, the scheming Goliath is the more dangerous. I coined the term as such because this head of envy is like a giant that steps on whatever and whomever that come its way. If the first head described in item #1 hurts only yourself, this second head will cause pain and suffering to those it deems as its enemies. In many cases, the envious Goliath can kick and step even on its friends because of its enormous size blurring its sight and making it see people as tiny insects.

A schemer and a monster, this gigantic head goes by the principle that...

Zombie Giant

Some people can convert their feeling of envy into a catalyst for inspiration, i.e. allowing the object of envy to inspire them in order to achieve what they desire. However, if you are possessed by this second monster's head, your happiness lies on the loss and fall of the people who are the object of your envy. It annoys you when they triumph but it elates you when they are defeated. In a sense, you try to get out of your own misery by making others feel miserable.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Lucifer and his horde of rebellious angels, how he was punished and thrown out of Heaven because he was too proud and arrogant he wanted to replace God. There is another version of the story with a slight difference on the reason why Lucifer rebelled against God.

The story goes that...

...when God created the first Man out of clay, He instructed His angels to bow down to His new and beloved masterpiece. Lucifer refused because he thought to himself, “Why would I bow down to a creature made of clay when I, an angel of light, am made from fire.” God punished him for his insubordination. As a retaliation, Lucifer began to scheme on how he could make Man fall and earn the ire of God.

What made Lucifer even more envious of Man (and his descendants) was that, every time Man would offend God, the Latter was ever ready to open His arms of acceptance and forgiveness once Man would acknowledge the error of his ways. Thus, the deadly sin of envy configured the devil's ancient objective to bring sorrow and suffering to all of mankind.

If you seek satisfaction on the failure and downfall of your fellowman and you find it pleasurable stepping on people's reputation, then it goes without saying that you find it repugnant seeing them content and at peace with themselves. Making the lives of other people difficult and heavy has become your mission.

It is said...


"The eyes are the windows to your soul."
Look into the mirror and stare at your eyes. It does not matter what color you see, because the 2 heads of envy can break in and enter if you let them, whether your eyes are black, brown, blue, or green.

Green Eyes



Photo credits:

Humanoid with Green Eyes c/o OpenClipartVectors / Pixabay

You Are Not Alone Ghost meme created by Antennor Squad via Memegenerator.net

Zombie Giant meme created by Antennor Squad via Memegenerator.net

Look Into Your Eyes edited by Antennor Squad from PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay
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The Formidable Power of Sleep

There are 3 basic comforts and pleasures the adult human body craves for. They are: eating, having sex, and sleeping. Of these 3, I opine that the last one has the greatest pulling power than the rest. The force is so strong it can hinder your plans for the day even if you resist and go against its whims and allure.

Power of Sleep

You can skip a meal or 2 and you can still keep going. There are people who do not have sexual relations for a month, and they can live in satisfaction and contentment. Mind you, there are those who have vows of no sex at all for the rest of their lives, and yet they live fulfilled and gratified.

Depriving yourself of sleep even for just one night has tremendous effect on your focus, physical endurance, and mental alertness. The day, after a totally sleepless night, is the day when the temptation to close your eyes and ignore all the things around you will manifest itself in full force. If you are on the road, this scenario can be detrimental to your life or someone's.

It is a constant struggle for people who lack sleep to wake up early in the morning and begin their day with enthusiasm and vigor. During the day, when sleepiness occurs, the power of sleep can weaken even the strongest of heart. Sometimes, the aid of caffeine or energy drink is sought when the temptation to sleep is poking around; it works for some people, but it is not for the long term and it also has some dangerous effects to your heart if it becomes a habit.

Are you strong against sleep?


I am sure that I am not. I am weak when it comes to fighting against sleepiness and boredom. Every time I feel sleepy, I always have a hard time struggling against it. I often succumb to its allure and the comfort that it brings to my brain and body.

Sleepiness usually comes whenever I am bored at a particular situation. It often occurs when I am riding a vehicle, reading an unexciting literature, or watching a boring television show. Sometimes, even listening to a long sermon or speech can get me sleepy within a matter of minutes.

How about you, folks, are you awake most of the time? What are your troubles when it comes to your sleeping habits?

Funny Scene of Uncontrollable Sleepiness inside Train

Youtube video courtesy of NeKo JTV



Photo credit:

The Power of Sleep over You c/o AlexVan / Pixabay
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Start Encouraging Your Child to Love Reading Right Now

One of the things wise and successful grownups say, when asked how they were able to develop themselves or what habits enabled them to achieve so much, is that they were avid readers and book lovers when they were still kids. They will go on saying further that, now that they are adults, they are still very much in to books – voraciously devouring every bit of interesting, informative, and entertaining literature they can find.

So for those moms and dads out there, with all the distractions of television, YouTube, video and app games circulating around this technology driven era, do you still think and believe that reading is indeed a habit worth developing among kids? Is it still a commendable hobby given the ready availability of information and entertainment with just a click of a mouse or a push of a button?

If your answer is "Aye” to the questions I asked, then I advise you to proceed. Yet if you responded with a “Nay,” I am in awe why you even bothered reaching this far beyond the title, but still I encourage you to go ahead reading and learning from this article.

There are a variety of methods in order to instill in your kids the habit of reading, but in here, I have summarized and collated them into 4 lists. All of those methods will more or less fall into one of these 4.


