For the past couple of years, there has been a movement worldwide to live a minimalist lifestyle. The number of people who watched Tidying Up With Mari Kondo on the first week was enough evidence that more people want to explore and live this lifestyle. 

What is minimalism and what does it mean to live a minimalist lifestyle? According to Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, who created and produced the 2016 documentary, The Minimalists, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” 

So, how does one live a minimalist lifestyle? Some people own less than a hundred things. Some have cut down their wardrobe to a total of 30 items. Some don’t have a car or a home or a TV. Some have their own vegetable gardens and some live off the grid. 

But the truth is, there are no hard rules to living a minimalist lifestyle. The only rule that exists is to avoid excess of anything and to focus on what’s really important. 

So now that you’ve decided that you want to live a minimalist lifestyle, how do you start? We got some tips to help you prioritize the important things in your life.

  • Ask yourself what really makes you want to live a minimalist lifestyle

What is your main reason for living a minimalist lifestyle? What is driving you to transition to this lifestyle? Is it the desire to live a life with fewer possessions? Is it the desire to only have what matters most? Is it to create less waste? Determine your reasons for living this lifestyle. Write it down where you can easily access it when you need to remind yourself why you’re doing this. Know your limits, too. Minimalism doesn’t mean living on nothing, but living without excess.

  • Follow blogs or social media accounts or groups on minimalism.

What better way to learn more about minimalism than to read the accounts of people who have done it and are really living a minimalist lifestyle. Ask them why they did it, how they did it, and how they continue to do it. Turn to them when the going gets tough because, the truth is, they will have gone through all of the issues you can think of when it comes to living a minimalist lifestyle.

  • Make a list of your expenses and what type of items you spend money on. 

Decide which expenses are negotiable and non-negotiable. Prioritize the non-negotiable expenses and figure out how you can work around the negotiable expenses. For example, negotiable expenses may include having your coffee before work. And you may be making your own coffee at home now but you’re using coffee pods. Instead of using the machine and coffee pods, you can get a French press, ground coffee, and make your own French press coffee. You can even use the ground coffee to make your own facial mask or fertilizer for your plants or to grow your own mushrooms!

  • Start decluttering one room at a time. 

Make a list of all your rooms and decide whether you want to tackle the biggest or the smallest first or the one with the biggest clutter or the smallest clutter first. Set aside a few hours to declutter each room. You don’t want to start decluttering and realize you need to leave mid-way. After you declutter a room, decide first how you will get rid of the items before you move on to the next room. Make a pile of already so it’s easier for you to categorize the items whenever you declutter. You could have one pile that’s for donation, another pile that’s for regifting, another pile for items you can repurpose, and another pile for items you can give to the junkyard. 

Try to throw away as little as possible in the garbage can. Once you’ve sorted them, move on to the next room. Decluttering in an organized way leaves no or little room for abandoning the items you’ve removed from the rooms. When you’re done with all of the rooms and you’ve separated the items into piles, do what needs to be done. Bring the items to be donated to the place where it needs to be brought. For the regift and repurpose box, arrange them properly inside the boxes and have a designated storage closet for it. For the items to be given to the junkyard, you can arrange to have it picked up or take it to the shop. 

  • Do it for yourself, don’t force others to do it because you live it

Live a minimal lifestyle for yourself first and foremost. Don’t force others to do it just because you are living it. If you want them to follow your lead, then lead by example. They need to understand, on their own, why people choose to live a minimal lifestyle. Let them decide for themselves. If they don’t follow your lead though, it’s okay, just do your thing. And make sure they understand that this lifestyle is important to you. 

Are you ready to live a minimalist lifestyle now? Be sure to draw up a battle plan before you start. And always remember that it will be hard before it gets easy. But once you’ve fully embraced it, it’ll be worth it. 

You know that saying “The early bird gets the worm”? And it really is true for most people. Studies have shown that getting up and starting work earlier has a lot of benefits. 

  1. When you get up earlier than the time you’re supposed to start work, you won’t feel rushed. And you’ll have time to settle down and get yourself ready for the day ahead
  2. You’ll have time to plan your day well. Which goal do you want to accomplish for the day? What are your top priorities? Which tasks will help you achieve your goal?
  3. Because you woke up early and had a good breakfast, that’s not just coffee, your mind will be wired better to make good, powerful decisions throughout the day. 
  4. You’ll have time for leisure stuff. Waking up early could mean extra time for one more chapter of the latest book you’re reading, or go to the gym, or power walk to work (if possible), or learn a new skill. 
  5. Waking up earlier lets you train or develop your mindset into a more positive one.

But if you’re used to being a night person, can you really transition to become a morning person? Yes, it can be done but it’s going to take some time and will require patience and willpower. Are you ready to work on it? 

