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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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Brands I Trust: Burt's Bees

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I'm not a makeup connoiseur, although I do like to keep things tasteful and classy!

One of the easiest ways of doing that is by switching up my lipsticks.

I once read that women end up eating so much lipstick in their lifetime simply because they put it on their mouth.

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Because of that, I find it very important to use lipstick which isn't just safe to use on my skin, but one that doesn't have toxic chemicals in case I end up eating some of it!

I decided that the best way of going about this was by going the natural route, and that led me to being a loyal user of Burt's Bees Lip Products.

From lip balm which I use before I sleep at night to lipsticks which I use during the day, Burt's Bees keeps my lips looking hip or classy and totally hydrated.

My favorite shades are lipsticks in Blush Basin (a pinkish nude) and Juniper Water (a deep mauve).

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Treat People Right

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Interpersonal relationships are one of the foundations of a personal brand.

It goes without saying that we need treat others well, but it's also something often taken for granted.

Treating people right may be a fair and just thing to do, but even when they treat us poorly, treating them well speaks highly about who we are and is reflected in our personal brand.

In fact, it's sometime wiser to avoid those who treat us poorly rather than go into retribution mode.

We sometimes get tempted to act superior since it makes us feel mightier and more powerful.

Unfortunately, this can badly backfire.

When we behave in a superior manner, we may earn fear from those around us, but rarely their loyalty, support and respect.

It also communicates that we have a need to feed our ego, instead of communicating that we that are professional; as well compassionate and kind.

Kindness and empathy help us connect with others on a heart level.

While we would like to believe that humans are logical creatures, studies have shown that we're really still more emotional ones.

So treat people right not to build a great personal - and professional - brand (let that be the secondary benefit); but because you owe it to others and to your emotional and mental well-being to do so!

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(Photo from GoRaydar)

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Be #superwithcooper from Head to Toe

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New Year; new life - we often say.

But how can we really start to take better care of ourselves?

Here are the ways I make it a point of giving myself some quality self-love:

1. Take care of your hair

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Since I don't usually have the time or patience to work with bad hair days; I go with the route of preventing them from happening.

I proactively help my hair feel lighter and look better by going to a great hairdresser; using a lighter and natural shampoo for my hair type; doing home hot-oil treatments twice a month; and avoiding hot styling tools.

Try: Avalon Organics Shampoo

2. Your skin needs tlc, too

My skin type is oily and that means white heads and break outs. Apart from using a skincare line for my skin type, I also make sure I get a monthly facial to clear my pores. It hurts, but it's worth it!

Try: The Belo Clinic for their facials

3. Comfy shoes bring you to places

I don't know how my younger version did it, but I now have 0 tolerance for uncomfortable shoes. In fact, I choose wedges over stilettos and go for the more expensive yet comfortable for my daily shoes. I walk a lot and I only have one pair of feet, so I'm making sure they get treated the way they deserve!

Try: Fitflops

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4. Express yourself the best way using the clothes which fit you best

When clothes are uncomfortable, it shows. In fact, you'd love much better with something older if you're comfortable in them, as opposed to something newer you're fidgety in.

Make sure you choose clothes which bring out the best you; instead of trying to fit into clothes which make you feel like you're trying to be someone else.

My go-to outfit?

A cotton tank top which is around $3 (I have it in multiple colors but my favorites are black and white), and high waist pants or a flattering skirt. I usually accessorize with large earrings which I get for around $6 from stores like Forever 21.

Try: Forever 21 for costume jewelry and basic tees

5. The right gadgets make living even better

I'm known for lugging around medium to large sized bags for a reason: I like having everything I need with me.

Although I carry bigger bags around, I don't want to be bringing unnecessary weight around which can hurt my shoulders and arms.

This is why I prefer great quality all-in-one gadgets like my Smart Phone.

If I can have it all in one place, well, why not?

Try: Samsung Note 8 for phone, camera, Microsoft Office, a note app, and much more.

