Thursday, May 29, 2014

LOVE Tip- Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage.

I have so many beautiful friends who just got married recently. And i thought id share this to all of you out there. To my best friend Miriam Quiambao and sister Tina Pamintuan, I wish you all the love and bliss in this world with your marriages to Ardy and Brady. =)

Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years of marriage.

My advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage, by Gerald Rogers.

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MONEY Tip- 5 Money Mistakes Even Good Savers May Make

by Carolyn O'Hara
Learn Vest
It’s no wonder so many Americans consider saving money their number one financial struggle. Saving money consistently takes discipline and hard work.
In fact, a survey last year revealed that more than a quarter of Americans have no emergency savings whatsoever, and half have less than three months’ worth of expenses socked away.

So if you’re part of the minority and are putting money away regularly, congratulations—it’s an important part of laying the groundwork for a more secure financial future. But just because your balance is growing doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement in the way you save. At LearnVest, our financial planners recommend that most everyone have at least six months of net income saved up in an emergency fund, when possible.
Want to know some of the best practices for maximizing your savings account? We asked Learnvest Financial Services Certified Financial Planner™ David Blaylock to analyze five common savings strategies—and offer advice on how to work on adopting even better habits.

Strategy #1: “I Save What’s Left Over”

The risk with this: So you pay your bills, maybe make a few “fun” purchases too, then you transfer whatever is left over in your checking account to savings. The good news? You’re diligently trying to save.
The problem with this strategy is that when you leave money that’s earmarked for savings lying in your checking account, you may start thinking you have more money to spend than you actually should! “Because you feel more confident about your balance, you won’t mind going out and spending more,” Blaylock says.
It also may be harder to set savings goal for yourself because you probably never know how much money you’ll be able to sock away.
Try this instead: Pay yourself first. “The first bill you should pay every month is your savings bill,” Blaylock says. Of course, only take the “pay yourself first” approach if you still have funds available to cover your regular monthly bills.
How do you put this system in place? Simply create an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings, either from every paycheck or at the beginning of the month. If you “set it and forget it,” you just might be shocked by how quickly your nest egg can grow.

Strategy #2: “I Transfer Money Into a Savings Account Linked to My Checking”

The risk with this: You’re flexing your savings muscle on a regular basis, which is great! And having your savings account linked to your checking definitely is convenient, but you risk dipping into your savings to make ends meet—or even to fund an impulse purchase—because that money can be so easy to get to.
Try this instead: While it’s advisable to keep a portion of your savings in an easily accessible account in the event of emergencies, it can be smart to keep the rest at a distance, in a separate “untouchable” account, says Blaylock.
“If you have to go somewhere to get that money or it takes a few days to get access, that’s usually enough to deter us from spending on a whim,” he says. “It’s a powerful tool, especially for impulse buyers.”
Opening a separate account is often as simple as finding a savings account with a bank other than where you do your main banking. But Blaylock also recommends exploring online banks, which may offer high-yield savings accounts. Usually, you can still easily access your money in online accounts, but it might take 24 to 48 hours to transfer funds once you request them.

Strategy #3: “All My Savings Go Into One Pot”

The risk with this: You’re socking money away at an impressive rate—and pooling it in one account, since it’s so much fun to see that balance grow, but, with this approach, it can be hard to know how much you’ve saved for different goals.
For example, if your emergency fund is commingled with your down-payment savings for a future house, you could easily deplete your emergency fund when it comes time to buy property. Similarly, if your baby savings are in there too, it can lead to false confidence about how much you’ve actually saved, because mentally you’ve earmarked that money twice!
Try this instead: Give yourself a more visual overview of your savings progress by creating separate sub-accounts for different objectives, like your emergency savings, a down payment on a house, or a future vacation. Many online banks make this super easy, and you can even nickname your accounts so you know exactly what each one is earmarked for.

