My current struggles

Writing to inspire.

So goes my blog slogan. As much as I want my readers to stay motivated by giving helpful advices, I also want to stay transparent as much as I could.

That’s right. My struggles.

I am nowhere near perfect. The very purpose of this blog is to connect with people who are like me. By doing so, I am also reminded to stay unpretentious.

We live in the information age. Everything is accessible and when we want something, we get it right away. The time that we live in, especially for young people like me, has made us impatient and our self discipline is tarnished. We may say that it has never been more equal for humanity than now, but everyday we are exposed to disparities through social media. We stalk other people’s lives and yet we lose valuable time. We wallow in self pity instead of trying to improve ourselves.

I am one of those people I just mentioned.

Even now I still struggle with time management. I try not to waste it but my day is not spent the way I want it to be. How? I lose sleep at night and as a result, I always have a hard time waking up early. I have been wanting to do a consistent 5AM morning routine but nothing seems to motivate me enough to push myself. Unable to control the temptations of sleeping in, I find myself in remorse of not being able to work on my true goals.

Life is good, everything is within my reach, I can afford anything that I want and still have enough money. But this is the kind of complacency I want to get out of. It does not make me a better person at all. I have bigger goals in life but I don’t act on it.

Since I switched roles from being a Nurse working 15-hour shifts to management, my inactivity has led me to gain more weight. My pants have gone tight and my tummy is uncomfortably bigger compared to after my childbirth in 2016.

But the struggle is not just from the inactivity brought about by work, but from refusing to set foot in the gym and start working out.

I am identifying these issues I currently face, lay it out on public, and come up with solutions. I want to challenge myself by doing the following:

  1. Write definite goals and what I would do everyday in order to make them a reality.
  2. Avoid spending money on wants. Set the money aside as stash cash.
  3. Drink 2 liters of water a day.
  4. Avoid sweets like cake, ice cream, soda.
  5. Wake up early to start home work out routines.
  6. Spend 15 minutes on social media each day.
  7. Keep writing.

My plan is to track my progress in my notebook for 30 days and I will share it to everyone. I am positive that I can do this without fail.

Please let me know if you have any tips for me by writing a comment below or by sending me an e-mail at questions@ranlopez.com. You can also send me a message through my Instagram account http://www.instagram.com/ricemama_.

Well then, I will write to you again tomorrow. Have a pleasant night!

What I wish I knew (as a younger version of myself)

“Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that.”

 – Gary Vaynerchuk

When I was in high school, my dad hated the idea of pursuing something if it does not lavish money in the household. I had so may interests back then but I did not get enough support to be motivated enough, if anything I was discouraged. Looking back as a young adult, I came to understand him. Time is a precious commodity to be spent on unnecessary things after all. On the flip side, I also believe that time is squandered when your untapped, God-given expertise atrophies.

What my dad did not teach me is that it’s okay to develop a budding interest or passion, stick with it, be freaking good about it, and eventually get paid to do what you really love. I had a lot of time as a teenager to be busy exploring my identity, passion, and purpose in life but I was confined in a preconceived idea. I cannot blame my father entirely because I did not know any better too. If I did, my life would have been different.

I chose to be an obedient child because I was sent to school without having to worry about tuition, school fees, etc. I studied and finished Bachelor’s in Nursing albeit I had an ardent enjoyment in teaching. I do believe that I was led to a good direction. Life’s great. For my age, I have a good paying job and I like what I do. But just like any other person, I had an existential crisis.

That’s when all the if only statements started to cross my mind. If only I was brave enough to be a risk taker. If only I listened to my gut. If only I gave enough attention to learn more about what I really wanted to. If only I knew.

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I am not dwelling in the past, I am merely trying to make a clear recollection that may strike you. Maybe you were also in the same boat.

If you’re reading these, you may also be in a position where you’re trapped in a job you dislike, you want to escape the 9-5 but you have bills to pay and a family to feed. I don’t think it’s late to figure out your purpose in life and to pursue your goals. You don’t have to have an innate talent either. Talent plays a little role to be successful. In a world full of people bias to naturals, be the striver. We may give an excuse that we don’t have enough time but think about this: Successful people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg did not have more than 24 hours a day to work on their passion. These people were all driven, dogged, and tenacious. There is more time than you can imagine.

