How I Survived from Life’s Trial

Life is like a roller-coaster.  Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. It matters not whether you’re very down, as long as, you strive to get up every time you fall.

I experienced an unforgettable trial in my life and career in the mid of 2002.  I was relieved as Department Manager of the government corporation where I work, when the former incumbent reassumed office upon returning home after finishing her scholarship grant at a foreign country.

At first, I felt depressed, especially, when I was just reassigned as a staff of a top executive.  However, I didn’t lose hope and I looked for ways to go on with my life.

Here are the ways I adopted to survive from this trial:

1.  Never Blame and Hate Anybody. Everything happens for a reason and we are responsible for our own lives.  Stop blaming others, if you want to make the most of your talent and be successful.

If you keep on hating somebody, you couldn’t keep your focus on your self-improvement. Life is too short, so don’t spend it wastefully by hating others.

When I was relieved, I could have sought the assistance of  the Civil Service Commission or the CES board for my case, as I have a CESO rank.  But, I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to spoil my relationship with my big bosses.  In this case, stirring up the waters might not enable me to catch fish.

2.  Think Positive. Look at the positive in every trial.  There are no negative incidents only incidents which help in your improvement and strengthen your character so that you may rise to new altitude. There are no failures, only lessons.

Troubles and trials make life more interesting.  Keep in mind that nothing lasts forever.  These, too, will pass.

3.  Think of the Opportunity it Can Give. When I was relieved, I used it as an opportunity to complete my Executive Leadership Program with the CESboard.

Likewise, I used it as an opportunity to research on latest updates pertaining to my field of work so that I will have the right knowledge when the time for me to head an office comes.

4.  Devote Time to Personal and Career Development Activities. Invest in yourself.  Sharpen your saw. Organize your time.  Devote at least one hour in the morning for your personal and career development activities so that when you are given again another opportunity to hold a higher position, you are prepared for it.

Your daily personal and career development activities include meditation, visualization of your day and what you want to become, reading of inspirational books and articles and listening to motivational CDs and tapes.

At the start of 2003, I wrote my career development plan.  My goal was to be a Regional Director and the target date was not later than December 31, 2003.  I listed down my activities and worked on it, to attain my goal.

5.  Persevere. At that time, bringing my goal to reality seemed impossible as I was still frozen as staff of a top executive, with no assurance of being placed to a managerial position in the near future.

But I carried on as these words of Napoleon Hill inspired me:

“whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.”

I believed that if I have a written plan and persist in developing myself and my career, I can achieve my goal.

6.  Have a Strong Faith in the Divine Providence. I believe that God has a purpose for everything that happens in our life.  If we place everything in the Lord’s hands, whatever happens, it is the Lord’s will and it is for our own good.

Always bear in mind that the darkest part of the night is just before dawn.

In April 2003, I received an order designating me again as Department Manager.  In May 2003, I was promoted to a position which is one salary grade higher than my present position.  On November 25, 2003, I was assigned as Regional Director of a Regional Office whose head retired from the service.  I attained my goal before the target date.

Life’s journey is not always easy.  Now and then, we pass through bumpy roads and stormy seas and we have to survive all these to attain our goal.

I know you also have your own survival ways to tell and I’m glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Four Effective Ways to Make Performance Appraisal Easier for Everyone

One day, one of my supervisors came to my office and requested that one of his employees shall be reassigned due to poor performance in his office.  When I called the attention of the employee for his poor performance as verbally reported to me by his supervisor, he reacted: “Is he kidding, Madam?  He always gave me a “Very Satisfactory” performance rating every rating period.”

At the end of the rating period, the employee just simply copies his or her previous performance appraisal forms and submits them to the supervisor for confirmation and signature.

On the other hand, majority of the supervisors are not honest in rating their employees.  The supervisor gives a “Very Satisfactory” rating to the employee even if he or she doesn’t deserve it, as the supervisor is sick of getting arguments from his people when they didn’t get the rating they thought they deserve.

An appraisal is supposed to be informative for you and your employee.  It ought to inform him how he’s doing in relation to performance targets.  It is supposed to identify his strengths and the areas where he needs improvement.  Conducted correctly, it can help you get the performance you need.  But if you rate employees higher than they are worthy of, they begin to think they’re okay and might not be urged to do better.