 There’s a tendency to go crazy with this idea and parse your savings into 50 different categories, Blaylock says—but, for clarity and sanity’s sake, resist. Keep your accounts limited to your top three to four objectives, and revisit them on a regular basis as your finances and objectives change.

Strategy #4: “I Save Big Chunks of Money When I Can”

The risk with this: If you only save big chunks of money whenever you get a windfall or feel like you can afford it, you may be an all-or-nothing saver who gets a thrill when you move the needle in a big way, or someone who tends to “borrow back” that savings from themselves. Meanwhile, one way to savings happiness is saving a manageable amount on a regular basis.
Try this instead: Come up with a real budget for how much you have to save each month instead of guessing. And the same goes for windfalls: Decide on a specific percentage of the money you’ll transfer to savings.
“We all lead busy lives, and the last thing we need to do is keep moving money around all the time because that causes stress,” says Blaylock. For instance, if you get disappointed in yourself for having to take the money out of savings, it might derail you from saving in the future.
The solution? Pick a savings goal that is sustainable—and stick to it. You can always revisit the amount if you think you can consistently start saving more.

Sticking to a set monthly figure can also help get you off the emotional rollercoaster that can come with saving and unsaving. A lot of clients experience “feelings of exuberance when they save and then feelings of guilt when they have to take the money back,” Blaylock says. “Steady is better.”

Strategy #5: “I Save as Much Cash as I Possibly Can”

The risk with this: Saving is your top priority, and you can get borderline obsessive about it. You may be so intent on seeing your savings balance climb that you ignore other financial priorities—and deprive yourself of the occasional treat that would keep you happy and sane.
On the other side of the coin, there’s the type who may love having cash on hand a little too much. Instead of investing your money, you prefer to keep all of your savings liquid—but you may be missing out on the opportunity to let compound interest work its magic.
Try this instead: Make sure you’re not saving at the expense of other goals, like paying off your student loans or paying down credit card debt. “These things have to be worked on in tandem,” says Blaylock. “Anyone who thinks they should focus on just one area of their financial lives … it’s generally not the right approach.”

Though there is one exception to that maxim, Blaylock says: “If you don’t have one month of net income saved up in your emergency fund, you should consider forgoing all other goals until you get that saved,” he says. After that, you can work on putting some money into savings, some toward debt, some toward any other financial goals, like your house down payment or a vacation fund. And don’t forget to treat yourself now and then. A new handbag or a fancy dinner on the town can be all the more enjoyable knowing you can afford it.
Once you top off your six-month emergency fund? Blaylock says it’s time to shift your strategy. Since “cash pays too little,” he recommends putting long-term savings you won’t need for at least five years (money earmarked for retirement or college, for instance) into an investment account in order to potentially grow your money.

Monday, May 19, 2014

HAPPINESS Tip - 17 Things You Should Avoid Doing If You Want To Be Happy

By Ashley Fern, Elite Daily

Achieving true happiness isn’t a one-step process. It’s an alteration of a current lifestyle; it’s trimming the fat and removing what is bringing negativity in your life. It’s realizing the difference between what should remain in yours and what shouldn’t.
The feat is not easy, but once the process begins, you will ask yourself why you didn’t make any of these changes sooner. Despite what many believe, it’s not too late to bring happiness into your life.

1. Involving yourself in drama

Why adults still engage in petty behavior is beyond me. At this age, we should bypass the bullsh*t and focus on ourselves and what’s going on in our personal lives.
There’s no reason to butt yourself in someone else’s business as you would be pretty pissed off if someone did the same to you.
Don’t involve yourself in things that are irrelevant to your own life. Instead focus on yourself and how to improve your own life.

2. Having unrealistic expectations

Expectation is the root of all disappointment. You set yourself up for failure by putting too much pressure on a person or a situation.
Things rarely live up to the picture in your mind, which is why so many experience disappointment.

