Monday, January 9, 2012


Hi there.  My Idol Bro. Bo, never fails to inspire me.  He encourages us to BE GRATEFUL IN TIMES OF TROUBLE... Do you believe that?  That's kinda weird right? That was my initial reaction when I glanced at his article.  But as I read further, I found out that it has biblical truth in it  and realized also that.... IT IS DURING TROUBLESOME TIMES, the we GROW THE MOST.  I also learned that we cannot get away with troubles.  God allows it because He Wants us to Grow.  We cannot get away with it.  It's a part of life.  Hmmn..Trouble could make a NICE t-shirt slogan - "TROUBLE:  Get Used to It."  When troubles come our way, there are two things that we can do:  We can Grumble or We can be Thankful.  Did I hear you said "Why?"   Here's why:

      Once upon a time, in one of the islands of the Philippines, there was a young tree. It was the only tree in that island. 
This lovely tree had long branches with leaves too many to count.
       It was a happy tree. It liked looking at the green plains below and the blue sea surrounding the island.
       But one day, the tree noticed that one of its leaves was turning brown. What was going on? This was the first time it happened. It never experienced it before. The tree began to panic.
Soon, more leaves became brown.
And then the impossible happened: One brown leaf snapped off its twig and fell to the ground.
The horrors!
Soon, more leaves fell. He counted them. Gasp! He couldn’t believe it. In one day, 6 leaves fell off from his branches. The next day, another 9 fell. The day after that, 12 more fell. On and on they kept falling.
He was losing so many leaves each day, he blurted out, “I’m dying!”   Everyday, with great anxiety, he stared on the growing mound of brown leaves gathering around His roots. 
He began to lose hope and wanted to end his life.
       That was when a bird flew by…
Three Messages From The Bird
The feathered creature perched onto one of the tree’s branches. The bird asked, “What’s wrong? Why are you so sad?”
       The tree said, “I’m dying.”
“Why do you say that?” the bird asked.
“I’m losing all my leaves! I’ve lost 94 already…”
        The bird was taken aback. “You don’t know do you?” He looked around and realized why. “You haven’t seen another tree in your life. You’re all alone here. My dear friend, what you’re experiencing is something that every other tree in the world experiences.”
The bird smiled and said, “ I want to give you three messages today.”
“I’m listening,” the tree answered.
1) More Blessings Than Problems
“First, you say you’ve already lost 94 leaves. You count the number of leaves that you’ve lost. Count now the number of leaves that are still on your branches…”
The tree went about counting. “1, 2, 3, 4….” When he reached 300, he said, “I can’t count them. I have too many leaves!” The tree wasn’t crying anymore.
“Then you’re learning a very important truth. Remember that you’ll always have more blessings than problems. Problems seem more because you count them, you measure them, and you analyze them everyday. But when you count your blessings, you’ll realize that your blessings will outnumber your problems. Always!”
May I interrupt this story by another story?
I was reading about Roger Crawford. When he was born, he had a genetic defect. He was born without two hands and without a left leg. 
But despite his disability, he became a professional Tennis player in America. He became a champion?
How could he play Tennis without two hands and a left leg? I don’t know. But he did.
You see, Roger never complained, “Lord, why don’t I have hands and a left leg?” Instead, he said, “Lord, thank you for what I have. I have arms and I have one leg. What will you do with what I have?”
Roger didn’t bother counting the leaves that fell off his branches. He celebrated the many leaves that remained in his branches.
Let’s go back to my story…
2) More Space For New Blessings
The bird said, “Here’s my second message. I want you to look at your branches. Specifically, at the empty space where your leaves fell from. Do you see them?”
“Are they really empty.”
“Yes, they’re empty. A leaf was there before…”
“Look closer,” said the bird, “because it’s not really empty…”
That was when the tree said, “Well, I see tiny leaves sprouting in the same place where my old leaves fell from.”
The bird nodded, “If your old leaves didn’t fall, there wouldn’t have been space for new leaves to sprout in your branches. If you want better things to happen in your life, some older things will have to go first.”
“I now understand,” the tree smiled.
Let me interrupt this story again and tell you that this is how life works.
Thank God for empty spaces in your life.
Perhaps a relationship ended this year. Perhaps a boyfriend left you. Thank God and believe that someone new, someone better, will be walking into your life.
Perhaps you lost your job this year. Perhaps your company folded up. Perhaps you were retrenched. Thank God and believe that you’ll get a better job and company very soon!
I remember two women whose husbands left them. Both of their husbands found another woman and walked out of their lives.
       Both were devastated.
       But both had a very different attitude. One followed the grumbling path and the other followed the grateful path.
       One woman cried, “My husband left me. My life is now over.”
       But the other woman said, “My husband left me. My life is just beginning…”
       Like this woman, don’t ever give up. Don’t say, “My life is over.” Say instead, “My life is about to begin.” Because new growth happens only if there are empty spaces in your life.
3) More Nourishment From Your Growth
The bird chirped, “And now for my last message. Do you notice what happens to your brown leaves?” the bird asked.
“They rot,” the tree shrugged, looking at the mound of brown leaves around its roots.
“Yes they do, but for a purpose,” said the bird, “because in due time, these rotting leaves will become part of the soil. These leaves will enrich you. Your roots will drink their nourishment. Causing you to grow and sprout more leaves…”
You Need Trouble To Grow
“Bo, I can’t be grateful for 2011. This was the year my husband left me.”
Or “This was the year our house burned down.”
Or “This was the year I learned I had cancer.”
Or “This was the year my father died.”
I understand. But the Bible says, Give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Yesterday, I was looking back at the year that passed.
I realized something very important. I realized that I grew the most not during the times when everything was smooth. Or the times when everything was going my way. I realized that I grew the most during the times when there was intense trouble. Intense pain. I grew the most when I was attacked from all directions and I couldn’t breathe anymore.
That’s when God stretched me.
I have one word for you about trouble: Get used to it.
Because trouble is the birthplace for your greatest growth.
       Be grateful for the blessings behind your trials.

