Let Me Paint You A Story

A little girl was asked to wait inside a room with nothing but a chair and a big white marshmallow on a table. The teacher told her that she can either eat the marshmallow right away or wait until the teacher gets back so she can have another marshmallow. The teacher then left the room.


Eat the marshmallow right away, or wait until the teacher comes back for two marshmallows.


The little girl sat down. She looked at the marshmallow in front of her. She smelled it. She touched it. She wanted to taste it, but she waited.


Tick tock. Tick tock. 5 minutes has passed. No teacher yet. She stared laser-focused at the juicy marshmallow. She wanted to eat it so bad. But she waited.


Tick tock. Tick tock. 8 minutes has passed. The teacher still isn’t back. She took the marshmallow. She opened her mouth to take a bite. But then she didn’t. She put down the marshmallow. She decided to wait a little more.


Tick tock. Tick tock. 12 minutes has passed. No sign of the teacher yet. Finally, she took it again, made frequent small bites of it, until the marshmallow was no more.


This is an actual study that is now famously called the “Stanford Marshmallow Experiment.” In this study, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately, or two small rewards if they waited for a short period of time. In the follow-up studies, the researchers found that the children who were able to wait longer for the rewards tended to have better life outcomes, better scores, better educational attainment, and was more successful overall. This concept is also commonly called as “DelayedGratification“, the delaying of present gratification for the hope of greater future rewards.


This now begs to us the question: “Why should we care?


First, several studies have concluded that the ability to delay gratification is critical for success in life. Don’t believe me? Google it and find it out yourself. If you want success in life, then the experts said: Learn to delay gratification.


Second, the ability to delay gratification is like a muscle. You can choose to flex it or not. It’s never too late to work out. It’s never too late to practice delaying gratification.


Third, you can learn to delay gratification in a number of ways. You can train your willpower by using several methods: physical exercise, doing breathing-meditation, taking enough sleep, having a healthy diet, or you can trick your mind by using strategies, like the DistractionStrategy.


I have only skimmed the surface of this very interesting topic, but if I have caught your interest, then I have succeeded in my attempt to do so.

Let Me Tell You Something True

We all have this monster inside of us. I know I have this monster inside of me. Whenever I’m late and I’m caught in heavy traffic, this monster inside of me screams. Whenever my alarm goes off early in the dawn and I’m still sleepy, this monster argues to me that I need to sleep a little more. Whenever someone praises me or when I achieve something, this monster flatters me and gives me gifts called “Pride”. Whenever I’m hungry and my patience is being tested near to depletion, this monsters claws at me from my stomach to my head.


But then I decided. I want to tame this monster. Until I learned how to. And it’s an everyday battle.


We can live the good life now. We can gratify ourselves instantly and almost everyday. Or we can face suffering, learn to wait, and hope for greater future rewards.


We can have a good life now, or we can have our best life later.


This choice is mine to take.


This choice is ours to make.

2016 is a year of new things to me: New places. New people. New feelings. New ideas.

And new books.

It was in this year that I set out to challenge myself to explore different genres of books. And to my surprise, that I did achieve. From leadership books, to fantasy novels, to psychology books, to reference books, to philosophy books, to Church history, theology, and apologetic books. Aside from my surprise that I successfully stomped-down this challenge, I’m also quite surprised as to how my interest further branched out, especially since I didn’t expect myself to be interested in Church history and in towards deeper theology.

Here are the books which helped shaped my 2016. These are some of my teachers who have challenged my thinking, and some of the leaders who have added to the molding of my heart.

