What is next with Celeste

I’M HERE. NOW WHAT.

What if you were given an opportunity to re-structure your life?

Your body covered with dust, the ground fertile for seeds, it’s time to plant the fruits you’ve longed to taste.

What do I do now that I can do whatever the heck I want? Dobby has been given a sock.

 

dobby

 

What now?


 

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have my life planned out. It’s useless. I plan things to calm down my endless worries. Even if most of it don’t happen exactly the way it should and, in general, specially when you got to work with other people, fixed outcomes turn situational. And I’m the girl who has band aids in my wallet just in case someone cuts their self in my presence. Let me fix that bleeding for you, honey.

Before I tendered my resignation, I kid you not, I have atleast 5 projects in line to make sure my income does not live or die with the stock market. Risks are unavoidable, the best we can all do is learn to manage it.

If you were going to fight, atleast mitigate your chances of death with enough armor.

I was never the kind of person who reveals what I plan to do. Nobody knew what it was, not even my parents who sleep next door. Why I have to be in Makati early tomorrow, they don’t have to know. “I’m just meeting with someone for something important.” That was the best they got.

I’d hate to be the person who talked big dreams, but executed nothing. In silence, I shall climb and accomplish. Big mouths got their ego to feed. I have nothing to be proud of until it’s already done and dusted.


 

But let’s not talk about that for now. What I bought was the freedom to live my impractical dreams. All the useless, senseless things I wanted to do that wouldn’t make me money or feed my future children. Nothing the ‘sane’ people who crave stability would dare to do, or as my mother calls it, ‘hobby ng mga mayaman yan’. Those who do not have to worry about making money to keep a roof above their head and food on the table.

For the record, I didn’t think we were poor when she said it. I was free to point at an object and with enough crying and pleading, magically obtain it. I didn’t know how much they sacrificed just to give me a life of comfort and security.

They kept their heads down and stayed at the pit of back-breaking work as second-class citizens in a foreign country because they didn’t want to risk our future.

Thanks mom, thanks dad. You couldn’t risk it before, now I’ll risk it for you.


what i'd do

I’ve fantasized for this opportunity for so long. I found a Mindly map I made way back in 2016, long before things started looking up.

It was aptly titled “What I’d do”. It helped me through nights so hard, fantasizing about the future. The ‘list’ of Why.

Here are a few of the things I’d do now that I made it here:

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I want to re-learn French, try crossfit and anti-gravity yoga, volunteer at PEARLS and PAWS and A-HA!, learn freediving, surf at Baler, skydive on a beautiful city.

Oh, the possibilities.

Now that I’m here.

How about you? What would you do, when you suddenly find yourself allowed and able to do them?

If you don’t know, then you should start to find out.

Dream and execute.


 

As for the practical matters, what am I up to so I could keep my net worth growing while creating an impact? I have several. What can I say, I’m a dreamer. My ambitions are rock-solid big and I have the heart and guts to make them work. I managed to narrow it down to 5 things for the rest of 2017.

goals

I typed them at Microsoft Paint and made it my laptop’s wallpaper. This way, I am reminded of it each and every time I turn my laptop on. Get to work, get it done, this is where you’re headed.

One of them is becoming a financial advisor.

Things are in the works so… Root for me? 🙂

 

Forever yours,

Celeste

P.S.

Hey, sweethearts. It was raining while I wrote this and I had beautiful music flooding the air with melody. It was wonderful. I thought I’d share it with you guys. Soothing and relaxing to the nerves. Sure I don’t understand half of the lyrics but give it a try 😉

I’m Finally Home

It was a one-way ticket home. I upgraded it to first class, because why not? I needed the extra baggage allowance anyway, and it was going to be a long flight. I ultimately wanted to feel like a winner, finally, after a long duel.

The man who did my exit interview was tall and pleasant. He must be at his early 30s. He knew how to listen, after all, he was paid to do so. He took a long look at my form and asked me to stay. Give it a half year more. I didn’t finish my contract, I wasn’t going to get my full remunerations. He’ll take care of my manager, he said. “These things… can be fixed.”

I stared down at my palms and had to make a decision. I felt my heart quaver. I was only going to take home one-third of what I was supposed to be getting because I resigned before my contract ends. I was losing 6 figures in the progress. It was almost free money.

He continued to tell me, “Get out and have your lunch. Think about it. I can deal with your manager if she’s making you leave in this hurry. Come back in a few hours. I’ll be here waiting for your answer.”

He had the softest eyes and strong jawline and a voice that purred with his accent. I knew that if I stepped out of that office with my resolve weakened, that I wouldn’t come back until another half a year. And who knows? Maybe another year more.

“I need to go.”, I told him.

“Are you sure?,” He asked back.

I didn’t feel that way, at that moment, but I had to stand by my decisions.

“Yes.” I looked at him straight in the eye. My chest was heavy, but I decided to ignore, ignore, ignore. Time turned slower.

It’s been a month now since that day and I can still vividly remember.

“No turning back now.” He said, apologetically and perhaps regretfully, as he signed with his big loopy signature the last space in my clearance form.

 


 

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you”

It was hard to walk away from the same money I worked for, but I had a goal, and there was already the undeniable urgency of it to be fulfilled. I got obsessed with an idea, the urgency knocks on my door like death that cannot be asked to wait any longer. It smelled of the last tick of the oven, red-hot, humidity filling the room, just before something burns. Open it now, get it out.

The harshest of winter, demanding to be felt in the thick of my bones.

I couldn’t put it aside anymore. It was a shadow that followed, even when I retired at night.

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“Why am I here? How much longer do I have to wait?”

As I tie my hair in a ponytail long before it dries. Ready for another day at work.

“How much money is enough money? Will I have enough by the end of this quarter?”

As I draw another 10 ml of medicine in my syringe, ready to give another shot, another patient, another day.

“What if it doesn’t work? Do I have all my sides covered?”

As I stare at my manager’s eyes, while she tells the entire staff recently awarded as excellent, that we weren’t doing enough.

“But how about mom and dad?”

As the words of my patient raised in his rapid cursing, while he vehemently and violently tries to throw me off when I checked his heart.

He was old, he had dementia, I’m supposed to understand.

I’m supposed to.

But I’m tired, my legs are cramping, I’ve been shoved off by the very people I try to care and save.

His son tried to slip his hand on my thigh, I wore a thick jacket and lie I’m married.

Lying. It was the only way.

Before long, it didn’t matter how much money I had.

My savings and investments grew at an average rate, slower than my aggressive hopeful plans.

But my courage and commitment grew.

 

“Once I’m committed, I’m unafraid of the outcome.”

-Helmut Lang

 

It was time.


 

I was going to turn away from everything I became but even more agitating was that being a nurse stemmed from a passion. The passion to save lives. It was what I told everyone while I went through the hell of nursing school. I aced classes out of pure motivation that one day, I was going to stand between someone’s life or death.

It felt important and selfless. I was a humanitarian. Reckless, stupid, placing others before myself. The only time I ever stood up to bullies was when they attacked someone else, not when they were attacking me.

My mother is a nurse. I grew up to hospitals. I went to where she worked. She looks so lovely in white. She was always soft, so beautiful, so delicate. She smells of cologne in the morning, and even after her shift ends. She was unafraid to raise her voice when someone could endanger her patients. So fearless and so tender at the same time.

Every single day she brought home a gift from her patients.

She was loved, much loved, by the people she cared for.

 

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I wanted to be like her.

Every single decision was pointed towards that direction. Everyone knew me as the nurse.

