A tip for 2014

Anna Oposa
Tell stories to divide your sorrows and double your joys

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, telling stories would be it. Tell stories to divide your sorrows and double your joys. Tell stories of disappointment, hope, frustration, and kindness.

Social media is a great storytelling tool, but make sure you don’t just say something—have something to say.

Listen to stories.

There’s the comfort zone, adventure zone, and panic zone. The panic zone is also the magic zone. Do not be afraid of crisis, because crisis forces people to come up with solutions.

RUINS. What remains of the Logon Elementary School library after Super Typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Boogs.

The elections can change the direction of our future. Always, always give the country your dirty finger. While advocating for a change of men and women, push for a change in men and women, too.

CHANGE. May 2013 elections, Cavite. Photo by Anna Oposa
There is a line between being protective and being judgmental. It’s a hard lesson to learn.

Families are formed from biological connections and shared passions.

FUTURE. World Future Council in Bonn, Germany. Photo by Anna Oposa

Sometimes, you are lucky enough to have both.

HERITAGE. In Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bataan

The older you get, the less friends you’ll have and that’s okay. A shared history does not guarantee a lasting friendship, just common memories.

Friendship breakups, though painful, are necessary.

The friends you keep are the ones whose values and humor are similar to yours. They’re the ones who pick food from your plate without permission, agree with you when you say your hair looks like shit, and answer the phone in the middle of the night (or the middle of the facial) when you call. The no-matter-what people.

FRIENDS. Demo shoot for Coffee Break, Beyond the Box Studio. Photo by Anna Oposa

Relationships are never easy. Be with someone who wants it to work as much as you do, so that you can power through phases of constant fighting.

Laugh, dream, and grow with each other. Accept each other’s quirks and try your best to make life easier for your better half. Being ‘The One’ is something that has to be proven everyday.

No matter how long you’ve been going out, make sure you still have your eyebrows threaded and wax and look good. Not so much for him, but for yourself.

Do not let yourself go. Ever. And don’t ever be co-dependent. Whatever your partner can buy for you, make sure you can buy for yourself. A man is not a financial plan.

Under promise and over deliver.

Rejections and awards are not the most accurate measurements of achievements. Most of the time, they are matching tests of what the other party is looking for, or not looking for.

Don’t ever let either one distract you from your work. Just continue to do your job and do it with honor and excellence.

Play hard, work harder.

NATURE. Sunset o’clock, Malapascua Island. Photo by Anna Oposa
Have a backup of your backup. Carry a charger and/or power bank in your bag. Technology is awesome but it can fail.

Do not tolerate mediocrity from anyone (especially not from yourself).

Write letters offering constructive criticism, write notes of commendation, talk to management and organizers to provide honest and kind feedback. It’s in silence that incompetence thrives.

Check your grammar and spelling before submitting or posting something. It’s not so much about being a grammar nazi, but having high standards for everything.

Floss. Really.

Vision is something that can’t be delegated, so choose to work with people who get yours. “Trabaho lang, walang personalan (It’s purely professional, don’t take it personally)” does not apply when your work is personal and sacred to you (and hopefully it is).

Build relationships with the people you work with and care about their personal and professional success as if they were your own. Compliment and complement your teammates.

ADVOCATES. The Global Shapers Manila Hub and broadcast journalist Karen Davil at the Cat@lyst launch. Photo by Anna Oposa

Explore. This is a notch above traveling. Get lost. Talk to locals. Ask questions.

TRAVEL. Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Anna Oposa

Appreciate art. Art offers an exciting way to look at history and humanity.

CULTURE. MuseumsQuartier, Vienna. Photo by Anna Oposa

And trust me on telling stories.  Rappler.com

Anna Oposa graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in BA English Studies in April ’11. She is a freelance writer, performer, scuba diver, yoga practitioner and, best of all, an advocate who fights for the preservation and safety of Philippine seas and its riches. Visit her blog ANNAlysis, where this article was first posted.


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