NOW YOU KNOW WHY.  And perhaps, you too could start loving troubles just like me.  :)   See you next blog... Ciao.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bro Bo is also my Financial Mentor

Hi there, I'm excited to tell you that I joined Bro. Bo's Truly Rich Club.  It's all about taking charge of your financial future and receiving  no nonsense tips about financial literacy.  The bonus materials such as e-books and audio books are awesome.  It's truly value for money.  Speaking of Tips, let me share to a taste of Bro. Bo's Truly Rich Club:

The Secret Of Retiring Rich:

 “Money Cost Averaging”
             Just a short letter from me today.
          Let me tell you a story.
One day last year, I talked to my 80+ employees.
          From managers to janitors.
          I loved it.  
Because I don’t see them often.  
You see, I’m a lazy boss. More importantly, I also have a fantastic team of leaders in the office.  So I get out of their way as much as I can.
 Obviously, my staff was wondering why I was meeting them.
            I took the microphone and announced, “I’m here to make sure that when you retire, you retire as multi-millionaires.”
            You should have seen their faces.   Some were probably thinking if someone spiked my breakfast with shabu.
            For the whole morning, I taught them how to invest in the Stock Market.
            Janitors. Messengers. Clerks. Managers. Everyone.
            I also was able to answer their questions.
  I’m sharing some of my answers to you below.
  Because they might be your questions too.
Question: “My father lost money in the Stocks. How can I be sure I won’t lose my money too?”
Bo: Your father is normal. Statistics say that 85% of people lose their money in the Stock Market. Because they were trading. Most likely, your father was trading. But today, I’m not talking about trading the Stock Market. Trading means buying and selling stocks constantly, trying to “time” the market. That should be left to experts. I’m talking about long-term investing. Ten or twenty years. This is the right away of investing, and I’ll teach you how to do that.
Question: “Will my Stocks grow at 20% every year?”
Bo: No, it won’t.  For example: One year, your investments will fall by 20%.   The following year, it will rise by 30%. The next year, it falls by 10%. And so on. It’ll be a roller coaster ride. But if you put tiny amounts of money every month over a ten or twenty year period, the average growth will most likely be 20% per year IF—and that’s a big IF—you follow the simple money-cost-averaging strategy I’ll teach you.
Question: “Is that realistic? 20% average growth?”
Bo: Stock Market Analysts didn’t pull this figure out of thin air. They base this projected growth on past history. They backtracked 20 years ago. This is what they found out: If a person invested small amounts of money every month in top-notch, solid, great companies, the average yearly growth was 20%. That’s the power of money-cost-averaging.
Question: “What is money-cost-averaging again?”
Bo: Investing small amounts of money each month over a period of ten to twenty years.   Only in great companies.  Money-cost-averaging is the secret of the wealthy.
Question: “You tell me to invest in great companies. But I’m not an expert. I don’t know if a company is great or not.”
Bo: I’ll tell you what these great companies are.   Stock Market Analysts study all the companies in the Stock Market. That’s all they do the whole day. Through my TrulyRichClub, I’ll give you the current Stocks that I invest in.
Question: “But don’t great companies also go bankrupt?”
Bo: Rarely, yes.   But that’s why analysts watch these companies like a hawk.   If you’re a member of my TrulyRichClub, I’ll warn you if we see something fishy.   Through my Stocks Update newsletter, I’ll tell you if you need to stop investing in a particular company, sell your shares there, and invest in another company.
A Company Of Multi-Millionaires
After my talk, it was pretty noisy.
Everyone was talking, asking questions, and filling out application forms.
