Finale and Review: 30 Day Blogging Challenge

30 day blogging challenge

30th Post! Yay!

I should have completed my 30 day blogging challenge in 30 consecutive days. This is the target I aim for myself. On my 29th post I told myself, I am going to beat you girl! One more post and then I could say I did it. I could have since I still posted on my blog, which I no longer share to the FB group 30 Day Blogging Challenge. All because Sarah’s email is both inspiring and challenging. I receive the email concerning the 30th post. One word stands from the rest: Review. Sarah gives suggestions on doing a review of all my posts with various key points as guides. Exciting! Yes?

This review is a little bit days delayed from my 29th post because I did give it time and more weight. As Sarah suggested, while conducting the evaluation, there must be less distraction.

WordPress did suggest that a blogger must conduct an editorial at the end of the month. That is, looking back at the past thirty days–of the achievements or maybe failures of the blogger and how he/she should improve. I am guilty for not following this advice. Busy. Everybody is. Well, kind of excuse?

Anyway, for this challenge I would give it a try-to conduct a review of my 30-day journey. Though, my blog is not monetized yet, nor am I an entrepreneur at the moment. This might be the beginning towards it.

What Work

What saved you time?

Since my blog is more on personal journey and growth (still finding my voice, tone and my strengths) I use tools that are more applicable to it. For my everyday post, I use the WP Daily Prompt by the Daily Post. Though the post is far different from each other on a daily basis, I made sure the flow of thoughts and the tone are in sync.

I use Canva for some of my posters and graphics. For most of my photos I get it from Pixabay since it requires no attribution. But the entries for the photo challenges are originally my own and in some of my posts too.

What content made the most money?

Since my blog is not yet monetized, this question does not apply to me yet. In terms of likability, comments and reblogs the contents based on faith and spirituality stand out.

What created the greatest amount of personal pleasure?

I guess, it’s every bloggers pleasure when his/her content is being reblogged or shared, liked, and commented. For me, it means what I am saying is being understood; and that my readers related well with the message I am trying to convey. The interaction with my readers make me fulfilled. Most especially, when the number of followers is increasing with the passing of each day.

Also, since I am still new in the blogging community, receiving awards and passing it on gives me much fun. Checking other blogs and knowing what other people think sometimes got me hooked.

Being invited to be a guest author to other sites brings the greatest pleasure. Not only it brings additional traffic, but also it builds confidence that the sites’ owner have TRUST in my capacity and my message.

What relationships developed that you’re excited about and why?

Connecting with other bloggers is much fun and brings great happiness. Nothing beats sharing with people who also love to do what you love to do. Sharing common interests build genuine friendships. I even developed friendships that extend to the social media.

Positive Breakthroughs

  • Joining communities. I once believed a blogging journey is a solo adventure until it was busted. I become stronger by the number.
  • Reading other bloggers’ stories. It made me realize what a big world it is out there. I get lessons and learning from them.
  • Nobody is left out. Every comment is heard and replied to.
  • Joining challenges is fun, like this 30 Day Blogging Challenge. It keeps me diligent and be aware of what message I could impart to my readers even after they closed their laptops.
  • It helps to have a guide in the journey. Sarah Arrow’s tips through emails are truly helpful.

What did not work

What content flopped?

I got less positive feedback on Meet and Greet reblogs. I reblog these contents to somehow connect with other bloggers. For me, it is helping each other to promote our site.

Return in profit

In my blog I have invested only time and effort. No financial expenses has been incurred yet. The positive feedback is more than a profit to me.

Tasks or projects you find yourself dreading?

I don’t have any projects yet. I found difficulty in some Prompts that I have no idea about. Checking other bloggers’ work and how they approach the Prompts helps a lot.

Goals you are enthusiastic about

As of now, I have some vague idea of where I am going to bring my blog in the months to come, like buying a domain name and monetize it in ways that fits my personality and my message.

But before that, I must discover each day the niche where my strengths fit.

With that being said, I would bring with me this framework as guide for better Business and Marketing Experience suggested by Sarah.

  1. Do more of what worked.
  2. Do less of what you dreaded.
  3. Do more of what created profit.
  4. Do less of what sucked time and money.

Again, thank you very much Sarah and Kevin Arrow for this wonderful opportunity of blogging with you. I learned much. The tips and guides you give would surely be a big help for me in the days to come.

