10 Life Lessons I learned in 2015

Truth is, I almost did not publish this obligatory new year's post just because it's faddish, but my year's a very interesting one that I just had to and my golly, the lessons I learned were pretty much life and attitude- changing; they were great even if my 2015 wasn't so great.

I did not have a very great year, to be honest; well, I'll be fair with you, 2015; you were half great; it started out well; really promising and prosperous because it's the year when I finally materialized my dream: a business, which is a Digital and PR agency; I've always loved telling stories, social media, and I've always felt that the path of entrepreneurship is the way to go for me; it was overflowing with potential. Come the second half of the year, I started to feel its birth pains: stress, anxiety, tons of adjustment to a totally new schedule, sleepless nights, crappy eating habits, and financial burdens, not to mention I had to turn my back on some high paying opportunities for the blog just to launch the business; no one told me that entrepreneurship is going to be this tough; I almost gave up and went back to my old life that wasn't sure, but at least safe.

But at least I ended the year on a pretty positive and hopeful note; the business gained some traction, portfolio looks impressive now, people have been asking more and more about it, and our first clients were really happy with our service. All's well that ends well.

2015 wasn't a good year in terms of material aspects, but it sent me a tidal wave of learnings that helped me grow as a person. Thinking about it now, 2015 wasn't so bad; perhaps it wasn't meant to be the best for my physical achievements, but rather, for the inner ones.

So here's a post Christmas gift from me to all of my readers: life tidbits that I had to learn with matching tears and heartaches that will improve your life (hopefully) as it did mine.

1. To be productive, start the day with gratitude, prayer, and meditation.

- 2015 year was the year of the frustrated Martha; I was always anxious and frustrated on why people won't respond to me, why they would back out, why they would be this, be that, and so on. I literally spent my day ranting about some people, work, and my situation that I ended up not doing most of what I intended to do. My spiritual mentor asked me once how I start my day and told him that I go straight to my laptop, open my email, and try to get a lot of work done before the day ends; he told me to change my ways by devoting at least 10 minutes of my time to prayer, meditation, and uttering at least 10 things that I'm thankful for in my life; It only took these rituals to make me more productive again.

Meditation makes you more placid, allowing you to think and decide better. When a door closes, prayer always seem to open more doors. Lastly, a grateful heart helps you let go easily, thus you can move on to accomplishing other tasks, ergo making you more productive.

No matter how busy you are, make time for meditation, prayer, and saying thanks. Trust me, it will make you more productive than ever.

2. Don't let work own you.

- The problem with me is I always tend to get absorbed into work that I forget about equally important things like exercise, hang outs, prayer, and my loved ones. When I'm finally off work, for real, I always realize that I've missed out on some really fun, memorable things, things that I can no longer repeat. Too late.

Work will always be there. There will always be work. It wouldn't harm to put aside work for a while and just savor conversations with long- time friends, sit down with your parents and talk about anything under the sun, stop and stare at the sky, and play with your beloved pets; you may no longer repeat these things, but work will always be never ending.

3. Next to God/Divine, Health should be your top priority

- God, Buddha, Allah, or your choice of divine being should be your first priority; next should be your health-not your happiness, your family, your kids, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your husband/wife, and your parents; I will explain why: Society tells us to always be of service to others and to put others first, and that means sacrificing our health and well- being most of the time. Without a healthy body, you won't be able to be of service; putting yourself first most especially your health is not always selfishness because sometimes, it means wanting to be in the perfect shape to serve more and do more for others.

4. Don't make the failure of others your failure

- Whenever people in my personal and professional circles fail, I tend to admit to their failure too, thus making me think that I'm also a failure, when in reality, I'm not. I pondered on why I would always admit to the failure of others, then I realized that I value camaraderie so much up to a point of unhealthy tolerance. I learned that a thing is a failure when you think that it is, and you are a failure if you think you are; when people around me are failing, the choice left for me to make should always be to stand up; tough love sprinkled with a bit of tolerance is the way to go and despite these, if people still fail around me, I should bear in mind that I can only do so much and it does not speak of me, but more of them as an individual. This is not selfish thinking; this is thinking that puts a stop to failure.

5. More than failure, success will reveal who your real friends are

- I've read in an article a couple of years ago that people love it when others fail. SCHADENFREUDE (look it up). Because failure is relatable; it makes people feel good about themselves; it's the norm; humility is a virtue. Because it's really nice, fuzzy, and comfy at the bottom, and it ain't so bad here because there are millions, no, make that multi-millions of us down here. I don't want to sound as if I'm doubting the goodness of humanity, but most of the time, this explains why people are kind to you when you fail.