Not all of these books are good (I’d say some of them are pretty challenging to finish), yet I enjoyed almost all of these:

  1. Innovators – Walter Isaacson
  2. Startup Nation – D. Senor and S. Singer
  3. Carnage and Culture – V.D. Hanson
  4. How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie
  5. How To Read A Book – M. Adler (as ironic as it sounds, yes, there’s a book like this existing)
  6. The Fine Art of Small Talk – D. Fine
  7. Your Career Roadmap – Nelson Dy
  8. Stock Smarts – R.Geronimo
  9. Beyond Talent – John Maxwell
  10. 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth – John Maxwell
  11. Effective Immediately – E. Bennington and S. Lineberg
  12. The 8th Habit – Stephen Covey
  13. Mindset – C. Dweck
  14. Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  15. The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferris
  16. Now, Discover Your Strengths – Marcus Buckingham
  17. Eleven Rings – Phil Jackson
  18. Entrepreneur: Guide To Raising Money – J. Wiley
  19. Clean Code – R. Martin
  20. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture – M. Fowler
  21. Merlin’s Blade – Treskillard
  22. Ender’s Game – O.S. Card
  23. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
  24. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
  25. The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian- C.S. Lewis
  26. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader- C.S. Lewis
  27. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Silver Chair- C.S. Lewis
  28. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy – C.S. Lewis
  29. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew- C.S. Lewis
  30. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Last Battle- C.S. Lewis
  31. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
  32. The Weight of Glory – C.S. Lewis
  33. The Conviction To Lead – Albert Mohler
  34. Stop Dating The Church – Joshua Harris
  35. Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering – T. Keller
  36. The 40 Most Influential Christians – Daryl Aaron
  37. 30 Events That Shaped The Church – Alton Gansky
  38. Worship – John MacArthur
  39. Slave – John MacArthur
  40. The Attributes of God: Volume One – A.W. Tozer
  41. Follow Me – David Platt

Although I failed to hit my additional 2016 challenge of reading-one-book-a-week (I’m seven books short), yet I am contented with the variety of books that I read this year.

Thank you, 2016, for being crazy amazing and for being adventure-filled. Thank you friends, who suggested me good books to read, and for voluntarily lending me your personal copies of your books.

Cheers to 2017. Cheers to more reading.

I am sharing my INTJ-ness to the world by sharing one of my weekly evaluation template that I have developed and have been using.

I am fond of evaluating my life, strategizing around it, setting systematic weekly and daily goals, rinse and repeat. Of the 7-day week, I take a day off to contemplate, journal, plan, and strategize. I guess this is an INTJ personality thing. I do this mainly because this helps me to see my life from a bird’s eye view, see where I am currently headed,  and see what things I need to do for me to achieve long-distance goals. This also helps me to internalize things better, help commit events to my memory, and in general make me feel more responsible of my life.

You are free to use this Weekly Evaluation Template (W.E.T.) for free and for your benefit, except that it remain to be free. If you do decide to use it, I would greatly appreciate it for you to share to me any results and feedback in using it.

Why am I doing this, you ask? I guess you could say this to be one of my nonsense experiments



Weekly Evaluation Template (W.E.T.)

  1. PAST
    1. GOALS:
      1. What were my goals for the week? (Write and list them down.)
      2. Did I hit my goals for the week? (If yes, elaborate and evaluate. Then, feel good! If no, evaluate and learn from it.)
      3. Am I getting closer to my long-term vision?
    2. HABITS:
      1. Did I read for atleast 1hr this week? (What is the title and who is the author of the book(s)? How is the book? Review and evaluate.)
      2. Have I exercised this week? (If so, how many hours in total have I exercised?)
      3. Have I read the Bible every single day of the week?
      1. What new thing(s) have I learned this week?
      2. What are the things/skills that I still need to develop, for me to move forward faster?
      1. What accomplishments have I made?
      2. What setbacks have I experienced? (How did I handle it? Could I have handled it better?)
    1. What goals should I focus for the coming week? (Are the goals SMART? Are the goals in-line with my core principles? Are the goals pointing to my long-term vision?)




What do you think? Do you think W.E.T. can help you in any way? In the case that you’ve been using it, how has it been? Let me know under the comments section below!

So I had a clinical depression that lasted some weeks, if not months.

But I finally started to beat it down until it became nothing but a pulp!

Through books, articles, videos, lessons, prayers,
and most especially my experience,
I can share to you how I beat depression.

Because you certainly can!

“What have I got to do with you pal?”

Depression In Its Definition

Depression is a sickness.

It is a serious and deadly one.

It is  a major cause of
unproductivity, loneliness,
sadness, vices, insanity,
and even suicide.

