Please pass the coffee: Lessons Learned and AMSDaily in 2012



By Alpha M. Sanford


As the year 2012 comes to an end, I am starting to reflect at how my year went by and the lessons (although some were tough) I’ve learned.  Here are some of my biggest lessons:

1. You only have one name. Therefore, whenever you do something think about it first and how it may affect your reputation.  – I learned this from my boss during a morning conversation with her. She is great in many ways, especially in having great, long conversations – if she is free.

2. You only have one face – so do not be cheap on yourself. – I got this one from a good friend of mine, Nha during one of our girl’s night out. I learned from her that beauty really comes from your own self. You have to take good care of yourself. If you do not, then who will? I learned to skip the cheap stuffs and splurge on myself, if I can.

3. Life is meant to be enjoyed not to be hurried. – This one is a classic one from my good friend Gene while we were trying to schedule our monthly get-together meetings. She sent this via email around the holiday season when we could not manage to find a perfect time and date for a pre-luncheon get-together.

4. Be thankful every day. Take out your journal (or your Iphone notes app as what I did) and write daily for 30 days what you are thankful for; you’ll see and feel how grateful you are. – Debbie Tooney, another good friend of mine is a registered nurse and a health care practitioner who encouraged me to write everyday for 30 days. It made me feel much more thankful than usual.

5. Negotiate whenever and wherever you can. – I may not have finished my course with Ramit Sethi (as I had asked for a refund, which I won’t go into details) but I have enjoyed reading his weekly challenges while I was into the course. I know I am a bargain-hunter and  I can certainly haggle wherever (that’s the Ilokano in me) – but his powerful statements as most Indians do are so hard to ignore. And why haggle? Why not? You could use an extra penny to pay down your student’s loans.

6. Do what you can, while you can. – Oh this year has been great for me (thank you Lord!). I think I’ve done the most of this year including having the opportunity to do the following: traveled back to the Philippines; saw my grandmother again; wrote and published a book; revived my jewelry business; met great friends (lost some, too); hosted international students and most importantly, my daughter started Kindergarten! One my work confidantes told me that she’d like to do what I’ve done while she can and my answer: do what you can, while you can!

7. You can not judge a person by the way she speaks. – Ah, the joys of having an accent. I tweeted this same lesson immediately after I was verbally attacked by an educational advocate at a school meeting I was facilitating. She, for the love of God insulted the way I pronounced the last name of her client for reasons I will never understand! In defense I said with dignity and pride, “I just want to let you know that our school honors diversity and if I happened to mispronounce Mr. C’s last name I apologize as I was not born here in the United States. However, I will do my best to pronounce Mr. C’s last name by the end of this meeting.”  At the end of this statement I looked over at Mr. C and immediately asked for an apology and asked him, “Did I pronounce that correctly?”

8. God is the reason why we do what we do. Pray every day. Or pray whenever you can – Don’t think that it is not all roses for me and my family and everything in between. If the going gets tough or tougher, I open my bible and say the Lord’s prayer – then I know I can be back to my sanity – always. I am also moved by the song, “In the Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanic – and while you read the rest of AMSDaily’s growth, please play this song and think of all your loved ones.

Now, on to AMSDaily and its annual growth in comparison to last year:

AMSDaily is now 18 months.

AMSDaily grew from 529 Facebook Page Fan to just a little over 2,000 fan subscribers. So, if you would like to show your love and support hit like now.

AMSDaily’s stats grew from close to 25,000 view from last December to over 155,000 hits this year alone!

AMSDaily has partnered with at least 30 pledgers for its annual PLEDGE FOR EDUCATION 2012 (status: still finalizing this year’s recipients)

AMSDaily wrote 38 success stories/special editions which inspired many individuals to live purposefully. (To these extraordinary individuals, may you continue to shine and inspire us more!)

AMSDaily published a collaborative work with all the amazing AMSDaily writers, Avdhessh Arya, Ronald Colunga, Buenaflor Laoang-Rosete, Ria Rombaoa, Kenton Sefcik, Stuart Young and Elizabeth Scala, “The Best Inspirational Stories I Ever Read”.

And which posts made it to the top list this year? Here are they:

1.       Top 5 Success Stories of 2012

Tricia Gosingtian

Rommel Tambunting-Juan of Binalot

Tina Enad-Tagle (still on the top 5)

Anna Meloto-Wilk of Human Nature

Melissa Villa of Project Pearls


2.       Top 5 Daily Posts of 2012

The Legend of Hummingbirds

The Lesson Behind Cinderella (still on the top 5)

Aimee Mullins: You can do it!

What I’ve Learned from Elmo

Back to School Poem: First Day of School



3.       My Personal Favorite Posts:

Is it Tomorrow Yet? – by Charm Damon

Baby Steps of success – by Kenton Sefcik

Who has  a Pure Heart? – by Buenaflor Laoang-Rosete

Be Patient – by Avdhessh Arya

Accept your Friend’s Mistake – by Stuart Young

7 Ways to Get Proper Rest – by Liz Scala

5 Rules of Happiness – by Ronald Colunga

Do not Leave your Karma – by TK Soni


And why please pass the coffee? Well, this year I started to drink more tea, hot tea (By the way, I discovered another good tea aside from Yogi Tea, this time I am officially endorsing the Mighty Tea Leaf after trying it at the Nix’s Mate Restaurant in Boston. And perhaps next year, if our family friend, J.Hale’s buddy, Jesse Jacobs,  owner of Samovar in San Francisco will grant – I may be lucky and have some tea time with Jesse Jacobs himself, Leo Babauta, Tim Ferris and Andrew Weil, and then I may be a Samovar Tea Ambassador next year – oh, what a life!).

And why please pass the coffee again? (sorry, I got distracted with my wishful thinking of Samovar and drinking tea there) Well – just like most Americans do, this year I learned to drink more coffee not just on the weekends but also during nights when I have to stay up late for many reasons including updating this website.

And yes – I will be ordering more coffee when I have my monthly meetings with my girlfriends at the Panera Bread this new year.

Thank you very much for supporting AMSDaily throughout this time. Peace, Love and Good Fortune to you this new year!