For Success, Clean Up the 4 Critical Areas of Your Life

4 Critical Areas of Your Life to Clean Up To Reach for Goals

“If people are not laughing at your goals, your goals are too small.”
– Alex Haditaghi

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
– Paulo Coelho, in The Alchemist

I was recently asked the question: “How do people stay hungry?” “Hungry” in this question refers to “Hungry for who you could be.”

Imagine a journey. A journey from where you Are to where you want to Be. And out there in the distance, you see a series of hills and mountains. You’re preparing your car so you can drive out to the mountain, where you want to Be.

When you choose your destination mountain, that is your GOAL.

There are actions you’ll need to take while on the driver’s seat like stepping on the accelerator pedal, handling the steering wheel, navigating through your windshield, following the traffic signs. All these ACTIONS bring you forward to your goal.

But sometimes, some people can’t move forward as much or as fast as they want. That’s because they have excess baggage weighing them down. Excess baggage keeps you from moving forward. Another word for excess baggage is TRASH. TRASH keeps you from reaching your goals.

And sometimes, some people stop at their tracks. Maybe they realize their destination wasn’t worth the trouble (or the travel). Maybe they realize they didn’t have enough fuel to begin with. The reason for your journey, your BIG WHY is your FUEL for your journey.

Let’s discuss each of those.

Take out the TRASH

In the Pixar movie, “Up”, the lead character Carl sets out to fulfill his dream to see the wilds of South America and to complete a promise made to his late wife, Ellie.  The thing is, all the balloons in the world could not lift him as he had too much weight with him. For him to fly, he needed to let go of the baggage (the trash) that he had been holding on to for ages. The moment he let go of his baggages, that is when he was able to fly.

There are people who are held back by their excess baggage or simply put, their trash.

“Trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters . . .this moment, here and now.”
– “Socrates”, Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Trash can be in the form of past hurts, worries, negative perceptions, limiting beliefs, pride, lack of forgiveness, secrets, denials and anything that consumes us in a negative way.

So how do you take out the trash?

It starts with being honest to yourself and listing down your trash. This is what we call the “completion list”, a list of unfinished business.

Let me give you some examples, arranging it by the four aspects of man: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual.



Go to a full-length mirror. Take a good look at your body. Appreciate your body as part of you that interacts with the real world. When you are physically successful, you are able to do what you need and to do in life.

Now, being totally honest with yourself, is your body able to help you accomplish everything that you want in life? Are there things that can be improved? Things that you’ve always wanted to change?

Some examples of Physical completion list:

  • get a haircut
  • be your ideal weight
  • drink more water
  • get enough sleep
  • wake up earlier
  • eat more nutritious food
  • heal from an ailment

Another way to assess your physical aspect is the physical space where you spend most of your time. For most, this refers to your home or your work space. What needs to be changed or improved in your physical space?

  • tidy-up my workspace
  • get my files organized
  • add plants to my environment
  • improve the lighting of my study / work area
  • ventilate my area
  • remove physical distractions
  • sell or give away barely/rarely used clothes and other household / office items. Make space for new blessings!

As you read through these examples, go ahead and get your journal or a piece of paper. Write down specifically the actions that you want to *do* to be more complete with yourself.



Mental trash includes thoughts you have of the past or of the future. When you dwell on the past or the future, that keeps you away from the present moment. Some examples of mental completion items are:

  • unexpressed thoughts – journal / blog about it (even privately)
  • unexpressed ideas – write it down; discuss with a friend
  • worries – If you can do something about your worries, then do it. If you can’t do anything about your worries, then why worry? Let it go!
  • questions left unanswered — Well, if it’s truly important to you, then go ahead and ask the question! Sometimes you already know the answer, and it’s a matter of accepting it.

To learn more about how Life Coaching can help you work on your completion list, visit:


Most of us have this. We have extreme emotions that trigger our default responses.

  • unexpressed secrets – disclose to a safe friend
  • unexpressed forgiveness – forgive (see previous chapter on Forgiveness)
  • unexpressed gratitude – be grateful (see previous chapter on Being Grateful)
  • unexpressed apologies – alam mo na (you know how it goes)
  • addressing extreme emotions – anger, fear, phobia, lack of forgiveness, lack of self-worth; Life Coaching can help you let go of these extreme emotions.


