To Be Liked By Many, Or To Be Loved By A Few

I’ve had my share of weird experience with girls.

I’ve had a random girl ask me my number, a girl suddenly giving me her number, girls asking me for private piano lessons, girls confessing to me, and other weird things that make me freeze on the spot and blush hot red.

I’m not handsome to many’s standards. I have a weird shape of a head. My height is only decent. My body type isn’t muscular. And I’m not at all charismatic or eloquent with words. I think I just have my weird cool character and my undeserved talents. I perform on stages. I play various musical instruments. I compose. I draw. I play and build things with technology. And I look smart (mainly because of how un-talkative I am).

And thanks to this, I seem to give off an attractive enigmatic aura to the people who’d have enough time with me.

And I enjoy knowing this.

 

To be liked by many, or to be loved by a few.

 

 

I enjoy basking under the spotlight of being liked.

Though flirting is a game that always has me at the oblivious side, but in the end I like it knowing that someone’s into me.

It strokes my inflated ego.

It gives me super-confidence.

It makes me feel that I am special.

My selfish, egocentric, insensitive self enjoys the reassurance.

But recounting all of these, I begin to ask, “What do these things matter? What good is it for people to like me when I myself am detached? What does it matter if I am liked by many, yet I cannot love someone the way I want to love someone?”

Just like every other single guy out there, I too want a significant other.

 

To be liked by many, or to be loved by a few.

 

 

This is then where I begin to ask myself,

“Why do I want to have a girlfriend?”

It’s not like that having a girlfriend will save me from the loneliness from this world.

It’s not like having a human lover will fill the vast expansive limitless space within my heart.

And it’s not like human love, sex, or marriage, is the ultimate goal of life.

 

It’s not.

 

You may respond, “But God said that it is not good for a man to be alone.”

Yet even before God created woman as our partner (and even before Our Fall), He created something first for us. A life; A purpose; Work.

 

Work to rule over the other creations of the earth.

Work to take care and to cultivate the land.

Work to love and serve one another.

Work to strive for justice and righteousness.

Work to have the Gospel told.

 

To enjoy Christ. To glorify God.

 

 

This is then where I stop to care.

 

To be liked by many, or to be loved by a few.

 

 

Four Keys For A Better Time Management

People have been asking me how I’m doing so much with my finite time: having a full-time day job, a startup at the sidelines, music and songwriting, a fitness goal, a language goal, reading goals, and this blog to run.

To answer this, I have to be blunt upfront. I’m not the best at time management. On the contrary, I always feel that my time management skills suck big time. I often slack and procrastinate. I become too comfortable and overconfident. But looking at my plate right now, I now think, “Maybe my friends are right. Maybe I am juggling too much things compared to the regular dude next door.”

Firstly, we have to be on the same page. I think we have to consider time to be the most valuable resource, much more valuable than money. Once you spend time on something, you can’t get it back. And another thing is, almost every one of us are given the same exact amount of hours every day, which is amazing. Another thing that I also know is this: That my time is not permanent; I am not permanent. I could die the next day, or probably the next hour. But as Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus, I realize that a better way to see this is this: To make the best use of time, because the days are evil.

So now that we’re on the same page, hopefully, I’ll attempt to deconstruct the principles that I believe I have been following.

Here are the four keys to a better time management.

1. Value-based thinking

At this age, we are constantly barraged by an endless storm of information. But we should ask ourselves a question: Are these information presented to us really valuable, or are these just distractions designed to capture our constantly wandering bored mind? Do you remember that hilarious Facebook cat video that you just discovered? How about that wildly upsetting (fake) news you’ve just read? Or that series that has been eating away your days? Or that gossip about the guy next door that you barely even know?

As Stephen Covey suggested in his classic book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it helps to begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself this question: “What future do I want?” And if you have already have that end in mind, then ask yourself this second question, “Is this information/activity that I’m going to partake valuable? Is this going to contribute to the future that I want?”