For you who want to join the challenge, you may check their website at www.sarkemedia.com and check the FB group 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

purposivewriter - nezel yurong

 

 

15 Ways to Become the Better Version of You

 

15 ways to become a better version of you

Gone are the days of flattery. Gone are the days when someone says, “What a nice cap you got there, John.” Or, “What a great dress Mary!” When we were a child, we think and reason like a child. Now that we are grown, we think and reason like a grown up. Unlike a child who takes delight in flattery or little appreciation, we value now on a deeper level what has been given to us. We value life. We value our self. And we put much value in it, when we do our best to improve our current self into the best self that we can be. How? Here are the ways:

  1. Will to change. The first and most important step is the determination to change. It goes beyond the desire. It is taking the necessary steps to get the desired results.
  2. Stop making excuses. Do what you need to do. Taking accountability for your own mistakes is extremely important.
  3. Always keep your temper in check. There are a lot of emotional triggers around. When you feel something is making you uncomfortable, get out of the situation if you can. Go to the comfort room or just simply go outside to relax your mind. Take deep breaths. When you feel you are in control of your emotions, you are able to face the situation in a calmer manner. Controlling anger is an extremely difficult skill to master, but it is very beneficial for you in the long term.
  4. Forgive. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. It may not be that easy to do, but it helps when you let go. It takes time to do this. Do it anyway.
  5. Listen. Listen to what others have to say. You may be seeing things in the wrong way or with the wrong perspective. This way, you may also be able to express your side, why you act or think in a certain way. You must also listen to yourself. Sometimes you may do things that are contrary to what you truly feel.
  6. Be honest. Be honest with yourself and with everybody. Others may not see whether you speak and live in truth, but your action does.
  7. Cultivate an open mind. Accept the fact that you are different and that others are different too. You may not agree with everybody, but it does not mean you are right and they are wrong; or the other way around. Be open also to what you can do. Try new things.
  8. Keep a journal. Journal is the best medium to express everything you feel. It helps you process your emotions. It helps you clear your mind of any clutter.
  9. Be positive. When you are really in a bad day, keeping positivity is impossible. You may never find it inside. The best way, is to seek it outside. Read good books. Be with nature. Look up at the sky, or stars, or moon. Listen to inspiring music. Talk to children. Talk to your pet. Watch funny movies. Or just simply do any activity that you love to do. Doing any of these everyday, helps you to implant positivity in you.
  10. Accept criticism in a positive way. Criticisms may hurt, but you need it most for your growth. It is a challenge that speaks to you, “Hey, you’re not better now. Could you get any better next time?” When you do get better next time, your critics would be surprised.
  11. Move. Do any exercise that could energize you. From working at the gym, to jogging, walking, yoga or just stretching. Your body would thank you for it.
  12. Meditate. It calms the mind. It connects you to your deeper self. It relaxes your body.
  13. Smile. When you look at the mirror first thing in the morning, smile. Smile keeps you younger and relaxes your facial muscles. Smiling at your reflection makes you aware that you got a friend in there. As one beatiful soul says, ‘Smiling is the best accessory you could adorn yourself with.’
  14. Stay peaceful. Be at peace with everybody and with yourself.
  15. Pray. Exercise your faith. Tap to the Source of everything. It is here where impossible becomes possible. It is here where you become what God wants you to be.

These suggestions may sound simple. Yet it may take years to master it. When done daily, it becomes a habit, a habit that would become a natural part of you sooner. Do not lose heart though, when at times you may fall back, it is just normal. Just start again and again and again. Your self is with you along the way. So is God.

Be blessed!

~Nezel

Be Careful How You Live

Be careful how you live. You'll be the only Bible some will ever read. - William J. Toms     pinned by www.affordablecomp.net

Sometimes I sit down to write with mind juggling with ideas. Only to find that the moment I strike the keys, all those words fly away. Today’s prompt is no exception. So, I scroll through anything that may catch my attention. Thus, I found the quote.

The quote above is timely and perfect.

“Be careful how you live you’ll be the only Bible some will ever read.”

This make me re-think and re-evaluate my self and my life. If you are a regular reader of my posts, you may notice I am a struggling soul trying to cope up with life in a positive way. My road is rough and bumpy like any other. This is what pushes me to strive for positivity; that somehow I may plant the seed for others to see, that life is not that ugly after all. That I may find too, at the end of the tunnel, a better version of me. There is just one catch though: I am not perfect and could never be. This is a truth I accept and live by. But this truth could not hinder me to strive for the best of me and of life.

Because I am not perfect, there may be some flow of my thoughts that may not be acceptable for everybody; you may call it loopholes, or naivety, or just plain poor judgment. And it is okay with me. I, too, do not even agree what everybody has to say.

