Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist



The book started about a dream of a boy named Santiago. He is contented with his life as an Andalusian shepherd in Spain until one day he has a recurring dream about finding a hidden treasure in the Pyramids. His curiosity urges him to seek someone to interpret this dream. He found a Gypsy who told him that dreams are prophecies that he must act and follow it. However, Santiago is happy being a shepherd and seeking treasure is not his cup of tea. Santiago meets a man named Melchizedek the King of Salem, who talks to him about Personal Legends and omen. Santiago was surprised that the King is able to read what’s on his mind. He told Santiago to pursue his Personal Legend and gives him two stones, Urim and Thummim which can interpret omens. Overwhelmed, Santiago decided to sell his flock and purchase a ticket to Tangier in Northern Africa.

He arrives in Africa but the odds are not on his favor when a thief steals all his money. He was devastated but with the help of stones that can interpret omens he decided to move on and look for ways to earn money so that he can return home. Santiago finds a work in a crystal shop. The shop owned by the merchant ventures a huge financial success. Santiago earns plenty of money to buy a flock of sheep and return home. The crystal merchant’s desire is to go to Mecca however decided not to pursue it. Santiago realizes that he can always go back to being a shepherd but he will not always be able to visit the Pyramids. He decided to move forward to fulfill his Personal Legend.

Santiago joins a caravan traveling to Egypt and meets an Englishman who wants to learn the secret of alchemy from a famous alchemist. He befriended the Englishman and learns about alchemy through his books. While traveling, Santiago learns the Soul of the World. They arrived in an oasis where he meets an Arab girl named Fatima and falls in love with her. The caravan leader told the travelers that the tribal war prevents them from continuing their journey. Santiago wanders through the oasis; he instantly recognized an omen and saw a vision of armies entering the oasis. He hurriedly told the tribal chieftain about his vision and they prepared for the invasion. Afterwards, Santiago confronted by the Alchemist and offers him to cross the desert going to the Pyramid with his aid.

They travel through the desert even in the midst of war. Santiago and the alchemist were captured by the tribal for three days then continued their journey. They arrived in a monastery and the Alchemist told Santiago to continue his journey without his support. Santiago travels alone and finally reaches the Pyramid. He falls to his knees and weeps. He doesn’t know where and how to look for the treasure. He found a beetle where his tears fell. He knows that it’s an omen and starts digging through the sand. While Santiago is digging, a group of thieves notice him. They searched Santiago and found a gold that the Alchemist gave him. The thieves assume that he buried more gold in the sand and told Santiago to keep on digging. Sadly, Santiago doesn’t find any treasure and the thieves beat him up badly. One of the thief told Santiago about his recurring dream about a treasure hidden under a Sycamore tree in Spain. But the thief is not stupid enough to cross an entire desert just because of a dream. Santiago pulls himself together and starts laughing.  He knows where the hidden treasure is.

The book speaks about following your dreams as well as the obstacle you will face in your journey towards it. If you're fully committed on following your dream, you will be severely tested first. It will be a rocky ride before you get there. Sometimes when everything goes haywire, you give up easily. You go back to the comfortable life you always knew and leave everything behind when in fact you're so close to reaching it. Those tests are only lessons that you will master when you move forward to what your heart desires. That's why those who passed the tests are greatly rewarded.

I've read and heard a lot of successful stories and most of them go through hardships. I truly admired these people who fully understand the price of following your dreams. This book has open my eyes to finally act on my dream that I've been putting off for awhile now. I realized what my dream was but I've been through times when I doubt myself just like Santiago in the book. I succumbed to my own fears. I will make this book as my guide and offer to God everything that I will do. I believe that whatever your heart desires, it speaks to you in your dreams. A life changing book that I’ll surely read over and over again.




Below are my favorite quotes from the book.

“And, when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?" the boy asked.
"Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

Photos are from my Instagram account - Changbucad

Building an Emergency Fund




I’ve started investing already and one thing that I forgot is to save my own emergency fund. I know it should be first on my lists! I’ve heard how essential it is to have one. Emergency fund should be a very liquid amount where you can pull out anytime in case of emergencies (of course from the word itself). It is an unexpected event that may require immediate consideration. Examples for emergency situations are: Medical Emergency, Job loss and Property loss.

The Buffer fund (that’s what I call it) should amount to 3-6 months worth of your total monthly expenses. Why expenses? Your Income and Savings may stop but sadly not the expenses. Let’s say if you get sick, you need to go to the hospital, your income will stop and we all know that no work - no pay, right?  Also, in case you lost your job and you may have to maintain your current lifestyle. What if, at that point in time you’re still paying a debt? That’s a huge financial loss! This fund should be separated to your savings account.

How to start building your emergency fund? You should allocate a percentage of your monthly income for this one. Moreover, it depends on the amount of your total monthly expenses. Let’s say if you have PHP 5000 worth of monthly expenses, you have to save around PHP 15000 for your emergency fund. That’s 3 months worth of it. After hearing about 52 Weeks Money Challenge from Kuripot Pinay, I got this idea that I will align my emergency fund goal to this challenge. Personally, it’s a good start especially if you don’t have any idea how much percentage you should allocate on your income.