It robs its victim’s peace of mind,
focus, need to sleep,
and ability to think properly.

It can be a vicious and destructive loop,
like a poisonous pit that entraps
and slowly kills its hapless victim.

It slowly destroys life,
until the victim loses vitality,
even the will to live.

It lasts from weeks, to months,
and even years.

But the good news is,
healing is just waiting for
you to take hold of it!

Taking Hold of Healing

Again, depression is a sickness.

It is an abnormal state of the human physiology and can be explained by the neurochemical imbalances in a person’s brain.

In my own personal case, I decided to take a proactive approach to cure my condition.

I studied, I researched, I read books, I conducted personal experiments.

I did what I saw that I could!

Until finally, after a week’s effort, I can finally say that I beat it.

From my experience, here are the steps that I took that greatly contributed to my healing:

  1. Physical Wellness
    • Physical exercise is a major key factor in my healing. It not only releases happy hormones in your brain, but it also keeps your body’s wellness in check. From my 100 pushups, I moved higher to include repetitions of whole body circuit training and doing 100+ pushups every day. It was physically taxing, but this was a strong investment towards the healing that I needed. But you don’t need to do the pushups, just get some serious workout.
    • Sleep routine is also one that I made sure to contribute to my physical wellness. Depression can be caused by irregular sleep patterns (which I am guilty of), thus I deliberately scheduled my time and my sleeping pattern to make sure that I only get the enough sleep my body needs for its optimal performance and healing.
  2. Identify Your Triggers
    • Writing down what contributed to my depression helped me alot. This is not only a step towards healing, but it is also a safety step to ensure that I’ll be resistant to it in the future. I thought that this is a step to learn. And it was.
      Write down all of the possible triggers, and learn how to deal with them.
  3. Appreciate Life
    • Deliberately desiring for a shift of mental perspective.
      I did what I could to experience new things, from eating new things, to going to places, to reading new books, just so I could gain a better perspective of life. Depression usually messes with a person’s point of perspective as it did with mine, but it should change. It is supposed to, for the sake of healing. And it can.
    • Learning to notice the small but nice things of life.
      I learned to realize that all the things here on Earth are really just bonus things. All the possessions, status, assets, enjoyment, and everything in this life are just bonus things that have been given by God. So they are worth to be appreciated. Physical life is temporary. We don’t deserve most, if not all, of the things that we currently have. It is all by God’s grace.

  4. Read the Bible Daily
    • “I have no right to be depressed when I’m not even reading the Bible.”
      That’s what I made sure to think everytime I wake up in the morning. Coping with the sickness, it has become very, very difficult to read the Bible. Every since the sickness got me, it takes supernatural strength of me to do it! But I pushed myself. I pushed myself. Because truly, I have no right to be depressed when I’m not even reading what the Creator of the Universe has to say to me on a daliy basis.
    • Worshipping and thanking God for everything.
      For the air.
      For the life.
      For His love and trust.
      For my family and my friends.
      For my computer.
      For my clothes.
      For my job.
      For everything.
      No matter how small or big.
      Even when I did not feel like being thankful.

      Because we should not live by feelings nor by what we think, but by faith.

    • Prayer.
      Again, it takes supernatural strength of me even to pray!
      But I knew that it is God’s will for me to be healed and for me to learn from this. So I prayed and declared healing everyday.
      I also thank the prayers of my family, friends, and my brothers and sisters in the Church.

      There is no use in focusing your mind on the sickness, instead focus your mind towards perfect healing.

  5. Taking Time
    • Healing is a gradual process.
      Don’t beat yourself for being sick just like what I did to myself, be it physical beating or mental beating. It takes time. I even asked for a rest period from my job. I withdrew temporarily from all of my commitments for me to gain the time that I needed. I don’t necessarily encourage this step to everyone because personalities greatly differ from one another. But just realize that it can take time, and that you can shorten that time if you decide to be deliberate.

I pray and desire the healing of everyone who is currently suffering from this condition.

If you are one of them, I want you to know that you are not alone.
I also hope that my experience and my new knowledge contributes to your accelerated healing.