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

-Albert Einstein

I would like to share my own experience about being tenacious and the power of deadlines/goals. When I was in high school, I hated math simply because I did not study it with full intention. Moving forward to college, I was lucky enough to have a full-ride scholarship as long as I maintain a grade of C+ or greater per each subject. I knew I cannot take math for granted or else I will blow my scholarship. I paid attention to every single lesson, found out I really enjoyed it, scored very well on tests, and even had a grade of B- at the end of the semester. It’s not commendable but because I did not want to lose my scholarship, I worked hard on it and the best part? I enjoyed it!

And if you’re a teenager, you’re at the prime time of your life to explore your limitless potentials. I see so many teenagers today who are so caught up with trying to be who they are not because of the ubiquitous presence of influencers on social media. Please don’t waste your time doing this when you could be doing something better. No I am not specifically talking about doing your school work. Ask yourself. What do you enjoy doing on your spare time? Is it singing? Dancing? Learning how to code? Playing basketball? Sewing? You don’t have to be innately talented to be motivated. Just get started, hone your skills with the full intention to excel. If you don’t have the equipment, be creative and start right away. Don’t you think that as long you stay consistent, all the equipment you need will come as if it was miraculously bestowed upon you?

“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. However, as digital media consumption continues to grow at unprecedented rates, this number is expected to shrink in counter to that expansion.”

Read more here: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic

Don’t mind what other people may say because first of all, they don’t live your life. Second, they must have plenty of time to mind your business and that’s the main reason why their life is mediocre. You don’t want that kind of life. Taylor Swift even said it and other rich people you can think of: You must be thick skinned. If not, you will never be ready.

I have not mastered all of these but I am actively working on it by giving myself definite deadlines. By giving value to the readers, I am also constantly reminded to do better.

There are so many things I still want to share but I also believe that the attention span of a person is limited. I will reserve it for another time. If you enjoyed reading this please hit follow/like. For questions/feedbacks/comments send me an email at questions@ranlopez.com 🙂

Thank you and have a fabulous day!

A day in a life: 7.31.19

If you’re like me, I like watching YouTube videos of strangers and how their day would typically look like. And those kind of videos are ubiquitous. It’s good and amusing how they seem to be living this fancy and subtly normal life, but I also realized that none of those seem to be authentic. I don’t think I spend my day with such exquisiteness, if you know what I mean. Sometimes my day seems to be filled with various elements of human dynamics at work and at home, which actually makes life more interesting. So I am sharing today how my day looked like. It may be boring for you but I assure you, there is no BS in this one.

0730AM – I woke up and got ready for work. I had set my alarm for 5AM but unfortunately I did not hear my alarm going off. Probably because I was up until around 1AM working.

0815AM – I left for work. As much as I hated not being able to spend time to read before going to work, I decided to listen to Jeff Bezos’ interview while driving. The title of the interview is: “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: It Is Always Day One”. I usually listen to inspirational talks to help me get motivated for the day.

0830AM – As soon as I got to work, I spoke to manager to brief with him of the plans for the day as well as activities that were due. It’s the last day of the month after all.

0845AM – I went back to my office to jot down several tasks I knew I needed to accomplish. Keeping a To-Do list helps me to stay on track. I made sure I drank enough water before shift change.

0900AM – I headed to the patient treatment floor 30 minutes before shift change. This free time allowed me to have some short chats with my peers, at the same time this also enabled me to understand more what’s been going on at the treatment floor with the employees as well as the patients.

0930AM to 1115AM – This is the shift change period. This is one of the busiest times on the treatment floor wherein direct-care staff members terminate treatments and discharge patients in preparation for the next wave of patients who’re coming in. It’s refreshing to have conversations with patients and to listen to their stories which I have always enjoyed even when I was Charge Nurse.

I was told by one of my coworkers that my presence during shift change helps the transition a smooth and seamless process. I appreciated the fact that I was actually helping my team. Somebody said the same thing on Monday. That brings smile to my face 🙂

I enjoy working with my team who are vibrant, full of life, and knows how to have fun.

Being in the management position, I am consistently practicing to remind my team to follow protocols while taking care of patient/s. While there were staff members who were more challenging to deal with on Monday, today was actually better. I saw more people who became more mindful on what they’re supposed to do.