It also helps to learn how to identify value when you see it since different things and activities have different values.

Spend time on the valuable things, and ignore the rest.

2. Invest in yourself

I’ve once read in a book (I forgot which book it was) that described the importance of investing in your self.

Let me illustrate by putting yourself in a different shoe:

Imagine that you are in a competition to take down the most number of trees in a single day. Each competitor is given an axe, and this axe could take down a tree with twelve swings. How would you approach the competition if you want to win at the top? Would you rush hacking down trees with a dozen of swings hoping that you’ll be the fastest? Or would you spend considerable time to sharpen the blade of your axe, just so to make it that trees would fall down the moment you bring down a single swing?

Now, know that you are the axe. You can try to go at life with your current sharpness (skill set, knowledge, experience, etc), or you can spend considerable amount of time to learn, study, and develop your self, considerably delaying gratification for the purpose of future greater rewards.

Investing in yourself does not need to be expensive. You can invest in yourself physically (exercising, having a healthy diet, etc), mentally (reading books, studying, meditating), building skills (hobbies, passions), and spiritually (connecting to The God in the Bible).

3. Distinguish the important and the urgent

One tool that I learned to be really helpful is the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

Basically it’s a tool (or technique, or system, or whatever you want to call it) designed to filter tasks based on their urgency and their importance. It groups tasks to four quadrants: The Do (important and urgent), The Plan (important but not urgent), The Delegate (not important but urgent), and The Limit (not important and not urgent).

EisenhowerDecisionMatrix11

I will not go in-depth here because explaining this concept has been already been done before thanks to The Art of Manliness.

As what has been quoted, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.

4. Aim High

I guess one reason why I’m juggling multiple things is because of the brutal standards that I set to my self. How can I stay comfortable when in my mind I’m competing against multi-talented world-class entrepreneurs? How can I not take risks when the bar has been set by history-renowned polymath individuals? And how can my heart remain peaceful when it has been called for perfection?

 

I hope we realize that time is a gift. And also, that our time is not permanent.

Our time will eventually come to an end.

So let’s use it well.

 


 

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Things I Gained One Month From Running A Startup While Having A Dayjob

It has been just one month since I had the guts to initiate a startup while still having my day job. One month isn’t much, but it has been a great and exciting ride, especially for a lone wolf who previously preferred to work by himself. With only a month, I already learned a lot of things that I didn’t gain before.

By writing this, it is not in my intention to brag, but rather to share — to blaze a trail of knowledge for those who intend to start theirs. And here are some of what I’ve gained:

A Realization That People Want To Work For Startups

I learned that more people actually want to work for startups, more than what I’ve initially thought.

At first I was hesitant to invite people to join me with my ideas given that I’m kind of a stranger here in Luzon; I’m from a distant unknown land with a formal education that isn’t up to par with theirs. But as I connected with more people, I realized that there is a plentiful of developers who actually want to work for a startup, even if the startup isn’t making any money yet.

I noticed that there’s a great pool of talent that’s just waiting for something to disturb them — probably a plan, an idea, a vision, or a leader.

Connections

Being an introvert, small talk is a thing that I’m not a natural at. But since the dawn of my startup, I became quite proactive in making more connections and in talking to new people. Though our startup is far from being public yet, but because of it, I have this sudden drive to make connections.

Since the startup’s inception, I have gained a lot more connections.

Books Pay Off

It has been said that readers are leaders. Though I can’t quite agree with that, but it is an understatement to say that books shaped me. Years ago, I read book after book, from leadership books, to psychology books, to entrepreneurial ones. I read them in preparation for what I saw to be my possible future. And guess what? I find that I’m reaping the fruits from the books that I’ve read years ago now.

A part of my confidence, leadership skills, foresight, wisdom (or rather an awareness of my great lack of them I would say) came from books.

Hyperactive Mind

It may be just me or I may just be overthinking, but since my startup team was formally formed, I discovered that my mind was more imaginative than it was before. My mind was actively thinking of scenarios, actively preempting future events, actively looking for opportunities, actively forming mental plans, actively imagining.