  • Set your alarms earlier than usual

Set your alarms 15 minutes earlier than usual. Do this for one week. The next week, set it 30 minutes earlier. Do this again for another week. Continue doing this in increments until you reach your desired time of waking up. Avoid doing it cold turkey and waking up the next day at the time you want to eventually wake up. You need to let your body adjust to the changes naturally. If not, it will resist the change. 

  • Sleep a little earlier each night

The same principle applies to sleep. Sleep earlier a little bit each week. Start with 15 minutes, then 30 minutes, until you’re sleeping earlier. 

  • Write down your to-do list the night before

It’s always best to write your to-do list the night before so you can be more practical about how to spend your time. It also helps avoid using emotions and mood to decide how the day will go. 

  • Detox from all electronics 1 hour before bed

I know you’ve read this before but it’s true. Turn off all electronics at least one hour before you go to sleep. All the electric waves will interfere with your sleep and affect your ability to wake up earlier. Turn off the TV and don’t use it to put you to sleep. Place your phone face down across the room. As much as possible, get a traditional analog alarm clock, not the digital ones. 

  • Create a morning routine you like

Create a morning routine that you will enjoy doing when you wake up. You could always start with a five-minute stretch or drink a glass of water. Or you can crank up a high-tempo song and dance it out for five minutes. Avoid browsing through your phone as soon as you wake up. It’ll take you awhile to create a morning routine that will work for you so feel free to experiment with different ones to see which is most effective for you. 

2018 may be a bit challenging for many and while it is still a few days before we hit New Year’s Eve, a lot of us are already planning on how we can restart our lives and begin a fresh season with a clean slate. At this point, everything is just valid because yes, who doesn’t want to celebrate a spanking new year and get things straight and great, right?

Now, as we welcome 2019, many of us are in the realm of mind to make bold and radical changes within our lives —it might be moving to a new home or getting another degree or finding a new job and venturing into a new hobby, it can also mean building a family for some. Whatever your first day or first quarter or annual goals are, the most important thing is to actually just welcome the new year with a gleeful celebration.

So how do we welcome 2019 with a bang? Check out our list here.

1. Sing along (and sing more).

Yes, learn to sing your heart out. Experts say that singing helps stimulate the vagus nerve that runs down the back of your sinus cavity and throat. When this nerve is stimulated it relaxes the body, naturally relieving the tension caused by stress (Brown, n.a.)

In the same way, singing is a fun activity – and sometimes funny. When you participate in fun activities, your body releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals. This naturally draws more oxygens into the blood which help improve your mood and counteract the effects of the feel-bad stress chemicals circulating in your body (Brown, n.a.)

So while you are allowed to create all kinds of noise (you may also opt to synchronize it with the fireworks if you don’t have much confidence to showcase your inner vigor), do all the singing and music-loving because this simple act can make you feel good and excited for the coming year.

2. Spend the new year with the fambam.

Spending New Year’s Eve at home with your family can be a fantastic opportunity to bond, have fun together, and bring in the New Year with your loved ones. With all the possibilities for fun food, a round of drinks, and numerous games, spending New Year’s Eve at home can be a real treat (

Try exploring a number of enjoyable activities for the clan. It can be a simple charade or a beer pong game. Take note that it doesn’t really have to be strenuous or expensive.

Most New Year’s celebration is also a time for families to host their mini-reunions so take this opportunity to be with and enjoy the day with your loved ones, especially those whom you don’t see frequently.

3. Choose your groove.

So now that you’ve mastered the sing-along and karaoke, time to do the dance (and all the moves). It is not just a fun activity but it is also good for your health!

Research shows dancing can improve your mental health by boosting your overall happiness. Like any good, low-impact cardio workout, dancing can improve cardiovascular health, ensure good blood circulation, increase stamina, strengthen bones and muscles and stave off a number of body illnesses (Huffpost, 2016).

So time to get your groove and taps on. It doesn’t matter if you’re into the hip-hop street style or some old Macarena crazy moves. Just. freakin. do. the. dance.

4. Prepare your 2019 planner

The beginning of the year is always the best time to lay out all your annual plans. Fix your schedule and set the tone of your lifestyle right by making sure every big milestone is plotted in your calendar. What are your key responsibilities? Note them in your planner. Who are you supposed to meet? List them down. Remember that it is always best to have one key resource organizer that will put all your reminders in place.

There are also so many things that make starting a planner at the top of the year so exciting. Aside from the fact that increases motivation and excitement, it is also a great record to track all your progress and keep everything in one spot.

