Be Open to the Wonders of the Mundane


Schaudenfreude – it is a German word that means “pleasure people take in seeing other people’s misery.” Unfamiliar term yet surprisingly, the meaning is too common that we see familiar scenarios everywhere. In our neighborhood, on our way to work, school, et.al., From my vantage point, I guess that is why telenovelas or soap operas exist in the first place. As mournful as it may seem, but the twisted truth is revealed – that people love to scrutinize the garbage of their neighbors. Worse, we love showcasing their insecurities, problems and even their psychological challenges just so we can feel better for ourselves.

The world is filled with charlatans. With a grieving sigh, it is an immutable part that has already been deeply etched into human society. It takes real courage to break free from the bondage of the thick metal chains of having an insatiable appetite to meddle, pre-judge and even have sanctimonious views about others. I dare to differ. I stare into the middle distance as slowly I coerce myself to be open with the wonders of the mundane.

I read from somewhere a great quote which says, “You’re only as respectable as the man facing you.” Looking at others’ faults does not help us come close with having a strong sense of righteousness. Whether we are dealing with the high and mighty or the so-called scabs of the society, we have no right to bask on their weaknesses just to attain a level of righteousness. If that is rightly so, then we are just slipping away from the thinnest layer of moral fiber in no time at all. Instead of feeling glorified as we see others downhearted with their debacle, we should allow our hearts be touched with sympathy. After all, a warm heart is way better than a name that is dragged in the muck.

We may probably dig a big hole from our own backyard to bury our have-nots. Even if we cover them with mud and seen only from six feet under, sooner or later, the stingy smell will lead others banging our doors. Are you afraid that as you open the door, your neighbors will smell your self-taught dignity stinker than your moral bin? So before assuming that you are better than others because of their present situations, chew your lips first before considering the answers.

As the time worn saying goes, “Judge each day not by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” So whatever we give out to others, our impartial God will eventually give back to us a bounty of the sweetest fruits that are rightfully ours. He was always one for respecting others. He was the first to taught us not to act “higher” than anyone, regardless of his position or stature in life.

We vow to do better and be better for ourselves and for others. By doing so, we can ward off the darkness. Being open to the wonders of the mundane will allow us to feel the light of compassion. Because of imperfection we may still feel the heavy pull of our own demons once in a while. When that happens, throw in a monkey wrench with all the breath and depth of our existence. Then, we will surely see a glimpse of glory from the mundane.

Musings While Waiting for The Moon to be Full


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I don’t know what it is about full moon or about to be full. As I stare at it from my window, there is something about it that oddly assimilates in my ethos. Amidst the scorching heat (yes, from this side of the planet, even night time is still around 36°C), its beauty is compelling that I often catch myself just observing it for hours. The more my eyes are magnetized to its splendor, the more I’m drowned to think about life in general from daily non-events to every day burning topics. Life like moon is truly a mystery. We are heading in the fast lane, just like this moon which is about to be full, will bid me adieu only hours from now.

It has dawned on me that every time there are decisions to be made, the moon is there for me, as if holding my hand and guiding me to make the right decisions. What the moon gives me back is the precious time – a gift of “alone time” that I lovingly clench into my hand, not too tight that it may suddenly pierce through, but not too loose either that it may just wander too soon before I realize it.

More than a couple of years ago, almost at the same place as I am right now, I made a pact with the moon. Just like now, I was also mesmerized about the complexities of life. At that time, I focused on my own life. During that time, my gulosity for change is somehow deeply ingrained in me.  And then like a thunderbolt, it hit me hard. If I want to believe that through the bleakest situations there is still hope to see a glimpse of rainbow, then I should not seek change to things and happenings surrounding me. It should start from me.

The moon gave me time to think of what kind of person I will be as I yearn for things that I look forward to, things I should avoid and dreams I will be catching. With that, I felt a gift of levity suddenly poured on me. I did not waste a tick of the clock to re-arrange my thinking and act upon on what I believe are to be the right things to do. The results are way better than what I had ever expected. Since changing to be the kind of person I want to be, there were countless pleasant gifts that life bequeathed on me. Since then, I have watched significant turning points unfolding each passing day. Since then, there are milestones that I tip over, sometimes big enough to let me step on them and even own them.

While waiting for another full moon to shine on me once again, I will also wait for beautiful changes to transpire. I am not cynical to think that significant changes can still happen and are still palpable in our lifetime. I know for sure that between the stars and here, beautiful things can happen if only we allow ourselves to change.

Tips on Submitting Press Releaseses


Confused about Press Release Sites

I know I’m guilty of hibernating. Was it a year? I just got too pre-occupied with a lot of things, particularly my role as an internet marketing consultant. I apologize for taking this blog for granted. I sure want to blog as much, but the availability of time keeps on pushing me back. There are other blogs which I penned that reflect what I do or what I feel. The latest is a mapping blog where I derived ideas from the mapping applications and techniques used for data visualization. The other is a collection of inspiring thoughts, ideas to live by to nourish the spirit. By doing so, I think I am still in the WordPress circulation.