It may be because of the need of having to steer the wheel of the ship. Or because I now have the burden of trust from my more experienced partners. Or probably because I just want to make the dream live to see its daylight.

One Step Closer To The Future

Another thing that I gained was a step — A step closer to a future that I can see.

Given our human condition, it’s a very depressing activity for me to think of the world’s condition. But when I have a vision for the future, a vision where I can consistently work towards to, a vision where I’m slowly and concretely moving towards to, life becomes a lot less depressing.

The days become exciting.

A Need Of Wisdom

Another thing that I gained was an awareness of my great need of wisdom.

I surely cannot lead my team by my own self. There are too many factors to consider, too many web of possibilities that might happen that I cannot possibly foresee, and the future is just too uncertain. My plans could certainly fail.  Our target may just be fool’s gold. Our efforts could just go down the drain, or could even backfire at us. I could fail miserably hard. And because of this, I realize my need of wisdom.

And where should I start to get wisdom from? Not for me to preach, but I certainly know it only grows from a certain fear.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

(Proverbs 9:10)

 

An Open Letter To Wisdom

Dear Wisdom,

Would you give me love for you?

There aren’t very many I consider special, but you are one of them. There aren’t very many that I willingly let inside my concrete walls, but you are someone that I would. Everyone seems to want my attention, but you definitely shine brighter than all of them. Like a bright sun that lights the many skies, when you’re around me all the other stars disappear in comparison.

I understand that pursuing you will leave me with very limited life options, for you are jealous and prudent. Everyone else seems to be content with fleeting desires and pleasures, but to you these are vain distractions. Everyone else seems to chase fair skin and glittering gold, tossed by the waves of simple influence, but these are fool’s gold to you.

Everything else I will forsake, but not you. 

While love is something high that I do not take lightly, but I crave to give all of mine to you. For you will surely protect me. Your fiery eyes will watch over me. I have only one life, but the sound from your lips will guide every step that I take. You are more precious than money, and nothing I could desire could compare to you. You make the simple as strong as you. And you will keep my feet on the path of the best life.

I crave for a better future. Specifically, a future with you.

So would you?

Give me love for you.

Love Tried To Kill Me

Love Tried To Kill Me

My girl was acting really strange towards me.

I was clueless to what was happening so I tried to fix what I felt was a problem. To my dismay, feminine emotions are a bit harder to solve than the usual math problems.

I tried my 101% best to investigate and solve the dilemma, but my girl was still giving me the cold shoulder.

Finally after a failed attempt at investigating what was wrong, I was at my wit’s end and my intense emotions were all over me. Like an enraged bull that’s charging a flirting red blanket,  I rushed towards the middle of the road and tackled the front of an incoming auto car.

I Tried To Kill Love

That was seven years ago. Now, it’s been almost five years that I’ve been single.

Ever since, I have tried to kill love. Like a hedgehog that wants to be close to another one but gets hurt in the process because of its spines, I seem to be more fragile when I become too attached to another one. So I built high towering walls. I have built my shell steel hard. I became overly cautious towards intimate relationships. Though I have heard calls from admirers, but all I offered was obliviousness. I became detached, but it was a detachment that didn’t hurt. Loneliness became my friend, but it was a friend that I can get close to.

I have killed love.

Yet little did I know that it is beyond my power to kill it.

Love Found Me, Killed Me, And Restored Me

I found out that my love was not real. I thought my love was really real, but it was not.  I can think that I can kill love, but I cannot really kill it. Instead, the real Love killed me.

Though I have tried to kill love, I discovered it kicking and breathing, but from the most unexpected place of all places: In the pages of a book.

You see, here in this book, there’s a person that calls himself “Love.” Much more, this person claims that He is God Himself. And this love is pure. This love is patient and kind. This love does not delight in wrongs. This love does not give up, but always endures against every possible and impossible thing. This love puts its partner’s highest good as its priority. This love is perfect.