I was ‘the nurse’ at social settings. My friends consulted me any of their problems, even those that aren’t related to their health.

I listened, I laughed, I comforted.

I look so damn good in white too.

And now I walk away from that path.

 


 

It was mid-afternoon.

I woke up late, as usual, from nights of self-sabotage where I engaged in too much online games and idyllic internet browsing. Determined to put a shift in my undisciplined methods and crazy schedule, I decided to get up and get a wall calendar.

A visual representation to wake up my senses.

I need a system. I always do. An organized routine where I can hit all my goals, little by little, day by day. It’s been a month since I resigned and all I managed to do, without trying very hard, was sloth and gluttony.

Art by Pascal Campion

In the middle of traveling, alone in a strange city, I had no cars with me. I couldn’t speak the local dialect very well. I’d be standing and smiling, like some stupid girl with hearing impairment, asking them to repeat what they said in English.

Uber is my saviour.

It wasn’t a very special day, the mall I chose was halfway across the city, promising to have a large selection of stores. After 30 minutes of riding, I was almost there.

Until I saw it.

Across the road, opposite my direction, were motorcycles stopped and people standing. There were bodies on the floor.

I heard the driver tsk-tsking. They must have been too fast, he claimed. Everyone runs atleast a 70 here.

He continued to drive.

My eyes never left the scene. Every body was just standing, no one did a thing.

I knew what to do but I was paralyzed. I just need to be brave.

I was the only one who knew what to do, and the burden, and responsibility was all mine.

Do I leave them dying?

I don’t remember if I’m still licensed in our country. I probably am. My ID was not with me. The legal implications can be huge.

Will I even be questioned, if I was the only one who did anything to increase their chances of living?

We were in front of the mall. I asked if he could bring me back there.

He said he had other things to do.

The callousness slipped so carelessly from my heart, desperate to make the minutes count. I stood up and started running.

Oh so desperate to make the minutes count.

I was praying I wasn’t too late. I didn’t even dare look at anyone who stood there. I shifted my bag so it wouldn’t fall as I ran in.

“How long has it been?”, I asked.

“About 15 minutes, ma’am.” Someone answered.

It was a hot afternoon. I felt my sweat. I thought it was good idea to wear a white sweater, I didn’t think that way now. There were two bodies on the floor. None of them moving. The blood on the pavement came from both of their heads. The man looked like he got the worst of it all.

He wasn’t even wearing a shirt. I went down on my knees, felt his heart shake rather than beat, and shouted for help to re-position him. I tried to keep his neck still, it looked broken. He crashed down, head first and it was already at an unnatural angle.

Lying on his back now, I went to the woman, a few meters away. She was on her side bleeding. Dazed and shocked by what happened. I called for her and she responded. Her heart was slow but it was beating. I placed her on her back and saw how her left eye almost closed from the blood pooling inside her skull.

Please.

“You’ll be okay.” I said. “Untog lang.”

The only thing they want right now is some help,

and some hope.

I can be both.

I went back to the man and his heart was beating regularly again. My sweater was stained with his blood and his puke. He was starting to gasp. I was beginning to ready myself to start resuscitating when it happens.

In the distance, I hear sirens.

In a few minutes that felt like forever, the ambulance finally came.

 


 

I don’t know if they survived. I didn’t even get to buy that calendar. The entire bloody city does not sell a single freaking one. I walked away as soon as the paramedics got the man on the stretcher. I slipped off the crowds.

I realized one thing, hours later, as I ate my dinner casually.

Just like any other day.

I have never walked away from who I am, the one I pledged and took an oath to become.

If I need to save, I can still save.

I will always be a nurse. I may no longer be an OFW, but that doesn’t stop me from my capabilities or everything I’ve been trained for. The heart that bleeds to protect and save.

Just because I walked away from that life, that didn’t mean I have discarded everything in it.

Leave the bad, keep the good.

What I did, however, is give myself a choice and free myself from implications. I am no longer bounded by any institution.

I am not just a nurse.

Period.

Deafening. Deadening. Ending.

 

I am a nurse and… everything I choose to be from this moment on.

 

Ex-OFW but will always be a nurse,

Forever yours,

Celeste

 

To Chester

Thank you for staying strong for so long. Good night.

This is what happens when you resign


First, the shock and awe. This is your defining moment, this is where you took the bull by the horns and exhibited breath-taking courage. People will shake your hand. People will hug your body. People will come up to you wide-eyed and bewildered, ‘You’re leaving?’. Some of them in a more subtle manner, but in the frequency of their voice is a quaver, a small crack, betraying the calm demeanor they show.

Your resignation has more to do about themselves than you. They are shocked you are leaving, Has time really been that fast? What were they doing the whole time you’ve been plotting and scheming? Surely, they had the same problems, qualms, frustrations. You shared drinks with them discussing how the system tasted like broken glass in your mouth you’re all trying to swallow. They all agreed, and cheered each other with another bucket of beer. We’ll find a way out, they promised, through resignation, transfer, promotion. Soon.

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Another year has passed, and it was the same faces, the same beer, the same problems. Nothing has changed.

And then you, quietly executing a plan that made you different, one that made you lesser oblivious to the anesthetic the system has you in a cycle of euphoria and depression. You have changed the workplace ecosystem.

What trap they can not escape, you have. And forget about them wondering how, and where you are going, and what you are about to do.

They aren’t exactly concerned about your well-being, not entirely no.

They are suddenly aware of what they haven’t done, what they aren’t doing, and what the hell are they supposed to do. At the lowest of it all, some of them would feel a fraction of envy, finding themselves hoping you regret what you just did, to confirm that staying where they are at, like what they do, is the intellectual thing to do.

And then comes the best behavior. You’d be surprised at your new workplace superpower during the time you render service. The rules no longer apply to you as much. You can waltz around and prance like a ballerina. The pressure lessening, you start to think, was this really a good idea? The work was not half-bad. Why are you leaving? But don’t hum and tap your ballpen to the tune of the latest billboard top hit yet.  What you’re building from this point is not temporary relief. It isn’t for a nice smooth day at work, but a more balanced rest of your life. When you commute your way back home and sweat down to every unmentionable place in your body catching that 6 o’clock MRT train, swallowing a mouthful of black polluted air from jeepneys, or praying to The Lord Above for some Father, send me a cab because Uber surge will amount to my whole day’s worth of work today, remember what it is that you are giving up.

Your life.

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You don’t pay things with money. You pay them with your life. Your minutes, your hours, your limited invisible currency that ticks everyday you can no longer take back. It starts early in the morning, and ends late at night when you come home and dinner was already cold, and your family fast asleep. You pay with these moments, and they can’t be taken back.

The ripples of your action will affect those who are at the same predicament. It will spark action from an otherwise calm sea. They will start to plan, to paddle, to think harder than before.

The next would be the appreciation. You’re going to get this, there’s going to be some food, and people are going to take some pictures. They will have the decency to say they will miss you. Your boss would express how much it was a shame for you to go. For a moment, you realize the acceptance you are going to miss.

But inasmuchas a month, I would tell you this: Life went on.

The people who worked there for 10 years aren’t even mentioned at all anymore. You are never as irreplaceable, nor are you a black hole of space sucking up, creating emptiness in the hearts of the management.

What life you gave up for the company’s growth will be thanked for, in passing. But in a month, you will be forgotten. Replaced, even, in as early as a week.

The time you could have spent elsewhere that made you happy– on stupid things like calligraphy maybe, or helping your niece learn the alphabets, the dinners, the gatherings, another ‘I’m sorry OT ako, habol nalang ako’. Those, however, can never be taken back. All the things in life you’ve missed.

