Books Insights Personal Development

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday | Book Report


  • You’re someone who half-ass a lot of things
  • You dwell too much on the negative side
  • You are overly emotional


  • You have more time at your disposal. I suggest you read A Guide to the Good Life instead.
  • You’re already objective and calm and collected when facing stressful situations.

The title of the book is a bit of an oxymoron. Kasi nga pano sya magiging “way” kung may obstacle nga. So title pa lang, it’s clear na ang gustong iparating ng book ay yung mga challenges daw, mga setbacks, mga “obstacles”, yun yung makakatulong satin para mag-improve at mas maging resilient. Yung mga problema, hindi natin dapat syang iwasan. Dapat natin syang daanan.

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Marcus Aurelius

He says the best way out is always through
And I agree to that, or in so far
As I can see no way out but through.

Robert Frost
Books Creativity Non-Fiction Personal Development

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert | Book Review


  • Your creativity is important to you
  • You’re struggling with your love/hate relationship with your art
  • You need a reminder why you’re pursuing an art career

Convinced? Click to buy on Amazon.

Etong book na ‘to ay nominee sa Gleniz’s Best Read of 2021 Award. Ganun ko sya nagustuhan. Siguro right book at the right time din. Nung binabasa ko ‘to ang daming moments na gusto ko munang tumigil para namnamin at ramdamin yung impact nung sinabi. Short lang yung book pero medyo nagtagal akong basahin kasi ayokong matapos.

This book answers a lot of my personal questions. I’m so happy na finally naisipan kong basahin ‘to kahit feeling ko noon wala ako masyadong mapupulot. Tapos hindi pa nakatulong na hindi ko ganun kanagustuhan yung Eat, Pray, Love. Pero buti na lang. Eto yung mga tanong na nasagot:

Books Insights Personal Development

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey | Book Report [Habit #1]


  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind (soon)
  3. Put first things first (soon)
  4. Think win-win (soon)
  5. Seek first to understand, then be understood (soon)
  6. Synergize (soon)
  7. Sharpen the saw (soon)

There’s no shortcut in self improvement. Most of the time we do things just because we know it’s the right thing to do or because we think that it’s the appropriate response (like saying sorry just to shut someone up). Hindi bukal sa loob kumbaga. Naalala ko tuloy yung isang tao na kilala ko na mukang religious pero may mga ginagawa syang mga bagay na hindi naaayon sa mga pinagsasabi nya. Sabi dito sa book, you can get by and make people believe that you are a good person; but sooner or later, what’s really inside you will eventually present itself.

Our level of development is fairly obvious with tennis or piano playing, where it is impossible to pretend. But it is not so obvious in the areas of character and emotional development. We can “pose” and “put on” for a stranger or an associate. We can pretend. And for a while we can get by with it—at least in public. We might even deceive ourselves. Yet I believe that most of us know the truth of what we really are inside; and I think many of those we live with and work with do as well.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Essentialism by Greg McKeown | Book Review


  • If you’re a very busy leader or a person who’s really in demand
  • You want to learn to say “No.” without feeling guilty (but also, if you’re someone who won’t get fired if you say no to a task/meeting)
  • You want to value simplicity more (although I’m sure there’s a better book about simplicity out there somewhere)

Already convinced? Click to buy on Amazon.

Ang subtitle nya ay The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I had high hopes dito sa book na ‘to. Kala ko more on about minimalism and simplicity sya. Well, tungkol naman sya dun pero akala ko holistic yung approach. Pero hindi pala.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks | Book Report


  • You want to learn how to craft and tell better stories
  • You want to read a super entertaining book filled with the author’s own stories
  • You want to know how storytelling can be a superpower

Naka-discover nanaman ako ng hidden gem sa book na ‘to. Lately, madami akong pinapanood na YouTubers na ang niche is self improvement. So na-recommend ‘tong book na ‘to. Ang subtitle nya is Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling. Lately ulit, mas trip kong magbasa ng mga non-fiction books. Halos hindi ako makausad sa mga binabasa kong fiction.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown | Book Report


  • You want to build better connections with other people
  • You want to be more courageous
  • You read Brené Brown’s Ted Talk and you can’t get enough of her


  • You’re perfect

Eto ulit yung book of the month ng book club namin at kakatapos ko lang syang basahin kahapon. Nakakaasar pa kasi nabura yung highlights ko dito sa Kindle. Nagspend pa siguro ko ng another 1-2 hours para i-scan yung buong book para hanapin yung mga hinighlight ko. Grr.

Eto yung backbone ng libro na ‘to. It’s a quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine | Book Report

This book was recommended by one of our book club members (Thanks Pearl!). She learned that I have some interest in Stoicism and suggested this book to me. I had a hard time finding a simple definition of what Stoicism is but I think this one is helpful:

STOICISM • a philosophy that helps us direct our thoughts and actions in an unpredictable world. We don’t control and cannot rely on external events, but we can (to a certain extent) control our mind and choose our behavior.

Basically, the book is encouraging us to have some kind of philosophy when dealing with life. And since I don’t have any religion, I think it’s a good plan. Although I’ve always thought that I turned out pretty well without being religious. That I don’t need to have a religion to be a decent person. But having a philosophy, as the book suggested, seemed appealing to me; and personally, a better alternative than religion. And this specific philosophy that the author is advocating for is Stoicism.

The primary concern of philosophy should be the art of living: Just as wood is the medium of the carpenter and bronze is the medium of the sculptor, your life is the medium on which you practice the art of living.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz | Book Report

In the beginning part of the book, the author discussed how our society, our culture, our families and relationships shape our beliefs and identities. That we didn’t have a choice when we were little. And now that we’re older, he is challenging us to question these beliefs/practices or these “agreements”.