My 80+ employees were filling out their Citiseconline application forms, asking help from one another.  (Note: Citiseconline is our preferred online broker. They have a “missionary” goal of helping “smaller” people learn to invest.)
I also instructed Weng, my Chief Accountant, to offer the entire staff “automatic salary deduction” each month—so they won’t forget.   This is voluntary of course. But many took the offer.
I thank God I’m the boss. I can do things like this.
I told them, “When you retire from this company, you’ll get the usual retirement pay employees get. But don’t depend on it. Because it’s very small. It won’t last. But if you invest the way I’m telling you to invest, you’re creating your very own Retirement Fund. Even if you just invest P2500 a month, you may end up having P5M in 20 years.”
            That day, my 80+ employees went back to their work happy. Very happy.
            Because they’re taking charge of their financial future.
            That was last year.
            After one year, most of them are doing very well in their investments.
            My drivers. My messengers. My janitors. My clerks. It’s amazing.
            Today, when I enter the office, I see a happy bunch of people.
I notice a bright hope in people’s eyes.
            Now here’s my question: Are you ready to have the same hope in your eyes too?
            I pray so.
            If you want to build a retirement fund worth millions, join my TrulyRichClub. For more information, CLICK HERE .

May your dreams come true,
            Bo Sanchez
PS. No matter where you are, I can still guide you in your financial life wherever you live—here or abroad. How? Join my TrulyRichClub now. Once you become a Gold Member, you’ll receive my twice-a-month Audio PowerTalks, my twice-a-month WealthStrategies newsletter, and a collection of my Ebooks brimming with practical wisdom. Including my powerful Ebook, My Maid Invests In The Stock Market… And Why You Should Too! 
PLUS, you’ll also receive my twice-a-month Stocks Update newsletterto guide you in how to create your multi-million Retirement Fund in Stocks.   Personally, I believe now is the best time to get into Stock Market. Don’t wait. Seize the opportunity. For more details, .CLICK HERE

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's your expertise?

 "Times are really hard lately in terms of cost of living and it seems that things are getting more difficult day by day.."

That's from what I've been hearing from my colleagues... including myself sometimes... :D I'm just curious... I'd like to ask you today what field are you expert in?.. or let me rephrase that. would you want to be known as "Problems Expert?"... that sounds good, right? Before you answer that, let me share to you what my idol (Bro. Bo) has to say about it:

"The extraordinary person is someone who can see big blessings within small blessings."

Let me tell you a story I love sharing to people.

Do You Want Big Money?
Start With Small Money

Early last year, I taught my maids to invest in the Stock Market. They started by saving P2000 a month.
A few friends laughed at me. Someone asked me, “What can happen with their P2000 a month? That’s so small.”
But that’s why people remain poor. They don’t see the big money in the small money.
Today, one of my maids has P72,286 in her Stock Market account. The other one has P88,069 in her account. These amounts may mean nothing to you, but to them, they feel very rich.
They started with a small amount. Just P2000 a month. But when they discovered how investing worked, they were hooked. So when I gave them a raise or gave them a bonus, they didn’t spend it. They invested it.
Here’s my fearless forecast: I have no doubt that in less than 10 years, my maids will be millionaires.
Huwag mo smallin ang maliit na blessing. Lalaki rin yan!
My point? Unless you see the big blessings in the small blessings, you’ll never receive the big blessings. Because every small blessing has a big blessing waiting to come out