But now, you don’t have to miss them anymore.

So, congratulations.

 

Forever yours,

Celeste

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This is the end (A journey update)

I have a confession.

I am an addict.

And my choice of poison comes in monthly, in large sum, and with just enough possibilities to last me until my next hit.

This opium’s value is strangely imperceptible and mysteriously subjective. Highly personal. Illogically indifferent to your state. What may be a small amount for the tuxedo man can be exhilaratingly filling for the tattered.

But one thing is for sure, there can never be enough.

Want a little more, and you’ll want a lot more.

Even the voracious appetite for this narcotic seems to be cultural. Damn this crazy society. We even revere those who are most addicted, and feed our children dreams to become like one of them.

It’s hallucinogenic. It tastes and feels like success. It smells like the beach trips in summer and the exotic street food of a faraway place full of people speaking with their non-English native tongue. Comprenez vous? ¿me comprendes? Yes, yes. Social media attests.

For most, there can never be enough. Elusively lasting only a few days, even a few moments, then suffering, suffering, suffering until the next.

I am addicted to my paycheck.


 

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I have promised to go home this year and trade fulltime. With the market at a sedated state, I was heavily burdened by the possibilities of the future trying to eat me alive in the next seasons that I will be without the comforting sound of ‘kaching!’ and the heavy bass undertones of BDO’s ATM machine when it tries to politely hand me out my money from its ‘mouth’ like an obedient puppy. Yes, I am your master, hand me that stick.

Ah, music to my ears.

No bling-bling. It doesn’t help that I don’t digest Lucky Me noodles very well. Half a day later, I’d still be uncomfortably excusing myself for burping. What poor soul. Atleast a burger machine’s buy 1 take 1 is stationed just around our corner. There’s that.

Late at night I found myself googling how much health insurance costs. No more velvet -cushion of paid hospitalization and MRI- for you know, just in case. However rare we even need them, but you never know do you? I’m a wee bit of a hypochondriac myself.

How bad was my port performance this month? Is that enough for, say, a little giggle and some black ramen, and more importantly a health insurance? I tried to do the most discouraging thing to do, and that is to do the math of my OFW retirement.

Damn was it a bitter pill to swallow. The more I look at it, in such an accusing eye, hastily scanning the paper sheet back and forth for anything missing, the smaller and smaller my courage gets.

I guess I need to scroll through instagram for some #motivation now or watch some Gary Vaynerchuk. I’ve saved enough lion with caption photos on my phone, it almost complemented my Nat Geo addiction.


 

I fought with the idea back and forth. The date to pass my resignation fast approaching. I have a list of things I need to get myself before I leave– funny things but nevertheless I deem as must-have- like discounted gym clothes and cheap gadgets. Preparing myself for a long winter but trying to make sure I don’t look deprived.

There shines my lick of Milennial. It’s my adorable character flaw. Give it a chance to grow into you.

I’m already missing the food and I haven’t even left the place. For an insane second, I can almost say I’m going to miss my job which started out as my naive passion. I was steered towards this direction by my well-meaning parents, thinking it would package me as the perfect definition of success in an era they understand– the 70’s. Living in America, driving a BMW, secretly knee deep in debt and paying off a large loan.

I had other things in my mind though, I had the corniest and cheesiest reason. I wanted to make a difference. ‘Touch lives’. One week after my first job and I was already disillusioned, confused, and wailing at the betrayal. This was not the dream I was sold! I’ve wanted to quit ever since then.

Now even as I know that this was what I have always wanted to do, I am paralyzed in front of Microsoft Word’s blank sheet. The cursor blinking, taunting me. Haunting little devil. I wonder why I couldn’t even begin the formalities of the letter. Why is the raging bull inside of me suddenly a quiet cow grazing in the fields? So contented and meek.


 

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Every day I had to coax, plead, convince myself that I can keep going. I NEED to keep going. I have to keep going. Learn to love this, learn to be happy. Be grateful instead, you insolent silly young girl. Oh, how other people had it so much worse. What are you whining about? Pull those socks on and go.

If that didn’t work, I learned to be numb. There is no need to feel anything about this. Don’t think too much. Be a little nihilist and a lot more stoic.

Every day for 5 years.

All of a sudden it had to end, and I am feeling surprised with the new kind of freedom. I was experiencing what could be Stockholm syndrome’s ugly step sister. Denied of a door out for so many years, one day, an opening presented itself.

Like a barn animal restricted from the world, seeing those closed doors open for the first time, I began wonder, is it fine? Does it not offend the Gods? Do I deserve this?

More importantly, Am I being selfish?


 

My father smiled coyly in a nervous manner. My mother was at the other end of the room, pretending not to be interested at the conversation. I was hyper aware of how they both felt.

“How about our house, dear?”, he asked me.

I had not explored this situation in my mind, I have never prepared for an answer and I never gave myself the time to. I was bluntly refusing to think of something so sensitive to me.

“What about it?”, I said, pretending not to be weighed by the question.

“Didn’t you say we’re going to move to a better one?” He smiled and maintained his eye contact.

“Did I say that?”

My brows furrowed. I am normally quiet around our home. A few times irritable when something bothered me and the storm has yet to pass. I have stopped telling them anything that gripped me ever since I started trading the stock market. I’ve decided some burdens are never to be shared by those who will want to carry it for me, because all I wanted to do is to relieve them of it in the first place.

“Didn’t you say that?”, he said again, maintaining his nervous smile.

They didn’t prepare enough for their retirement, they have not even decided on where to spend it.

“I didn’t remembering saying that, dad. Besides, what are you going to do with your other houses?”

“I suppose we have to sell them…”

“Yes, Daddy. You know, you can’t think of spending money again on large ticket items at this point.”

My parents are assets-rich but cash-poor and those assets have been painstakingly illiquid. I didn’t know what to say, my father and mother are reaching their retirement faster than they could anticipate.

Faster than I could anticipate.

I stood up and walked back to my room. I wonder if I could have handled that better. I wish I didn’t sound angry, I hope I didn’t sound irritated. What do I tell them?

What do they expect? What should I do?


 

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“To Whom It May Concern,”

Okay, maybe not, maybe not that.

“Dear Ma’am/Sir,”

This sounds weird but let’s see where this goes.

“I’d like to extend my graciousness for the kindness of your institution…”

Kindness of your institution… I rolled my head back and laughed a bit. What a lie. Do I do this or tell them honestly that my boss was reminiscent of the Dilbert comics?

What would I do that wouldn’t make me wish for a do-over while I stand on a hot shower, thinking about my life choices?

“… for employing me for the last few years. I am grateful for an opportunity that only a few were offered to enjoy…”

I guess I am. Why would I not be? We are the highest paid in our profession at the region I was assigned in. It built a substantial amount of cash, funded for investments, and paid for some vacations I’ve care-freely indulged in.

It gave me the necessary boost. I was trying to solve the problem of having no cash to begin with, and now it’s been solved.

“I am tendering my resignation and will gladly serve the necessary time to help with the transition. Thank you for the support throughout my employment. I had been provided with an excellent experience and training  that will undoubtedly help my career growth.”

I guess I’m lying again. My job has absolutely no connection to the new world I am about to enter. However, it had built me into who I am, and discontentment was a major part of the push necessary to propel me to make a change that otherwise would have left me petrified.

I tried to keep my resignation letter sweet. I have never told anyone, not a single soul, about my plan. I exhibited no signs. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Even pretended to be interested in participating on the October out of country trip some of my workmates were planning to take. Heh.

