A priority list and the book on miracles: Beyond All Barriers

Beyond Brushstrokes
Maria Victoria Rufino

Posted on December 04, 2015

The long holiday season causes anxiety, stress and severe burn out.

Many people are caught in the frantic whirl of activities, events. The spider web of commerce and materialism entraps the majority. In the spending frenzy, we sometimes forget the real significance of the birth of Jesus. We need quiet time to reflect, pray, and nourish the spirit.

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “In this world, there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

Human beings have needs and many desires. It takes discernment to know the difference. Success is having what we want. Happiness is being content with what we have and loving those who love us.

Here is an updated priority list that may set us on the right path.


1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince. Have a very light dinner.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants. Eat less processed food (Avoid preservatives, MSG, and transfats).

4. Live with the 3 E’s -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.

6. Play more games. (Board games, team sports. Not intrigues.)

7. Read more books and broaden your outlook.

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. (Meditation is good for the soul and relaxes the body.

9. Sleep for 7 hours.

10. Take a 30-minute walk every day. Exercise. Be active. (You will release happy hormones.)


11. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Avoid negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13. Don’t overdo anything. Keep your limits. Know your priorities.

14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip. (It is negative.)

16. Dream more while you are awake. (This is a favorite!)

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all that you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner about his/her mistakes. That would ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. (Pray for them!)

20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present. Move on.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. The lessons you learn will last a lifetime. (Or else, you will keep repeating the same mistakes.)

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society and relationships:

25. Spend more quality time with your family.

26. Each day, give something good to others.

27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

29. What other people think of you is THEIR problem, not yours.

30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family and true friends will take care of you. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing!

33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or cheerful.

34. GOD heals everything.

35. Have faith. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

37. The best is yet to come. Think positive.

38. Count your blessings.

39. Do what makes you happy.

40. Be true to yourself.

Beyond All Barriers: Coincidence or Miracle? V is the fifth book of inspiring stories compiled by Florencia Gozon Tarriela and Butch G. Jimenez, edited by Domini M. Torrevillas.

Ms. Tarriela, chairman of Philippine National Bank, former Undersecretary of Finance and ex-Citibanker, acknowledged former National Treasurer Leonor Magtolis-Briones for the idea Beyond All Barriers. She shared her thoughts in the introduction:

“In life, we will struggle and face many challenges, however, beyond all these barriers lies success even beyond our dreams... Life is not always sunny. Life is also never about the hardships. It is about how we endure because God is always in control. In good or bad circumstances, never give up. When things get difficult, continue to have a positive attitude. In everything, give thanks.”

Among the interesting stories are those by Kim Atienza who overcame life-threatening illness, twice; Isay Alvarez Sena who showed true grit by performing onstage while battling cancer; Betta Silverio’s dilemma of feeding 2,500 volunteers in what is a modern version of the miracle of two fish and five loaves of bread.

As a little girl, Kay Gozon (Jimenez) entertained Japanese soldiers in her Lola’s yard, distracting them from finding a storeroom full of sacks of rice, the discovery of which would have put her family in jail.

Nix Nolledo, an ordinary student, graduated at a time when jobs were scarce. Now he is owner, chief executive officer (CEO) of Xurpass and Entrepreneur of the Year.

Among the contributors are Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Monetary Board member Juan D. de Zuniga, GMA CEO Felipe L. Gozon, “Bamboo Queen” Kay Jimenez, former GSIS president Federico C. Pascual, accounting CEO Greg S. Navarro, chef Jessie Sincioco, Felix Enrico “Rico” R. Alfiler, vice-chair of PNB, FINEX president Jaime E. Ysmael, Urban Planner Felino “Jun” A. Palafox Jr. and Alden Richards of AlDub fame.

The book is a good read and one can easily relate to the experiences. We all have had our own miracles and they sometimes appear to be coincidences.

Congratulations to the authors!

Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.