If you’re the creative type, a planner, organizer or scheduler can also be an outlet of your artsy gutsy talent so make your bookstore trip now and get a planner that suits your taste.

5. Make a solid resolution.

Your resolution doesn’t have to be grand because again, at this point, every single thing is just valid.

Coming up with New Year’s resolutions forces us to reflect on our actions during the past year. When you decide to make a resolution, you are deciding that you need to change something about yourself. This self-reflection is very important for everyone (Catano, 2016).

Note that every resolution is important, whether you decide to have a healthier lifestyle, spend more time with your family, do more travels or become more committed to your career. It will eventually become part of your lifestyle as long as you are determined to do it.

At the same time, resolutions also challenge you to step up your game and move to a better horizon. Just remember that having the right mindset is key in making all your plans successful.

To sum it up, the new year is the best time to enjoy a brand new beginning and welcome everything that is bound to happen in your life. While the holidays are still one of the best and busiest seasons, it is also important that we feel grateful for having another new year to spend with family and friends. Take this fresh start as a movement initiator with a slice of hope that everything will eventually fall into place and a bit of caution to do things better and avoid past mistakes and failures. At the end of the day, remember to trust yourself and just enjoy the process.

Christmas has always been a special time in the Philippines. It’s the holiday that Filipinos look forward to the most! Simbang Gabi, Christmas shopping, eating puto bumbong and bibingka, hanging Christmas lights and lanterns, preparing for food and desserts, they’re all part of why the Christmas spirit is so vibrant in the Philippines.

Christmas won’t be Christmas for a Filipino without a few traditions from our culture, which is why wherever we go, whether as OFWs or just holiday vacationers, we always bring these Filipino Christmas traditions with us:

  • Noche Buena

Carbonara, lechon, Christmas ham, hotdogs with marshmallows, liempo, pandit they definitely smell like Filipino Noche Buena. It has always been a tradition to prepare food for Christmas Eve dinner. Preparation starts early in the morning, and even the kids in the house are excited on the morning of the 24th. It’s not a Filipino Christmas without a good Noche Buena. No matter what household—rich, middle class or lower class, they all have the best dishes served on Noche Buena!

In the U.S., the traditional Christmas eve foods are usually ham, soups, pasta, turkey or sausages. Families usually wait for 12 midnight by watching movies, eating and drinking. accompanied by several Filipino Christmas tradition like playing games, having a small Christmas party program, and singing karaoke! To make sure that there are post-dinner desserts that family and friends can munch on, there will always be leche flan, fruit salad, cake, and even mango float! Yum!

  • Monito-Monita

Whether you’re at a Christmas party at work, school, or at a family gathering, there will always be a Monito-Monitaincluded in the program (and yes, there’s a program). Most Christmas parties in other countries are the typical house parties where people just eat, drink, go around and basically just party. Filipino Christmas parties always have intermission numbers, parlor games, and the exchange gift portion.

A few weeks prior to the party, people draw lots to find out who’s their monito/monita (or the person he/she has to give a gift to). To make it even more exciting, some parties have a codename system, so you only find out who’ll receive your gift at the party itself. This exchange gift ceremony can be an exciting Christmas tradition especially for the young ones at school who expect their secret Santa to be their crush!

  • Christmas lights and parol (lanterns)

In the Philippines, almost every household has a parol or Christmas lantern. Some people go for the DIY decors. Aside from the usual Christmas lights and a Christmas tree, Filipinos are fond of decorating their homes with lanterns and a Belen.

The parol is an ornamental star-shaped Christmas lantern that represents the Bethlehem star that guided the three wise men to the manger where Christ was born. A lot of Filipinos make and sell these star-shaped lanterns for a living. A lot of them would be seen by the side of roads and highways. Christmas lights and trees, however, are usually only available inside malls and department stores.

Today, the parol has been innovated in terms of materials and design. There are cities, towns, and workplaces that hold parol-making contests to encourage creativity among the people. This is also to keep the parol Christmas tradition alive since more people might opt for modern Christmas lights and designs nowadays to match their house design and their contemporary taste.

  • Christmas starts in September.

It’s only in the Philippines that Christmas starts in September. Come the first day of September, you’d hear classic Christmas songs playing on the radio, inside malls, restaurants, grocery stores, everywhere! Basically, Christmas time in the Philippines is all of the –ber months (September, October, November, and December). So for four straight months,  Jose Mari Chan’s “Christmas in Our Hearts” and Mariah Carey’s“All I Want for Christmas” dominate every playlist!

A lot of people also start hanging their Christmas ornaments as early as September. Countdowns in malls and other establishments (even on television) also start in September. A lot of foreign visitors in the Philippines get startled by how early Christmas season starts in the Philippines. Surely, there’s still the Halloween season and other occasions and observances to celebrate in September and October, but Filipino tradition believes otherwise. If Christmas is as fun and colorful as it is in the Philippines, then it’s surely understandable why Filipinos are extremely excited about it!