 


 

Bet on Yourself

(a passage from the 50th Law of Power by Robert Greene)

“It is always easy to rationalize your own doubts and conservative instincts, particularly when times are tough. You will convince yourself that it is foolhardy to take any risks, that it is better to wait for when circumstances are more propitious.

But this is a dangerous mentality. It signifies an overall lack of confidence in yourself that will carry over to better times. You will find it hard to rouse yourself out of your defensive posture. The truth is that the greatest inventions and advances in technology or business generally come in negative periods because there is greater necessity for creative thinking and radical solutions that break with the past. These are moments that are ripe for opportunity. While others retrench and retreat, you must think of taking risks, trying new things, and looking at the future that will come out of the present crisis.

You must always be prepared to place a bet on yourself, on your future, by heading in a direction that others seem to fear. This means you believe that if you fail, you have the inner resources to recover. This belief acts as a kind of mental safety net. When you move ahead on some new venture or direction, your mind will snap to attention; your energy will be focused and intense. By making yourself feel the necessity to be creative, your mind will rise to the occasion.”


 

A passage from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

“Be like the rocky headland on which the waves constantly break. It stands firm, and round it the seething waters are laid to rest. ‘It is my bad luck that this has happened to me.’ No, you should rather say: ‘It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearful of the future.’ Because such a thing could have happened to any man, but not any man could have borne it without pain. So why see more misfortune in the event than good fortune in your ability to bear it? So in all future events which might induce sadness remember to call on this principle: ‘this is no misfortune, but to bear it true to yourself is good fortune’.”


 

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I don’t really know what I’m doing, there is an endless  abyss of pitch black darkness below the gap I’m jumping. I don’t know what’s on the other side- if there’s another side- I’m not sure when my feet are going to touch the ground again.

All I know is I’m jumping, and what I have in me is all I have, all I’ll ever need.

Fortune favors the bold.

The universe loves a seeker of stories,

a writer of its secrets,

a player of its games.

 

My chips are all in, on me, and not on the venomous changing circumstances. It is in my wings I believe in, not in the traitorous headwinds.

 

The deep rumble of earth is quiet and brewing.

One day, all of a sudden, change will erupt and shake the core.

 

Dear Universe, are you not entertained?

 

Please be kind to me as I rarely am with myself.

 

Forever yours,

Celeste


I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

-Nelson Mandela

x

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

– Ambrose Redmoon

Enjoy the show.

Where is Celeste? El Niño (A Journey Update)

Healing is NOT linear.

Nor is it localized to one area, and then the entire system miraculously pulls through.


 

“You have been awfully quiet.”

The stock market has been anemic lately, if any stock flew I was either too late or completely missing it. Now, I’m not saying it’s always like that, but to give you a comparable evidence of how bored traders are, take one look at stock market groups and you’ll see what they’ve decided to talk about. Stock market personalities.

A certain bored number of the pitifully small populace of traders are more excited to check  the latest gossip boards than the day’s top gainers. I have to admit in the beginning, I was pulled in. After all, what do I write about when I have no idea where my audience has been? Eventually, I had to stop. It was a feverish sort of commitment to continually update myself with that toxic culture. I already have enough bad habits to even consider beginning a new one. I  felt my language skills deteriorating and my IQ points at a threat.


 

I went through a break-up. Actually, I still am going through it but at least I can now openly admit it. There’s something utterly embarrassing about failed relationships.

Despite my previous experience of long-term relationships ending, I seem to never have transformed into a graceful swan gliding effortlessly in this ugly situation. I still annoy the very few people I talk to with questions that no longer matter anyway.

You see the problem with break-ups is sometimes you forget your limbs work.

There are days where channeling Billboard top pop stars were a piece of cake and I can make a Beyonce MTV just fine, jamming to Single Ladies at the treadmill, thinking revenge is best served with abs.

But there are days, I’d spend unbelievable hours between my sheets accusing myself of everything, nitpicking my personality and his personality, and embarrassingly— googling for help.

Yes. Googling for help.

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Just in case you’re curious, reddit got an entire subthread on this matter, and misery definitely loves company. For what its worth, whenever I read difficult break-up scenarios from other people across the globe, i’d still like to think that hey, I didn’t have it that bad.

Technically, we never really became a couple (it’s a long story), but to make things simpler, and because I’d rather not explain it, I call him an ex.


 

The first sign of trouble and the major part of why it happened is very shortly summarized into this: I pursued my ambition intensely.

We celebrated when Zee took me as his bastard and I had happily shared what little I knew of the TA I was learning. We both enjoyed the benefits of it. What scanty time I had between work shifts, I was spending on reading charts and writing pieces; However, I made sure that I focused on him when he was there.

The situation began to snowball along with other issues. Somewhere along the long months after the beginning, he was desperately upset over my involvement in ZFT. It was taking too much of my time, he explained, and the pressure to re-gain losses was affecting my mental state. I couldn’t forget what he said, “You lost the spark in your eyes.”

I tried to explain as hard as I could that I was doing my best for our future.

I was constantly being asked to choose between cementing myself as a trader and a writer or relaxing from the responsibilities and  settling. It wasn’t so bad what path we were in– being an OFW and working as employees. Thinking back now, in dark quiet moments of vulnerability or when the wicked sisters of fate lash their whip on me, I succumb to this and think maybe my dreams are just so silly.

Though there was another major mover, I respect him enough not to write about it. Despite everything, I couldn’t think of him as a terrible person.

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In the end,

we had to end.

 

Forever yours,

Celeste

Letter to Cosmos: A POST-PURGE ADVICE

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Dear Cosmos,

How have you been? It’s been three weeks since you did the Purge. I remember the first time  you tried to contact me. You were shy and unsure, almost apologetic for having the gall to reach out. I find that funny now that I remember it, also quite endearing. In truth you weren’t asking for anything, you just needed to feel understood.

For some reason, I jumped at the idea of welcoming you all too hasty, I trusted my instincts on this and strongly declared after a few lines of reading your writings that ‘we are from the same star!’

Zee didn’t want to take in any more bastards, and I am ill-equipped to be anybody’s mentor but I decided to find a way to make things work.

 


 

You were purging.

“Are you there? Please. I need help.”

Your message popped on my screen.

It was a bad time. My phone was running low on battery and it was 5 am from where I am. I wasn’t on my bed and I was about to be forced to lose my internet connection in three hours.

“I’m here.”

I chewed on my lip, anxious at my dwindling battery life.

“I can’t do it.” You typed tersely.

I could feel your overwhelming despair a thousand miles away.

“I can’t do it! How did you do it?”

Earlier, I wondered what I would say because Zee asked me the same thing. “What if he asks you how you managed to purge your positions?” I laughed and answered, “How? You click! You press the bloody button that’s how.”

He chuckled and said he didn’t expect I’d say that. I’m too sympathetic.

And he was right, because while you asked me in misery, I found myself feeling some of your

pain. “How? Pretend this isn’t you. Get out of your skin. You’re possessing another body, and this is what you’re supposed to do for this person. For his own good. I’m sorry, I really am. I know it hurts, but you will be free.”

By the time my phone died, you still couldn’t. I prayed for you then.


 

Few days later we finally got a hold on each other. You did it. And now, I write with honest joy in my heart in best hopes and consideration telling you the things I would wish you’d do.

Because I really, honestly, absolutely want you to win.


 

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  1. Get physical.