Be A Blessing Expert

My friend is a bird expert.
He can spot a bird from far away, tell you its breed, its lineage, its migratory timetable… (I told him I only know 2 kinds of birds. Small bird and Big Bird. Yes, the one who lives in Sesame Street.)
I have another friend who is a plant expert.
She can spot a plant a mile away, and tell you its scent, and its scientific name. She won’t just say, “Sampaguita”. She’ll say, “Sampaguitatious Beinte Pesosis” or something like that.
I have another friend who is a Star expert.
Not the astronomical stars. But the showbiz stars. She can spot an artista (actress) a mile away. When she does, she’ll tell you the star’s latest movie, latest song, latest boyfriend, latest liposuction treatment…
Me? I’m a Blessing Expert.
I can spot a blessing a mile away. I know a blessing’s shape, smell, color, sound… Because of this, I see blessings everywhere.
Blessing Experts are happy people.

But I know people who are Problem Experts.
Believe me, you don’t want to hang out with them. To them, everything is a problem. Including you. They’re miserable people and they’ll make everyone else miserable.

When you’re a Blessing Expert, you see more blessings. And thus, you receive more blessings.
Athletes call this the power of visualization.


Now, let me ask you again....  would you still want to be called "Problem Experts?"

See you next blog.. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Are you Selfish or Selfless?

“Me First!”

       Let me tell you a story.
One day, while Mommy was cooking pancakes, her two small boys were fighting over who would eat the first pancake Mommy would cook.
       Both of them said, “Me first! Me first!”
       Their mother shook her head and said, “Boys, boys, if Jesus were here, he would say, ‘Mommy, let my brother eat the pancake first.’
       Paolo, the 5-year old, told his younger brother, “Michael, you be Jesus.”

The above story really amazed me because that is exactly what is happening most of time in our daily journey of life.  Many of us are like little Paolo.  It was kinda "cute" scenario for me because honestly, I can relate to the story.  However, when I read the story below.. I had experienced a different feeling.  It made me think a little more deeply....  Here's it is:

What Happens When You Don’t Care

A dear friend sent this story to me.
It’s such a powerful tale that mirrors reality so well.

One day, a mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.  “What food might this contain?”  The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
       Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house!  There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.” 
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house!  There is a mousetrap in the house!”
       The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it
but pray.  Be assured you are in my prayers.”
       The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap. Alone. . .
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – the sound Of a mousetrap catching its prey.
       The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught.  In the darkness, she did not see it.  It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient: Chicken! 
But his wife’s sickness continued.  Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.  To feed them, the farmer butchered (who else?) the pig.
But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well… She died.
        So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.
And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
       So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn’t concern you, remember–When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Each of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry. Our lives are woven together for a reason.

 So there you have it, guys..  Do you wanna be Selfish or Selfless? 
See you next blog. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How do you respond to Fire (Life's Difficulties)?

One day, a young woman came to her grandfather and cried on his shoulder. She told him of her many problems. She felt so overwhelmed by them. It seemed like everything in her life was going wrong.

       After she wept many tears, the old man told her, “Let’s go to the kitchen. I have something to show you.”

       In the kitchen, the grandfather prepared three pots of water on the cooking range. On the first pot, he placed carrots.   On the second pot, he placed eggs. On the third pot, he placed coffee beans. And he lit the fire beneath each of them.

       For twenty minutes, they sat in silence as the fire heated the pots. After twenty minutes, the grandfather said, “If you notice, the fire underneath the pots are the same. Same heat. Same temperature. Yet you’ll notice how different things react to the fire.”

       He fished out the carrots and placed it in a bowl. He made his granddaughter touch it. 

“It’s soft,” she said.

       He got an egg, broke it, and gave it to her. 

“Hard boiled,” she said.

       Finally, he opened the coffee pot—its fragrance filling the room. He poured a cup for her. She took a sip.

       “That’s nice,” she said, “thanks, grandpa. But what does this all mean?”