Because there is healing in Jesus’ name.


What? The Struggling Christian?

Me: “What does it mean to be human?”

Me: “…”

Me:“What does it mean to have sufferings as a Christian? Are involuntary mental sufferings a sin: A sign of lack of faith? A sign of Christian immaturity?”
Me: “…”

Just a normal day with a very lively conversation with myself.

The start of my 100 day challenge was a real nightmare to me, but I was ready, atleast partially, to embrace it. Because the rewards are far greater than the risks that I was going to take.

Since then, a lot of things had been bugging my mind, and a lot of them still are unanswered. Its probably due to the neurochemical imbalances in my brain due to my attempt to shift my circadian rhythm to an 8-hour degree. But still, there are facts that remain true in my experience. And one of them is that I fell deeper to clinical depression.

Facing Depression As A Christian:
Battling Through Mental Sickness
and Social Misunderstanding

Credits to Adam Ford for this webcomic.

I want to stress out that the above illustration does not really depict my reality, but I have found that this feeling, mentality, and even treatment, is not uncommon among Christians.

I am by no means against the Church, pastors, leaders, or people. I am only here, expressing my experiences and my efforts, to educate, for us as a society, even as children of God, to become better in handling this issue.

I am a Christian, after all.

But I am currently under the struggle of depression.

“But how can you get depressed Pyl?”

“Isn’t Jesus your savior and your life?”

“Hasn’t He given you eternal salvation, forgiveness, and joy?”

“Can’t you just lift up all your burdens and cares to Him, and then just feel all happy?”

“You’re being weird, Pyl. You just need faith!”

“If you’re like this, there’s no difference between you and the unbelievers!”


I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus, that He gave His life to me and died on the cross for me, something which I totally do not deserve. An undeserving being that has been given perfect love by Love itself–that’s who I am.

But I still am currently stuck (but fighting) in the pit of clinical depression. Why? Because of humanity.

The Science Behind It:
Not Just A Feeling, Nor A Choice,
But A Mental Sickness

Doing my research, I have found out that depression as a Christian is not uncommon in this world: I am not alone in this struggle at least. Praise be to God for the Internet for I have found out several Christian testimonies. And with these new knowledge, I act to share the education to my fellow brothers and sisters (along with supported links in case you are that concerned, curious, or serious of a Christian minister):

  1. Depression is not a choice, nor is it a simple feeling. It is not simple sadness, simple lack of faith (Well, probably. But which human has perfection?), more so a choice. If I can just snap out of it, why wouldn’t I? Asking a depressed person to try not being depressed is tantamount to asking a person who’s been shot to try and stop his/her bleeding.
  2. The cause of depression is manifold, but genetics and neurochemical factors are one of the big ones.  Depression is not a simple emotional matter nor a simple state of mind, but it is an illness, with a physical basis. I am convinced that to truly fix something, we need to examine its roots to have a better understanding on how to fix it.
  3. Depression, just like any mental illness, is not a sin as the Church may sometimes point it out to be. A common notion exists that all disease and sickness could be traced to sin, most especially in the days of Jesus. The Savior of the world knew this was not true, and He proved it.

I am not going to explain the scientific details of my points further because the links will be kind enough to do it for me to you. So if you’d be willing enough, it won’t hurt you to go clicking those links. I would appreciate that in fact.

Christian Guilt:
In Pursuit Of Perfection

Being a Christian and a person who’s in constant pursuit of perfection, I had this strong feeling of guilt whenever I fall into the isolated pit of depression. And I can’t keep but ask the following:

“Am I not supposed to be joyful?”

“Isn’t the Church going to judge me for being this incapable?”

But asking myself those, I hit a solid wall and came to a better question.

“Weren’t there notable Christians in the history who fell into the same pit too?”

Didn’t David write most of the Psalms from this same pit?

Didn’t Paul console himself to rejoice from this same pit?

Didn’t even Jesus Himself also wept from this same pit?

Didn’t other Christian people like Charles Spurgeon, this guy, and this guy, also struggled to live in this same pit?

*sigh of relief*

Its comforting to know that I’m not the only one experiencing this.