 

I know you like long walks, but I really mean more than that. Get yourself signed up for some serious gym time. I wish my first advice didn’t sound so pedestrian but I can almost bet my name on this. It is so sacrosanct that the risk of sounding corny was worth taking.

Getting physically stronger builds a confidence in you that can not be easily destroyed.  You will learn discipline. You will understand patience. You will come to enjoy the pain as battle scars of struggle you’ve overcome.

The ironic part about being physically fit is that the biggest factor in achieving it is your mental state. No one ever succeeded in being fit without training their mind first. One precedes the other. You will come to love what you can currently do and what you will eventually be able to do. The motivation and willpower of those we engage themselves in exercise and the ruthless  acceptance that there is no excuse for your failure but the lack of your own hustle, will translate to who you are as a trader. Trust me on this.

Besides, after a bad day in the market, you have to be reminded that you aren’t such a waste of space. Being fit delivers that. If I need to be scientific about this, I kid you not, I can cite sources after sources saying that this will flood your body with endorphins, the happy hormone.

On a side note, the only adverse effect is ending up looking like a hotshot athlete or possessing the body of a Grecian God. I guess that’s not too bad. 😉


 

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  1. Take your time.

 

One day you can double your money in a week. Double ceilings can happen and I’ve seen a rare triple ceiling too. I hate to reiterate this but, there will always be another play coming.

For now, we bump fists for that 5% gain.

Trade small so you can get the habit of actual execution but without the painful losses. There is no honor or decency in blind courage to come charging at a beast that have  repeatedly slaughtered you.

What you can do for yourself right now is to improve whatever can help you stay in the game.

 

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  1. Be bored.

I think the universe set its way to make sure that only those who deserve it can get what they want. It had placed devices to trap, ensnare, and discourage the half-committed. If trading was all action right from the beginning, then more people would have succeeded.

Instead, for the most number of times, it represents itself as tedious and boring.  Repetitive until you can’t take it anymore. As painful as the first note of I Think I Wanna Marry You on the radio last quarter of 2015. I couldn’t stand anymore of it. I was going to lose my mind hearing it again and again.

The secret of those with superhuman physique is their ability to tolerate the same chicken breast day in and day out and doing the same rep for the same set. It was tedious, but it gave results.

Apparently, mastery did not look as exciting without the musical director’s background music playing. The student must have swung the wooden sword a ten thousand times that month and it wasn’t appealing, so they cut that scene to 5 seconds. Pity because that is where transformation came from. That is where the branches stemmed.

The boring, repetitive, tedious process of repeating  day in and day out. Just when you can’t digest another chart and another fibonacci and OHPLEASENOTANOTHER DARVAS, just when most of the normal people have decided they had enough, that’s when you push through to separate yourself from the pack.

 

It’s going to be a long road from here, but that’s okay because eventually you will get there. I know it.


 

I don’t claim to know much. I don’t think I’m any better than you, but if this helps in whatever way it does, then I’m glad.

I’m rooting for you.

 

Forever yours,

Celeste

Part 2: 13 Ways to unlock your maximum potential as a student of the market

As a student of the market, I have always wished there were things someone told me before I started. It would have saved a lot of time and lessen the mistakes. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t have it any other way and now I am given the chance to pass these realizations forward.

As you start your journey, I am in best hopes that you are well-equipped for the life that is ahead of you. After all, preparation is key.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

1. Set your goal.

cat-looking-in-mirror-sees-lion1-e1452937071370Your goal is not a number. Making it a number is the biggest mistake you could begin with,it puts a limit to your growth and it reflects nothing of what you have become. This is a narrow focus you shackle yourself to.

Your goal is becoming the person worthy of that number. It is the mindset, the capability, the skills that you want. Not the money. Currency is an illusion. As a trader, you know this, any country’s monetary value can boom in a day or free fall overnight. The real power is in what you can do.

Jim Rohn said it best. He said and I quote, “You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.”

If you really need to pin a figure, Rohn, at age 25, was told by Earl Shoaff to “set a goal to become a millionaire for what it makes of you to achieve it. Do it for the skills you have to learn and the person you have to become.”

In this tricky craft that we have all chosen, one bad phase can wipe you out, but if you have what’s important inside of you, then you can rise again, and again, and again. Better each time. Blow after blow.

Don’t aim for a number. Become capable of that number.

2. The boring stuff will save you– write that down.

Trading is a journey. You don’t join one day and suddenly you’re in kilometer 60, oasis at sight. You begin where everyone else does, specially if no one else dared to brave the path you’re entering.

Your journal will be your map and your compass. When nothing makes sense, when you have no idea where you’ve been, where you’re going to, or what you’ve even been through. Refer to it. It will hold the answers.

You would be surprised at the number of times the mentors reiterated this. Your journal is a personal reflection of who you are as a trader and what kind of battle you’re facing. It shows your strengths and weaknesses.

From there you can plan your way around and capitalize on the idea.

Mentor Boaris mentions this as one of his tips and tricks. “Keep a trade journal
religiously.”

Bushido’s Date said the similar thing. “Create a schedule for scanning, analyzing, and recording all your trades… so you can improve as a trader and most importantly track your progress.”

Can you turn your life into an RPG? I have always wanted to. I complained I would be much more motivated if I knew how much I’ve improved even if I was sleep-deprived, exhausted, and despairing. I wished there was a bar on top of my head somewhere, telling me how far I’ve come and how much farther I have to go!

Well, let’s play a game. Here are the rules: if you didn’t document it, then it didn’t
happen. Bad trades give you more XP than good ones, so don’t cheat and sweep those under the rug. :p

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Don’t trade unless you’ve set up your trade journal. Like what they say, “Don’t waste a good mistake.”

ZFTs have Excalibur. It’s amazing and something the new kids should look forward to. If you’re not a part of ZFT, that’s okay too! There are a lot of ways to create your own. 🙂

What’s important is you have one, even with a pen and notebook would do. After all, how could you review something you didn’t keep a record of?

3. Know yourself.

“Know and match your trading profile with your personality. Most of the time there is
trader and trader profile mismatch.” – Date, Bushido

Inevitably, you’ll find out what kind of trader you are as you analyze, plan, and execute a trade. Do you have the risk appetite to buy a stock that reached ceiling price? Or would you rather pass and find another trade?

Does your schedule permit you to do what you want to do? You can’t execute a day trade entry when you can only check at EOD. Don’t compete with swing traders when you’re a trend follower, and don’t wish for a trend followers’ bagger profits when you’re a swing trader.

Both are art. Choose your color, the palette is diverse.

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Pretty self-explanatory, but don’t go on fisticuffs if you’re a bloody archer nor should you use Charizard on Cerulean gym.

4.Pick your poison.

Now that you know yourself better and you’ve been keeping a trading journal religiously, you’ve placed yourself at the best position in finding what your best weapon is.

Remember that trading is a game of probabilities, and this is where you’ll see your journal TALK to you. What does it say? At what set-up or circumstance do you usually win? Lose?

Wherever you win the most is where you should focus. Capitalize on your strengths and minimize the damage from your weakness. This is a part of risk management. Here are some sage advice from the mentors themselves.

“Prioritize mastery over jackpot trades. This means that you should trade with a small volume first, get a lot of wins on a specific set-up, and make it your bread and butter.” – Henry Tan

“My bread and butter. When I finally think that I have found my bread and butter set-up, I will always have a higher rate of success whenever I trade these set-ups.” – Brave Fencer

Mentor Lance confesses, in the beginning, he “only trades the ones he’s used to.”

Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you have played any of the final fantasy series this should be familiar.

