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You are Enough

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Young(er), hungry and ambitious; I went from goal to goal - both short term and long term ones.

I collected medals and certificates, but never bragged about them. The feeling of achieving them was more than enough.

I was raised with a drive to achieve. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as it's done with honesty, a spirit of fairness, and hard work.

For a long time though, I didn't realize that it had become like a band-aid solution to one of the biggest challenges all of us are susceptible to.

The one thing I was, without a doubt, suffering from, too.

The fear of not being enough.

I'm a planner. I love planning things.

From vacations to how I can achieve things, I plan with multiple colored pens (or pencils), sticky notes, and a planner I am completely dependent on.

From since I was in pre-school, I enjoyed attention from being an achiever.

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Put in this amount of hard work, and you get a medal. Do this, and you get glowing words of recommendation for your next year in school.

The older we get, the fewer those words become. Also, the older we get, the more distractions seem to find their way to us, which at times successfully get to us keep our eyes off the goals we've made.

What I didn't realize earlier on was that just like every other person, I had a need for relevance. A need that I had long fueled with achieving titles and winning various competitions.

Along the way to realizing this, I also learned that we have different ways of trying to fill up this gaping hole of needing to have impact, relevance, and make an imprint.

Others try to prove they're bad-ass by breaking rules, and going the 'this is my world and you're just in it' route. Others help and help and help and help others hoping to one day be noticed from how much of themselves they put out there. Others find comfort in being social butterflies; flitting from one group to another a couple of days or nights a week.

The thing is - as long as we are able to stand up for our own rights, respect others, and be blessings to them; I don't find anything wrong in achieving, making goals, having friends, and going out of our way to help others.

The problem begins when we start using our various exploits and activities to cover up the need to feel that we're enough.

Because with or without makeup on, with or without having the latest clothes, with or without being friends with the 'It' crowd, with or without the medal that says you finished first, with or without lots of money, and with or without the ability to speak your mind 24/7; you are enough simply by being yourself: There's no one else in the universe who is exactly like you.

So go out there and shine like the rockstar that you already are.

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(Photos from Unsplash)

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Becoming Confident

One of the top questions I get asked is how someone can become more confident.

Many people invest in their knowledge and skills in learning how to grow in this area of their lives.

If you're someone who's looking into growing yourself in this area, then this write-up's for you.

Here are my thoughts on this topic - and many more questions related to becoming confident!

1. How does one really grow in confidence?

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It's case to case. Different factors helped me grow in confidence:

a. Growing your knowledge and skills on a certain topic helps you grow in confidence.

b. Surrounding yourself with encouraging and supportive family members and friends.

c. Learning to do things on your own without depending on others.

d. Realizing that others are too busy figuring out their own lives that they don't spend as much time judging us than we commonly believe. :-)

e. Loving and accepting ourselves. Can't say this happens 100% of the time since there's always room to grow; but the more we love, care for, and believe in ourselves - truly being our own cheerleaders - makes us live lives filled with kindness.

2. How much confidence does one really need?

Confidence for me is primarily about believing in ourselves. If we don't know something, believe that we can. If we can't do something (yet), believe that someday, we can.

In terms of a scale, I don't have one. But I can say that there's nothing wrong with loving and believing in ourselves. If we don't, who will?

Be cautious about being OVERconfident though. There's nothing attractive about it. This is associated with showing off, wanting to always have the upper hand over others. Overconfidence just communicates insecurity. Instead of behaving this way, focus on finding peace, and being loving towards yourself and others.

3. Does a confident person ever have periods of not feeling confident?

YES. Everyone does! :-) It's more a question of what you do with those periods. Do you sulk or do you cheer yourself up? Do you focus on the negative or on what you can do?

Nothing and no one is ever perfect, but what separates you from being the better version of yourself is what you choose to do with your life.

4. What SHOULDN'T you do to grow your confidence?

Never step on others to feel better about yourself.  Don't manipulate others, don't take advantage of them.

5. What life changing experiences (if any) did I have which increased my confidence?

I'm thankful to have a loving family and friends who encourage and support me.

I also enjoy learning new things and exploring. Learning and traveling definitely help increase my confidence because these activities show me what I am capable of!