But when you succeed, people slowly drift away from you, treat you like crap, talk shit behind you, diss you, and act as if all of a sudden they don't know you and you've never shared a friendship (because it makes them look superior, thus making them feel good about themselves). Why? Because success is a dream for everyone yet a gift to a few; it's an elusive prize; it makes people feel inferior.

Allow me to brag, but I've successfully staged an entrepreneurial act last year and my success brought out the true colors of some people around me: personal, Blogging, and professional circles.

Do I feel sad? At first, I was. As I said, I value camaraderie. But then again, maybe it's better to have fewer friends and a smaller circle: less shit, less drama. As a quote once said: Keep your circle small and your beer cold (make mine Starbucks Iced White Chocolate Mocha).

6. If you wanna succeed, you gotta ruffle some feathers

- Success irks others; that's the truth. No matter how benevolent you are as a person, people will still find something to say about you if you are successful. They're not irked by you; they're irked by your success. It depends on you if you wanna be the "kind" one or the successful one. Now if you want success, go ahead and ruffle some feathers.

7. Make time for your soul

- I've learned that regardless if you're an employee or an entrepreneur, work can be soul- crushing: lost promotions to other people, more losses than profits, workplace conflicts, stress, more work, less pay, and whatnots. That's why it's important to make time for your soul; yeah, that weekly spa treat, shopping, and luxury resto treat can only go so far; what I mean is read up on books and articles or listen to audio/podcasts that enrich, uplift, and heal your soul; you'll need it more than you ever know.

8. You can never be too young to save money or learn about financial intelligence

- I think the last 3 years of my life were my best, financially. People told me then that I was at the perfect point to save and invest, but I kept on delaying it to a later year. Believe me, I really had the intention to save more and to invest, but the problem was I thought that I was too young to do so and there's always a next year. I was ready to invest last year, but the business ate more money than I expected (besides, it's technically suicide to invest and run a business at the same time if you're starting out with both!). I guess there's a reason why regrets come in the end; it makes sure that you won't make the same mistake again!

I've finally taken a breather so I made a couple of adjustments to my saving and spending habits, started tracking my expenses, and looking at stocks investment. Thank God for new chances! :)

9. It's okay to ask for help

- I was conditioned to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness that's why for the longest time, I tried to do everything by myself; even if I can't do it anymore, I still go for that last stretch. I've had the worst work burnout last year then it just hit me to ask for help; believe me, when people started to help me out, it felt like I was resuscitated to life! I realized that asking for help is normal; it isn't really a sign of weakness, but more of intelligence (leverage) and it's good for the health! :D



What I could only wish for this year, aside from non-stop success for my business, personal endeavors, and first foray into investments, is that I don't forget all these important lessons I learned last year and I grow into another, much better version of me; I wish the same thing for you. :)

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20 Lovely Thoughts

  1. One of the long post of yours but the most meaningful I have read as one of your reader for a long time. I heard many times from your previous post that 2015 is a bit not so good year for you. But I believe that you can do it, you're one of the tough and intelligent woman I've ever known.The world has plenty of information but not enough inspiration, for me you're an inspiration and you'll always be:D

  2. Today I see the wearing-her-heart-in-her-sleeve Ms Martha.I was so touched by this post: raw, en pointe and vulnerable. Only the brave can post things like this. Love that about you. Reminds me of a movie I saw, I think the title of the movie is Angus. The grandfather talks to Angus his grandson who experiences a lot of difficulties in school. These were the words that his grandpa said to him, " Superman is not brave. He's indestructible. You can't be brave if you're indestructible." In my experience about breakthroughs, they usually happen after a series of unfortunate events, so excruciating sometimes one might think of giving up. Like birth pangs, as you speak here in your blogpost. Just keep on doing what you love doing. People will always talk. Damn if you do, damn if you don't.

    Your REAL friends will always support you, even if you're the richest dame in the world, or even if you become the poorest rat living in a rathole with their cheese. Like what I said in my blog, you are one of those people who have inspired me to move again, to write. No more blaming after those rats who moved my cheese, and so on and so forth. I will just keep on writing.

    Wishing you a better 2016, Ms. Martha!

  3. Prayer is the most important thing to do always.There's no impossible with God.(⌒▽⌒)
    There are times in my life also that I feel that life is so unfair, so hard and so sad but I realize that what makes me resist persist, I've learned to be hardworking and be happy in little things in my journey.
    I believe also that the law of attraction works, you're a good person Ma'am Martha so you deserve goodness in life too. As I was reading your post I can feel how tough you've been through and it makes me sad, atleast you've learned a lot from 2015 and that helps you to be grateful for everything.
    Thank you so much for this inspiring post and for wishing us to be the best version of ourselves(^.^) I wish the best for you too with all my heart.
    ( ˘ ³˘)❤

  4. May the Force be with you Ms. Martha! wishing you a good future ahead. ;)

  5. Almost made me wanna cry with your words of inspiration. Thank you for being so human and sharing it with your readers. Each and everyone of us is having difficulties everyday, it's just how we handle things and how we fave them.