Another thing he talked about is how sometimes people just go with the flow to gain approval in order to have a sense of belongingness. Which is a natural thing for humans. Sabi nga ni Aristotle, we are social animals. But he also challenges that. Like saying no if we want to say no. Or attempting to ask even if it meant rejection.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Atomic Habits by James Clear | Book Report

The fact na naisip kong basahin ‘to, ibig sabihin andun na yung desire ko na i-improve yung good habits ko and i-eliminate as much as possible yung bad. Pero the beginning part of the book still provides more encouragement to increase your desire to improve. And gusto ko yun kasi once I implement the steps, mas may conviction behind it. Mas mapapangatawanan ko kumbaga.

Madaming tips and strategies yung book para ma-cultivate yung good habits. Madami ring examples pero of course, some or most of the examples wouldn’t apply to my life. So kelangan ng extra effort para makaisip ka ng iba-ibang ways para ma-apply yung strategies na yon sa buhay mo mismo.


  • Link your identity to the good habits

You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.

I think eto yung pinakang tumatak sakin. Kase everytime na maf-frustrate ako sa sarili ko kasi hindi ko nagagawa yung mga sinasabi kong gagawin ko, yung internal monologue ko lagi is, “Wala, ganito na talaga ako. Procrastinator talaga ako. Sa una lang ako magaling.” I identified myself as lazy. When in truth, our identities are not set in stone sabi nga dun sa book. We can edit our identities. Hindi naman ‘to touch move. We can improve. Hindi pwede yung mags-settle na lang ako dun sa paulit ulit kong sinasabi na tamad ako. May choice akong baguhin yung identity ko for the better and stop making excuses like, “Ganito na kasi talaga ko.”

You may want more money, but if your identity is someone who consumes rather than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning. You may want better health, but if you continue to prioritize comfort over accomplishment, you’ll be drawn to relaxing rather than training.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 5: Extra Notes and Rating]

So tapos ko na yung book. Nalito pa ko kasi nakalagay dun sa Kindle 64% done pa lang ako tapos pag-flip ko ng page, Acknowledgements na. Super dami palang notes sa huli and references kaya akala medyo matagal ko pa matatapos.

Since madami na din akong nasabi about sa book na ‘to, meron pa kong mga extras na gustong idagdag na nabasa ko pa after kong matapos sulatin yung parts 1-4.

Nabanggit yung importance of solitude. I think kaya nya ‘to in-include kasi yung magta-try ng digital declutter, they could get bored and will find themselves reaching for their phones. And kaya may whole chapter about solitude is for us to realize siguro na sometimes, okay lang na walang gawin. Hindi mo kelangan i-fill yung every second of your life.

Regular doses of solitude, mixed in with our default mode of sociality, are necessary to flourish as a human being.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Nabanggit dito na solitude or being alone with your thoughts helps us regulate our emotions and process stuff. And medyo natawa and na-guilty din ako dito sa following quote:

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 4: So Anong Dapat Gawin?]

Nung nag-start akong basahin ‘to, ang gusto ko lang talagang mangyari is mawala yung uncontrollable urge ko to always check my phone. Pero ang dami kong nakuha sa book na ‘to.

Sobrang necessary na diniscuss muna sa book lahat. It started with identifying the addictive behaviors, the reason behind it, and pano sya dapat i-approach which is yung strategies and principles. And eto na yung time para i-introduce naman yung concrete steps on how to start. From Paleolithic brains to economics, at this point, gets na gets ko na talaga. Parang hindi ko na kelangan ng further explanation. I’m sold!

Very important na maintindihan munang mabuti yung mga diniscuss before this para kapag gagawin ko na yung ‘digital declutter’, mas strong yung reason bakit ko ‘to ginagawa. Mas may conviction behind it. Which makes it more doable and sustainable.

The Digital Declutter Process

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 3: Minimalists vs Maximalists]

Ang freeing nung phrase na you will “happily miss out on everything else.” Naalala ko yung pinakinggan ko na podcast medyo recently lang. First time ko narinig yung term na JOMO.

Replace FOMO with JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). When everybody is off drinking and making shallow conversations, you are actually doing something deep and meaningful that brings more value to yourself and maybe to other people as well.

The Minimalists Podcast [Episode 250.5]

Sobrang tinamaan ako dito. And hindi pa nakatulong na andito ko sa ibang bansa. Medyo na-lessen na rin naman simula nung nagkapandemic kasi nga ang dalang na lumabas ng mga tao.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 2: Bakit Tayo Nagkaganito?]

Almost 1 week na since nag-start ako na baguhin yung unhealthy habits ko and so far, okay naman. Napapanindigan pa.

So balik ako dun sa book, meron daw iba’t ibang “ingredients” bakit nga nakaka-hook ang technology or social media. Two of those:

  1. Intermittent positive reinforcement

Eto na nga yung unpredictable rewards na sinasabi which releases more dopamine. Back to the slot machine analogy.

It hurts but it’s true 😭

And ang interesting neto. Nananadya talaga sila.

Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 1: Ganito Ka Din Ba?]

Heto na ang mga quotes and commentaries sa book na to. Self explanatory naman yung title so wala nang intro.

Huhu. So true.

In all honesty, naaapektohan talaga yung mood ko and sometimes hindi ko ma-pinpoint kung bakit. Sometimes obvious yung reason pero minsan basta naapektohan na lang ako. Parang nasisira na agad yung araw after ko magcheck ng iba-ibang social media apps.

CALL TO ACTION: Wag nang magcheck ng phone sa umaga. Do your morning routine first. Magtiklop ng kumot, maglinis ng litter box, pakainin ang mga kitties, load dishwasher, etc.