My (Draft) Personal Performance Assessment

Below is one of my posts from my other blog over 3 years ago about a short assessment on where I’m standing at in my life as an individual person, a mom, a family member and a worker.

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Almost a year of motherhood. I have experienced the highs and lows, the fears and excitements, the joy and pains. I have discovered more of my weaknesses, my frustrations, my expectations, from myself, from Xam.

Am I good enough? Can I provide enough? Could it be possible for me to take both the mother and father roles at the same time? If I am the protective mantle, how can I challenge my son to run his life? Would I break rules?

Should I look for a father-figure (if lolo (grandpa) won’t be around) for Xam or should I ask assistance from his dad? Am I ready to answer his questions later on? If not, how can I prepare for it?

I should admit that as much as I want to be positive for any challenges I would encounter, right at this moment, I am shaking. I fear for things I may not be able to handle, when I am the first one Xam would depend on.

When it’s the time, I will have courage. When I am there, I will be ready. When no one is around to extend some help, I know, God is up there, Someone enough to prepare me, to hold me, to lift me, to give me wisdom and courage to stand by, for, and with Xam.

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While I was trying to go back to the time when I wrote this post to pick up where I was coming from, I realized how lost I am along the way. I couldn’t see the path that I took to where I am now and it all seems like short cuts and dead ends. I realized how important it is to have a regular, concrete, black-and-white personal performance assessment to be able to manage, budget and optimize the time I have to achieve my target.

Today in the afternoon, I attended the Front Office quarterly Communication Meeting held in one of the hotel’s restaurant. It’s about 15 days now since I left the hotel for vacation and I was just so happy seeing the colleagues again after some time. Basically, the agenda was more like an assessment of how the Front Office is performing considering different variables. There was a presentation of figures for each measure in terms of how the colleague is performing on check-in and check-out, rooming-in, loyalty membership enrollments, and other customer services performance indicators. There was also an assessment of our daily and monthly targets that affect the overall performance of the hotel based on general hospitality standards. We also tackled our monthly budget and actual expenses, operational and team issues, among others.

Our daily target on some of the performance indicators

After looking at the assessment report presented, I realized how easy it is to figure out what went on, what are the influencing factors, rooms for improvement and the feasible and realistic outcome of the improvements and planning if you have it visually laid out in front of you. More so in personal life where it is in fact more desirable to have a visually comprehensible report on the results of the assessment on life’s basic performance indicators (PIs). For some it may be unreliable, and yes it’s true because social factors keep changing over time depending on the present scenario or circumstances. But somehow I think our basic functions and targets are measurable using some Key Identifiable Questions (KIQs).

For example:

Function : Being a single parent

KPI : Healthy, happy and pro-active Xam

Target : Provide basic assistance on child’s physical growth and nourishment, personality development, social roles and spiritual awareness

KIQs:

  1. For four years, did Xam get full pediatric check-ups including height and weight growth and other physical development, regular vaccinations, verbal and motor skill test (optional as it can just be reported where there are observable difference on traits and behavior)?
  2. Have you provided an environment where Xam could fully develop his personality by having a balanced and child-friendly interaction and an environment where he can discover his talent and potentials and support his field of interests like sports, music, arts, among others. For a personality assessment, you can make use of online tools like The Personality Questionnaire for Kids site which I used to assess Xam’s personal traits. The result is overwhelming but true. My son is a portrait of an Extraverted Thinking Judging child.
  3. Have you allowed Xam in his own simple ways to participate on basic social roles like helping with simple chores at home or at school?
  4. Do you provide a foundation where he can grow spiritually by taking him to Sunday church mass, introduce the existence of God, Jesus and Mother Mary (in our case as Catholics)? Do you allow him to participate in mass celebration and other spiritual activities like praying the Holy Rosary and understanding the bible?

Function : Primary financial provider for the family

KPI : Financial sustainability and stability

Target : To be able to provide a fix source of income to sustain daily financial needs of the family

KIQs :

  1. % of salary alloted to family’s monthly allowance for immediate necessities like food, clothing, utilities
  2. Existing debts and credits
  3. Alternative source(s) of income

These are just 2 examples of a visible personal performance assessment report and it can still be expanded and specified according to your preference and status quo. You can think and list as many KPIs and KQIs as you want to be able to cover and track down specific concerns and to be able to systematically plan for the future. It doesn’t sound technically strategic as I can see it for now but it’s still a good idea to have all things laid in a blueprint. You can somehow modify the processĀ  it’s up to your choice. You can even print it out and file for your reference.

Look closely how your life is going. Keep it tracked. There’s nothing wrong with it unless you overdo. Always focus on the simplicity, clarity and balance of things and everything will be just right in the proper place.