The spiritual aspect of humans connects us to a higher being. Doesn’t matter what you call this, “God”, “Allah”, “Yahweh”, “Abbah”, “Father”. You have your own way of being more successful spiritually.

  • Expressing unconditional love, or Agape — I learned through the PSI Leadership Seminar this principle that unconditional love is the universal goal of any form of spirituality. If so, how can you express unconditional love? To yourself. To your loved ones. To strangers. To your enemies. (see next chapter: Serve)
  • nurturing your self – going to the park, travelling, celebrating
  • nurturing others – rescuing a pet to care for, being kind to others (see previous chapter on Kindness)

Go ahead, make your completion list so that you can take out the trash.

When you review your completion list, some of the items there can take just a few minutes to complete. Maybe it’s just a phone call to your mother, father, sibling or friend. Maybe it’s just a matter of picking up some old stuff and donating or discarding them. Maybe it’s just a matter of opening your Bible or book and allotting 5 minutes to read today.

Do it. Do it soon. Do it quickly. Finish as many completion items as soon as you can. NOW!

“Trash is anything that is keeping you from the only thing that matters . . . this moment, here and now. And when you truly are in the here and now, you’ll be amazed at what you can do, and how well you can do it.”
– “Socrates”, Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Is this article useful? Tell me what you think in the comments area of this post. ;-)

This article is an excerpt from our book “You Can Be Happy Again!” Get your copy here:


Forty One Reminders for My Children

I wrote a couple of lists on my 41st birthday.
Forty One habilins for my children:
  1. be kind – it’s the language of love.
  2. forgive – it’s good for you
  3. laugh. Laugh at yourself!
  4. share – impart of yourself
  5. travel – widen your world. widen your understanding.
  6. ask – be a lifelong learner
  7. give – just give
  8. save – so you can give later
  9. embrace a lot
  10. help – because everybody needs some
  11. enjoy food and conversations – it’s not the eating. It’s the connecting.
  12. pray
  13. cry – let it flow naturally. Tears express what words cannot.
  14. forgive – yes, it’s good for you.
  15. embrace
  16. run – good for body, good for heart, good for mind
  17. write – Capture your thoughts. So that you remember. Make it a gift to the world.
  18. read – learn from others
  19. love – the only answer
  20. cry – yup
  21. sing! – double praise
  22. worship – not for anyone. Worship doesn’t change God. Worship changes you.
  23. love – the only other answer
  24. travel
  25. smile
  26. greet people. Go first.
  27. let someone pass ahead of you
  28. love
  29. stay connected with family.
  30. make new friends
  31. accept – that you can’t change everything. You can change yourself.
  32. say sorry. Sincerely
  33. respect – everybody is on a journey.
  34. let go – we’ll need to, anyway
  35. take a stand – make your opinion matter
  36. make things better – no complaints. Just make things better
  37. laugh – out loud, even
  38. fast – empty yourself to fill-up with God’s love. Rise-up with God’s love.
  39. travel –
  40. love
  41. love
When I wrote the above list a few hours ago, I started to cry. And I just let it flow. I guess it gave me a sense of mortality, also a sense of what is important to me. I also wanted to add “have kittens”. But the list was filled-in na with love. I guess “have kittens” is part of love. ;-)

Volunteer Programs in the Philippines – by Ka Edong, the Purposeful Penguin

I received a huge amount of web traffic from my “Ako Mismo” article on .

I relate closely to the campaign because I am a volunteer myself. I strongly believe that individual contributions build up to something big in nation-building.

I spent a year in Cuyo Palawan as a volunteer teacher, was an elections-volunteer for NAMFREL in at least three elections and I continue to volunteer in PSI as a speaker.

Here’s taking another step forward and providing information to my readers about how else we can contribute in nation-building.

  1. – Excellent website to get ideas on how you can contribute on an individual level
  2. Rock Ed Philippines – “No More Excuses, Philippines!”
  3. Gawad Kalinga
  4. Habitat for Humanity Philippines
  5. DOH Blood Bank Program
  6. Red Cross
  7. National Youth Commission
  9. World Vision Philippines
  10. WWF-Philippines
  11. Haribon Foundation
  12. Jesuit Volunteers Philippines
  13. UN Volunteers
  14. Center for Volunteerism in the Philippines
  15. Volunteer in the Philippines
  16. VSO Bahaginan
  17. Voice of the Youth Network (coming soon)

More to come.

If you know of other volunteer program links, feel free to comment below.

ka edong

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