       He said, “Child, you’re going through fire. You’re going through trials. Everybody does. But how are you reacting? Are you like the carrot who thought it was hard and strong, but when the fire came, it became weak and lost all its strength? Or are you like the egg that had a malleable spirit and a tender heart, but when trials came, hardened its heart? Or are you like the coffee bean? The fire released its flavor and aroma. Your trials can release your gifts and dreams. Your trials can set you free. So tell me, are you a carrot, an egg, or coffee beans?”

Your Trials Can Set You Free

       Did your boyfriend leave you for another girl? You’re now free to find a better man who’ll be faithful to you.

       Were you laid off at work? You’re now free to get a better job at a better company or become an entrepreneur.

       Are you sick right now? This is a wake up call. Your body is telling you, “It’s high time to care for me.” You’re now free to become the healthiest person you can become.

When Faced with trials, BE LIKE THE COFFEE BEANS that spread its wonderful flavor and  aroma in the midst of the heat of Life's DIFFICULTIES... and that includes your LOVELIFE also..:)

See you next blog.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Serve to Prosper

        ".. if you want to prosper, you need to BELIEVE that you can prosper. But what is faith without works? The Bible says it’s dead. So if you want to prosper, you need to express your faith through action.
       And for me, action is SERVICE..."

     To borrow the lines of one of the Pilipinas Got Talent panel of judges, I'd say: "That's a big YES for me!"  God loves us so much that he has given us all the things we need in order to prosper and one of them is SERVICE. .Everyone has a chance to prosper by serving others.  No one is too poor to say that he cannot serve other people. We need not spend a single dime in order to do so.   Service is like a skill.  The more we serve, the better we become in serving, then we'll have lots of satisfied people we've serve and no need to say what happens next... you know what's next if service and satisfaction meets.... it's EXCELLENCE which will lead you to PROSPERITY.  That is the very reason why BIG CORPORATION strives for EXCELLENCE...  They demand excellence for every employee because they know that excellence brings satisfied customers and satisfied customers will translate eventually to MORE MONEY coming in for the company.  And that my friend is called PROSPERITY...

       The richest people in the world are businessmen.  Let's take the case of Bill Gates, Henry Ford, John Gokongwei, Henry Sy and many others.  They have become rich because they serve people everyday - Millions of People!!!  Every "Rugs to Riches" story of successful people in this planet,  involves one common element. That is they have become rich because they SERVE people one way or the other.

Same goes true with employees.  According to Bro. Bo, employees need to think like Entreprenueurs wherein they should strive to attain Excellence thru quality service to customers.  Normally excellent employees got promoted.  Do not worry if the boss does not recognize you for all your efforts.  Keep practicing Excellence (service with quality) and one day, your skills will be developed.  If not your current boss, other people will hear about your great skill and will want to pay for huge amount of  money in exchange for your SERVICE - and that's what you call - PROSPERITY.

There you have it.  LET'S SERVE OTHER PEOPLE IF WE WANT TO PROSPER IN LIFE.  God will always find a way to bless us in return if we do that constantly.

Want more of this?  Click here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I bet "You are an Addict" too... (Part 1)

Buckle up. You're in for a long read but I guarantee you an entertaining and mind blowing revelation about yourself. Yes.. that's true and before you finish reading this article you'll be convinced that: "You are an Addict also"... Now, read what Bro Bo has to say about this:

"..All of us agree that alcoholism, drug addiction, and compulsive gambling are serious forms of addictions. But I’m sure that most of us reading this article don’t have these more obvious addictions. But what about hidden addictions? They too destroy our life and the lives of our loved ones…

Here’s a list of common hidden addictions that harm us…

Do You have a Hidden Addiction?

· “I eat compulsively”

This is the Number One way we try to feel better. I know of someone who eats at the slightest discomfort of life. If she’s angry, she eats. If she’s depressed, she eats. If she’s anxious, she eats. The truth however is that she isn’t really hungry for food. She is hungry for something else. Unless she sees this, she will continue snacking and pigging out, endangering her health.

· “I eat too much sweets, ice cream, chocolates”

I listed this separately just to impress upon you that chocolates is the Number One “Quick Fix” that people crave for when they are going through painful emotions. When a choco-addict feels hurt, or sad, or angry, or worried, she’ll spontaneously reach for her stash of choco bars. She has them on her desk, in the Ref, on her bedside table, and in her bag—for those “just in case” emergencies. Again, there’s nothing wrong with sweets. (I love dark chocolate and ice cream.) But in excess, it’s harmful. More importantly, you won’t address the real, deep hunger inside you if you keep popping candies in our mouth.