So anyway, I decided that this time, I will be tackling a new issue – internet marketing.

Internet Marketing

Well, it’s not that new for anyone who’s into the business for 10 years or so. But it’s a whole new topic to be discussed for this particular blog. Internet marketing is as popular as the surge in popularity of internet itself. It covers a lot of topic from article marketing, press release submission, email marketing, website content creation, copywriting, and a lot more. I take pride on having a considerable number of experience with a lot of those mentioned since I really love my job and the intricacies of internet marketing. The more they clobbered me, the more my interests spark.

On this note I became fascinated with submitting press releases to various sites. Some of them are very effective and brings a very good number of web visitors who eventually became satisfied customers. There are exceptional sites that I regularly used with minimal fees. Some of them are:

  • i-newswire
  • PR
  • PR9.net
  • prweb
  • 24-7pressrelease
  • 1888pressrelease
  • prleap
  • SBWire

Meanwhile, there are also some press release sites where you can submit for free. Some of them email detailed reports about my press releases’ statistics and I really appreciate that. At the end of my shift everyday, I really take the time to learn about the statistics to help me get insights on what readers like to read, what keywords to use, and what else to improve. I like using:

  • Prlog
  • Free-Press-Release
  • freepressrelease
  • freepressreleasecenter.info
  • briefingwire
  • seenation

But the others are really confusing. Like this instance when I used Free Press Index, I thought I will be getting the same good experience when I used Free-Press-Release. Wendy from Free-Press-Release was helpful and assisting everytime I encounter an issue. But what I experience using Free Press Index was the opposite. I emailed them 3 times and I never get any response. I used my fund for a paid PR but the PR submitted is still on hold. Boy, I am confused as ever!

If you have any problems or troubles with press release submission, maybe you can use the PR sites mentioned above. I would discourage you to use Free Press Index as  they are not responsive and just waste your time. For those who have PR submission experiences, what do you suggest?

3 Points I Learned About “Bearing Thorough Witness”


One of the good things about long holidays is that I get to focus more on personal bible studies. This week, I had the  Oral Review, Congregation Book Study and Highlights of Hosea 8-14 as part of our Weekly Bible Reading to review. My employer was very kind enough to allow me take the holiday leaves. And so, right after my working shift, I was able to concentrate on my personal bible study.

We just had the last part of the book “Bearing Thorough Witness” About God’s Kingdom tackled during our midweek meeting. From the 30 minute discussion, I learned these points:

(1) Reverential Fear (Acts 9:31) 

This is the kind of fear that should greatly influence our lives – our attitude towards Him and those things He hate. This kind of fear is a respectful fear of God in a way that we dread to displease Him. So before I do something or even decide on something, the first thing I should ask is, “Will this path bring a smile or displeasure to God?”

(2) Hand of Jehovah (Acts 11:21)

Just like a toddler who feels safe when he clings to the hand of his father, we will also feel safe when we cling so tight to the hand of Jehovah. If a small child let go of his father’s hand, he would feel nervous, and at lost especially with all the strangers around him. Lesson? No matter what happens, we should cling to Jehovah. Never let go of His hand.

(3) Sense of Urgency

A few months ago, during our Watchtower Study, we discussed the meaning of ‘sense of urgency.” It was likened to a firefighter who rush to an emergency call with urgency. Why? Because lives are at stake. If the firefighter was not able to respond right away, so many lives are in danger and may even die. The same is true with our preaching work. I should feel a sense of urgency because lives are at stake.

This is a lesson for me because at times, going to conduct bible studies alone is a challenge. But I was motivated by this to really make the preaching work my own so I can also display a sense of urgency.

I’ll be posting more points on my personal bible study…

Data Visualization at The Forefront of The Big Data Era


The Big Data Era caused many notions to people from all walks of life. Some are threatened, even disdained by the complexities. Others though could not care less, even bothered by the whole hullabaloo. But for many individuals, they embrace every single second being at the center of The Big Data Era. As I am becoming more inclined to the Big Data, I am also inclined to find means and ways for clear data analysis.

Growing up, I would say that I am a visual person. I understand the given information easier if I visualize the problem or the scenario. As we are now living at the heart of the Big Data Era where 90% of the data gathered just came from the last couple of years, I was initially aghast at the idea that I may be wrapped up by data here and there until I suffocate.

Thank God for Paradigm Shift! Instead of sulking on one corner and allow the  data  to take out the strength out from me, I took the liberty to search for some data analytic tools to help me overcome of this Big Data thing. I read somewhere about building maps on the fly using free applications. But maps! This is entirely new to me. When I first saw the maps, I told myself “I could never learn to use these!” But slowly, what I read struck me, even interest me, that with simple data visualizations, I can definitely understand the data in front of  me.