There is just one thing I ask: just because I am not perfect does not mean my God too is. God is ever perfect. May you would not doubt what He could do, just because of what I do. For no matter how much I try, my steps still falter; the reason why God does not want me to leave from His side. Yet, it is through my mistakes that I learn the more. And I thank you most when you are a part of my learning process too.

Each of us has our own path to take, and our own cross to carry. May we not lose heart when one of us is unable to carry our cross, the way it is meant to be. May we help each other and strengthen each other. May you learn from me, and I learn from you. You may read my life; but it is not the whole truth there is to life. Life is far, far more beautiful. Know God and you will know the whole truth.

And through our journey into the unknown, God has this promise:

1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Be blessed!

~Nezel

WP Daily Prompt

Be Slow To Argue

Be Slow to Argue

I do not like arguments. Not because I am afraid to be proven wrong; but because to be proven right leaves a heavy burden on my shoulders. In arguments the persons involved only have one goal: to prove they are right. And when proven wrong they walk out angry and guilty; thinking to themselves they lose face. All because, most often than not, people reason out of emotions and not out of logical thinking. What they have in mind is, how others see them, how their “reputation” would look like the moment they would be proven wrong. To the point that they would twist the truth and fabricate stories just to get out of the mess clean.

The other thing is, if in an argument you win, the other person would find ways to bring you down. Such person has not found the secret yet: that a person with high self-esteem does not need to have a clean reputation before others; he needs only to know that his value relies fully on who he truly is, and how he is loved unconditionally by the Source of love. People may destroy reputation, but not the spirit of a strong person.

There are many suggestions out there as to how to win in an argument. But then, I believe, it is more important to learn to get away from this kind of trouble than to learn how to master it when it comes. Thus, let me share with you some Bible verses that inspire us to stay sober in all circumstances:

Ecclesiastes 7:9

9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
 

2 Timothy 2:23-24

23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Matthew 5:22

22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Philippians 2:14-16

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
A Blessed Sunday!
~Nezel

Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders

One typical day, you are walking down the street to get some fresh air. Suddenly, you feel a tingling in your stomach. You seem to be hungry. So you look around to buy some food.

There is this stall you see at the end of the street that sells some food. You enter inside and look for something that may look delicious for your taste. From behind the counter the owner emerges, greets you and asks what do you want. The minute you see the owner, who is your friend, you greet him hello. And the second you see him, ideas come rushing through your mind. It says, “Oh, he is the one who watches his store? He has not paid anyone to assist him? Has he no money anymore?” While these thoughts are busy juggling in your mind, you are smiling sweetly at him and answers, “oh, you do not sell some snacks here?” When he says no, you bid goodbye, get out of the store and head to a snack bar nearby.

You enter inside the bar; and again look for goodies. On your right you notice  a woman who looks familiar, standing with her back on you. You then select the food of your choice and wait for the cashier who is somewhere in the store. The woman too heads at the cashier’s counter to pay her purchases. You do not turn around to face her because you are already sure who she is. She stands behind you and you act as if you do not care. While acting this way, your active mind is again filled with thoughts that says, “Oh, this woman who has the nerve to not pay her debt to me for years. This woman who acts flawlessly and tries to compensate in her looks what she lacks inside. This woman who stands in total arrogance.” You continue to act as if you do not care while observing her every move from the corner of your eye. When she’s finally gone, you relax a bit and is back in your better self again.

Does this describe some fragments of your typical day? Perhaps, it does not. Honestly, it does with me. For that was exactly my experience the day before. Those thoughts were what transpired in the confines of my little head.

The journey to self-expansion and growth is vast and tricky. It is like walking through a maze; you thought you already are very near to the end, only to realize it is a dead-end. You then have to start all over again taking another route until you reach the final destination.

This is what happens to the borders that we need to jump over. The border my friend is not limited to the differences in our color, race, culture, religion or belief. The border lies within the confines of our mind. We have these labels that we attach to each one. We have these preconceived notions about each person. These are the labels that we need to dump if we are to see each person as he or she truly is regardless of what his or her actions are.

I have this desire that someday, this innocent little mind of mine would come to understand people as they are. That one day, I would be able to look at the eyes of each person and see through those eyes a beautiful soul, the way Jesus see each one of us with all our weaknesses, strengths and everything.

I guess, it is a very beautiful thing to see another lasting beauty hidden inside a packaging that would not last. But before that, I have much work to do in leaping over the border within the corners of my mind. A major renovation perhaps.

Good day!

