21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years (Part 2)

This is part 2 of my “21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years” series. For Part 1, click here.


12. Be impeccable with words, from Don Miguel Ruiz. I became a lot more quiet after learning that “you never have to apologize for anything you didn’t say.” I used to be tactless. Then I realized people don’t hear what you’re saying; they hear what they want to hear. Mindless comments break dreams. And positive ones propel them.
Surrealist book art from De Young Museum in San Francisco
13. Love, books.When I was a kid, my mom got me a picture Bible. Until today, I still remember Jesus’ stories and its lessons. When I got a little older, she also bought me a 2006 Almanac, probably setting me up for being a random-fact-geek for the rest of my life. When I had troubles in golf, I read books about it. Now that I’m about to enter the workforce, I’m still reading about it. Books are indispensable. If I were to teach my kid one thing one day, that is to love reading, to speed read, and how to properly read a book.
14. Back up everything. One of the things I’ve learned studying digital media is to always backup my files. I try to have three back-ups at least, one in my hard drive, computer, labs, and in an online storing system like Picasa, Youtube, Hotmail, File4Shared, etc. This has saved me a lot of headaches.
Filipino art
A local in Davao, Philippines selling religious woodwork
15. Celebrate the Philippines. In my art, my inspiration is always the Philippines. Wherever I am, I always try to impart how amazing the country is — from the views to the people and culture. And why not? I’m glad I have a background that I’m proud of. Tourism is something that every Filipino can partake. The problem is our own ignorance. How many of us actually know the Philippines that well? We need to encourage talking about our country with positivity and passion. Cheers to being a proud Pinay.
16. The importance of making putts within nine feet. Before I start, everyone always asks me if I still play golf. Yes, I do and still pretty decent at that. Now, it’s time for stats: I looked at my last four rounds and learned that I saved 2.5 strokes just by making a 1.5 stroke improvement in my putting average. Simply, it means that from shooting 79, I lowered it down to 76.5 strokes just by being almost one putt better average per round! These highlight the importance of making putts within that distance. Practice them more. (Update: After college I stopped playing golf, but this still applies.)
17. Determine who and what are your emotional vampires. I define emotional vampires as people who trigger your stress. It can also be things that can hurt you. A few years back, I weeded out those “vampire” people in my life. Horror movies are also a no-no for me now, because I just end up so scared that I can’t sleep. If we are more aware of what bugs us, the more we can act to avoid it. I mean, why put yourself through that?
18. Pray, appreciate, and always do your best. Pray to say thanks; appreciate to attract positive vibes from the universe; and always do your best so you can have a life you’re proud of.
19. Learn about finance. Money is something we all have to deal with, yet many don’t know how. That’s why personal finance is a life skill, one that I’m so incredibly fascinated with. 

Things like: We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Therefore I never buy clothing in full price. Another one is making use of free money, such as flight rewards. Today I have three free flights on Southwest after signing up to their rapid rewards program. And I can survive on $20/week allowance on food. My frugality has given me freedom to spend on things that matter to me most.
20. If something is really important to you, you’ll always find a way. We’ve all pulled all sorts of strings to be able to do what we yearn for.
21. Visualize. I’ve been through a 30-pound weight loss. From a problematic acne-prone face, I now don’t even need to mask anything anymore. From quitting golf, I turned it all around, loved golf again, and became a top student-athlete in my school. At night, I take some time to vividly imagine my goals. It only takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit, so if you have strong feelings about anything you want to do, start today. I’ve had a lot of breakthroughs within these 21 years of my life, and I found that visualizing helped tremendously.
This is part 2 of my “21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years” series. For Part 1, click here.