This is a skills tree.

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Whenever you gain more experience, remember to focus on building points on what seems to be your strongest weapon. Whatever element it may be, it’s your choice.

The most important thing is, when a play comes to your choice of territory you know, deep in your heart, that “You got this.”

5. No one type is better than the other.

Albert Einstein allegedly wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

(I say allegedly because it doesn’t seem like he did say that. The closest match one could find is written by Matthew Kelly on his self-help book, but I digress.)

Whatever result you get from your arena is incomparable to a game played elsewhere. Stay at your arena. The Paralympics are as good as the Olympics, both are impressive.

Walk your own path and have the discipline to practice your own art even as you see other people’s results. Be a master of your own journey, not a copy of another.

I can guarantee you this, Sirius Lee would sometimes want to get Alpha Centauri’s profits. And Alpha Centauri would sometimes want to trade as quick and precise as Sirius Lee.

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But they stay at their path and become masters of their own. This is fine. This is NORMAL. This is part of mutual respect and admiration.

6. The Twin Ps: Patience and Perseverance

I’m going to focus on this point a lot. I tell you, this early on, have patience and have perseverance on both yourself and in the system. If you do not, your light will die before it can begin to illuminate.

If you think the system is going to rake in money the moment you start the lessons or end the course, you’re wrong. But it’s okay.

This has got to be the most important aspect not just in trading but in success. You have to fail, repeatedly, until you’re sure of the right answer and the margin for error has so diminished because you know, intimately, which does not work for you.

It’s a process. Sitting shotgun at a friend’s car, I ranted I was getting impatient. I
remember I was only 22 then and was already horribly tired of the job I have. He was a serial entrepreneur and was gracious to hear me out.

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“Don’t get impatient,” He advised. “Because if you’re impatient, you will rush everything. I suggest you just go through this.” There are things that are going to take time, this is one of those. Considering the rewards you could reap at the end, wouldn’t it be worth the time it’s going to take you?

IMG of Eques, the most recent OFW turned fulltime trader, mentioned as part of his advice that “you shouldn’t rush. Don’t have the mindset na kailangan kumita agad. Focus on learning the process first. Money will come after that. AGAIN, focus on learning the process first.”

Lance recalls his own journey. “At first I failed, A LOT. But I guess without those
failures, I wouldn’t push myself even more.” This was from the man who had a 43% loss AFTER the course due to “excitement in using the system and not following rules.” He later on broke even from the loss and began bagging his own trades. “Trading is a journey, you’ll really fall down, it’s how you get back up that sets other traders apart from you.”

Henry Tan has his own confession. “I was highly inconsistent”, He wrote. “But I did not stop trading. I just continuously learned from my mistakes.”

Akio of The Gentlemen Bastards had a similar experience. “I’ve gone through the worst. After finishing the course din I suffered big losses but I didn’t stop. Yung system will fall into place once you bounce back from your adversities. Only failure can lead you to success.”

Even Boaris echoes the same patience and perseverance. “I took breaks when I am not 100% but I never stopped. I just studied/practiced everyday until I got better and better.”

Timmy wrote his words of encouragement as well. “Just be patient. Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. Wag nyong madaliin… Dapat wag kayo mafrustrate. Kayod lang ng kayod. Review. Study. Ask questions. Sa simula lang yan mahirap, once nakuha nyo na tuloy tuloy na yan.”

Sirius Lee adds something of similar thought. Understand that these mentors answered individually, and anything that comes up repeatedly must be true and important. “Newbloods are excited to practice what they learn. That’s a good thing but they should also be reminded that having consistent gains doesn’t start right after or even during the course. They should take it step by step, building confidence, focusing on their strengths. Continue the participation and sharing. I mentioned those because I was also like that before. 🙂 “

Brave Fencer recounts his own story with good humor. “Don’t expect it to come easy. It took us a good amount of dedication and discipline before we became one with the charts. I burnt my port during the course. All ins, FOMOs, and half-baked plans. I have to say that planning is equally as important as the execution itself.”

Finally, the boss himself, Zeefreaks wrote, “Learning how to trade is not a race. It’s a marathon. Learn before you earn.”

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7. Part-timers can make it too.

It’s actually the culture of ZFT to turn OFWs and office workers to fulltime traders. Every full time trader is a badge ZF wears on his chest as a job well done. Everyone struggles with their own schedule. Here are examples of how they managed when they weren’t fulltime traders yet:

IMG: “3pm to 6pm Qatar time ung class. Kapag may meetings or fieldwork, backread na lang LOL good thing sa mentors, if may namiss ka, willing naman sila sagutin questions mo anytime. mejo nahirapan lang kapag busy sa work then maraming assignments 😀 College all over again. pero it’s all worth it. Bali gising 4am pra ready sa market open, pasok sa office ng 8:30, silip-sades until 10:30. Ang problema after market, gusto ko na magcharts agad e. Pero there was work. Nasakto pa nun, we were starting to get busy sa work, kaya minsan 10 or 11pm na ko ntatapos sa work. then, try to charts pa kht hnggang 12
or 1am.” (Back when he was an OFW from Qatar)

Sirius Lee: “Luckily, I was doing night shifts regularly so I’d check top gainers/losers’ charts during my lunchtime which is about 2am-3am so I’d be prepared during market hours. I don’t feel exhausted to trade after work as I’m always looking forward when the market is open. If I get put to work in the morning then I don’t do intraday trading and only do end of day execution. I took the liberty to take extended breaks back then at the expense of my work performance. XD ” (Back when he was an OFW from Malaysia)

Date: “As part time trader I usually chart in the morning 5am until 8am then 8am to 4pm I work but while working I monitor the markets from time to time. I have a very sporadic schedule and when I have the chance I monitor and trade the entire day.

5am to 8am charting
8am to 4pm work
4pm Charting and documenting
5pm errands
11pm bedtime”

Henry Tan: “Secretly trading during office hours then catching up on my work afterwards even after I get home.”

Timmy: “Nahirapan talaga ako nung may work then pinagsasabay ko sa trading. So i took a risk. Nag resign ako to pursue trading.” Intense, right? 😉

Zee: “Work schedule was either 6PM – 4AM or 10pm – 8AM. Trade in the morning. Sleep after lunch around 1PM. I took the night/graveyard shifts. I sacrificed my sleep in order to learn what I can so I wouldn’t have to be working for the rest of my life. It was damn worth it.”

8. Your self-confidence will take time to rebuild.

Remember the first time you fell inlove and got your heart broken? It took ‘forever’ for you to trust yourself to love again. Even if this time you knew better and the girl/boy is worth it.

Beginning to trade again is almost just the same. It will take time for you to completely trust in yourself again after a bad history. But as your patience and perseverance produces you consistency, so shall your confidence. Lance declared that “Confidence is key.”

Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” and this only means you have to try if you want to succeed. So try again.

IMG claims it took him almost a year after the course before he noticed his confidence rebuild. “Gaining ako during the course pero hit and miss. Yes, kumikita ako pero I can feel I am not one with the system kasi di ko kaya maging consistent pa na every month gaining. And then it clicked.

9. Dont sabotage yourself. Empty your cup.

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Everytime a ZFT mentor takes in a student, it all starts with one thing. The purge. The purge isn’t only clearing your account of ‘ipit’ trades and weeding them out.

It is symbolic of a new beginning. Tabula Rasa- Empty slate to write on again. Asked if he would rather take in a TA beginner or someone who was advance intermediate, and Zee said, he would rather take the beginner anytime.

