No. 7: Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling, Creating a Portfolio Life and Treating Life as an Experiment

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

Photo courtesy of Mikito Tateisi.

Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling

Video (12 Minutes)

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” – that cute innocuous question grownups once asked you eventually becomes the very thing that keeps you up at night. We live in a culture that romanticizes the narrowly-focused life; the idea that we each have one great thing we are destined to do during our lifetime: the one true calling. While there will always be those prodigies that knew – since the age of 5 – what they wanted to do for the rest of their life, there will be the rest of us – trying out different things, stumbling through, picking up some knowledge, developing skills here and there – before our purpose even comes to light. And even then, our purpose may continually evolve. If you’re not sure you want to do – just one thing – for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. You might just be one of us – a multipotentialite.

Create a Portfolio Life

Podcast (16 Minutes)

Most of us are not wired to do just one thing. We’re multifaceted creatures with multiple interests. Why should our work not reflect such diversity? What if, instead of identifying with a job description, we see the whole mass of things we do as what we “do” for a living? What if, instead of thinking of work as a singular activity, we see it as a complex group of interests, passions and activities? What if we master several skills, combine them in interesting ways and find the intersections where our talents and passions align with the needs of the world? Your life is a portfolio of activities – some you do for money, some for loved ones, some for your own pleasure, some for a cause – all of which make you who you are: a whole greater than its parts.

Treat Life as an Experiment

Video (5 Minutes)

Much of life is trial and error. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Just like an experiment, we start out with a guess, put it to the test, stand back, observe, make adjustments, observe again, arrive at some conclusion and create new guesses to test again. When we treat life as an experiment, we become more willing to take risks, to acknowledge failure, to learn and develop; after all, that’s what experiments are all about: discovery and growth. Not sure if something is right for you? Try it out – for an hour, a day, a month – and see if it resonates with you. It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you’re drawn to, even if you end up quitting; you might apply that knowledge in a entirely different field, in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated. The only way to truly know is to try. Be your own scientist, your own guinea pig and start a life experiment.

A quote I’m thinking about…

Learn things once. Use them forever.
Tim Ferriss

Which gem resonated with you this week?



No. 6: Your Life is Not a Journey, The Day I Became a Millionaire & The Art of Stillness

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 Drew Graham.

Your Life Is Not A Journey

Video (4 Minutes)

Most of us see our lives as a series of events, happening one after another. We think in terms of “what got us here” and “what will get us there”. We are often trying to get somewhere; to arrive at something, a destination, a point in life when. Alan Watts invites us to observe the playful nature of the universe and see, from the lens of music, that life is not a journey, a pilgrimage or a mission. Life is more like a song or a dance; its purpose is not to get to its end, but the music itself. Can you hear the music playing in your life? Are you singing? Are you dancing?

The Day I Became A Millionaire

Article (7 Minutes)

Remember the time when you were dreaming about that must-have gadget, that coveted promotion at work or that new person to fall in love with? Remember fantasizing about how happy you would be when your dreams finally come true? You’d be on top of the world! But for how long? That boost in happiness somehow eluded you and just right before the sparks completely fade, you’re back on the treadmill – dreaming of the next promise of lasting happiness. If you’re one of the millions of people who have the basics taken cared of, but who still yearn for the treasure perceived to be behind the curtain, read this millionaire’s story and take stock. You might already be experiencing the best things in life. So, don’t let them pass you by. Make them count.

The Art of Stillness


We live in a madly accelerating world, in an age of perpetual motion – making it increasingly difficult, yet increasingly imperative to honor stillness. It is only by taking oneself away from noise, clutter and distraction – by going Nowhere – that one can begin to make sense of everywhere else. Going Nowhere is choosing to sit still long enough to turn inward, strip you off yourself and connect with something larger, deeper and infinite. Going nowhere isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away every now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply. The next time you’re thinking of ideas where to go on your next vacation, why don’t you try Nowhere?

A quote I’m thinking about…

We dream of the perfect wave, the perfect job, the perfect house. When we get there, we dream of something else.
Rob Machado

Which gem resonated with you this week?



No. 5: Why You Should Hang Out with People Different from You, The Secret to Getting What You Want & Why There Is No Such Thing As A Wrong Decision

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.

mark-cruz-334535 B
Photo courtesy of Mark Cruz.

Why You Should Hang Out with People Different from You

Article (3 Minutes)

One of the easiest ways to stay in our comfort zones is to spend time with people who are just like us. These are people who agree with us, think like us, and have a similar viewpoint on issues. But while this may seem to make our lives easier, it can also prevent us from growing. We can get trapped in believing there is only one way of seeing things, that there is only “us versus them” or that there is only “right versus wrong”. From time to time, we must challenge ourselves to get out of our bubble and spend time with people who are different from us. It might be less comfortable, but doing so can actually help us become smarter, make better decisions and be more creative.

The Secret to Getting What You Want

Article (5 Minutes)

The universe operates through dynamic exchange and every relationship is one of give and take. Giving and receiving are different aspects of the same flow of energy in the universe. If we stop this flow, we interfere with nature’s intelligence. Therefore, we must give and receive to keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives. In fact, the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. If you want joy, give joy to others; if you want love, learn to give love; if you want material affluence, help others to become materially affluent. The law of giving and receiving is simple: the more you give, the more you will receive.

Why There Is No Such Thing As A Wrong Decision

Article (3 Minutes)

Every aspect of our lives is, to some extent, shaped by our decisions. The job we have, the person we get married to, the friends we hang out with. While some decisions open the doors to success, others push us down into a pit of problems. In hindsight, we may judge ourselves and our actions by labeling our decisions as either right or wrong; but when we do this, we end up blaming our past decisions for all the disappointments we face in the present. So, don’t judge your past decisions. They were all right in their own place. You did the best you could with your level of awareness back then. Instead, learn from those past decisions, gain clarity and move on. Then, there will be no such thing as a wrong decision.

A quote I’m thinking about…

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Nelson Mandela

Which gem resonated with you this week?



No. 4: Stop Saying Sorry, Start With Why & Just Ship It

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 Bobby Burch.

Stop Saying Sorry

Comics (1 Minute)

For some of us, saying sorry is a reflex. We apologize for the smallest things out of habit more than out of necessity. Not that we shouldn’t own up and genuinely apologize when we’ve done wrong, but over apologizing can actually lead others to doubt you, lose confidence in your abilities and lessen the perceived sincerity of your next apology. Artist Yao Xiao shows us how to flip the script and change what could be perceived as a negative situation into an opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation. Learn to say sorry only when it counts. For everything else, stop saying it and say thank you instead.

Start With Why

Video (18 Minutes)

Everyone knows what they do, some know how they do it, but only a few know why they do what they do. Motivational speaker Simon Sinek has discovered a pattern in how all the great and inspiring people and organizations think, act and communicate. And it is totally opposite to what most of us do. If you want to inspire those around you or find others who inspire you, always start with why.

Just Ship It

Article (2 Minutes)

We were not put on this earth to make perfect things. We were made to do something remarkable with our skills. We were made to create change. For anyone who seeks to do work that matters, you will struggle at some point with releasing your work. You will hesitate. You will stall. And you will endlessly tweak until the work becomes irrelevant. The one thing you and I cannot do anymore is wait because the world can’t be changed by what it doesn’t see. Stop giving in to the fear of failure, let go of that obsession with perfection and embrace “good enough”. Trust me, your work will never feel complete. So, just ship it.

A quote I’m thinking about…

The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The purpose of life is to give it away.
David Viscott

Which gem resonated with you this week?



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”