· “I go yo-yo dieting”

A few years ago, my friends were crazy about the “After Six” diet. And then, “Atkins” took over the dieting crowd. Soon, “No Carb!” became the battle cry of millions of women. After that, “South Beach” conquered the world by storm. (My friend says that he’s into the “North Park” diet. For a moment, I thought he was serious, until I realized that his favorite Chinese restaurant was named North Park.)

Personally, I don’t believe in quick diets. I believe in changing one’s eating habits permanently. I believe in changing one’s lifestyle forever—not just for 10 days or 30 days or 3 months. That means eating right and exercise.

By the way, the thin-like-a-broomstick super models found in Fashion magazines comprise only 3% of the world’s population. So I presume 97% of those reading this article have a body structure that resembles clunky vacuum cleaners rather than broomsticks. And it’s okay! You see, the goal is not to look like these super models and weigh less. The goal is to love your body (no matter what body structure you have) and be healthy inside and out. If you don’t watch it, dieting can be an addiction, and its severe form is the next item I’ll discuss.

· “I starve myself”

I met a young girl who was exceedingly thin. She was so thin, she could stand sideways and be invisible. Yet when I talked to her, she told me, “Uncle Bo, I’m so fat!” She grabs her reed-like arm, touches non-existent fat, and says, “See?” This young woman has Anorexia Nervosa. Starving herself (to death) is the only way she can control her seemingly uncontrollable life. Bulimia on the other hand is when a person gorges himself with food and vomits it all out. I know of others who are addicted to dieting pills and are harming their bodies.

· “I shop too much and have buying binges”

Lots and lots of women shop to feel better. They feel happy, beautiful, and alive when they buy a new shoe, a new stocking, a new blouse, a new perfume, a new watch… But if this is done repetitively and excessively, it’s a destructive habit. Do you want to know if you’re a shopaholic? Check your house. Is it full of stuff that you don’t use? Count how many shoes you have. Do you have 30 pairs that you haven’t used in a year? Do you have as many bags that you also haven’t used in a year? Many people are drowning in debt because they can’t control their shopping. In reality, deep within, a shopaholic isn’t looking for “something”. There’s an emptiness that can’t be filled up by a dress, a scarf, a bracelet, or a new pair of high heels. Ultimately, they’re looking for something they can’t buy.

· “I compulsively smoke”

Today, I see a lot of young people sitting in Coffee Shops—but instead of sitting inside where there’s air-conditioning, they sit outside under the sweltering heat of the Philippine sun—because they want to smoke. Isn’t that absurd? Today, I also see young people standing outside their offices during their breaks—again underneath the hot sun and breathing in the pollution of our smoke-belching buses—because they want to smoke. I tell you, it’s illogical. But like the golfer in my story above, addicts don’t think logically anymore. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in the world today. It’s a chemical that gets into your brain and at the first inhale, fights fatigue, suppresses appetite, and lifts your mood. It’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that smoking can cause lung cancer, painful emphysema, bad breath, ugly teeth, dark lips, but to a smoker, who cares?

· “I get angry, yell too often, and throw temper tantrums”

For a rage-aholic, anger is his all-around tool. He uses it for every situation. It’s the only tool he knows how to use. When he’s afraid, he gets angry. When he’s worried, he gets angry. When he’s sad, he gets angry.

I compare anger to a hammer. Using anger for everything is as silly as using the hammer for sewing a shirt, drawing water, healing a wound, and cooking food. It simply won’t work. If you need to sew a shirt, you need a needle, not a hammer. If you need to draw water, you need a pail, not a hammer.

Because of this, anger-addicts are ineffective parents, spouses, friends, and business partners. Some of them argue too much, pick petty fights, and leave a trail of broken relationships. Others are more quiet and demure outside their homes because they bottle up their anger with their friends and in their workplace, but unleash their toxic anger on their kids.

· “I complain a lot”

It’s a silly bad habit. (But come to think of it, what bad habits aren’t silly?) You fill the room with your negativity. More importantly, you fill your life with negativity. And it attracts more of it, so you multiply the stuff you can complain about. Believe me, no one would like to be with a complainer except fellow complainers.