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Unloading Emotional Baggage

Luggage tags of PBair.

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It’s quite getting heavy again and I think it’s time to sort out and check on the not-so-necessary loads in my baggage and set them aside or better yet, keep them out of sight (at the attic maybe). There are a lot of emotional sores we usually tend to linger on too much in our lives which we need to get rid of or at least put them in their own dwelling place. These issues almost always bury deep into our luggage that when another issue comes up we just tend to dump into them without even noticing until our whole baggage burst out.

Life is like but a flight. We don’t want to be late or get delayed to our destination just because of packing and unpacking loads to take with. It takes a while yes and so it’s better to prepare for it in advance, allot ample time to get ourselves ready. However, our human nature says, “I know what to carry, I don’t have to do it now.” “It’s so easy to pack I can make it one or two days in advance.” “I have enough luggage to stuff all my things in or I can even borrow one from a friend if it’s not enough.” Whoah! Up until then, you are still working on to get that enough space, pumping all the sides of your bags to make sure there are no air spaces for you to be able to squeeze in what’s left to pack.

Dutch family on their way for their summer hol...

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Look at your life now. Is it still worth wasting and risking time, energy and resources trying to be in control of everything? Your mind and heart are shaped to rationalize and endure only what is essential. It may offer some allowances but it is not for us to dump more but to sort out and consider carefully that only what is left unpacked are those mistaken objects or anxieties in our lives that often confuse us as relevant but are actually clogs that keeps us from moving on.

Here are some thoughts that I apply whenever I feel like I have to unload:

  1. List down your main issues as well as the small matters that bother you; may it be at work, family issues, career development, emotional and physical needs, financial needs, relationship with friends, etc. Cross out what you think should not come in priority. At the time my older sister finally decided to go home to Philippines for good, I already assumed the title of a “breadwinner“. Coming from an average family, in a country where there are limited opportunities for skilled and non-skilled citizens, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to first get even with impoverishment and work out on getting financial stability for them and later prepare for my own family’s financial needs. This has almost fully occupied my baggage as it grows more like a vine. I couldn’t do anything at all to reach this goal without even thinking getting a high-paid or multiple jobs and so I have to consider a career that simply goes with it. See, it’s already swallowing me up. But as you trim down to what should be prioritized first, you will see a clear direction and start to feel a deep sigh of relief.
  2. When you feel that it’s getting into your nerves, check your pace and slow down. The idea is not to go far to your goal and run down on what’s available and make use of it or if you don’t have what you need, think of a probable solution and ways how to do it. Try to exhaust possible options but do not rush on your decisions. Time is precious so you don’t need to hurry. Make use of it wisely. You can’t go back to your past; the reality is now so just go with the flow.
  3. Go out from your comfort zone. Leave your room, go out and take time to smell the flowers and get bitten by a bee. You’ve been staring long enough at all the four corners and wall displays in your room but still unable to find not even a single clue on how to resolve your problem. Perhaps, who knows, you’ll meet a good samaritan along the way and offer you or give a reference to where you can actually find a good-paying job or other options outside your base that will offer profitable and productive opportunity. It happened to me during my first few months of job hunting here in Dubai although I didn’t fit in at the end; maybe it’s not just meant for me. But the fact that even a stranger can help makes it worth giving a try.
  4. Free your thoughts from useless anxiety and think about less fortunate (not necessarily financially-deprived) people around you. They may be enjoying financial stability, long and fruitful marriage or even a high seat in authority but are going through big scandalous issues like the one our ex-President Gloria Arroyo is undergoing right now. Looking at her in her distressed condition and being bombarded with side by side political accusations, you wouldn’t know how she would be able to take this load in her baggage. You don’t have to go far. You go by the street and you can see beggars. They only need basic necessities that you are already wealthy of. A friend or a stranger may come to you to help him or her look for a job which you already got one. Don’t be annoyed with this reality. Just be thankful you are more blessed than them.
  5. Do not be subdued to emotional distress alone. Go to a friend, a counselor, priest or a religious group. You might just need someone to reiterate to you how you can go through this tough time. Most of the time they are the most reliable people to talk to or get some help even on your specific need.
  6. Pray harder. There’s no substitute to a real talk with God. When I feel so overloaded, I don’t have to go the church and kneel in front of the altar. I just talk to him whenever I can, even when I’m in the bathroom. He, above of all, believe it or not can take over everything. The next day you will just feel rested and renewed.

Some of these things may seem temporary. You will say, “Then tomorrow what’s next?” Back to worrying and moping around. It’s your choice anyway. You may repeat your usual agony or you may choose to go back to the temporary but “just and right” and make it routinary.