Hope these lifestyle tips help make 2018 your #bestyearever!

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Morning Habits Matter

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What's the first thing you think of when you wake up?

What's the first thing you do?

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Chances are, it's to reach for your cellphone to turn off the alarm and to check for messages which came in while you were asleep. (Like Me!)

Do you know that your morning habits matter?

Do you know they help shape your day?

Do you know you should pay close attention to your morning habits and how much time you spend doing your routine?

Here are my recommendations of things you should have as part of your morning habits to have a positive, productive day!

1. Drink Water. Start the day with a glass of clean, hydrating H2O. It'll give you the hydration boost you need after sleeping for hours and also help cleanse your system before you start putting food and other kinds of liquid into it.

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2. Meditate. Nothing beats a moment of silence to feel present and thankful for the day. If you are practicing a particular faith, this is the perfect opportunity to feel grateful for all that you have and do; and to be centered as you begin to face the challenges of a new day.

3. Eat Breakfast. Studies have shown that skipping breakfast isn't the healthiest way to live. Eat healthy to be healthy and to face whatever comes your way with a satisfied tummy!

4. Mind Your Loved Ones. Human, Plant or Dog, this is a great chance to bond. From attending to needs to enjoying each other's company; this is a great way to feel loved and share love before you head out into the craziness that you might need to face today.

The way you spend your mornings shapes how you deal with your day. Use it to feel gratitude, joy, and to enjoy life to its fullest!

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(Featured photos are from GoRaydar)

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Things You'll Want To Do This Year!

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1. Think like a winner

Do you know people who believe they're going to fail at something before they even start doing it? I do.

Does it help them? Absolutely not.

As much as you want to help someone, if that person believes that he or she will fail or disappoint, then they'll most likely take actions to prove that they WILL fail or disappoint since they're already conditioning their mind to behave that way!

It's just how things work.

In the same way, if you realistically assess a situation and how you can succeed; then take concrete action steps towards achieving those goals, then you will, in one way or another, SUCCEED!

One of my mottos is "If you shoot for the stars, you at least land on the moon."

If you reach your goal, AWESOME! If you don't, you'll at least get farther than if you never tried at all, or believed you would fail.

2. Learn from the best

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There's something intimidating from being around the best.

I've met a crazy amount of people who've told me that the Toastmasters* club I attend is intimidating.

My response: Take it as a challenge.

If you had a chance to learn, wouldn't you want to learn from the best?

If you had a chance to succeed at something, be affiliated with someone, or be mentored; wouldn't it strongly benefit you that it be with amazing humans?

No one is perfect; we're all just human beings who are working towards our dreams and goals. But if you have the chance to learn from the infinite knowledge, skills, and wisdom of those who are really good at something you want to be good at; you can't go wrong.

3. Be Wrong (Sometimes)

There's something immensely gratifying from being right. Read: EGO

But you learn most from being wrong.

I used to hate being wrong until the day I realized I was more relatable, more likeable, more human, and gaining wisdom from being wrong.

People like to be right, but it's rare to find someone who is happy to learn from being wrong.

So if you get to be wrong, embrace it; learn from it; and make sure you share the knowledge you gain with others.

4. Look Back

At the end of 2017, I did strategic planning for 2018 and did one things which turned out to be really good for me: I looked back at the year that was.

2017 was a challenging year. It was filled with twists and turns, challenge after heart ache. I felt like I was in the wrong place and achieving nothing with my life.

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And then the looking back happened and boy was I incredibly wrong.

I had learned and done so much since January 1, 2017!

We're usually singular in what we see: the here and now; that we fail to look at the bigger picture and how we've progressed.

So my suggestion is to dedicate an hour at the start of each month to look back at how you spent and what you did the month before.

You'll be inspired at how far you've come.

Which of these tips is your favorite? Share in the comments below!

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(Photos from GoRaydar)

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