  • Giving away agu

It’s also a Filipino Christmas tradition for ninangs and ninongs (godparents) to give Christmas money to their inaanaks (godchildren), especially the young ones. These would usually be given in red ampaw (red Chinese envelope). On Christmas day, children will wear their best and newest set of clothes, making sure they look adorable (and irresistible!) when they visit their godparents. They line up to receive their red envelope and wait for their turn to mano. Mano is an old tradition where the kid’s forehead would touch the back of the elder’s hand as a sign of respect.

The kids are usually asked by their parents to keep and save the Christmas money instead of spending it immediately. It’s no wonder kids are always happy on Christmas day!

These are just a few of the things that complete the Filipino Christmas experience. There are several more such as the simbang gabi, house-to-house caroling, panunuluyan, putting up homemade Christmas trees and more!

But regardless of where a Filipino spends Christmas time, with these traditions, there will always be a feeling of home. Christmas has always been the most-awaited and most special holiday of the year, where families get together to celebrate and share stories and gifts with each other. Christmas has always been about coming home to find peace, joy, and love with family and friends. And tradition will always be a big part of that because it’s not home if it’s not what you’ve known and loved over the years.

As Marjorie Holmes once said, “At Christmas, all roads lead home.

Whether you’re bound to take your first long trip or you’re a pro globetrotter, preparing and packing your things up for a trip can be a little challenge especially when you have limited luggage allowance. Of course, the goal is to not miss anything and be able to organize your personal stuff days prior to your trip. As they say, it is never too early to prepare for something good.

I, personally, love going to places and ticking off some fancy spots in my bucket list. Traveling around, whether local or international, taught me some best tips and hacks on packing but the very step on my notes is to always, always prepare my travel checklist and noting all the essentials that I have to put in my bag.

So what do I have on my list? Let’s make a rundown.

1. Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets

When I say gadgets, I pertain to several tech-related things —mobile phones, cameras, charger, laptop, tablets etc. If you are a shutterbug like me who loves recording everything, a video cam or a go-pro cam (on top of your phone and camera) might also be helpful. I also tend to bring work when I’m out of town. I figured I can write more when I am in a different place so I maximize the flow of my creative juices.

I also make sure that I bring the essential accessories with me such as power bank and battery packs, monopod and power adapter. Remember that it is always best to come prepared especially when you are bound to go on a different country as there might be different electric requirements or source of power might be limited.

2. Mobile Hotspot

 I love updating my social media platforms when I am roaming around so I make sure I have a sturdy internet connection with me. Bringing a portable hotspot device can be very beneficial especially when you travel out of the country.

It is not just that, most countries have ride-hailing apps which can only be booked if you are connected to the internet so again, it is always best to prioritize connectivity.

3. Toiletries and a Waterproof Toiletry Bag

One thing I learned from my recent travels is that it is always best to pack light. We all know that toiletries and personal hygiene materials are essentials but we do not want to waste our precious baggage allowance with some extra big tubes of hair products and a bunch of face creams and serums. This is why I bought a set of travel-sized bottles and containers where I can put my beauty staples like a facial wash, moisturizer, toner, night creams, sunscreen, eye serums, lotions, and all my hair stuff. I put them in a waterproof toiletry bag (with a cute mini hanger) so I can bring everything in the shower room —no mess, no fuss.

3. Packing Cubes

 Packing cubes are handy dandy bag organizers that come in a set (small, medium, large, XL etc.) and believe me, they are the best gift to travelers. With packing cubes, I can segregate my belongings depending on the category (undergarments, tops, bottoms, accessories etc.) and this saves me a lot of time especially when I get stuff for my OOTD. Some of them come with labels too so it is very easy to sort things.

Most packing cubes are made of nylon with net window so I get a preview of what’s inside. They also come in a variety of colors so you can be extra girly, quirky or simple depending on your travel mood.

4. Earphones or Headphones

 I am a certified music-lover so I’m putting this on my list and yes, I purposely took this out my gadget category (number 1) because dude, this is my music! Whether your preference is a Bluetooth headset or a large set of headphones, it is always best to carry your playlist with you. You’ll never know how much time you’ll spend lounging in the airport or sitting on your flight plus it is always best to get some good round of music while walking on some unfamiliar alleys.

5. Medical Kit

 You’ll never know what will happen in your travel so it is always best to be prepared. Bring some allergy meds, thermometer, a dose of paracetamols and some other ointments just in case you don’t feel well in your happy go exploration trip.

