“The Obstacle is the Path” – Zen Proverb


One day, my friend lent me a book about managing finances and growing your wealth. Instead of feeling inspired, I felt discouraged. Because I felt like I could not relate to the stories of people who come from well-to-do families, pursued their love for social development, and became successful entrepreneurs too.

Thoughts, mostly negative, kept running through my head. These are wealthy people becoming wealthier. But what about those who come from humble beginnings? Those who have to help their family pay the bills? Those who once found themselves in the same financial hole I’m in? Those torn between having to make a living and pursuing their passion? Those who could barely save enough?

So I texted my friend that in order to feel inspired, I need stories of people who’s backgrounds were closer to mine.

This happened several months ago. Up until now, I am still coming across stories of successful people I could relate with. People who had very little money, but had big dreams and brave and resilient spirits.

Here are some of them:

I have two favorite lines from the articles/videos above:

“And at the end of my day with Mr. Earl he told me that his success happened not in spite of, but because of, his disability.” – The Story of Earl Crawley

“.. and you know what I found? The only difference between the superstars making millions a year and the persons merely getting by, only difference …. It’s how long they feel sorry about themselves once they get hit.” – Barbara Corcoran on the Secret to Handling Rejection


Who says it takes money to live your dreams?


Unexpected expenses – at home and for our MA subject project – cut off (more like gobbled up) a significant chunk of my limited budget. There were several things I was grateful for, though.

  • That I had kept an emergency fund. It was not enough to cover the expenses, but it was a BIG help. Since I already had some funds tucked in somewhere, I only had to add several hundred bucks to be able to pay the actual expense.
  • That I now believe you can be happy without spending a lot.

Your financial goals may be clear to you, but that doesn’t mean that habits that make you lose money will not creep in anymore. On those days when you just feel frustrated, you just want to spend for this and that, because it will make you feel better. On such days, when you keep yourself from buying something, you start pitying yourself, and you begin to tell yourself: What financial freedom? I want to be happy now!! Etc. You get the picture.

So lately, I’ve been telling myself: I will be happy without ruining my budget. I think when you just ask the Universe for what you really want, and take steps in that direction, it will really be given to you.

A week ago, a friend called to ask if I wanted extra tickets to Ateneo Blue Symphony’s concert, Lean on Me. It was a benefit concert for the Philippine Red Cross’ relief efforts. The concert also featured the Ateneo College Glee Club and the Ateneo Grade School Choir. So I went and I REALLY enjoyed the show.

Then, that same day, my friend told me she has a ticket to Untold, the anniversary concert of CADs (Company of Ateneo Dancers). Of course, I asked if there was still an extra ticket. And on the day of the concert, she told me she wasn’t sure she could get one for me. So I just said, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.” I was already telling myself I’d jog if I don’t get a ticket. One way or another, I’ll have a fun and relaxing Friday night. In the afternoon, she called up and said she was able to get one for me. 😀 And I just loved the concert. They were not merely dancing. Each performance was telling a story. Most make you laugh, some make you teary eyed. I just really, really loved it.

So two other things I am grateful for are these:

  • Having friends who share their blessings with you. I hope I can do the same for them. 🙂
  • Both concerts reminded me of my dream to play music and learn how to dance. If these college students can find the time to pursue their passion, I can, too. So I asked myself, “What’s my excuse? What’s holding me back?” I guess it’s time to pick up that guitar, take that violin lesson. And maybe, it’s time to simply dance.