1115AM – A short break for me before the staff meeting.

1130AM – Our staff meeting started. We had good food. But since I am currently on soft diet as advised by my oral surgeon, I got myself a potato salad and the softest part of the rotisserie chicken. I stayed off of soda and finished my 750ml water instead. That felt like an accomplishment.

In our staff meeting, we discussed clinical issues, our priorities and expectations. There was also a lot of talk about teamwork by my manager. The staff members were also encouraged to voice out their concerns as well as to come up with a plan with each issue identified. For me, it is very important to let the direct-care staff talk on meetings as they comprise the biggest portion of our team.

0120PM – I went back and forth from my office to the treatment floor to finish off some of my tasks for the day. My manager and I also investigated on an incident that occurred on Monday as the senior management was asking for a report to be sent to them. We were able to complete this without delay.

0430PM – I gave myself a break, had crackers and coffee. I was already starting to feel sleepy and tired. I thought of having some conversations with my coworkers and this helped me to stay awake. I also talked to another employee who was having some concerns about another employee.

0500PM – I completed more assignments and wrote a few more to do starting tomorrow. I left for home at around 0615PM. While driving, I continued listening to Jeff Bezos’ interview.

I got home a little before 7PM. I felt exhausted from the lack of sleep. I made myself a simple dinner which my son also ate with me. That dinner gave me a boost of energy. Probably because it has rice and I love rice (I did not have rice for lunch).

I played a little bit more with my son. He’s gotten so big and very active. I love how he became so vivacious and smart. Albeit he throws some temper tantrums, it is so easy to distract him. I also used to have a hard time convincing him to brush his teeth, now I don’t have to anymore since he has learned to tell me when he’s ready.

I got my son ready for bed around 0845PM. I took him to our bedroom and while I was doing my night time routine, he kept playing with the bathroom lights and snatched some stuff from the sink and hid it from me which entertains him so much. This used to annoy me but now I have learned to appreciate this buoyant behavior of his.

Visit http://instagram.com/ricemama_ to check out my posts and stories – most of the time I post IG stories of my son.

After a long stretch at work, the highlight of my day will always be spending alone time with my son, playing around, acting stupid, until someone surrenders. My son went to sleep around 0930PM. This gave me 30 minutes to watch a show on Netflix. While watching, I also thought of how I miss my husband every single day. I only get to see him before I head out to work. Adult like kinda sucks, but that deserves a different story. By around 10PM, I sat in front of the desktop writing this blog post as promised.

I’m very relieved that I’m able to do this tonight. No matter how much I thought it would be a lot easier to just keep on watching my TV show, sticking to my own deadline is still more important.

Again, thank you for reading if you have made it this far. I will include photos next time. Please send me an e-mail at questions@ranlopez.com for questions/feedbacks/suggestions.

See you on my next blog post!

How I’m dealing with self doubt

“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create, Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

-Will Smith

Have you ever felt anxious about something you do not know, it just came out of the blue, and felt like you were dissociated from your own body as you attempt to rummage through your mind, trying to find out where is this feeling coming from?

Today, I heard someone going through the same thing.

As I paid attention to her, I realized that there may be more people around me who may feel as lost as I am. This state of apprehension, if left unsaid, oftentimes result to sleepless nights, which drains energy, and eventually leads to lack of motivation.

And then I started journaling.

I wanted to keep track of my thoughts and find out how to improve myself. I watched numerous YouTube videos of entrepreneurs who became successful in their field. One of the common things they mentioned is that we tend to create this negativity in our own minds. It hit me because it’s true and I do this to myself most of the time. This reminded me of my mom. She set a perfect example to think of positive self-affirmations in the midst of adversity. At that time, I actually thought it was ridiculous and unrealistic. But when I learned about the Law of Attraction, that’s when I realized she’s right.

Being heavily influenced by the Law of Attraction, this literally helps me to get through tough times at work. Whenever something unexpected happens, I redirect my thinking to, “what am I going to learn from this?”.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that easy all the time. However, I am also aware that I get to choose how to think and feel.