Also, don’t forget to take your multivitamins with you. Bring insect repellants, motion sickness pills or bands and some sunburn relief ointments especially when you are bound to go on a beach trip.

6. Travel Comfort Materials

 One thing I do especially during long trips and flights is that I take the time to sleep or do quick naps. I bring a couple of comfort materials with me like travel pillow, neck cushion, blanket, some cute eye masks, and ear plugs to make sure that I still get some quality relaxation even when I am onboard.

7. Travel Documents and CASH!

 I normally start collecting all my travel documents in a travel organizer —passport, visa, boarding ticket, government IDs and a bunch of frequent flyer and hotel cards to make sure they are intact even before I leave the house.

Apart from that, I also take the time to organize my wallet by sorting all my cards and cash in one place. This gives me a good inventory of what I have, how much do I need for the entire travel plus some extra things for the record.

8. Notebook and Doodle Sheets (Plus a Pen)

 Now, this is something very personal. Although I have my gadgets with me, I still love writing and doodling on empty sheets. I am also very traditional so I tend to record important things and insights into a notebook.

Traveling and going on trips can be very enjoyable and of course, we don’t wanna ruin it with some simple mishaps like failing to bring a few of our personal essentials. Remember that preparing early is key.

Christmas is just around the corner and with everyone going gaga over back to back sale activities, moving back and forth and doing a lot of shopping and mingling, the challenge is really about making it through the holiday rush successfully, buying all the things you need to buy and enjoy the Christmas festivities (because it’s really supposed to be celebrated).

While there are people who were born to be proactive girl scouts (talk about being ready all time of the day) and who have probably finished their Christmas shopping two or three months ago, there are also those who haven’t really started with anything yet —literally zero. *Can we see a raise of hands? * Generally, although we hate to admit it, most of us fall into the latter category and with our multi-work schedule and lots of extra-curricular affairs, there’s really no point in blaming.

Well, if you haven’t started with anything yet, don’t fret. There are tons of ways to conquer this holiday rush and some last-minute sale outbreak and although they are pretty laborious, they are very effective too!

Let us make a run down.

  1. Make a detailed list and set plans A and B

And now that we’re talking about the list, there is really no better way to start off but to actually make one. Who are your gift recipients this season? What are their likes? What are their preferences? What’s their favorite color? Will they use your gift? Make sure you set alternatives in case your first choice is not available or too pricey for your set budget.

Also, make a detailed list of everything you need to buy for yourself. Do you need a new pair of shoes? Or a new dress? Or a new gadget? How much is your maximum budget? What are your top priorities?

It also won’t hurt if you list down the stores you wish and/or need to visit. Is it a makeup store? A clothing store? A retail hub? Or maybe the supermarket? It’s always important to know what you want.

Remember that shopping in this hurdled season is a huge challenge to make sure you have your plans laid out. Create multiple plans and think of possible alternatives while creating your list.

  1. Compare shops

Okay, so every store is on sale (it’s obvious and it’s a trick). Still, we’re pretty sure that some stores will be cheaper than the others. Some may have better promotions or have wholesale deals which you may opt to avail especially if you are working on a tight budget.

Whether you’re ordering online or shopping at the mall, learn to find cheap thrills that will help you save cost and effort.

  1. Shop strategically

The rule is —know when is the perfect, non-peak hour to do your shopping. Most of the time, weekends and late weeknights are the busiest times during the holidays. This is the reason why most malls tend to extend their operating hours to accommodate more shoppers. Avoid the shopping rush and come on a non-peak weekday instead, best if it is in the early morning or afternoon.

  1. Try DIY

So you are an artsy Humpty Dumpty, why not maximize your creative prowess? As they say, the best gift one can receive this Christmas is something that is made with love and from the heart. If you love to bake and draw, you can give sweet treats and personalized art to your friends and loved ones  (Perdigon, 2015).

Aside from that, this can also be a cheaper alternative as you have to make things out of raw materials. It’s a good practice for business opportunities too! Who knows, right?

  1. Get gift cards and store vouchers

Okay, you are running out of ideas and you are not really sure if you are buying the right things for people. The trick is —get some gift cards. You will never go wrong with gift cards basically because they’re very practical for both you and your giftee. Not only will buying gift cards immensely cut down your shopping time, but they also allow the people you’re giving them to the freedom to get what they want, and when and where they’re getting them. It’s all win-win for all.

There is also a wide variety of stores where you can get gift cards and most of them are on sale especially if you plan to get bulk.