Just to see if I can really understand data using some tools, I thought of testing it. I played the role of a guinea pig, in a unique and nouveau way. I first tried on using free tools that are readily available. I almost forgot that  Microsoft Excel is available in my computer! When was the last time I use that program? It’s been a while – around 3 or 4 years maybe back when I was still an account Quality Coach.

So I pulled up my spreadsheets and started adding data pertaining to my location. I browsed some mapping sites and was pretty much relieved to land on an online mapping solutions provider that allows me to build free maps in three minutes or less. So I went ahead and copy all my data and pasted it on the mapping site. The result was gratifying! Me, the fearful data-phobia suddenly became fearless and faced the challenges brought by The Big Data Era.

I took another look at my map and spent another couple of minutes adding more sets of data layers on it. This time, I added the risks and competitions in the business. I used filters so I could focus more on data analysis particularly at one area. It amazes me that I can definitely plot effective planning based on these free data analytic tools!

The Big Data Era may be threatening for some. But as long as you know how to use free resources to help you analyze your data in a much simpler way, you can definitely face the challenges.

Mapping Aids in Emergency and Disaster Management (Part 1)


We do not want to experience another Tropical Storm Isaac. In times of crisis, we should be more prepared by understanding our geographic location and its relation to our community. This article is a big help. It comes in 4 parts. Check this out.

Mapping Aids in Emergency and Disaster Management Part 1

The LEGO Story – A Real Silver Lining From Dark Clouds


The LEGO Story

I am drawn to this story of triumph and success. As a kid, I grew up playing LEGO with my brothers and sisters. I also watched my twin daughters played plastic LEGO bricks as they grew up. After watching this video, I have grown to admire not only the toy building bricks but the company behind the success as well.

I hope we all learn something from this success story of Kristiansen family.

Motivational Tips That Can Make Freelancers Up and Running


ImageFreelancers may be one of the best professions in the world. Just imagine waking up on a sunny day and not even feel the rush of going to the office. That is because your world already revolves around your laptop. You are about to step out and enjoy the fresh morning breeze when suddenly, reality hit you big time! There is a deadline that you need to meet.

You may have experienced the same scenario from time to time. There may come a time in our lives that we simply do not want to work. Others even feel like staring at their computer monitor may be the last thing that they want to do. Freelancers also need some motivation to keep them going. If you feel like having a downtime, here are top three most important motivational tips to help you get by:

Remember why you are a freelancer in the first place

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Remembering the very reasons why you got yourself a freelancing job will motivate you in the first place. Like all freelancers who enjoy the flexibility, the challenges, and everything about freelance jobs, you could never be grateful enough to be a freelancer yourself. Seriously consider the cash flow that has worked for you since the time you got your first freelancer job. Think of the reputation you have already built in the freelancing world. When people in the industry know that you are someone who can rely on when it comes to deliverables, better projects will come that will result in heftier paychecks. When you reflect on these important matters, you will instantly realize that you are ready to face your next project.

Reflecting on the reason why you stumbled upon being a freelancer definitely helps you get motivated. Do you hate the corporate world and wanted to be your own boss? Do you want to have more freedom while working and have control over yourself? Perhaps it will help if you picture yourself dragging your tired and exhausted self to work in the office day after day. That dreaded picture will definitely snap you back to reality like a lightning bolt and immediately get you motivated.

Feed your passion

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Honing your creativity as a freelancer may pose as a challenge. You may be faced with deadlines here and there. As such, it may lead you to feel that you only exist to meet the deadlines. This thought kind of makes you feel downhearted and unprogressive. As a freelancer, you do not want to be known only as someone who can meet the deadline. More than that, you would want to function as a total performer who can meet deadlines and exceed the expectations of your clients.

Feeding your passion is a great idea to stay motivated. How do you do that? Simply by staying away from your computer! Take a walk in the park or go to places where you can get new inspirations for your projects. Do something for fun. If you think that working too hard on a project saps the energy and the creativeness out of you, you need some detour. Hone your interests outside of work. Otherwise, you will eventually be flowed away from your passion.

Make the most of your flexibility

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One of the great things about being a freelancer is the flexibility of time. You can take your lunch whenever, wherever without even bothering to look if your boss is always behind you, watching your every move. However, flexibility, if not appropriately used may turn into liability instead of asset. Some fall into temptation to use their free time to wander around without even thinking of the deadline ahead of them. Some though, tend to overwhelm themselves with one long stretch. After the project, they tend to take a couple of days off from work which may just lose the work adrenaline.

So how can you manage to make the most of the flexibility of your time and work? Do this simply by awarding yourself with some well-deserved scheduled breaks. Even a short 15 minute break can do a lot of things to get you motivated at work and keep your creative juices flowing freely. Sip a cup of coffee. Do some stretching. Get away from your computer. Just make sure that you will be recharged and your brain will be free from stress.

Motivation may be elusive at times and may simply fly away just as we needed it the most. But applying these motivational tips will surely get your motivation up and running. Always bear in mind that freelancing makes you your own boss. Be the best boss that you can be. Start by motivating yourself and you will eventually see that motivation will stick to you and will never diminish.