Sirius Lee said it well, ” My tech analysis understanding was prolly beginner’s level at that time since I only know some terms. Since I know and seen how Zee/Kap executed their trades via their respective pages and that it works, I only focused on what they taught me, whatever I learned from the internet and other gurus, I scratched them all off and just sticked on ZFT systems’ core concepts. just focused on how to properly execute the one system nothing more and nothing less.”

And we all know what an excellent trader this made him. 🙂

10. The intelligent has the disadvantage.

Those who prided themselves for being intelligent will find themselves, all of a sudden, feeling very, very stupid. Making mistakes in the PSE is expensive. This is how trading works.

I’ve seen bright people falter and quit because for the love of anything holy, they can not take in the pain of being constantly wrong. The academe was easy, it was something they breezed through, and they were used to being naturally superior from their batch mates. They couldn’t understand how people couldn’t ‘get’ things, when it clicks so easily to them.

Trading does not require you to be intelligent. The stock market movement is a collection of emotions, not intellectual decisions. EQ wins over IQ.

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Those who constantly failed at school but learned to get through it are those who have the perseverance and blind faith that’s required to push through.

Intellectual people needs to be constantly reassured of the gift they have, the C-grade people don’t have that disadvantage. There is no pride to ‘take care of’.

I was watching a Zombie film way back then and a scene marked something in me. There were two men taking their software invention to Russia. One guy, the intellectual one, sifted at his seat on their way to the meeting. He was very nervous and couldn’t think straight. The other guy, probably the charmer of the operation, smiled at him and calmed him down.

The intellectual guy asked him, “How do you know we’re going to be okay?” and his bestfriend shot back, “Because I’m more used to messing up than you do, and I got out fine.”

I’m one of those intellectual AND emotional people. My disadvantage is off the charts. Making mistakes was so new to me and embracing it as part of the journey was something I had to learn. I was in pain for losing money, and in pain for (suprise!) being stupid. I wondered, how do I cure this like it was some disease.

But it isn’t any rocket science, it’s just a new form of mastery. This time no one is
gifted with God-given intellect. Everyone, absolutely everyone, will be humbled and learn something new- Mastery of emotions.

“It’s not about intelligence or talent. It’s about dedication and willpower.” -Boaris

Useful extra reading from Business Insider: Why attitude is more important than IQ

11. Start small.

You’re just learning. You’re only beginning. We have settled that we should be patient, haven’t we? Then, start small. Your mistakes will not hurt as much while you try to master the system. You WILL recover your losses, for now learn how to.

“Don’t take a trade that’s too big for your pain tolerance.” – Boaris

I suggest that you withdraw some of the funds if you can’t control touching it. Protect yourself from yourself. During practice time, we all held wooden swords, otherwise we might end up hurting ourselves for not knowing how to properly wield it.

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You’ll get there. 🙂 Patience.

12. The market will always be there.

In the beginning, I hurried off to fund my account. I thought ‘this’ opportunity is THE chance of the lifetime. This ‘will never happen again’. But there was always a new one, you know? I promise you that.

There will be super plays after every super play. They happen more often than you can imagine. If you miss this one, there will be three more coming. Don’t hurry, it will ALWAYS be there.

One day, you’ll get ‘lucky‘ and “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”- Seneca, Roman philosopher

For now, prepare for someday you’ll get lucky.

As for those who are already actively trading and are on a losing streak– purge. There will be superplays coming, don’t worry. If you keep trading while you’re chaotic on the inside, you wouldn’t even land these opportunities properly anyway.

Finally, more specifically for ZFT:
13. Be active at the tribe channels. Push yourself.

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Stay. I know sometimes it would feel like you’re being left behind by all those who are gaining and you aren’t, but if you stay you could learn something. Leaving you forces you to grow on your own, and there is a limitation to what you can learn from YOURSELF.

A support group is important, they know what you’re going through. They’ve been there. No one will understand you better than they do. They’re better to talk to than your friends who don’t trade.

They can serve as inspiration too, only IF you remove pride and envy from your arsenal. Your environment will matter in anything that you’re trying to achieve. A person is most likely to be fit if he’s surrounded by gym-goers than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. It’s the ‘culture‘. It changes what you think is normal and what is not.

Here’s something from Date, “Honestly, I did not believe that I am capable of Doubling My Money in a year but when you see Boss Zee and Kapitan Kidlat Quadruple their money every year and your mentors left and right earning at least Double and some even triple then and only you really see that it can be done and it is possible to become this profitable in the market.”

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Brave Fencer adds, “I believe that if you surround yourself with the people you want to become, you will naturally up your game.”



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Dear students,

Mentoring is a dyadic set-up. Your teachers will gain something from you as much as you would learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to approach them. This will also help them in the process. Just make sure that your questions are well-thought out and isn’t stemmed from laziness for an answer.

(Remember when you’re looking for something and it’s right in front of you? Your mom would say, ‘Anak, mata ang gamitin ha, hindi bibig.’ I suppose it’s kinda that way!)

Henry Tan mentions this, “Teaching help you master your craft.” and so did Akio. He wrote, “When you become a Mentor, you have the responsibility to teach your students the right things. Hindi ka makakapag turo, if hindi naintindihan and hindi ka credible if wala kang execution. So talagang dedicate mo yung sarili mo for this craft, para hindi ka mapahiya.”

Boaris says the exact same thing, “In teaching, you will also learn.” and Date shares my sentiments, “Teaching helps me learn and master the ZFT concepts more so it is a win for both student and mentor.”

Zee promises,”We’re going all out on this so we expect only the best in return.”

You have to understand the most important concept of all, it isn’t what you learn from the system that would make you money, it’s you execution. The practical test. How you translate theory to live trading.

“Being a ZFT means being a disciplined trader more than anything else.”- Brave Fencer

Our lessons will be simple but they will cover all situations, what’s going to be difficult is the execution.

But trust the process and you’re already more than halfway there.

Love and light to all. Good luck.

Forever yours,
Celeste

Don’t skip this.

Part 1: What to expect from Subasta IX

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Congratulations. You made it. Behind the phases of subasta, I’m certain there were
unspoken moments of intensity that will never be forgotten. The decision to join, to follow through, and jump in finality did not come easy.

You have already displayed the first trait that will make you a little like ZF himself. You display the affinity for high-risk albeit calculated, and big moves full of tiny steps, with a little mix of blind faith.

A shout out to the universe. As the Roman poet Virgil said, “Audentis Fortuna iuvat”
otherwise translated as Fortune favors the bold.

You have just gained entry to one of the most elusive, secretive, and altruistic groups in the tiny sea of PSE. It is understandable that there has been deficient resources for you to manage your expectations or to set in the palette what world you’ve just stepped in to. It’s been designed that way.

Now that you’re going to be the last of the publicly envied subasta batch, much preparation has been done to set the bar the highest it has ever been and to push the limits farther than before.

Goosebumps?

This is only the beginning.

Your mentors will give more than they have ever given before.
This is their last. This is their legacy.

That being said, expect the intensity to double more than before, as will the height of
their expectations in your performance. You will be pulled, praised, criticized, for they
will invest something in you– their selves.

I wrote a letter to ZFT’s amazing pool of mentors and asked them to answer a set of
questions made ultimately to help you set your mind for the next few months and to assist you in maximizing your money’s worth.

Luck is with us for they happily obliged.

Let’s address YOUR expectations first. I have found a recurring theme in their answers. Consider this, these mentors are from different branches of ZFT- from Subasta, Seed, or Sparks/Bastards. In addition to that, they all came from an array of batches, and even with this diversity, they reverberate common themes of responses.