Where do you place your emergency fund? The money should be readily accessible.  You may place it on a savings account with an ATM so that you can withdraw it immediately.  Sometimes when we have readily accessible money especially with an ATM, you will without a doubt tempt to use it. You must have a strong will-power to resist temptations! Your attitude on handling money is imperative.  Sale on the Mall is not an emergency! If you must, leave your ATM card on your house before it’s too late.

 The Golden Rule: You should never ever touch your Emergency fund. You should only use it in case of urgent situations.



Having an emergency fund is really important. We’ll never know what will happen, so planning ahead is always better.

image sources:
http://www.transitionblog.com/ways-to-save-money/
http://captureitremeberit.tumblr.com/

Kuripot Pinay 2015 Money Challenge: http://www.kuripotpinay.com/2015/01/my-52-week-money-challenge-2015.html

Happiness

What is Happiness? According to Wikipedia, Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. People from various backgrounds and cultures have different definitions of it. I believe there is more to it than just a mental or emotional state, I can't even describe it completely. 

While reading the book Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert (totally savoring each chapters of the book!), she describes it as a consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, and insist upon it.    


I totally believe it's true, when you find that happiness you've been looking for throughout your life, you'll do anything to keep it.  Happiness can mean many different things to others. We all have our own perspective to what it should be. Everyone desires happiness. 

As for me, I know that happiness is within reach, you just have to open your eyes to everyday blessings, you just have to be grateful for everything that you have and will come. Look within yourself what makes you happy and contented. God Bless. 

Year Review: 2014



Time flew by like a blink of an eye. I should have posted this last week but I keep on procrastinating HAHA! Nothing has changed. I've been a busy bee lately so don't judge LOL

10 Great Things happened

1. Chanly reached 4! My longest relationship ever LOL. I look forward to more years with him.
2. The team had its ups and downs last year but we've conquered the challenges with a brave & positive outlook. For the first time in forever, the client is unbelievably generous this year, not to mention the incentives and bonuses. We had two out of town outings. The one was in Dahilayan where we stayed for 2 days and 1 night. The other one was in Dapitan City.
3. I joined NCIP & God had showed me my passion for helping people. It was the most humbling and amazing experience this year.
4. Started to work & invest on my future. It takes a loooooooooooooooooot (don't count the o's) of work, courage, commitment & dedication. It's not easy! I know I'm capable of so much more. I believe that in the most uncomfortable state of my life, something great will happen.
5. I am an insurance agent! I wanted to join seminars & training about investment vehicles. I've watched a lot of finance videos already and having an insurance while investing is really important. I realized, I don't want to enter something that I'm not sure of, that's why I've invested my time and money here to gain more knowledge.  It's a big risk that I've taken this year & it has ample responsibility connected to it.
6. I've had hit 56kg to my weight, the lowest ever this year. But because of the long holiday, I think I'm back to 60kg LOL.
7. Bananey is now working! I miss him, every single day while he's onboard and even when he's in Manila. 
8. I've received a generous amount of money from our client.
9. My prayers & wishes came true this year!!Thank you Father God! I am forever grateful to your grace and goodness.
10. I have 2 good looking nephews already! My eldest sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy last September. Our little bundle of joy is so charming.

10 Things I learned

1. Never stop learning and growing. Invest on things that will help you achieve your goals in life.
2. Don't be afraid to fail. If you never fail, you'll never grow. Learn from them, move on and work harder. Challenge yourself!
3. Get out on your comfort zone!
4. Invest while you're still young. Build your empire now. Time waits for no one.
5. Meditate.
6. I learned to be more understanding and patient with people.
7. To be grateful every single day. I've started to write daily gratitude.
8. Changing the way I see every challenges I've faced, how to approach it positively & control my emotions. 
9. Never tolerate small minded and negative people. I try to distance myself with toxic people and I can identify one.
10. Never be too judgmental. There's always two sides to every story.

Great people in my life
1. Papa - I'm amazed that my father is supporting me right now with my goals in life. 
2. Boyfriend - This person believes in everything that I do. He supports and encourage me to do well. He would always tell that he got my back. 


Hey sunbeams!


We had a meeting yesterday and a friend noticed that I look pale. I tried to put on a lipstick, I hurriedly applied one but since I don’t like the way it looks on me, I decided not to apply anymore.  I have this idea that maybe I look pale because I don’t get enough sunshine. They say that you need to get a little exposure of sunlight; it’s good for the health. I’ve been sleeping late & waking up late too. Last night, I decided to sleep early (I did, slept around 12AM LOL) & should wake up early to get some vitamin D.  I woke up early today, hurray! Actually, I woke up because of the noises I heard.  Omo, my family is really noisy early in the morning! I heard familiar voices in our living room, I realized that my aunt & uncle arrived early from Bohol (I’m not sure what their business here in CDO, maybe they have important event to attend to).  I woke up around 6AM, I jumped on my bed cause I have to get some sunshine!

To my surprise the weather is gloomy, and then my aunt says there’s a low pressure, wrong timing eh? I didn’t even know there’s a low pressure; I don’t like watching news (too much negativity there), that’s why I can’t keep up with the latest updates, especially the weather. This weather is an epitome of appreciating little things, we miss the sunbeams when it rains & vice versa.  Ooh, this kind of weather makes me a lazy. 

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