What other confidence-related questions do you want answered? Tell me in the comments section below!

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The 5am Club

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There's nothing like triumphing over the biggest hindrance to our success: ourselves

Did you know that a big chunk of successful people wake up earlier than most?

This is by no means a coincidence.

Not only does this give them bigger control over their day, it also gives them time to exercise. According to the book the Millionaire Mind, millionaires have a greater tendency to exercise, and exercise is directly correlated to risk taking; a trait businessmen are known to possess. It keeps them healthier and stronger both in body, and mind. It also helps them manage emotions better.

Let's be realistic though - for most of us, getting up early isn't an easy thing.

I love my sleep. I enjoy waking up between 7 and 9am. However, admittedly, I know that I can do better and that waking up at 9am makes me feel like so much has gone by, and I've wasted so much time already.

So I carefully analyzed my habits and patterns and realized which practices truly help me be more productive and wake up earlier:

1. Reduce distractions during the day

The more time spent during the day on non-important stuff, the more time you'll spend later in the day trying to catch up on things you need to finish. This means finishing work later and therefore going to bed later.

2. And reduce Netflix and Social Media before bedtime

One of my guilty pleasures is watching on-demand TV series before bedtime. I rationalize to myself that I need it to relax and prep myself for bedtime (like a bedtime story) but reality is that it doesn't. First and foremost, I usually watch suspense, action, or psycho-thrillers - not exactly the best things to watch before bedtime. Also, I keep bargaining with myself that I'll just watch for a few more minutes, and before I realize it, those few minutes have turned to 45.

It's the same with Social Media, right? Excellent time wasters different platforms turn out to be when our scrolling and browsing go from a few minutes to 15, 30, 45, 60 - and even more!

If you can't control it, avoid it.

3. Choose books over electronic devices

Multiple scientific studies have come out to try to convince us about the negative effects of electronic devices before bedtime.

Apparently, electronic devices like laptops, cellphones, and tablets emit blue light which convinces our brains that it's day time and makes it harder for us to fall asleep.

4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime

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Perhaps it's a no-brainer that we should avoid caffeine a few hours and immediately before sleeping, but what about alcohol?

Although alcohol may help people relax, research has proven that alcohol affects the quality of sleep we get!

Infusions with little to no sugar, water, and warm milk are apparently still the best beverages for a relaxing, quality, good night's sleep.

5. Sleep in the dark

Did you know that melatonin, a hormone which helps regulate sleep, is produced in the dark?

This is why, for a deeper, more relaxed state, we should sleep with as minimal lighting as possible.

6. Plan your day the night before

There's nothing like not falling into a restful state because you're stressing about not knowing what will happen tomorrow! Also, knowing what to look forward to can help get us out of the bed in the daytime.

7. Decrease late night social activities

Staying up mingling, socializing, and hanging out with friends keeps the mind engaged. Not only does it keep us out of bed, it also makes it more challenging to be able to fall asleep immediately after the interactions.

8. You are your own best alarm clock. Psyche yourself that you will get up by a certain time

I find that one of the best ways to get up and get out of bed is by focusing on the thought that I WILL get out of bed by a certain time. For some reason, setting this intention before going to sleep is hands down the best alarm clock I've ever encountered.

What helps you sleep better? What helps you get up earlier? Share in the comments below!

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(Photos from Shutterstock and Unsplash)

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Better with Congruence

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It's said that one of the key elements of trust is congruence.

When I think of the word, I remember my high school geometry class, when I learned about angles and exchanged tips on playing The Sims with classmates.

Congruence, it turns out, is an element of trust too. It's about "saying and doing what you believe, walking the talk, being straightforward, and being consistent." (Find out more in this link: https://www.leadershipmastery.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/understanding-trust.pdf)

Easier said than done? Perhaps. But let's think about this for a moment:

1. Being trustworthy means saying and doing what you believe.

If you say one thing and do another, how will people believe what you say, or think that what you're ding is genuine?

Others can tell if you're sincere with what you say or do. Call it an inborn BS-detector, but people can sense this stuff.

2. Being trustworthy means doing what you say.

You'll say you'll do it, but don't. Will people want to work with you? Will they believe you when you tell them something?