On Thoughts Of Understanding:
The Sickness Under The Human Lens

In hopes to share what it feels like to be under depression, let me incline you to watch this video from World Health Organization.

Depression has his fancy of poking at me.

At people.

Even at Christians.

Just like any worldly illness, it has no excuses.

Because, humanity.

On The Path To Proactive Understanding:
Clenching My Mental Fists Through Grace

I am taking proactive action to learn to tame the black dog.

I have already identified my triggers, took a logical approach in examining it, throwing away almost all possible temporary crutches, and looking up to God’s grace in the process.

With no one to easily talk and confide to, I have found comfort in researching and studying the problem (like what I’m obviously doing right now), trying to use mobile apps such as MoodTools and 7CupsOfTea, working out more vigorously, praying, keeping close a journal, etc.

I am still in the middle of the process, but by the grace of God, I am digging my way out of the pit. At one point in my life or another, I’d have to examine this issue deep down anyway. All I could say, I couldn’t ask for a more better opportunity. I had to fix this at one point or another before its going to affect any other things. And in fact, I am actually learning more about myself, even humanity itself, in the process of writing this.

So I can’t say that depression has zero uses: It actually helps me to be seated in the seat of humility.

A Case of Christian Depression:
A Case of Humanity

Perhaps I needed this.

Perhaps I needed to realize that it is okay to be imperfect:

That I am still human.

That it is okay to be flawed.

That humanity is broken.

Because it is, that is, until the day of perfection.

But as it is now, it is in my hands, along with the constant grace of God, to learn to tame this.

And probably, just probably, I might even teach my black dog a few tricks.

Busting a Myth

“Its better to cheat than to repeat.” -Anonymous

This is a famous quote told from many of my schoolmates in my university.

I grade that A for effort!

But I believe that to be a complete nonsense.

It is time for me to convince you to avoid cheating AT ALL COSTS.

It is time to bust a myth!

Ghost busting! Not really. Just some culture busting!

Empty Papers and a Broken Heart

In college exams, I would submit near-empty papers on exams.

The reason? I haven’t studied well.

Another reason? I refuse to cheat.

Even if 99% of my classmates are cheating, I still refuse to cheat. Even if there is no teacher or proctor around in the room, I still refuse to cheat on quizzes and exams. The temptation is undeniably there especially when your classmates and friends are blatantly passing their notes and papers and the professor is nowhere to be found, but I still refuse to cheat. Some may call it foolishness. Some may call it pride. But I call it character development.

Don’t get me wrong, my heart gets undeniably broken in the process…

With submitting my empty exam papers, comes my broken soul!

But from pain, I learn fast and hard. And from the things that I learn, I will share to you.

Of why cheating will kill me, my dreams, and probably the people that I love.

Why Cheating Kills Me

1. The more I cheat, The LESS I’ll learn

Saying that I love to learn would be a lie, because I am addicted to it.
I think that the greatest blessing and ability that any person can have is the ability to learn. Speaking from experience, it can do miraculous things. From a tone-deaf person to an ear-playing musician, the thought alone is still amazing to me. I have also seen it do wonders too. From people without arms being able to play the piano more skillfully than I can, to a limbless person who is able to swim obviously better than me.

I think learning is the greatest ability that we need in order for us, as a society and as a specie, to truly achieve our inmost dreams and goals.

The less a person learns, the less likely he/she is to succeed. That is what my mind holds, and it has proven me well up to this time.

I do not see school as the training ground to learn the important things and skills: I see it more as a training ground to develop one’s self.

2. The more a person cheats in school, the MORE chances that he’s going to cheat on professional things too.

Whether be it in business, in a job, friendship, romantic relationships, or anything. Basing on the principle of tolerance, the more we do a certain thing, the more we feel comfortable doing it.

Did you remember the first time you were trying to ride public transportation (jeepney) for the first time? It will be terrifying for the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it will be no more of a trouble to you. The same concept applies to almost everything. The more a person cheats in school, the more comfortable he becomes doing it, even as a professional.