Since then, I realized how a fool I am.

I now found my self a new joy-filled and restored perspective: To live this Love with all my might. To learn form it. To meditate on it. To breathe it. To share it. To be faithful to it. To let others know that such a Love exists.

 

I tried to kill love, but Love ultimately killed me.

Yet in this death I know that I am over-loved.

 

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
(Galatians 2:20)

 

 

 

I Dare You To Dream

Dear Dreamer,

I dare you to dream.

That sounds quite weird since you’re already a dreamer. But I stand by my point: I dare you to dream.

To dream bigger. Dream higher. Dream stronger.

We live in a country where dreams naturally die. Where idealistic pursuits are deemed as unreachable childish fantasies. Where lofty goals are shot down as unrealistic wastes of time. And when someone tries to pursue these kinds of dreams, we laugh at them. When someone makes progress, we try to shoot them down. We see them as arrogant fools; kids who haven’t had a taste of reality yet. We are a people of by-standing critics.

But Dreamer, I urge you all the more. Dream bigger.

Have a dream that’s bigger than your self. A dream that’s more than about cash. More than Nike shoes. More than cars. More than political power. More than worldwide fame. A dream that’s more than a personal good life. A dream that makes a 4-hour shuteye feel nothing. A dream that makes you want to catch the next sunrise. A dream that makes risk-taking feel like water-drinking. A dream that is more than happy feelings. A dream that is bigger than you.

Dear Dreamer, I’m asking you to dream of a better world. Dream of more opportunities for the less privileged. Dream of an easily accessible high-quality education for everyone. Dream of justice and integrity. Dream of a country that is better than this divided nation that we currently have. Dream of progress amidst this hopeless human condition. Dream for the sake of your loved ones, your sons and grandsons, the poor, the sick, the unloved, the widows, your people, and for this whole broken humankind.

Dear Dreamer, I’d say that this world certainly needs bigger dreams. And these dreams could come from you.

So dream big with me.

Dear Dreamer, I dare you to dream.

 

 

 

Being An INTJ Christian

1. A Mastermind

We are the masterminds.

I have been consistently typed as an INTJ in the Myers-Briggs-Type-Indicator (MBTI).

Being an INTJ, there are not so many of us here in this world.

We are a rather very rare breed, and a rather proud, gifted, and special one on top of that.

We are smart (second only to INTPs according to a certain statistic).

We tend to have a higher financial income (fourth among the sixteen personality types, according to a certain statistic).

Without us knowing it, we have an aura of naturally attracting people, which makes us the second most sexually attractive MBTI according to a certain statistic (second to the charming ENFP).

We are especially adept at reverse engineering things, making it possible for us to learn almost any thing that we set our minds on.

We can see the possibilities of the future, break it down to smaller pieces, and make an actionable plan to make that future happen.

We are independent, “cool”, logical, natural leaders, strategic, and visionaries.

Because of this, we have attracted a lot of eyes to us. People find us fascinating. Amazing even. If you’d dig enough resources, you’d find out that there are a lot of articles and blogs about us in efforts of trying to understand the mystery that surrounds our being.

And among these interesting flattering things that I’ve found, a certain statistic that I’ve found also discovered that we are the least type that believes that there’s a higher power in this world — a God.

2. A Mastermind That Believes In A God

Taking into account that finding, I can see the reasoning behind it.

Being an INTJ, I am a highly cerebral person (as a friend of mine would word it). I use my mind a lot — I think a lot, and I ask questions a lot (mostly to my self), from stupid ignorant queries, to being unyielding to social norms and authority, to philosophical struggles, to wrestling with the realities and mysteries of existence. I believe everything should be up to question — rules, traditions, facts, philosophies, science, and even gods.

Truth is very important. Almost everything hinges on what is true. And if truth exists, then it should be objective since a subjective truth is no truth at all.