They'll most likely go with someone who is consistent with what they say and what they do.

3. Being trustworthy means being straightforward.

Do you tend to beat around the bush?

Do you tend to not say what you really think?

These type of actions do not promote trust.

4. Being trustworthy means being consistent.

If you consistently show that there is a match between your words and actions, then people naturally will trust you more.

They may or may not like you, but because they know there is consistency between your word and deed, they know what they can expect from you.

So, the big question is, are you congruent? Remember - there's always room to further grow in your ability to be so!

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(Photo from GoRaydar)

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All the World's a Stage

I recently returned to Bangkok, the place I consider my second home.

Just like any country I visit, I do what I can to make the most out of time, and that makes comfort being a key element I consider when I pack for the trip.

I don't however, sacrifice style even if I prioritize comfort. After all, who doesn't feel more confident when they know their outfit looks good? This also makes it easier to have nicer and more memorable photos!

In packing for my trips to Thailand, I always consider the following things:

1. The climate: It's usually really warm so I pack fabrics which are light on the skin. I rarely ever bring anything denim and other clothes in thick fabrics.

2. Places I plan to go: Are temples on the list? Then I make sure to bring something that's both light and long (i.e. pants). No sleeveless tops and nothing above the knee in length are allowed in these places of worship.

3. Beauty & Skincare regimen: What beauty and skincare products do I need? I'll probably leave any exfoliating products and just use them when I get back!

4. How much walking will I be doing: Bangkok is a very walkable city and because of that, the only pairs of shoes I usually bring along on my trips are my Fitflops.

Trips can be even more fun when you do a great job of planning what to bring!

Wherever your adventures may be this summer, I hope you have a great one!!

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Self-Care While You Travel!

One of my favorite hobbies is to explore new places.

Because of this, I love to travel!

The reality is though, that travelling can be harsh on my body- my skin included.

But because I enjoy travelling as much as I do, I take this as a challenge and don't let it stop my adventures!

I do have to make sure I take care of myself though, because isn't it fun to take lots and lots of pictures?

Here's a quick rundown of how I take care of myself when I travel!

1. Never leave home without a good breakfast.

If I'm going to be out the entire day seeking adventures, I need to make sure I have enough sustenance to fuel me to lunchtime!

2. Hydrate.

Water and coconut juice are my best friends. The sun can be hot and the heat can be scorching. The last thing I'd want is to be dehydrated. Not only does it show on your skin, it also increases your chance of a urinary tract infection (ouch!). 

3. Antibacterial wet wipes

You never know where you're going to end up and if they have a place to wash your hands when they get dirty. Wet wipes are also useful for almost any kind of emergency. :-)

4. Skincare for my skin type

Emphasis on my skin type. The last thing you want is your skin breaking or drying out because you used the wrong type of skin care. Oh, and always, always bring a water-based moisturizer because they're handy for sunburns.

5. Gentle makeup

When the elements drive your skin nuts, the last thing you want is to be using makeup which makes your skin flame up or break out. From your base to your powder, everything has to be gentle. One way I am able to guarantee this is by using natural makeup, such as Burt's Bees. My lips can be really sensitive and get allergic reactions to lipsticks, especially when they have lots of chemicals. I always travel with a variety of Burt's Bees lipstick shades to make sure that I have photo-worthy makeup on while still caring for my skin.

In the featured photos, I am using Burt's Bees Lipstick Shades Blush Basin, Russet River, Juniper Water, and Lily Lake.

What are you self-care routines when you travel? Share in the comments below!

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The Value of Hard Work

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When I was starting my career as a speaker in mid-2015, I worked smart by strategizing how to make my work sustainable.

But what made me move forward on both good and bad days was hard work.

There are lots of good and bad folks in the world. Sometimes, there’s an occasional not-so-awesome client. It happens in every job and industry.

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There are days when I feel so frustrated and heartbroken that I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

Now how do you know when to continue working hard or to give up?

Here’s a quick guide for any situation:

1.       What is the goal? If there’s no goal, it may be pointless continuing down this road. Goals are very important.

2.       How do you measure success?

3.       From whom can you get objective feedback?

4.       What can you get out of this experience?

5.       What is something you can look forward to after this?

People can find fault in you for being a quitter, but no one can ever fault you for working hard!