Nevertheless, I continued to struggle with the same nagging thoughts when it comes to making my dreams come true. I know I can do it, but thoughts of self doubt and I’m-not-good-enough get the best of me. Oftentimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world who goes through this self inflicted punishment. That’s when a support person is very important.

I am blessed to have my husband.

Sometimes, all we need is one person who intently listens to our frustrations.

Even though I cannot fully express my intentions to him, he’s there to lend an ear and elevate me on my depressed moments. Having this kind of person helps a lot.

Thanks to him, I regained motivation to help myself. Last week, I went back to my favorite bookstore in the City and took my time to browse through the Personal Growth and Business sections. I took home three books.

I recently started meditating so I grabbed a book about Buddhism. I love how it teaches to embrace suffering in order to be free from suffering.

I still continue to journal and went back to writing through my website. I want to stay consistent and keep the fire burning inside me. I learned that by staying off of autopilot mode, I am able to challenge myself everyday and not stay stagnant.

“Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80- to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve”

-Elon Musk

You must be reading this post for a reason. Most likely you want solutions or you are probably looking for someone who is relatable to you. If you have reached this far, I appreciate you taking the time. I want to help you. Here are my tips to help you feel motivated.

  1. Record your thoughts. Write them down on a notebook that you really like. If you do not have the time, use your phone to record your outbursts, anxieties, sadness, etc. Include an action plan for yourself to manage these moments.
  2. Identify at least one person you look up to. Find out how they got where they want to be. If this person is an actor or an entrepreneur, watch YouTube videos about his or her life story. Write notes. For starters, I recommend Oprah.
  3. Invest in yourself. Learn how to meditate. Give up Netflix or Hulu. Start reading books on Personal Growth. If reading is not your thing, again there are amazing content creators all over YouTube who are passionate about summarizing motivational books. If you are struggling to find your purpose, look for Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
  4. Every morning that you wake up, enumerate all the things in your life that you are grateful about, set definite affirmations (example: I will earn and receive the sum of $500,000 for the year of 2019), and then challenge yourself by starting to work your tail off to make this happen.

I do not consider myself an expert in this matter. But I believe that by helping myself to become better each day, I will also be able to be of service to others. I sustain this belief to be my deeper purpose in life.

Thank you so much. Please send your comments/feedbacks/suggestions to questions@ranlopez.com 🙂

Let’s succeed together!

-Raina

My real thoughts

For almost a year, I did not touch my blog. I renewed my domain few weeks after WordPress sent me relentless reminders that my domain’s about to expire. I debated over the idea of just permanently deleting my account and move on. However, if there is something I’m decently good at that would be writing. I am fully aware that I poorly express my thoughts and emotions verbally to the point that I get misunderstood. So, knowing that this was my only escape, I decided to renew my site and start fresh. Moving forward, I am giving myself a deadline to publish at least one blog a day. It does not matter how long or relevant it is, I know I just need to get started and stay consistent. Because come on, I am paying for this.

While I was browsing through my old drafts, I came across this one that I never posted. This was written in February of this year. I read it and realized that I still feel and think the same way. So I want to share it to everyone:

“I am a firm believer that our worst enemy is our own selves. I know that I am in constant war with myself especially in these trying times. I used to always ask myself who I truly am, what do I want to achieve in life, who do I want to help, and most importantly how do I do it. Now that I have figured that out, I am in a situation where I hesitate to take action. I fear so much. I fear that I may fail, I fear that others may get hurt in the process, I fear that the people that I love and care the most will not understand, but my greatest fear of all is the regret of not trying at all. My intentions are pure and all I want is what’s best for my little family. It may be selfish but yes, they are all I think about, they occupy my thoughts 99% of the time, they are my why-power when willpower is missing when I need it the most. I just feel like right now, everything is in disarray. I am physically and mentally worn out. The house is not tended, my son got sick for two weeks, I do not cook meals anymore, sewing used to me happy and but I have not touched the sewing machine for three months. It is definitely not the kind of life I want. I am just grateful for the gift of a loving better half. I try to be strong just like the old Japanese proverb Kishikaisei which means wake from death and return to life. I want to flip the other side of the coin and turn this (self) adversity to my advantage, I mean, how worse can my current situation get? I want a change of perspective and be able to stand up for myself and do the things I need and want to do without remorse. And it starts now.”