And did you know? This country, Philippines, is said to be run by a majority, if not all, of professional cheaters (kurakot). Cheaters are said to be the root of corruption.

If we have cheating students, then are we not bound to have cheating professionals? Do you still wonder why this country is corrupted?

Cheaters are the least thing that this infant of a country needs.

3. The more I cheat, the LESS my character’s value will be

I hear some people say that talent is rare and that I am blessed to have been entrusted with it by the Creator. But I honestly think that character is more valuable and rare than talent. And I think that character can be trained and developed in many ways, whether it be to an easy, corrupted path, or to a challenging, but worthy path of integrity.

Cheating is a choice. Its your call whether you want to achieve your true potential, or cheat it.

Our character is built from the easiest and trivial decisions that we make, to the hard and big ones.

Conclusions from a Developer:

Nothing much, just touching some codes.

As a developer, I love to develop games, ideas, software, and some nerdy things.

But the one thing that I’ve been ultimately developing is my character.

Trying to have a good character is probably one of the least of the good things that I can contribute to this world and its history. And so can you!

So…have I convinced you enough to try to not to cheat? To avoid it at all costs? Let me know what you think on the comments section below.

A Classical Guide

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a classic material, and one that is very easy to read. It teaches of classic, but still applicable, principles of military war and strategy attributed to Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher. Even though this material goes back to 1772, the principles taught by Sun Tzu can still be applied to everyday life, leadership, business, competitions, military, games, and other things.

So let’s get started!

On Preparations

The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations that lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.” [Sun Tzu]

In the book, we are first greeted with the first chapter talking about “Laying Plans”. It speaks of the importance of planning and preparing. And indeed, it is of vital importance, not just in military war, but in almost everything. As a young highschool student, I remember preparing for our music class’ recital. I remember practicing tens of hours to deliver my piece as perfect as possible. I literally spent tens of hours practicing, only to deliver the recital piece that will last for only 5 minutes.
Tens of hours of practice for a 5 minute performance.

I find that in any battle, competition, or any endeavor, preparation is a big part in determining success. If one does not bleed in training and preparation, he will surely die in the face of real combat. The chance of winning is determined by the preparation made by the players.

On Feints and Deception

Sun Tzu also emphasizes the importance of “deception” in combat.

When able to attack, we must seem unable.
When using our forces, we must seem inactive.
When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away.
When we are far away, we must make him believe we are near.

I am a man who has a strong distaste with the use of deception in life. Deception is for the fearful: Only for those who cannot accept the rightful consequences of their actions in life. But even with my values and beliefs, I find that this principle has its logical uses if used in a proper way. As a gamer who finds enjoyment in competition, challenges, and strategic games, I find that this can be a determining factor in winning or losing. In games like Naruto-Arena, or any other tactical or competitive games like chess, I find that deceptive moves can throw off an opponent and can even turn the tide of battle if you are in the losing side.

Don’t get me wrong: Deception is a good technique in war. But it is an evil technique if used for evil, or for one’s own personal gain in life.

Feints and deception should only be used for a greater purpose, not to satisfy one’s interest or any selfish purpose for that matter. After all, using this has its drawbacks, both in social aspects and in the development of one’s character.

On Wars

The good general destroys his opponents. The better general breaks his opponents without resistance.

It should be noted that Sun Tzu does not promote war in any manner. In fact, he promotes victory through peaceful acts as significantly better than using forceful and destructive methods. Having also read “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, I can relate this aspect to business tactics. A lot of companies and business thrive in competition, some even make use of aggressive tactics. But in truth, it is much better if one does not participate in an existing competition, but rather, one should enter oneself into a field where there is no existing competition. It makes perfectly sense, both economic health and social health. You do not only prevent making hostile business rivals, you also get to create the “competition” yourself. I find that this can also be applied in career, social, and in politics.

On Speed

“Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of the forest.” [Sun Tzu]

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” [Sun Tzu]

I see speed here both in the context of opportunities and in execution.

It has been said that opportunities do not knock twice. Often to be true. That’s why, as Sun Tzu states, “one cannot afford to neglect opportunity.”

Speed in both taking hold of opportunities and in executing plans and actions.