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“The Subasta/course is…”

1. It’s mind-blowing.

I remember mine. I couldn’t sit still after learning what I did in class. Your eyes will
see patterns you never thought was there before, and it repeats again and again, at
different stocks and different time. I couldn’t believe how blind I was before, for not
having seen this by myself.

Sirius Lee put it aptly, this is “years of experience” from your mentors. Personal
experience, those they did the time for, filed and condensed to be passed down to you. It is their own mistakes, their own learning, their own research and back testing that has provided them consistent success.

“There will be a lot of eureka moments during the course.”- Sirius Lee

That being said, you’d be surprised that it’s actually…

2. It’s simple.

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

– Albert Einstein

The topics will be suspiciously easy to understand, but don’t be fooled. That’s the essence why they’re the mentors. They have known the ins and outs of what they’re about to teach and they walk the talk.

There’s no secret to this. Making the concept digestible to everyone lies in the skill of
your teachers, your execution however is a different matter.

Now, there’s where the mismatch can be found, and why a number of students simmer in frustration. How can be something so simple be so hard?

3. It isn’t fun and games.

The bridge between theory and reality is hard work. It’ simple, yes, but difficult. The
difficulty is in the execution. The most important factor in the course isn’t the
technicals, but the psychological molding they will also provide.

“Expect lots of seat work and homework. Lots!” Timmy from Astra batch wrote. Boaris adds, “Expect to work your asses off. Your trading success is directly proportional to the amount of work you put into it.”

Timmy continues to say that entering the tribe does not instantly guarantee you of becoming a 6-figure profit trader. “It doesn’t work that way. Kailangan talaga ng hardwork. Dedication. If half-ass lang yung kaya nila ibigay, better if i-yield nalang nila slot nila sa iba willing to put in the extra effort.”

Brave Fencer echoes the same statement, “Don’t expect it to come easy. If it is then
everybody will be doing it. Plus don’t expect that the system will rake in the profits for
you.”

This isn’t magic or miracle. The bulk of the problem isn’t in the system in itself per se. Not the technical analysis as Henry Tan warns, “Discipline, correct state of mind, and various emotions will be your main challenges and not the entry/exit points.”


What are you going to learn?

You’re going to learn the system. The system is simple, yet it works most of the time. It will cover different situations, with no regards if the market is up or down. This is the most mind-blowing part of it.

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A sword requires little thought on how it works. It does not demand complex explanation on how it can cut and where it should be wielded. It is merely piece of metal with a blunt side, a sharp edge, and a handle. It can both attack and shield.

You are an assassin, the system is your weapon. Understand– It is not a hired gun that can do your job for you.

You need to train yourself in using the system.
You need to have the capacity to wield it.
It is your mind, your body, your spirit that will fight with this weapon and your killing
field is the PSE.

Good luck.

Watch out for part 2:
13 ways to unlock your maximum potential as a student of the market

Forever yours,

Celeste

I don’t know, I just remember being so… private… I guess.

Currently one of my favourites.

I confess… never be as good as ZFT

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‘They want to see you do good, but never better than them.’

There has been so much hatred and vitriol for the tribe lately, and like a drug I consumed it. Guilty of the toxic attachment it has on me, I was always in between flights of emotion. I knew Zee could handle it. I met him at the peak of the same word war and constant threats against his legal existence. He brushed it off easy. So while I was mostly carefree and guilty of living in my bubble, far from the madness, there were bouts wherein I want to speak my mind.

This is one of those.

Well, I’d like to start with a little gratitude. After all, this has been an amazing publicity for ZFT. Truth is, mid last year, I was already worried by the lack of presence we have in reaching out to the ‘public’. The tribe has grown considerably well and we’ve already been immersed in trying to strengthen from within. There were way too many events that was exclusive to those on the inside that people started to feel ‘alienated’.

I don’t think anyone in this competitive world can cut off their touch with the reality of the public and still stay relevant.

The past few weeks has been intense, but it worked towards our favor. The name is widely being spread around, people are curious, and so they decide to take a peek.

Thanks for these, trolling ‘haters’. Your envy has achieved nothing but spread our name. Your obsession has served us very well.

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Breakout 😉

Now that the niceties are done, you might wander here wondering what silly little Celeste is talking about. If you’re completely unaware, then joy is with you, because poison is in the air— and it has not touched your house.

There are a group of tasteless gentlemen, some hiding under the facade of being women, trying to be the ‘savior’ of the poor, lost, hapless souls. They do this by spreading (hilariously) wrong information typewritten in caps, wrong grammar, and painfully awful word spelling. What can I say? This attracts the masses.

But that’s alright. ZFT isn’t for the mass anyway. We specifically aim to think differently than they do, the majority of the populace. You should know why by now. If you still believe you have to be a part of the majority of the traders to make money in the stock market, then bad news, darling, it’s the other way around.


 

The chutzpah of the youth is what allowed you to rebel in your teenage years. I don’t even know what it is you did or wanted to do, but you had the zeal to break the rules as if you’re the unbendable one, and danger is so, so far away. One time, you had a crazy haircut that makes you look back now in a mix of affection and horror.

At a blink of an eye, you’ve aged. The young ones today who like you fondly call you an ‘adult adult’. The problem is the laurels you’ve rested on your head has decayed, and what you were once, a royalty or a known name, is no longer even recognized.

You don’t notice… Or maybe you do.
But you’re too lazy to even do anything about it, and simply demand the rest of the world to maintain their respect on you, as well as their recognition.

The newblood don’t even know who you are.

You’re no different from Nokia or blackberry or friendster. Those we reigned king for a time, did not evolve, and died forgotten.

Innovate or die. Catch up from a world that never stopped spinning, or get left behind.

You’re stuck in a forum I thought was long gone. The last few people who respect you, and are still actively in the game, are so numbered and few.

Bitterly, you look at one of them and in envy, engage in prideful arrogance and call everyone else idiots for listening to the guy. He looked up to you when he was still beginning, and you must have probably adored him a little, this youngster when he was nothing but a kid who still had a lot to learn.

Now he’s become better and now you hate him.

You know what that is? That is success.

“Work so hard until your idols become your rivals.”

And you, good sir, has been too lazy to be relevant, and now become too arrogant to even hold your position worthy of respect.

Down you go, forgotten and despised. You’re nothing but cheap noodles with thick broth. Halfway in the middle of consumption, everyone’s already regretting they had too much.

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Some ramen are delicious, while some others can cause indigestion

 

What’s the problem with someone young who made it? Do they reflect your insecurity or your lack of hustle when you were that age?

Do you remember you had to do it for so much longer? Had to be in the grind for more years than they did?

But did you even risk as much as the newbloods did?

Or do they represent everything in you that you never had the guts to do?

Just because you couldn’t do it, that doesn’t mean someone else can’t. In the end, you only have yourself to blame for your lack of capability and excess of envy.

Spit and spew your acid, we will watch you choke on the taste of your own bitterness. Anyway, it doesn’t do any difference. While you seethe in anger over our success, spending ungodly hours of restless obsession, we sleep well tonight with the money we made from trading the market.

You’ve been spending too much time focusing on us, while we focus and master our craft.

In the end, who won?

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ZF’s two portfolio out of three

As parting words, I say this with all my tender love and concern… You know what they say? Be better not bitter. That’s if you can.

Respectfully yours,
Celeste

Maybe I’m wrong but…

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This is for you. Might start a fire in you that would make you want to progress, instead of hate those who are blazing their own way.

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