· “I worry too much”

God gave us the ability to panic for emergency situations where we need to act quickly. But for a worry-addict, almost every situation is an emergency situation. So throughout the day, she’s in constant panic mode. If the anger-addict person uses the hammer for everything, the worry-addict uses a needle for everything. She “needles” every situation, looking for what may go wrong, always imagining how everything will go wrong. And because our fears are powerful, we end up creating the imaginary monsters into existence.

· “I drink too much coffee (or cola).”

I know a human being (yes, he’s a human being) who drinks 10 cups of coffee every single day. My other friend drinks 6 cans of diet cola every single day. Because it’s diet, she argues that it’s no longer bad for her. I told her that because she’s drinking too much artificial sweeteners, she may end up with artificial diabetes. I was kidding, but I still think it’s not a wise thing to do.

· “I sleep too much”

Naps are great for your health. But you know, sleep has become an addiction. Usually, too much sleep is a sign of depression or being overwhelmed by our problems. These people don’t want to wake up in the morning. And during the day, they want to crawl back in bed, under their covers, shielding themselves from the seemingly hostile world around them.

· “I watch too much TV”

Telenovelas should be watched in moderation. But the problem is that Telenovelas are designed to be addicting. They always end with great cliff-hangers: The child will finally know who his real father is, or the young woman will now find out if she’s pregnant or not, or the man will finally meet the man who killed his mother 20 years ago…

Studies suggest that if you sit down in front of the TV set for 3 hours each day instead of spending time with your spouse or your kids or other endeavors, there is a probability that one is addicted. (I’m talking of normal, active people who have jobs, families, etc., not aged, bedridden, or sick people.) Another sign that you may be addicted is if you have a fantasy relationship with some stars you watch on TV. This is normal for kids, but not very normal for adults.

· “I clean the house compulsively”

I know a mother who cleans her house the way nuns clean their convents, except that she does the work of 15 nuns all by herself.

When I visited her home, I discovered everything was polished, sparkling, and perfectly clean. I wondered if germs thought twice of stepping on her floor because it was too clean.

She’d spend the entire day scrubbing floors, washing curtains, dusting furniture, and picking up after her kids.

Everything was in order. Even the kids had to be clean and pretty all day. (I pitied the kids.) Why was she like this? Because if the house wasn’t perfect, she felt people will talk against her. Bottom line, she was a very insecure person. In reality, I felt that she wanted to clean something inside her, but couldn’t, so she just went about cleaning her house instead.

· “I compulsively lust”

One day, a young father of two kids confessed to me that he watches 2 to 3 hours of internet porn a day. He says he has to wake up at 1am, while his wife was sleeping, to watch his pornography. “I hate it, Bo. I hate what it’s doing to me. I wake up groggy the next day and curse myself for doing it. But I can’t seem to stop…” I told him, “I know exactly what you feel. I experienced that too, except that back in my day, we had no internet. I would wake up at 1am to open my porn magazines. If I had none, I would walk out on the streets and search for them.” But I told him that I got out of it, and so can he. Anyone can. This is the reason for this 8-Part series of articles.

· “I work too hard”

Working hard is good. But when your family and your health suffer, you automatically know that it’s an addiction. The problem with workaholism is that it’s rewarded. People pat us on the back and tell us that we’re dedicated, loyal, and industrious. We get bonuses. We get promoted.

Let me tell you a very sad story. There was one popular Christian leader who travelled the world expanding his ministry for the poor. One day, his wife called him up and said, “Come home immediately. Your daughter committed suicide.” Thankfully, it was a failed attempt. But instead of going home that day, he instead went to Vietnam to continue his ministry work. A few years later, that daughter committed suicide again—and succeeded. This Christian leader died years later, fired by his own ministry leaders, estranged from his wife and children. His mistake was that he was addicted to his work.

· There are many other hidden addictions.

Compulsive gossip. Phone calls every hour of the day. Daily trips to the beauty parlor. Even religious addiction—for people whose families are breaking apart because they spend their entire time in church. Etcetera..."

By this time, you are now convinced that you are an addict also in some way. But the bigger question is, how are we going to get rid of our "addictions in life?" In Problem Solving method, understanding the reason behind the problem is the first step to solving the problem. And that is what I promise to share you in my next blog. Watch out for it soon...