10 Greatest Life Lessons 2014 Taught Me

Monday, December 29, 2014

Looking back on this past year, I think it’s safe to say I haven’t been bored! In fact, it’s been an incredibly busy and productive year with many great learning. I initially thought of just sharing the places I've been to in 2014, but realized it's too common (maiba lang dapat lol). I want to reflect on my life experiences because I believe this is a perfect chance for growth.

So without further adieu, here are 10 life lessons I learned in 2014, all of which helped me to be better, although it certainly didn't feel that way most of the time.

1.  If a job isn't something you want to do, drop it.
It was a relief when I finally decided to transfer to Underwriting. It felt so good to drop something I didn't really want to di in the first place. Read full story here.
Photo taken at Jeju Island, South Korea
2. You never know someone till you've traveled with them.
No need to elaborate. Traveling often brings out the best in people — and the worst.
3. Health has to be a top priority.
As a working woman, my job is my priority. But to be able to work effectively and efficiently, I must value health. It was not an easy process but I am making progress :)
4. Do it now. There will never be a perfect time.
As Elizabeth Bourgeret puts it, “Every hour you are not going after your passion, making your dreams a reality or defining your purpose is an hour you can't get back. Is what you're doing right now, this day, this moment getting you closer to where you want to be? If not, re-adjust your focus. It's your future. Go get it!”
If you keep delaying your plans to do something for instance, travel to the places you wanted to visit, chances are you won't be able to achieve it. That 'someday' can be NEVER. I no longer feel guilty when I travel. Just because the Philippines is always in economic struggle, does not mean I should give up my travel dreams. I want to have positive changes with my life while I have time and resources. With that I thank you Universe!

5. Utang na Loob has no place in a parent-child relationship.
I know I'm gonna sound ungrateful here but I believe it's a parent's responsibility to provide their children education, food and clothing, shelter, love and comfort. I think it's not right if a parent demands a return for these things. Your children is not an investment for fuck's sake! In my case, I continue to support my parents in their retirement not because I feel indebted but because I wanted to.
6. Being financially independent is harder than I thought.
This year depleted by savings account to an alarmingly low balance. It even reached a point when I have nothing sitting there. Zero. Yes SRSLY. But the good news is, this year I finally decided to get Manulife Affluence Builder. I can say that it is one of the greatest decisions I've made. Now I'm feeling better :)
this photo has nothing to do with being financially independent lol
This is a photo of my friend Pat and I taken at Pueblo Por La Playa in Quezon 
7. Mother-Daughter Travel is a must!
I never thought my mother and I can be travel companions. Remember our recent trip to Coron?  That trip opened endless possibilities for us. My mother and I really had a great time. And so now, I am planning our next trip. A beach trip to Boracay maybe, or a shopaholic-gastronomic trip to Bangkok? I'm not certain yet but I love how many adventures I can think with my mother.
8. Traveling is for everybody. It is just a question of prioritizing.
The one question I get asked a lot is “How do you afford to travel so much?” Poeple think I am rich. Or I have rich parents filling my bank account regulary. To be honest, both my parents are no longer working so basically I am the breadwinner of the family. I pay for our monthly utilities, grocery and other things.
So how the heck do I afford to travel? Simple. I keep my full time job and work my ass off.

photo taken at Baler
Many people choose to quit their jobs, sold all their possessions and travel the world on a long term basis. I am not one of those people. The idea sounds great, but if you are like me who has big responsibility at home, this is not an option. I don't have a high paying job but its good that my parents are covered with the company group health benefits. That only means, I don't have to pay for their medical expense if anything happens. And also, majority of my travel fund comes from my salary. Traveling the the Philippines and beyond one payslip at a time is my current motto :) I currently do not monetize my blog, but I will work on that soon :)

9. There's nothing wrong with being an introvert.
In the Philippines, Introverts are viewed as shy, anti-social or sometimes weird. But it’s none of these things. I've accepted myself as an Introvert. I've come to terms with the fact that I always crave time alone. We all need some time alone right? It's just that, for introverts, alone time is a bit longer. So don't wonder why I like eating out alone, I need time for myself and my food!
walking alone in Jeju Loveland, South Korea :)
10. Staying away from gossipers and negative people are effective ways of detoxifying your life.
In my previous department, I hear a lot of gossips and people swearing. For three years, I managed to shake it all off but I must say it affected my health and well-being at some point. I recognized that negativity is detrimental to my dreams and aspirations in life. Transferring to a different environment immensely helped. It was a painful decision to leave, but it had to be done.

I don’t know what life lessons 2015 will bring, but I know I’m ready to learn! So bring it on!
Now over to you! What life lessons did you learn in 2014? Share some of your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below. Thanks for the time and I send all of you my sincere best wishes for this holiday season and the coming year. :)

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  1. I agree with #7! Good job for treating your mom to a well-deserved vacation. I did the same with my mother when we went to Hongkong and Macau last November. Priceless! :)