In relation to my belief in God, I can say that my faith as it is now is not grounded in tradition nor social influence as opposed to a lot of people. No. It is deeply rooted. I believe a god exists. And not just any god, but The God who made everything, who’s outside the domains of space and of time, but still who chooses to be personal with us human beings. And this God is an objective truth.

In my perspective, the question if there truly is a God or not is not a question of science. No. Rather, I think it’s a question of philosophy. Science only brings us too far, while philosophy always seems to ring true across all generations. And as a good friend of mine would put it, “The truth of God and the truth of science does not clash with each other. God made science for us human beings to understand things — things that only a higher power, God, is capable of making it possible.”

3. A Mastermind That Believes In Christ

Believing in God is easy. I think rationality alone could lead to that stand. But believing in Christianity is much more difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I believe the existence of Jesus Christ to be true. His existence and His works has been proven not only by the Bible, but by countless historical sources outside of it. Rather, to think that Christianity — that Jesus Christ is God, that He went down and lived a perfect sinless human life just to save and redeem us fallen unfaithful creatures, and that He loves me, a person who is the very opposite of His perfection, is true — This is a much harder thing to believe in.

With all of my questioning, studying, wrestling, and researching, there are a lot of things that I still haven’t figured out. Things like the Trinity of God, free-will, God’s love, the world, etc. And this is where the element of faith comes in. My mind can carry me only to a limited distance; Faith can carry me to an incomparably greater distance. I can only cling to faith as to why I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

And where does this faith come from? I certainly could not credit the little faith that I have to myself. Rather, faith is a gift (just like other gifts) that comes from God alone.

4. A “Mastermind” That Has His Faith In Christ

The question of whether Myers-Briggs-Type-Indicator is a reliable indicator of personality or it is not, I do not know. But instead of putting my identity on to the very flattering definitions of an INTJ, I’d rather have my identity as a son of God, an elected co-heir of Christ.

And why I follow Christ, it is only because of this small faith that I had been given.

As it was written,

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”
(Ephesians 2:8)

How I’ve Founded Two Start-ups

Recently I’ve founded two start-ups.

But to put honesty in its place, I really couldn’t label us as a “startup” yet. We’re still at the infancy stage: A fetus waiting to be born. We have no investors, no capital, etc. We just have us, a company of hackers, businessmen, and entrepreneur-wannabes, working for free towards a vision that may lead to somewhere or may just go down the drain.

I’ve formed the team basing on two things: an idea, and connections. And in this post, I’ll be talking more on the latter.

So far I had a 100% success rate of my attempt in recruiting the people that I wanted to work with. I hand-picked them based on their talents, experience, and character. This got me thinking: Why would such talented people, where some are more experienced than me by years, accept a crazy offer from someone young who’s from a unknown faraway land? And why would they be willing to work for free for something that will just drain them of their energy, finances, and time?

At first, because of my prideful super-masculine-testosterone-driven-ego-centric thinking, the questioned revolved around me. But as I thought more, I realized it wasn’t about me. I had nothing to do about it. It was more about abstract factors that contributed to this willingness, and in here I’ll attempt to identify them.

1. Trust

I believe trust is the foundational block of relationships.

I hand-picked people that I trust enough. People that are flawed but great. I found out that I trust people more that have apparent flaws, than people who try excessively to hide them.

I also believe this is a two-way thing. I believe they can’t accept my offer if they do not trust me enough. Why they trust me, I do not know. But this I do know: Trust is the foundational block of relationships.

So, don’t be afraid of your human flaws. We all have them.

Share yourself enough; Build trusting relationships.

2. Plan

Trust is the foundational block, skills provide the leg work, but a plan makes things clearer, reduces fear and uncertainty, and provides overall motivation.

I’ve come up with a plan and presented it to the people that I’ve recruited. I’m no seer, but I try to see the possibilities of the future, and then for me to come up with a plan to work towards the most ideal future.

Plans tend to fail. A lot of my plans did. But plans work sometimes too. And at the very least, plans makes a lot of things less uncertain.