3. Settling

Whether this is in your relationships, your career or your friendships, settling never propelled anyone to greatness.
Accepting the bare minimum from any of these aspects will surely put you on the fast track to boredom and complacency, which will only lead to unhappiness.

4. Always saying yes

Learning to say no is one of the most freeing and powerful things you can learn in your lifetime. Rarely do people say no to someone if they don’t have an excuse.
You need to realize that not wanting to do something is excuse enough. You only have so much time, you need to spend it doing things you actually enjoy.

5. Doing things in excess

Doing things in excess may be fun while you’re doing them, but afterwards these moments can seem regrettable.
Eating, drinking, drug use — you name it. People overindulge all the time and then they wonder why they aren’t happy. Moderation is key and the sooner it’s realized, the better off you will be.

6. Listening to public opinion

Just because the majority of people believe something to be right or true does not mean it is. Most people do not have the courage to express their own beliefs and, as a result, simply follow the steps of others, regardless if they agree with them or not.

7. Living in the past

The past is over, there’s nothing to do but to accept it for what it was and move on. Sure the past will teach you lessons to take into your future, but there is no need to dwell on it constantly.
The sooner you make peace with your past, the better your present will be. It doesn’t matter who you were before as long as you are happy with the person you are in the present moment.

8. Going back to your exes

These people are in your past and should be left there for good. There is a reason things didn’t work out with them in the first place.
Most breakups will leave you with a ton of unanswered questions, but it’s up to you to find your own closure. You don’t get closure from another person, you get it from yourself.

9. Taking on more than you can handle

Life is one huge balancing act and if you bury yourself under too many tasks, you may never emerge again. Learning how to prioritize is an essential skill in life and one that will render a lifetime of happiness.
Stress is the quickest way to lose sight of what’s important in life. By managing your tasks in the right way, you have a greater chance of avoiding this stress.

10. Comparing yourself to others

You are not someone else and no matter how hard you may try, you will never be. It may sound clich├ęd, but the only person you can be better than is the person you were yesterday.
You will only set back your own personal progress if you remain fixated on the progress of another person.

11. Gossiping

There is absolutely no reason to concern yourself with someone else’s behavior if it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
All this will do is stress you out and distract you from focusing on yourself and your own personal needs. Why do you even care what’s going on in someone else’s life if it has no bearing on your well-being?

12. Dating someone completely wrong for you

Why would anyone who wants to be happy waste his or her precious and valuable time dating someone who is so clearly wrong for him or her?
Too many people get complacent and comfortable in their relationships and see no reason to end them, even though their partners aren’t making them happy.

13. Having pessimistic tendencies

Always seeing the glass half empty is a terrible way to go about life. By focusing on all the negatives in your life, you are ignoring how fortunate you are in other aspects.
The saying, “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back,” exists for a reason.

14. Over-criticizing yourself

Self-reflection is a great tool in life, but it takes a whole different meaning when you constantly put yourself down.
Spending your time nitpicking pointless details about yourself is not a good way to encourage yourself to be better. Think positively, open your mind and focus on improving yourself rather than hating on yourself.

15. Isolating yourself

Spending time alone can be a nice breath of fresh air, but that is vastly different from living life in a state of isolation.
Happy people like to surround themselves with others because they can learn from their experiences. Sure, some things may be fun to do on your own, but most things are much more enjoyable with the company of others.

16. Overlooking experiences for material possessions

Just because something isn’t tangible does not mean it isn’t worthwhile. You can get a greater deal of fulfillment by spending your time experiencing life instead of investing in material possessions.
Sure, having nice things is great, but what does that have to show for your life? Traveling and immersing yourself in another culture can garner a much greater reward and sense of purpose.

17. Passing judgments

Why judge someone else? You don’t know anything about other people’s lives or what they’ve been through.
There’s no reason to hold someone to a “standard” you created in your mind when you know you’ve gone against that standard at some point in your life. Let people behave the way they wish to and continue living your own life.