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(Photos from GoRaydar)

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Taking Insta-worthy Vacation Photos

 Got some pretty awesome shots at the Floating Market!

Got some pretty awesome shots at the Floating Market!

 Tall structures? No problem. The panoramic setting lets me take photos of places like the Temple of Dawn, easily!

Tall structures? No problem. The panoramic setting lets me take photos of places like the Temple of Dawn, easily!

I consider Bangkok, Thailand my second home, and my visits would be incomplete without capturing moment in the beautiful city.

Since I love walking around and commuting while exploring the wonders of the city, I make sure I only carry my essentials.

This helps me maximize my time exploring and I don't feel too tired from lugging around a heavy handbag.

One of the ways I do that is by using things for multiple purposes, such as using my phone as my camera, too.

That's why I always make sure I have my Samsung Note 8 with me.

One of the most wonderful features of this phone is its powerful camera which captures images from my trips and keeps memories close to my heart!

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Nourishing Your Crowning Glory

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Time for some hair talk.

Have you ever heard the saying that your hair is your 'crowning glory'?

I used to take this for granted until one day when a hairdresser severely damaged my hair just by cutting it!

I don't know what he did, but something went wrong and my hair went from healthy to rough, dry, and unmanageable within two weeks of getting a trim.

It was unforgettable because I went for a trim for my college graduation photo.

Needless to say, it was a nightmare.

I've since learned to take better care of my hair. Here are some of my top tips for helping you take care of your own crowning glory!

1. Choose a good hairdresser.

Unfortunately you figure this one out after hair has been cut, colored, or permed; but this is one of those things that you need to shop around for. Ask for feedback from others; and go for a hairdresser who listens - particularly about what you want, what your lifestyle is, and what your needs are.

Don't go for someone who forces what they want on you.

I go to: Celeste Tuviera, at Symmetria Salon

2. Do hot oil treatments

My scalp is oily but that doesn't mean the tips of my hair are too.

In fact, tips are usually prone to drying because they're the oldest part of the hair on our heads.

Nourish your hair by doing home hot oil treatments. Just rub the oil in, keep in a shower cap for a few hours, and shampoo off. Some are better than others so shop around to choose what works best for your hair.

I use: Watson's Volumizing Treatment Wax

3. Let your hair down when you sleep

When you have long hair, it can get tempting to keep your hair up when you sleep - I tend to do this myself.

Unfortunately this means you hair gets unnecessarily tugged and pulled on which could contribute to falling hair.

Let your hair loose instead and let your scalp relax.

For hair fall problems, I take Nutrilite's Hair, Skin, Nails

4. Wash Gently

There are so many chemicals used in everything and your shampoo doesn't have to be one of these chemical-laden items.

A natural shampoo isn't just gentle on your hair & scalp - it also helps ensure that you don't contribute to chemicals from shampoo flowing out into our rivers and seas.

I use: Avalon Organic's Biotin Shampoo

Taking care of hair can be a wonderful and rewarding experience.

How do you nourish your crowning glory? Share in the comments below!

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Brands I Trust: Nutrilite

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Work hard, play hard:

It's a constant struggle trying to find a balance between productivity, fun, and health.

Many times it gets so busy that the #struggleisreal to sleep early, eat right, and exercise regularly.

For me - and you - to do the things we do and keep up with demanding schedules and workloads, we need to take care of our health.

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One way I'm able to do just that, and keep my health in check, is by taking Nutrilite by Amway.

With Nutrilite, you know the quality is top-notch. Everything from planting in their own farms to packaging in their facilities is done in-house and undergoes the strictest quality standards.

And it's not medicine; it's food. From Double X's vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to Omega 3 capsules from real salmon; you know what you're taking helps you eat a balanced diet, and not just consume something made up of chemicals from a lab.

You and I - we've only got one body, so we've got to take care of it.

If you'd like to learn more about Nutrilite and how you can avail of it, you can contact the Thinkwell group through this link: http://www.main.thinkwellasia.org/careers/

Here's to a healthier 2018!

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