Underneath my desk, I stow an old blue water bottle. Inside are tiny pieces of paper, folded, each filled with crude writings, like small waves in an elongated sea. When I feel inadequate or lost in spirit, I just fill it up with more of the same creased creations. For these sheets contain the things I’m grateful for – little ones like a smooth MRT ride to work, and big breaks such as reconnecting with an old friend – that happened on a brilliant year that is now coming to a close.
Gratitude is an underlying theme that connects the articles and creations that can be found here in Brighter Life. On a personal note, much like the exercise I described above, to be thankful for what we have is a compass that can guide us through turbulent waters and disorienting lands. Because amidst our ill-advised choices when it comes to money, our sights are always set on the plenty and bountiful, not on things that would leave us wanting. And perhaps the best way to always feel that our cup has runneth over is to honour what we have in the present.
As part of Brighter Life’s curating team, we advocate personal finance as a path towards prosperity. It’s about empowering Filipinos to choose appropriate financial decisions and actions, not for the self alone but also for the people they want to see happy and comfortable. Ultimately, one of the things I’ve had the privilege to observe is that all of us intend to use money for the good of others; seldom is it only just about our own gain.
So at this moment, what are you grateful for? Here are 7 Brighter Life reflections that helped me through a year of gratitude:
- Why I Think I’m Rich Even Though I’m Not
“On the top of my list for reasons why I think I’m rich is this: I live well. I live in a nice enough house, I eat good food, I have nice stuff. The big surprise here is that you can choose to live well without spending a lot of money. The idea is to choose quality over quantity.”
- Confessions of an OFW’s daughter
“And so for the last decade, I had been a pseudo fatherless, young professional, making it out into the world, I wonder if life would’ve been different if my father didn’t need to spend the last ten years of his life without us, his family.”
- In Memory of My P10,000 (and what it could’ve been)
“Now that I’m older and have my own family, I cannot be as happy-go-lucky with my money. And this is why I am now doing all I can to understand what mutual funds are all about, and planning how and when to get invested.”
- Break Free
“You go for YOLO and FOMO but settle for the familiar when it comes to your finances? Big-ticket dreams require more than the usual game plan!”
- How I Went from #YOLO to #PYOLO
“I started to ask myself: Was I just going to leave this bucket list unchecked? Whatever happened to living life to the fullest? I wouldn’t want my dreams to be just that – dreams. So I resolved to myself to make my dreams a reality because, as the saying goes, you only live once. But in order to do that, I HAVE TO PLAN.”
- Tips for Brighter Travels
“Fine, we all have nice and colorful passport holders, but unless they are made of waterproof material, they’re useless! A few years ago, when I was in China, I bought strawberry-like fruits from a street vendor and placed them inside my bag. They unfortunately got squeezed and before I knew it, my bag, along with my passport turned into one big red blob and I had to explain what happened to the Immigration Officer! Good thing, red is a lucky color in China!”
- How I Prepared for the Freelance Life
“While you may think I’m trying to tempt you to leave your cubicle, I must also say that freelance work has its drawbacks. For one thing, its most attractive feature—you are your own boss—is also its most exhausting. So think before you take that leap and make careful preparations.”
Image used under Creative Commons from Ryan McGuire
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