  1. Keep (and make sure you get) your receipts

Forgetting to ask for a receipt is one of the biggest mistakes a last-minute shopper can make, says frugal gift expert Leah Ingram (2010). “Gift receipts acknowledge that sometimes the gift misses the mark. This makes it easier if the recipient needs to exchange it.”Often, a gift receipt will give your recipient more time to return the item and avoids the tackiness of seeing the price on a regular receipt.

And here’s a bonus incentive for getting a receipt: “I keep the gift in the bag with the receipt and wait until the day before to wrap it,” says Cole. “If I find something better or cheaper, returns are easy and I’m not really committing, because I have the gift in the bag with the receipt. During the holiday season, everyone is more likely to buy stuff that they didn’t mean to buy”(Johnston, 2010).

  1. Keep things simple

At the end of the day and as cliche as it may sound, it is always the thought that counts. You don’t need to buy something that costs a lot and would just end up stored in a hefty cabinet. Give something useful—an item that your friend or giftee can maximize and use daily (if possible). There’s nothing wrong about giving away pens, markers, and cute notebooks if those are things they will surely use (Perdigon, 2010).

So now that you are all equipped, there’s really no reason to whine. You still have a lot of time to beat the rush, just remember to shop wisely.

When we hear the word ‘Thanksgiving’, we think of food (lots of food), football games, parades, family, and maybe even dried and fallen leaves. To sum it all up, perhaps we’re reminded of a celebration. But do we ever really know what we’re celebrating, what we’re giving thanks for?

We’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving for almost 400 years already, and with the same kind of celebration every year, it’s easy to forget what the holiday is really all about. Thanksgiving day is more than just about the family activities and festive dinners. Sure, these things are all there for us to enjoy, but this day should remind us of the things we’re thankful for in life. The blessings we have, the gift of family and friends, they’re the main reasons why food is on the dinner table, why Thanksgiving is a special day rather than just another Thursday.

Sadly, Thanksgiving is slowly losing its meaning, especially in today’s world where we’re all just focused on how we’re celebrating Thanksgiving so we can take awesome photos to post on social media. Kids are too busy playing mobile and video games. Teenagers are mostly on Instagram, documenting the whole day and showing off to their followers how they’re spending Thanksgiving. Just like any other holiday, it’s just seen as an opportunity to dress up, look good on camera and take Instagrammable photos. The rest probably have their eyes glued on the TV screen either watching football games or family movies on Netflix.

Sure, we spend a few moments before dinner to give our thanks, to pray and express our gratitude for all our blessings in life. But is that really all the thanksgiving there is on this holiday? Unfortunately for most people, that’s all there is. A lot of us today fail to understand the real and deeper meaning of Thanksgiving, that it’s not just all about us.

Thanksgiving is made up of two separate words: thanks and giving. Most of us simply understand it as giving thanks, but have we ever stopped and asked ourselves: what else can I give? Who am I supposed to give back to? Is a simple ‘Thank you’ all there is to give? Expressing gratitude goes more than just saying the word ‘thanks’. When we’re truly thankful for someone, we go out of our way to express how much we appreciate that person. It’s not just a one-time exchange, feeling grateful for someone doesn’t really have a time limit. We can’t just be thankful for a few hours or a few days. It makes a mark, and that mark stays with us. On Thanksgiving, we could do more than just say ‘thank you’ to the people were grateful for. More often than not, actions speak a lot louder than words.

More importantly, when we’re thankful for our life and the blessings that we have, the more significant Thanksgiving is for us. Oftentimes, we focus too much on our own little bubble. In this little world, I see myself and the people who linger close to me. I say my thanks for what I am, what I have, and give thanks for the people who are with me in this tiny bubble. Sometimes it’s just all about the ‘thanks’ and never about the ‘giving’. I ask myself: Is it really ‘giving’ if I’m only giving to myself and to my friends and family? Is it really ‘giving’ even if it’s the easy way?

It’s so easy to give to the people I know and love, but what about to everyone else I don’t usually see and notice? Those who are outside of my own little bubble? I may have everything I need in this world of mine, making it so easy for me to be thankful. But what about those who hardly have anything in life to be thankful for?

They say when you’re truly grateful, you give back. And I truly believe that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. We receive so much in life–so much time, blessings in the form of opportunities, people, money, talent–and the best way to express our gratitude is when we share these blessings with other people, especially to ones who need them the most.

I had an astonishing encounter with someone a few years ago. This woman was physically disabled, and as a result, she has limited job opportunities. Although she graduated from college, she still ended up being challenged financially. I was expecting that all the stories I’ll hear from this woman would be about her difficulties, her sad stories about how she’s bullied and discriminated. To my surprise, she talked to me about everything she was thankful for in life. I stood frozen for a few seconds, taken aback by how grateful she is despite everything she doesn’t have. I have so much more compared to what she has, I have a complete set of arms and legs, I’m living a comfortable life, but do I ever express my gratitude the way she does?