I don’t have a single cent right now and I’m on a local leave. I lost my last bucks somewhere when I went out. It’s my fault I didn’t bring my wallet with me. It’s a lesson learned and a useless load to dwell on. Wasted yes, but somehow maybe, the person who found my money is more in need this time. My job as a Receptionist at the hotel is not giving me enough budget to support my family back home but to think of it on the lighter side, it’s also offering me enough opportunity to grow in my career as I take a step to a higher position – not so soon though but in the right time when I am fully equipped.

You may find your own way to get out of your own misery and how will you see your life is definitely your own choice. I have hurt myself so much, I was longing for a partner to share my life with but I failed. I am fulfilling my title as a single mom and a breadwinner and still unable to cope up with my responsibilities. At thirtiesh, I should somehow know what to do but often lost in space doing nothing but run around in circles. But I wasn’t chosen to carry these loads if I am not strong enough, if I’m not at all capable. I just need to recover and rediscover myself and allow free air to my baggage so that along the way, as I go board on my flight and travel, I would be able to take some more better loads than what I have left behind.

The Parable of “Talents”

The parable of the talents, as depicted in a 1...

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The other Sunday, 13th November, the Holy Gospel talked about the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) wherein the Master is leaving for a journey and entrusted his possessions to his three servants. He divided of what is so-called the “talents” according to the servants’ ability: three, two and one to each of them. As stewards of the Master’s wealth, the first two servants, knowing the character of their Lord or Master, “traded” their talents and doubled them up. The third servant who feared and mistrusted his Lord, buried his share of the talent and returned it as is back to his Master. The two stewards were praised, given more responsibilities and shared the Master’s joy while the third one was rejected and persecuted. “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

All of us has been given “talents”. We were all born stewards of God’s wealth and resources meaning, all we are and all we have belongs to God and He entrusted us these belongings to grow in value. Therefore, we must discover, acknowledge, develop, use and share these “talents” according to God’s character and instructions until the end of our lives. And we must remember, He will make a final accounting when that day comes, whether these talents were valued and multiplied or not.

And so we know that our talents – time, resources and ability – are just lent to us; isn’t it just right to lend or share it as well to others? But how do we begin to be a blessing to other people? First, we must discover and acknowledge every single simple “talent” that we have and use it as wisely as we can. But then again, understanding the human character, it is more easier said than done. According to Rev. Fr. Jerry Orbos, there are three causes of talent failure for most of us: pride, laziness and selfishness. Pride stops us from developing our talents and working hard to achieve its highest value. We often tend to reject it out of shame and arrogance. We are all given the time, resources, means and the capacity to increase our value but we oftentimes blow these chances away because we tend to procrastinate or lose interest and diligence. It’s even more worse when we waste our talents for selfish interests. Some professionals would care more about their fees in exchange of their services. We of course know the fact that being professional in our fields of interest is hard-earned and we all worked hard to attain our status quo. But what harm will it cause for some small acts of charity out of what we have? Remember: the more we have, the more we get rich if use it responsibly and unselfishly.

God has blessed us so much. Some of us were given one or two talents and some are multi-talented. Isn’t it so unfair? When God showered talents, some got more so easily, the others have to work for it harder. Some got beauty with brains and money; some received only brains with no beauty (just quoting a famous joke in analogy). After all, the bottomline is, whatever God gave us, develop and use it for others’ and for God’s glory. Look at the other side of life where some people are born incapable of doing things: no sight to appreciate the beauty; deprived of motor functions to wander; and lost their hearing and voice to speak the richness of the Word. Yet, it is still amazing to see them pushing it hard and motivate themselves to be the stewards of God’s creation. To us, maybe it seems unbearable when we see them coping up with their current state, but out of love and commitment, for them, their devotion is not at all so difficult.

There is one more remark that Fr. Jerry emphasized during the homily: Blessed are you who have talents but blessed more are you who see and encourage talents of others. Let us be an inspiration and blessing to those who disregard and misuse their talents.

Talents are not only for display; it is for good use. All that we are, all that we have comes from the Lord. There’s nothing to be proud of.

Giving up and Never Give Up

This is it! I said it once, I said it twice. I thought it once, twice and ten times. And it’s enough. I knew I couldn’t make it there yet. But sooner or later, I’ll reach the end. However difficult the journey, I know I am strong to get through it. There may be times that I want to give up, but I gave up to something revealing. I give up not because I am weak but only to submit to the reality of the present; I’m quite sure I am sheltered, protected not to wither.

I can’t change how things are today. But I know I can change what’s within me now. It’s yet too much a struggle, because in life everyday is a test. I failed today. But I will surely prepare for the next. I’m sure I’ll get better.