Here are the four effective ways to make performance appraisal easier for you and your employee:

1.  Make sure to evaluate employees fairly.  Don’t play favoritism in rating employees.  Establish uniform performance standards as your guide.

2.  Stick to facts and shun evaluations of performance based on casual observations. Gather data and keep written records of performance of employees as basis of evaluation.

3.  Keep a better balance between praise  and criticism during your performance evaluation meeting. Commend the employee for the areas where he excels in performance and point out the areas where he needs improvement.

4.  Select one or two goals for the employee to work toward instead of trying to change everything overnight. For the areas where he needs improvement, set two goals for him to achieve for him to improve his performance.

I know you also have your own list in mind and I am glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How to Make your Workspace as a Source of Inspiration

I have just read one of the popular posts of Bob Bessette titled “Cubicle Bliss: 10 Steps to create an inspiring workspace” at his website at or you may also reach it by visiting  I like the intelligent way he presented his steps.

He listed down these 10 steps to create an inspiring workspace:

1. Keep it clean!

2. Get a comfortable chair and keyboard.

3. Surround yourself with words to live by.

4. Quotes, quotes, and more quotes.

5. Display your weekly tasks prominently.

6. Display your yearly goals prominently.

7. Buy some cool stuff for the cubicle.

8. A pic says a thousand words.

9. Collect artifacts and display them.

10. Soothing Sounds.

I agree with his steps but step number 2 depends upon the availability of funds in the office where you are connected.  For the pictures,  place them in a folder in your laptop, or in a photo album or in a scrapbook.  For ease of performance,  keep decorative objects and  personal mementos in a spot where they won’t get in your way or distract you.

It is important that you make your workplace an inspiring and livable one because you spend more of your waking hours at the office than at home.  Another step that I could add is color coding in the office, including files.  It is a remarkable innovation because it makes the work area bright and a cheerful place to work in.

I know you also have your own list of steps and I will be very glad if you could share it with everyone by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Three Powerful Steps to Take Control of Your Life

The Dream Book has helped me achieve some amazing things – I’ve started a church, finishedmy first book, and bought a new home and a new car. This concept has opened the doors to my dreams and goals, and destroyed the attitude of mediocrity I’d had for a long time. The real story is not about what I’m accomplishing through The Dream Book, but rather what The Dream Book is accomplishing inside of me.” – Brian from Wisconsin

Psychological research shows that we tend to be happiest when we feel we have control over our lives. When we feel in control, we’re generally upbeat, optimistic and positive. On the other hand, when we feel like we’re being controlled by outside circumstances – work, marriage, childhood problems, etc. – we feel weak, angry, stressed out and negative.

Most people want to have more control over their lives, but they simply don’t know how to make it happen.  They feel pushed down the whitewater rapids of life without any paddle to steer them or a map to guide them. The solution is fairly straightforward…

Accept Responsibility

The first step to taking control of your life is to accept complete responsibility for where you’re at right now, how you got here, and where you’re going in the future. I can tell you with absolute certainty that you will never achieve lasting success if you don’t take responsibility for yourself and your life.

When I set those initial dreams and goals, I realized that no one was going to help me achieve them unless I helped myself first. If I was going to live my dreams, it had to start with me – my attitude, my thoughts, my actions. I finally understood at a gut level the old saying, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” I discovered this is the same type of realization that all successful people come to eventually. They reach a turning point in their lives when they recognize that they are the only ones who can take control of their future. Sadly, there are countless people who spend their lives feeling sorry for themselves, blaming others for where they’re at in life and what they don’t have. These people allow past events and circumstances to dictate today’s actions.

You must realize that you are the greatest determining factor in your future and that today’s actions equal tomorrow’s results. Where you’re going in life is a product of your attitude, beliefs, thoughts, actions and reactions to the challenges you face. The good news is that the more you accept responsibility for your life, the more powerful and confident you feel. Why? Because you’re in control! When you decide to stop blaming others and stop accepting your own excuses, you will see that you can create the future you desire.

Clarifying your dreams, setting goals and developing a plan to achieve them puts you in control. This process becomes the navigation system for your future. When you put your dreams and goals in writing, you immediately begin to steer your life in the direction you want to go. As you move toward your goals, you become more energized and more confident in yourself and your abilities. Every step you take increases your belief that you can achieve your goals and live your dreams.

