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5 Lessons Learned from 2018

Personal , January 14, 2019

Two weeks into 2019…I think I am the last person to post about what I have learned from the previous year. But hey, it is not too late to look back and post a review of 2018…It is never too late to share valuable lessons one has learned from the past. ūüôā

Last year, I sat in Coffee Club and drafted my goals for my family and work for 2018. The last twelve months was full of triumphs and failures. There were ups and downs, there were days when it was smooth sailing and there were days when you just wanted to stay in bed. But as the old year came to a close, I could not help but be thankful that God has blessed us more than we deserve. Of all the blessings that we received, it was the takeaways or lessons which I valued most. Here are my most valuable lessons learned from 2018:

Lesson #1: Write down your goals and entrust them to God

Every year since 2009, I write down the things I am thankful for from the previous year and then I write down my goals for the new year. I then review the goals at the end of each year and see what I have accomplished. And honestly, most years, I have only accomplished less than half of my list. I have listed out my goals but God led me to another route, better than what I had planned.

For example, I planned to travel to 3 countries – Greece, Cambodia and USA, but we only reached one – Maldives, it was more than enough! <3

Proverbs 16:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

9 A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Lesson #2: Money and recognition means nothing without family

This year, I got blessed to be named as Film Maker of the Year by The Filipino Times and I was also named as one of the Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf. Later in 2018, my sister who was staying with me moved to Germany to study. But before that, we were able to spend quality time when my parents and other sister visited Dubai during summer. I do miss my family a lot when they are not with me especially during the last week of 2018 when we are all in different parts of the world. If I can trade the recognitions and awards for more quality time with them, I would.

One of the good things that happened in 2018 is that I got to delegate some of my work to my new secretary which allowed me to spend time with my kiddos. I used to struggle a lot on that (having a well-balanced life – read it HERE) and this year I have finally come around to it. Thank you MJ for being my angel! Xx

Lesson #3: Do not get tired of doing good

This world is not perfect. You will meet good people and you will meet bad people. I had my own share of negative experiences with people. Most of their deeds were driven by greed of money. It is discouraging to trust in people again and sometimes tempting to retaliate but God reminds us that we should not get tired of doing good. And I don’t know about you, but there is something about doing good that brings joy and inner peace to me.

Galatians 6:9 New International Version (NIV)

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Lesson #4: Always give thanks

2018 generally was a more difficult year when it came to business. A lot of workers around the world lost their jobs and some companies have closed down. Inflation was at its all time high. Competition got stiff too as a lot of businesses have lowered their prices just to get clients. Though we had covered less weddings, we are thankful because we still had enough to sustain us. We were able to build new connections and work kept flowing even though some clients went for suppliers with lower prices. We also lost a few talents but found new ones. When we go through difficulties, it is so easy to complain because we have become blind to see that we have been blessed more than we know. “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet. Life is full of blessings.” Here are a some photos of weddings we shot in 2018.

Psalm 118

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Lesson #5: God is in control

I learned a lot of lessons in 2018 but I will not list them all here. My fifth and final major lesson which I will bring with me in 2019 and for years to come was to trust God more. He is in control. When my plans didn’t work, when I got rejections, I felt that God didn’t listen to my prayers. But I have come to realize that God has better plans for me. This is a constant lesson that God has been teaching me for years – when I failed in my engineering course, when my previous relationships didn’t work, when I didn’t get the job I wanted, when a trusted friend ran off with the money I loaned from the bank, when people you trust stabs you at the back, when your friends leave you…during these times I felt lost but it was a way God was telling me to trust Him for He will never forsake me.

Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

My prayer for 2019 is for God to give me wisdom to make the right choices, to see that I am beyond blessed and to put my trust in Him in all aspects of my life and family. And may I bring glory to Him who has sustained me all my life.

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