What startled me, even more, is that she gives back to others more than I do. Her weekly salary isn’t even big enough to cover her basic needs yet she finds it so easy to share a portion of this to other people in the community who need it. She would spend money to buy a token of appreciation every time I visited her, and I just had to ask myself, “How can she give so much despite having so little? I’m the one who’s physically able, financially capable, but why do I find it so hard to give?” Today I finally know the answer, it’s because she’s genuinely grateful.

Thanksgiving is all about being able to see and appreciate how much we have and sharing it to others who need it the most. It’s not just about focusing on everything we have in this tiny bubble, it’s about stepping outside and recognizing the world outside of ourselves. After all, these are the real things that makeup, Thanksgiving: love, family, and generosity.

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” – Eileen Caddy

Let our hearts be full of both thanks and giving

As a millennial boss, you probably have a series of unanswered questions and irking doubts about your career, or just about life in general. There’s a myriad of books that can answer your questions and worries, whether it be choosing your career path, climbing the corporate ladder, starting up as an entrepreneur, or organizing your priorities.

So grab a cup of coffee for a life-changing reading session with any of these 5 books that are perfect for you:

  • You are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero

“Nobody ever accomplished anything big of new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone.”–Jen Sincero, You are a Bad Ass

If you’re one who constantly needs convincing that you’re doing great, always worries about what other people think, then this book is definitely for you. It teaches you that you don’t need approval and validation from anyone else but yourself. It’s you who is responsible to tell yourself that you are a badass, and that’s the only thing that matters. Nothing else.

The book stresses how important it is to figure out what you really want to be in life. One of the best lessons in the book is to stop living for others and start living for yourself. And because you are a badass, you don’t let anyone pull you down and tell you to quit.

We all know it’s tough to pretend you don’t hear what other people say and stay unaffected, but this book tells you all the reasons why you have to fly kick the opinion of other people to the curb right at this moment.

Now if you’re ready to discover your inner badass, this book is ready to tell you all the secrets and stories that can potentially change your mindset and eventually your life!

  • You are a Bad Ass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

“You can have excuses or you can have success; you can’t have both.”–Jen Sincero, You are a Bad Ass at Making Money

Although money shouldn’t be the center of our lives, it’s a key resource that allows us to be happy. It buys us new clothes to boost our confidence, gadgets that make our lives easier, plane tickets that allow us to see more of the world and make memories.

And we, millennials, have always had an issue with money–how we make money, how much we make, and what motivates us to make money. This book by Jen Sincero allows the reader to understand the twists and turns of money-making (and spending), and how to remove question marks and setbacks along the way in order to fully become a badass at making money.

One of the key takeaways in the book is the lesson on embracing fear. Making money requires big leaps, changes, risks, and even sacrifices. You can take a step back out of fear and make an excuse. Or you could embrace your fear and go for it because you’re focused on your ultimate goal, your success.

If you wanna be that millennial boss who’s a badass at making and handling money, this book will definitely be a game changer for you.

  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

“Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitate to get in the way if you’re moving.”–Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek

Drowning in corporate obligations in the same old office cubicle from 9-5? You’ve got a lot to learn from author Tim Ferriss. Can you even imagine a life where you only work 4 hours a week? Although it’s just a metaphor used by the author, the core message is to use your time wisely.

He talks about how to be a smart and vigilant entrepreneur, in terms of making business choices, crafting concepts and ideas, and formulating strategies. According to him, it’s better to focus on doing the few things that will lead to the most progress rather than doing as much as you can in the best way you can.

If a 4-hour work week (and more time spent for yourself) sounds good to you, this is a must-read!

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

“People who become great at something become great because they understand that they’re not already great –they are mediocre, they are average –and that they could be so much better.”–Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Basically, the author just wants to say that giving too many fucks is bad for you. Pardon the French, there’s a lot of it in the book too (because Mark Manson obviously doesn’t give a fuck). But this is a very important warning that applies to anyone who cares a little too much.

We all get to that point where everything is too overwhelming. And what Mark Manson wants his readers to understand is that life won’t always be happy, but it’s critical to focus only on what’s meaningful and important to you and just let go of everything else.

This book will definitely make you laugh but it will also slap you in the face with some hard truth–but this honesty is probably what you need in life right now in order to push forward and grow.

  • The Power of Broke by Daymond John

“Told myself it didn’t matter if my ride didn’t turn heads—it only mattered that it turned things around for me.”–Daymond John, The Power of Broke

Daymond John inspires his readers with a rags-to-riches story. Most of us would think that being broke is an obstacle, one big downfall. But to him, it was an advantage. It may sound absurd, but this kind of mindset is gold–definitely worth grasping.