Make A Commitment

If you’re serious about achieving all that you want to accomplish in life, you’re going to have to make a commitment – a commitment to yourself – to take the steps necessary to get there. Achieving your dreams and goals is simple, but it’s certainly not easy. It will take a lot of hard work, focus, dedication, discipline and persistence. It will require that you keep a positive attitude and that you grow personally and professionally.

And, it will involve some time…it takes time to properly define your dreams and set your goals. Your greatest responsibility to yourself, your family and your career is to invest whatever time is required to become totally clear about your dreams and goals and how you’re going to achieve them. But remember that a relatively small investment of time now will produce big payoffs as your dreams become reality.

Perhaps you’re hesitant to commit to your dreams and goals because deep down you don’t truly believe you can accomplish them. I will prove to you that you can.

Stop for a moment and think about some of your most significant life accomplishments, things that were once just dreams or thoughts in your mind. These could be such things as getting married, graduating from college, buying a home or getting a job in a certain profession. Perhaps your accomplishments include having children, buying a sports car, achieving a promotion or award, earning or saving a certain amount of money or taking a “dream” vacation.

Now, list five of your biggest accomplishments in the spaces below:

Dreams and Goals I’ve Already Accomplished in My Life

1.  __________________________________________________________

2.  __________________________________________________________

3.  __________________________________________________________

4.  __________________________________________________________

5.  __________________________________________________________

What do you think? Are you surprised at what you’ve accomplished? Most people tend to forget about or discount all the things they’ve achieved. I’d be willing to bet there was a point in time when you didn’t believe you could accomplish some of these things…but you did! You achieved them because you committed to them and focused on them until they became real. Listing these previous dreams and goals that you’ve accomplished opens your mind to the belief that you can accomplish the dreams and goals you set for your future.

But, if you’re still not convinced you can achieve your dreams and goals, I’m going to ask you to trust me and the literally thousands of people who’ve realized their dreams and goals by following the process shared in this book. These are people just like me and you – people who decided to take control of their lives, make a commitment, follow the steps, and are now living their dreams.

An ancient Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Make that step today. Accept responsibility for your future and take control of your life. Make a commitment to utilize this personal achievement technology. Read the Personal Commitment statement on the following page, then sign it, date it, and start achieving your dreams!

Take Control of Your Life:

1. Accept responsibility for where you are and where you’re going;

2. List your five biggest accomplishments;

3. Make a commitment to follow the plan for personal achievement in The Dream Book.

My Personal Commitment

I make a commitment this day to take control of my life by setting my dreams and goals and working to accomplish them. I know that in order to achieve them, I must:

© Accept personal responsibility for my successes and failures;

© Discipline myself and follow the goal-setting pattern in this book;

© Know where I’m going by clearly stating my dreams and goals and writing

them down;

© Develop an action plan for achieving my dreams and goals;

© Visualize my dreams and goals daily;

© Maintain focus and be persistent;

© Grow personally and maintain the right mental attitude;

© Strive for excellence in all my efforts;

© Set new dreams and goals as I achieve those I’m working toward.

_________________________                                    __________

(Signature)                                                                  (Date)

This post is taken with permission from The Dream Book by Billy Cox. Please visit to download the whole book.

Five Ways to Manage your Secretary, for you to Operate at Peak Performance

In my previous article, I emphasize that your secretary can make or break you. Your secretary is the extension of your hands and feet in just getting all the things done that you can’t take time “mechanically” to do yourself.

Here are the five ways to manage your secretary, for you to operate at peak performance:

1.  Your secretary must be specially selected by you. He or she must be specially or carefully selected by you to suit your temperament.

However, if you are in government offices, whenever you are assigned to your new office, you usually inherit the secretary of your predecessor.  So, it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to adjust to each other.

2.  Establish warm and friendly relation with your secretary. Although a majority of you are aloof at some people, you must have a harmonious working relationship with your secretary in order to perform effectively.

3.  Keep your secretary informed. As anticipated, he or she will be handling confidential information, it’s important to stress to your secretary the need for a tight lip.  It is quite futile, however, to anticipate him or her to assist in the management of your office without being aware of what they need to know to get the job done.

4.  Know what your secretary is doing. This is one of your basic requirements in using a secretary.

5.  Make your secretary adapt to you. The main requirement of a secretary is that he or she be flexible in adapting his or her work habits to those of the executive.  In other words, a good secretary requires the personality of a chameleon.

I know you have also some ways in your list and I will be glad to read your thoughts by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes