Henry Cloud: Don’t be attached to a certain outcome

How can we have the courage to do the right thing? Sometimes it’s not as easy as it seems. Sometimes doing the right thing can affect us negatively. Activists who speak up for just causes but end up being jailed by oppressive regimes would know this to be true. We really don’t know what will happen though until we make that decision. Maybe the activists won’t get jailed and instead triggers a revolution and is deemed a hero.

However, the threat of negative consequences, no matter how unsure they are, is enough to make us cower and decide to do the wrong thing. There is an advice though that can help us during these trying times, and that is: “Don’t be married to a certain outcome.” I read this in the book, Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward by Henry Cloud.

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Anong wala kang piyesa? Meron! Meron!

“Wala akong piyesa!” This was my main excuse as to why I wasn’t submitting to literary publications. I still need to write something, I kept saying. A few days ago, a friend ask me where my Creative Writing thesis was, and when I said it was just somewhere, he suggested that I submit it to this journal. I was like, ack! But he was right, I should submit. I also realized that I have entire folders in my computer of stuff I’ve written. So marami akong piyesa, ayoko lang ipakita. Then I read this article Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year, and it made complete sense.

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Meeting a fearless student

I’ve always defined myself as a brave person, that is at least in terms of being courageous enough to leap to new opportunities. In terms of political opinions, I used to be very comfortable sharing links and making comments about various issues, but these days, I hesitate. This reminded me of the time when I watched Schindler’s List, and right after that movie, I thought, what if, like Schindler, history asks me to rise up and fight for something right? Will I be able to heed the call of the times? During that time, I couldn’t answer my own questions, and now that there’s a creeping legitimization of dictatorship and a ravenous call for more bloodshed, I am afraid that my answer to that is increasing into a shameful no. I am scared, and that’s why I was so inspired when I met my student who exuded fearlessness.

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Books that had a lasting impact on my life (Book 4: Be True to Yourself)

Though I’m not a teen anymore, I love Be True to Yourself: A Daily Guide for Teenage Girls by Amanda Ford. The book is just a little bigger than the usual pocket-sized book but it is twice their thickness. The entire book is divided into months, and under each month, there’s a page for each day. In each page, there’s a headline that’s inked in black or pink. Emblazoned are words like Life is a Journey, Keep Your Teddy Bears, Kiss Me, No More “I’m Not Mad At You”. Then there are two to three paragraphs explaining the topic.

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Fear is no reason to stay

I remember what it was like before I resigned from my stable job as a full-time reporter and embarked on the scary but much more fulfilling path of a freelance writer. I realized that the only reason why I was staying was because I was afraid. I was afraid that I was never going to get anything better than what I already had.

But fear is no reason to stay. You stay because you love something. You stay because you are convinced that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Yet I couldn’t find the strength to leave. I knew I had to do it, but I just couldn’t.

This worried me as I always defined myself as a brave person. I thought, what if my brave days were over? What if I had finally grown old and scared and I wouldn’t be able to be brave anymore?

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If in the Future I Feel Scared to Take Risks, I Will Branson It and Bungee Jump

As you know, I recently took a big risk. I resigned from my stable job as an art reporter in a newspaper so that I can become a freelance art reporter. Prior to resigning though, I experienced something I’ve never felt before. I knew what I wanted to do, but I was afraid to take the risk. This was alarming as I’ve always defined myself as a risk taker. During that time though, a palpable fear swept over me. Maybe I couldn’t take risks anymore, maybe I had finally grown old and settled in my ways, and maybe my days of bravery were just simply over.

I am thankful that all I had to do was wait and that day came, that day when my decision finally solidified. Looking back, I have some theories as to why I was able to break out from my rut, and I realized it while I was reading Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way. I also made a pact with myself. The next time I experience this prison of inhibiting fear, I will bungee jump. So how does this all connect and how did I get to that bungee jumping conclusion? Stay with me.

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Lesson from Hillary Clinton: When You Feel Scared, Feel Grateful

Does it ever happen to you that you kind of know that you are at the most pivotal part of your life? I think it’s happening to me. Quitting my stable job as an art reporter and risking it all to become a freelance writer is the scariest decision that I’ve ever made, but, at the same time, I know that I needed to do it so that I can grow as a person and pursue what I truly love.

Although I am sure about my decision, I am still riddled with fears. I’m scared that I won’t hack it as a freelance writer. I’m scared that I’ll lose all my money. I’m scared of all the uncertainties that lies ahead. When I have such negative feelings, I usually turn to self-help books, but it was weird that I found solace in the words of American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. I was just reading the news when I stumbled upon an article by The Washington Post.

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