Here they are...

1. Set an example of the reading habit


Albeit what we want to develop is a habit that deals with the competency of words, I want to reinforce the old saying that (still) your actions speak louder than your words. As a parent and elder guardian, your visible habits and practices are powerful enough to be the standards your children will set in their lives. The example of yourself being a voracious reader and someone who has acquired wisdom and success because of your love for reading will make a strong statement in encouraging your children to read more often.

If your kids can see you watching TV all day, going out all night to attend parties and gimmicks, or getting the knack for a full slumber during the daytime, even if your house walls are covered with shelves full of books, surely what they see in you is a sure assumption of what they want to do with their living. The presence of books in a household will not ensure that those living in it are reading them.

Read, read, and read! Show it to your kids and be an example that reading books has and will reap benefits.

2. Read stories to your children even if they are still babies


According to Pediatrician Dr. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez M.D., M.P.H. in a study she wrote for Fisher-Price...

“You don't have to wait until your child is talking; even from early infancy, reading to your baby begins to teach her to recognize the sounds and rhythm of language and to feel that cuddling with you and reading books is comforting and fun.”

The baby's brain is like a sponge; it absorbs anything it sees and hears. When the mother or father reads stories for the baby, this habit can be easily absorbed as long as it is a consistent routine for the baby. As the infant grows up, he/she becomes accustomed to the habit and will always ask for it before he/she goes for bedtime and dreams with the Sandman.

When the child has learned how to read, it will be the time he/she will read the stories on his/her own and these stories will be his/her basis for the Sandman to weave in his/her dreams during the course of the night.

The habit has been planted.


3. Once they know how to read, buy or borrow the books they will like and not what you like


Ok, so your child might now be a budding book fanatic. He/she has read a number of books already and even gets interested in reading magazines and newspapers. Your training is starting to bear fruit.

Now here is the caveat… Do not force your children to read a specific literary genre that they are not interested in yet, lest you ruin the momentum. They may not be ready yet to digest everything you want them to read. Let them read the types of literature they are having fun with, the ones that keep them hooked on the habit. Time will come they themselves will look for other heavy duty types of reading material.

In this way, you keep the encouragement going. The point here is to show them that reading is equal to having fun and not some boring activity only nerds are capable of doing.

4. Start conversations about the book they have read or are currently reading


“Oh yes, we are a family of book-loving fanatics!” - you say. Yet, do you and your children talk about what you are reading? What books have you finished? What books are you planning to read? Do your kids share with you how funny, scary, or emotionally charged the book's plot is?

If you are not yet doing that, then start the ball rolling. Do not let your kids stay stuck in their own world. Talk to them! Ask them the name of the book's main character. Ask who are the villains and what is the struggle the character has to undergo. Whether they are finished with the book or not, it does not matter. Never mind the spoilers too, what you want to happen here is real family interaction. Show them that the stories they are reading are worth sharing to the world.

One comment non-book lovers have on reading is that this hobby is a solitary activity, that it is not capable of building relationships and sustaining interactions. Do you think that claim has some basis? I think not! Tip #4 proves it to be wrong. Yet, in order to debunk the negative propaganda – make your book reading activity with your family interactive, share the stories, and express your opinions and feelings about it

Later on, your kids may get interested in joining a book club, but why not make your family as your own closely knit book club? Let the stories and characters from the books inspire your family to talk and interact with each other. Prove to the world that books are tools for family bonding and not cages for isolation.

As a final note, here is a sweet video of Indigo's Love of Reading commercial.




Photo credits:

Reluctant to Read c/o Patrice_Audet / Pixabay

In Love with Reading PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay
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Some People Want to See You Burn

In a world were chaos is the norm and when the majority crave for scandal and sensationalism, you cannot rest your laurels in peace because there will be people who cannot withstand the sight of you being contented and peaceful.

You are doing your chores in an orderly and unassuming manner, performing them with utmost care, and suddenly some unruly person will just drop in and wham every bit of orderliness you have created. This person will ruin your plans, disturb your peace, and create havoc in your thoughts.

Woman Crying while Man Destroys Everything

I guess the challenge is for you to not allow them to control your emotions. Tolerance and patience are difficult to practice, and folks who want to see people burning are inevitable in this world. The best way to defeat them is through the application of those two virtues.

People like that are not necessarily evil, they just do not like you or they hate the sight of you being peaceful, successful, or happy. It is sad that this is a reality you have to bear. You want them be your allies, instead they choose to be your antagonists.

Are you good with tolerance and patience? Are you friends with everyone? Are there people within your circle of influence that cause you stress (deliberately)? How do you deal with these people and how do you overcome the stress they give you? Your advice and wise counsel will surely be appreciated.

I leave you with a video adaptation about "Controlling Emotions: A Lesson from Angry Birds" from Youtube channel AishVideo.




Photo credit:

"A young woman sits cowering on a couch as an angry man raise Wellcome V0039177" by http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/29/56/559a501ab9c6f30252b3e7786fb9.jpgGallery: http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0039177.html. Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_young_woman_sits_cowering_on_a_couch_as_an_angry_man_raise_Wellcome_V0039177.jpg#/media/File:A_young_woman_sits_cowering_on_a_couch_as_an_angry_man_raise_Wellcome_V0039177.jpg
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