~Nezel

WP Daily Prompt

Show Your Best Despite

Show your best despite

People tend to act mostly out of filling a void deep within them, failing to realize what are they. This void could be out of greed, jealousy, insecurity, deeper need for connection and the like. Whatever they are, they are the prompts that push people how to operate their life on a daily basis.

One time there was this employee sent to our workplace to do the auditing. She acted a little nice and even invited me to have lunch with her on several occasions. She had questions about my personal life which I answered in all honesty. I was not the type who impresses people by empty verbosity. And I once believed people could be trusted when you give your trust to them. ( I learned the hard way that this principle does not apply to everyone.) People are just people with all their weaknesses and strengths. Some come in our lives to help, some come to destroy for selfish interest, thinking by doing so they are filling that void within themselves.

The day came when this person showed her real intentions. We engaged into a kind of argument over a minor issue regarding work, which was not really an issue. Before she pulled out of the branch, we had a meeting. It went well, and we all thought what transpired between us was already patched up. The bomb exploded when she reported to the main office. Everything I told her, she manipulated to be used against me. What was funny was that when the boss called, she did not talk about the problems with our workplace that needed much attention. She tackled the issue between me and that person without asking for my side of the story.

See? Our world suffered because we do not care to listen to the other side of the story. We are so good in selective perception. We only want to see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe. I was not scolded though; but was given reminders of how to treat others as if I were a naughty child who grabbed an ice cream from another child. For a fact: I was already twelve years in the company (meeting clients maybe for the thousandth time and none of whom complained about my attitude, or even had issues with my office mates) while she was barely two; I was forty, she was in early twenties. I am not trying to cleanse myself; for I could never blot out all the imperfections in me. Only God can wipe me clean and make myself whiter than snow. I am just trying to show the qualities in us that needed much attention for improvement.

Even Jesus was crucified out of envy. It were the high priests who plotted that he would be arrested out of their self-interests. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus out of selfish interest. Do we need to wonder why people keep on betraying us? Do we need to wonder why friends, even families have the nerve to betray us?

This is what we need to delve within ourselves. We do not have the control of everything. We can only control ourselves. Thus, I love this prayer Of Jabez from 1 Chronicles 4:10

Lord, bless me and bless me indeed. Enlarge my territory, let Your hand be with me, and keep me away from evil, that I may not cause pain.

We are into relationships. The best that we can put into the relationship is our best self. When we are at our best, most of the best comes to us. And when people find that there is that certain ‘best’ in us, they would never let us go; except perhaps when they have issues within themselves, that what they see are only their needs and failed to recognize others. They are too busy filling the void within.

Thus, we need to fully realize who we are, that at the end of the day, we are able to smile, look up and say, “Thank you God, I made someone smile today.”

Blessed day!

~Nezel

WP Daily Prompt

A Tree Firmly Planted By Streams Of Water

a tree planted by the streams of water

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
            Which yields its fruit in its season
            And its leaf does not wither;
            And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:3

If those words of the Psalmist are addressed to me, it would go like this:

Nezel will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever Nezel does, Nezel prospers.

Wow! Too good to be true. And I so love especially those last five words. Because this is what we, humans, are after in this world of ours. Whatever undertaking we pursue, we all want to prosper in it. For that is what we are. Even weeds grow in little cracks of the ground. How much more humans, who have powerful minds and souls that are connected to the Source directly? What if it will actually happen? That we are bound to prosper? It would,  when we do plant our roots by the stream of water–that is, constantly connecting with the Source of all goodness and prosperity.

How to constantly connect with the streams of Living Water?

  1. Pray. Kneel before Him and tell Him everything what is inside your heart. You could pray anywhere. But nothings beats when you converse with Him completely in your heart, body and soul.
  2. Consider silence. Utter nothing. Think nothing. His power is greatly felt in nothingness.
  3. Go to church, or whatever place of worship you belong. Your faith becomes stronger when you have someone along the journey with you.
  4. Eat temple food. Eat the right food, not the junk ones. Your body is the temple of God, treat it as it is.
  5. Keep in mind your favorite Bible verses. This keeps your mind organize and less cluttered.

These are God’s version of wifi connection. No bills to pay. No need for batteries or electricity to be always turned on. He just asks for a willing heart and mind to be connected. Great! Right?

Now, try to use this verse with your name and experience that wow feeling. Fill in the blanks with your name, close your eyes and see it as actually happening. Then tell me how does it feel.

____________ will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever _________ does, ________ prospers.

~Nezel

WP Daily Prompt