The lack of financial resources will automatically allow you and force you to see other resources around you and to use what you’ve got in a surprising and revolutionary way. Daymond John was able to leverage being broke by compensating with creativity, passion, and authenticity.

More importantly, it teaches us that there’s nowhere to go but up. When you have nothing to lose, you can only win, and keep winning.

So if you’re ready for an upgrade to be a badass millennial boss, it’s time to grab one (or all) of those books and start learning. Sometimes, a good read that teaches you great strategies and insights is all it takes to turn your whole life a

Wherever we go, we see a bunch of millennials thriving in their own respective niches.

Talk about Mark Zuckerberg, Kylie (you know, the lipstick and all the glamorous drama), Gerard Adams of Elite Daily, David Karp of Tumblr and yeah, Michelle Phan, the Asian YouTube guru who now has her own makeup and beauty company —these are all modern entrepreneurs-turned-millennial-heroes who have marched their way towards success.

Clearly, millennials have changed the industry landscape and while they all got a bad rap of being entitled and self-absorbed, it is still very evident that this entrepreneurial generation actually wants to work hard and make a name for whatever the f*ck it’s worth.

So, what makes millennials the best breed of entrepreneurs?

Let us count the ways.

  1. Millennials are independent, let’s be flexiblekind of workers.

For a lot of reasons, millennials hate the 8-5 office work. Unlike the other generations whose fortune cookie revolves around some desk job with a steady salary, millennials think that the independent life is so much “cooler and happier.”Instead of sitting in an office waiting for hefty mandates, millennial entrepreneurs work their own hours, grind at their own pace and try to set up a career-life balance through a curated day-to-day routine. This way, they become more productive and value-driven (Asghar, 2014).

Supporting this claim is a survey done by Bentley University in 2014, suggesting that millennials believe that career success will require them to be more nimble, independent, flexible and entrepreneurial. An impressive 77% of millennials noted that they prefer a flexible work schedule to be most productive. They want their own time for things as this is key in boosting efficiency.

The same study says that a lot of millennials actually see being a CEO or president as a life goal. These views have led millennials to explore entrepreneurship as a path towards finding greater happiness and fulfilment.

  1. Millennials always want to explore out of the box.

Millennials are always curious and experimental. They are constantly searching for answers to questions or problems or sometimes, they just want to ask more.

Why don’t we develop systems to connect people? Now we have all kinds of social apps.

Why don’t we create a place where everyone can work? And so, we have co-working spaces.

Why aren’t we wearing bold makeup colors?

Why can’t we integrate advocacy with business?

Simply put, millennials don’t just settle with the status-quo. They want radical, quick changes that sometimes can be a bit risky but most of the time, work best for them. Their curiosity pushes them to try and explore things out of their comfort zone leading to some innovative outcome.

  1. Millennials are tech-lovers.

Now we know that millennials did not need to adapt to all these kinds of technological evolution because, yes, they grew up in it. It is a huge part of them. Their inclination to getting things done quickly make them work hard to find all sorts of tools, computer programs or apps that will give them fast results. They are also quick adapters to new technology which make most of them whiz kids.

  1. Millennials adapt quickly.

Not only are millennials accepting of new technologies, they are also skilled to adapt quickly to all forms of changes. While other generation resist these differences and modifications, millennials are keen to learn new things and immediately use them for all the modern-age requirements.

Because of this skill, millennials are able to use various resources to cope up with challenges, address diversities and use changes to their advantage.

  1. Millennials work with a purpose.

Millennials are modern-day advocates. A recent survey by Gallup (2017), says that millennials want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day.

When millennials don’t like what they see, they fix it. This is because millennials treat their work as part of their lives. They know their purpose and mission not just for themselves but to others as well.

  1. Millennials love the hustle.

Millennials have all the energy in the world. They don’t just work, they multitask. They can accomplish a bunch of things when they are on it and they just love being everywhere. They can talk to multiple individuals online, set deals straight through emails and seal partnerships in just one call.

  1. Millennials know life isn’t just about making money.

Of course, who doesn’t wanna get rich? But a millennial’s take on life is all about passion and goals. Every individual from this generation doesn’t want to have an 8 to 5 job that pays well but really, to work as if he/she is not working at all.

Clearly, we can see that the millennials’entrepreneurial inclination is a huge factor in today’s changing environment. They’re young, driven and the creativity in this generation is outpouring. With all the upcoming industry innovations alongside the growing potential to alter and solve many of the existing world problems, millennialentrepreneurship is poised to continue rising.

New business ventures and some out-of-this-world ideas? This breed of clever souls got you covered!