  6. I like the part wherein you talked about make time for your soul and also the meditate part wherein you uplift and heal your soul. and also the part where in "It's okay to ask for help", I always teach that to my kids we even had a song for that says "And it’s okay to ask for help, As long as I try my best" Such a good writer Ms. Martha, so happy and glad that I found you in Instagram! Please continue to inspire us. :)

  7. I like the part wherein you talked about make time for your soul and also the meditate part wherein you uplift and heal your soul. and also the part where in "It's okay to ask for help", I always teach that to my kids we even had a song for that says "And it’s okay to ask for help, As long as I try my best" Such a good writer Ms. Martha, so happy and glad that I found you in Instagram! Please continue to inspire us. :)

  8. I love it when you write thoughtful posts like this. It inspires me because I use these as guides (your delayed gratification post years ago impacted my spending/saving ways!).

  9. I'm guilty of not prioritizing my health I should too!

  10. Learned a lot from this post. I may not be as successful as you are, but definitely I can relate to most of the things you've mentioned. It really is tough to be in that kind of situation. But the important thing is, we surpassed it and we became a better version of ourselves. :)

  11. The latter part of 2015 was rough for me. It was the first time that my father was admitted to the hospital and he never made it home. So much has changed since then. I learned that you must tell and show the people you love what they mean to you while you still can, while you still have the time. You will never know if there will be another tomorrow. This year i'm focusing on trying to be a better me. I will also pay more attention to my health. I caught a flu on the first week of the first month of the year and it's really hard so i will try my best to be healthier in the coming months.

    1. Sorry about what happened. I hope 2016 will be an awesome year for you.

  12. relate on some of these! 2015 bring so much lessons and experience.. Im so guilty about the number 1. :( i hope i can still make it! Prayer first before anything for a positive day! And im keepin' on my mind the number 9! sometimes, im shy to ask for help cause im afraid to be judge like "she didn't know that?!" like that.

  13. Very insightful. I can relate to most of the lessons that you shared, especially the one about not letting work eat my life. I have finally let go of the most toxic job that I have ever had. It was fun (in a masochistic kind of way) and I certainly learned a lot in a short period of time, but then I realized that life is too short and it's meant to be enjoyed.

    Best of luck to us this year :)

  14. Thanks for sharing, I'm glad you decided to post this. As I read the post I find my self nodding and agreeing to your points. For 2015, I find I can relate a lot to #5, the year has been both good and bad for me and yes failure and success will indeed reveal who your true friends are.

  15. Thanks for this inspiring post. When I was reading through the list, I cannot help but notice how it was easy to relate to each one of them. 2015 was also a roller coaster for me. I left my first ever job (after being with them for 2 years+) for THE dream job. And I thought that was it, that I was so lucky that being so young, I already had what I was looking for. But only 3 months in and I realized that your dream job is sometimes not really the thing for you. So I left without looking back. And I spent months wallowing; thinking that I'm going to end the year broke and unemployed. But not even a month after I left that dream job, I received an offer that I never thought I would love. Yet here I am, working my best to take our company to greater heights. Cheers to a wonderful 2016 Ms. Martha!

  16. Thank you, ladies. May you all have an amazing 2016. :)

  17. bookmarked..

    2015 is not my year.. kung pwede lang burahin ang buong 2015 memory ko.. it was really drastic.. nangyari ang mga bagay na dko akalain na mangyayari sa akin.. sa daming tao sa mundo.. why me.. wala akong inagrabyadong ibang tao.. wala akong sinaktan wala akong inapakan.. until napagisip isip ko yung palaging sinasabi ko sa ibang tao twing ako ang magaadvice sa kanila..

    "na kaya yan binigay sayo ng Dyos dahil alam Nya kakayanin mo.. habang iniisip ko yun napagtanto ko.. kaya ko ba talaga ito Dyos ko? ganun ba talaga katatag ang puso at damdamin na pinagkaloob mo sa akin.. gusto ko magtampo sa Kanya pero di ko magawa.."

    and days goes by.. weeks.. and months..

    nasurpass ko lahat.. hindi na ganun kabigat.. hindi na ganun kasakit.. siguro dahil na rin sa tulong ng buong pamilya ko.. ng mga dasal.. at buong pagtanggap sa Dyos

    I really could relate sa post na ito ms m.. naalala ko lahat ng ng yari sa akin 2015 at ngayon ready na ko for another year.. and this year.. I will make impossible things to happen.. in God's will


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