No. 3: We Become What We Believe, Doodling to Stay Focused & The Joy of Missing Out

Hello and welcome to this week’s Curious Catalog, a weekly collection of three useful gems for life, work and everything in between. Follow along by subscribing to this blog.

Photo courtesy of Quino Al.

We Become What We Believe

Article (12 Minutes)

Can a simple belief really have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life? Research has discovered the answer to be yes. The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. A belief that your qualities are carved in stone leads to an entirely different road than a belief that your qualities can be cultivated. One feeds a hunger for approval while the other nurtures a passion for learning. Much of what we think as our personality actually grows out of a “mindset”, a belief system that permeates every part of our lives – from parenting to business, from school to relationships.

Doodling to Stay Focused

Article (3 Minutes)

Listening to something really boring? Need a last-ditch attempt at staying awake and attentive in a class, meeting or conference? Doodle! Traditionally, we have thought of doodling as a sign of distraction – an indication that your mind is not where it’s supposed to be. Yet, recent research has shown that doodling is not an enemy of attention. It may, in fact, be a friend.

The Joy of Missing Out

Article (3 Minutes)

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is the societal disorder driving our compulsion to know what’s happening every second. This imperative to feed the bottomless “news” cycle creates a comparison trap that keeps us always wondering: Is the grass greener on the other side? Like most bad habits, FOMO is not a factor of technology but of our own minds. Learn to take a break from obsessively checking your social media feed and rediscover the resources to cope with things as they are. Be joyful you missed out. It might actually make you happier.

A quote I’m thinking about…

Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know.
Jean Jacques Rousseau

Which gem resonated with you this week?




No. 2: What It Takes to Be Resilient, How to Change Minds & Why Taking Notes Will Make You Wiser

Hello and welcome to this week’s Curious Catalog, a weekly collection of three useful gems for life, work and everything in between. Follow along by subscribing to this blog.

Photo courtesy of Vladislav Muslakov.

What It Takes to Be Resilient

Exhausted, depleted, burnt out? Why can’t we be tougher, more determined and soldier on to accomplish all the goals we have set for ourselves? The problem, research tells us, comes from our misunderstanding of what it means to be resilient. We believe that the longer we tough it out, the tougher we are, and therefore the more successful we will be. The truth is resilience is not about how you endure. Rather, resilience is about how you recharge.

How to Change Minds

To influence others, we usually try to develop a strong argument – backing it up with hard data and objective facts. But no matter how credible, convincing and a 100% right you are, it will not work 100% of the time. That is because changing others people’s minds, or even our own, is a tricky business. Our minds are often stubborn, picky and defensive. They play tricks on us. And that means we must learn to play some tricks on them too.

Why Taking Notes Will Make You Wiser

Writing letters, emails, notes to friends, giving advice, consoling loved ones and telling that special someone how we feel about them – everyday, there are countless opportunities to use the wisdom we have come across and accumulated over a lifetime. Taking notes is not only for those who want to be a better reader, writer or speaker. Taking notes is for anyone who wants to be a better human being.

A quote I’m thinking about…

An expert is a man who has stopped thinking because ‘he knows’.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Which gem resonated with you this week?



No. 1: Learning from Mistakes, Forget Goal Setting & A New Rule for Brainstorming

Hello and welcome to this week’s Curious Catalog, a weekly collection of three useful gems for life, work and everything in between. Follow along by subscribing to this blog.

Photo courtesy of Pan Xiaozhen.

Learning from Mistakes

Mistakes. We all make them. We’re human. But they don’t define us so much as how we respond to them. Mistakes are bad, no doubt, but not learning from them is worse. What really counts is the choices that follow the mistakes we make.

Forget Goal Setting

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives. Some of us want to run a marathon, write a book or win a championship. Goals are good in providing direction and short-term motivation, but goals by themselves are not enough for us to actually make progress. How many abandoned new year’s resolutions do we care to admit to? If you really want to get things done, pair your goals with something more tangible, responsive and robust.

A New Rule for Brainstorming

To generate brilliant ideas, brainstorming sessions follow rules such as share any idea that comes to mind, build on the ideas of others, avoid criticism, and, most notably, strive for quantity not quality. Scientific research confirmed that groups who follow such guidelines show more creativity than those who don’t. More recently, there’s a new condition that could help people be more creative before the session even starts.

A quote I’m thinking about…

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. For in truth it is life that gives unto life—while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.
Kahlil Gibran

Which gem resonated with you this week?



True North

True North.jpg
Angat, Bulacan, April 2012.

Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens.
Carl Jung


Is it night? Is it day?
No one can be certain.
In every direction you turn,
A thick fog of gloom pervades the landscape.
You have been on this journey long enough,
To have learned the ways of this desolate place.
You have befriended the surrounding darkness,
And, in return, it has sharpened your senses.

Continue reading “True North”

Embracing Limits

Danka and Peter
Photo courtesy of Danka & Peter.

When I was packing for my first four-week trip around mountainous regions, I gathered all my stuff, placed them on the bed and crammed them in my 40 liter backpack. Unfortunately, half of them was still on the bed.

I tried pushing them down from the top, inserting some of them on the sides and attaching them on the outside. With the remaining quarter left on the bed, I wondered. Should I get a bigger backpack? Should I bring two backpacks instead? Or should I just stick with this one?

Continue reading “Embracing Limits”

The Write Reasons

Photo courtesy of Matt Gibson.

I recently decided to commit myself to writing. And, yes, I’ll be doing it through this blog. I am creating Curiously, Wes as a way to record my observations about living. Although I have documented my travels on journals, my ramblings on diaries and my speeches on computer, this will be my first time to write regularly and publicly. So, why now? Here are 3 reasons why.

Continue reading “The Write Reasons”