Me and my teams are working towards something that we’re not very familiar with. We’re even stepping towards a very unfamiliar area. But we’re willing to grow and to experience what holds ahead of us. And having a plan makes this frightful venture more bearable, even exciting.

3. Vision

A team without a vision is a team without direction.

I’ve once read from a Chess grandmaster that in order to win, you need to study the endgame. For me, to make something work, I need to visualize the end result, then slowly work from there towards the current state that I am in. That way, efforts will be focused towards the end game.

A vision unifies. A vision gives direction. A vision gives focus. A vision inspires.

And I’m not talking about a vision of success, fame, nor wealth-creation. Things like those doesn’t really cut for me. Even from a lot of people that I’ve learned from, they’ve shared that wealth-chasing usually backfires. Instead, I think that a better world is a more appealing and satisfying goal.

Conclusion

I have plans, but I’m not entirely sure of the things that are ahead of me.

I have a vision, but I’m not entirely sure how the future will play out.

I am only sure of this:

That I do not have total control of my past, present, and future, but to the LORD who is sovereign.

“It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
(Romans 9:16)

I’m Turning Twenty Three

I’m turning twenty three years old in a matter of hours from now.

I guess I can say that I’m going to be a year older.

A year more mature.

A year wiser.

A year stronger.

A year closer to the future.

I never really believed that I could experience the life the way I dreamed it to be. It’s amazing to think that I have survived and lived this twenty two years of life that I have. I feel it’s a miracle that I hadn’t failed so badly in life yet despite my rather adventurous and independent character. Much more, I feel thankful that the dreamy idealist kid within me is still burning hot inside. And quite more grateful that I have gained more friends and connections that are willing to go with me with my crazy ideas, and even more people that have been asking me for partnership opportunities. I have been blessed with many opportunities: Way too many opportunities that I can even manage.

But so much for the things of this world, after all, what gain is there for a man to win the whole world but lose his own soul? Above all of these, I cannot figure it out for the life of me why I have been blessed with the enduring love and free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Some five years ago since I became a Christian, and I feel that it’s a miracle to see that I’m still standing in the faith. All of my questioning, all of my struggling, all of my unbelief. But despite all of the abominable things that I threw at the Creator, He still loves me the same and His grip is still ever strong at me. I could never earn nor deserve this. Praise be to the Lord whose loving kindness exceeds the depths of the deepest oceans.

With this, I am done retrospecting for a while.

I am ready.

I’ll be twenty three years old in a matter of hours.

A year more mature. A year wiser. A year stronger.

A year closer to the future.

Your Love Is A Fire

Your love is a fire.

I can’t get it out of my mind. Your intensity. Your seriousness. Your enduring sharp thoughts of me. How can I forget? Like a helpless deer that fell on a deep booby trap, I am one trapped by the mercy of You.

I feel I could perish any time. I feel I could be burnt to crisp. The thought of You alone puts fear inside my heart. Because of You, I immediately have a consciousness of my own entrenched uncleanness. Your presence alone makes the bones within me tremble. I feel You can totally destroy me whenever You please. I am afraid of You. I want to run away from You, to a place where I am free from the thoughts of my own uncleanness; to a place where I am free to be myself; to a place where everybody else are.

Instead, You burned me with Your love. You have etched deep into me a scar that will never heal. You have put inside me a living fountain that never runs dry. You have given me hope: A hope that I never imagined I could have. You have promised me a better place where I can be greater than my self. I was just looking for a ghost, but You gave me a Man.

I am burnt, but not to ashes. I am scarred, but these scars say to me that I am not unloved. These burns are my tattoos. As a thirsty deer pants for water, so I now thirst of You day to day. Oh, how I now long to be consumed. I don’t want to stay burnt; I want to be consumed.

Your love is a fire. It burns me. It pains me. It teaches me. It frees me. It redeems me.

Your love is a fire. And I will tend the flame.