Each new year brings with it new hopes, new dreams and new resolutions. Personally, I am not into new year resolutions’ since I’m terrible at keeping them. Hence, I choose to reflect on the previous year, looking at what I did well and what I wasn’t too proud of hoping that I would do things differently and better this time around. This year, I thought I put down 15 lessons learnt from my reflections in the few years of my existence. I believe that as individuals, we are all on a personal journey of self discovery during which we ‘learn, unlearn and relearn ‘ (as a good friend of mine often says). These lessons are therefore as far as I understand at this very moment. So feel free to disagree with any of them and do share some of the lessons learnt from your personal reflections as well if you can.
- Family is important. I count myself blessed and fortunate to have one. They may not be perfect, arguments and short periods of lack of communication may occur but that is what makes them so special because no matter what happens, my family will move heaven and earth (if possible) when push comes to shove.
- In life you will meet certain people who ‘GET’ you like no one else. You may call them ‘best-friends’ or ‘besties’ as they are popularly called this days. I do have a couple of them who I can be totally honest with and they are brutally honest with me as well. They may be in a different continent but it doesn’t affect the bond you share. They are the people who will live through your highs and lows with you and will listen to you rant for hours on both important and unimportant issues. Let’s just say with friends like them, you don’t have to pay a therapist by the hour..lol… they get the job done anyways and their advise is always on point.
- Hollywood romantic movies and Disney cartoons are good for one thing and one thing only ‘day-dreaming’. Watch them, enjoy the moment and SNAP out of it! There is a good reason Disney ‘prince charming’ kind of cartoons are called ‘Fairy Tales’ because that is exactly what they are, tales, not reality. You might have to kiss a lot of frogs before you end up with your ‘prince charming’ and even when you do, he may not bear the same resemblance or be ‘perfect’ because lets face it, no one is perfect. Also, it’s rather unfair to place such a burden on an individual.
- For some people (like myself) what you study as your first degree can be different from the career you end up with. So I say go with the flow, no education or skill set is a waste of time. It all adds up eventually.
- I have learnt whatever your hands finds you to do, do it diligently as if your life depended on it because in the end ones success often depends on how you have executed the mundane jobs that you probably thought you were using to fill time. Life has a way of rewarding you when you least expect it.
- The first time you have an heart-break, you would wish you stopped breathing. But hey, that could as well be the first of so many heart-breaks. I have learnt to take it in stride because eventually, the pain will fade away no matter how long it takes.
- Being a ‘good girl/boy’ or goody- two-shoes does not guarantee a good man/woman when the time comes for you to settle down. Being a ‘bad girl/boy’ (this is open to any interpretation) does not guarantee a bad man/woman as well. May the odds be in your favour (like they say in Hunger Games) when that time finally comes.
- What you consider important today might not make sense 5 years from now. I know there is always that insatiable desire to always want more, to compare oneself to others and to think that the grass is greener on the other side. Such attitudes have a funny way of not allowing one to appreciate and be thankful for that which one has. I am learning to recognise the symptoms so that I can quickly snap out of it when envy or ingratitude wants to take the better side of me. I choose to be happy (most of the time… I think).
- Forgiveness is not at easy as it sounds. Off course it is the Christian thing to do and the good thing to do. I have read that forgiveness sets both you and the person to whom it is being offered free. During the time I have forgiven, I do get this peace that transcends all understanding and I feel like I can spread my wings and fly again. At other times when I have not been able to forgive easily, I keep working on it and hoping that each new day is that day when I finally give it a go!
- When you achieve that long-awaited dream, the joy and satisfaction only last but a moment because there is always that next goal, dream, promotion e.t.c. on the horizon. So enjoy the satisfaction of this current achievement while its last.
- Helping others is one of the most rewarding activities in life. It’ doesn’t matter if the timing is not right (it never is anyways). So do the best you can and never say ‘No’ if you are in the position to help.
- Reward yourself as often as you can. I have learnt to take that holiday, go to that restaurant I’ve heard so much about, buy that pair of shoe or bag that I can’t stop thinking about. Life is too short to delay such gratification.
- Get rid of that entitlement mentality. I have learnt that the world and the people living in it owes me and you nothing. So be the captain of your life, take responsibilities for the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s the only way I know to keep ones sanity, faith, hope and love alive.
- I have learnt that waiting for the ‘perfect timing’ to embark on a project or start a business, get married or have children only exist in our imagination. I am more convinced than ever to just delve into a project and see what happens as I go by. Yes it might be irrational, but it is still better than doing nothing. The bible warns that ‘He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap’. This always comes to my mind when I am trying to over-analyse a situation and talking myself out of a project that I want to embark on due to the fear that it is not the ‘perfect time’.
- I have learnt the true essence of faith because I believe in the existence of an omnipotent being who reigns in the affairs of man. I believe that there is a God and still hold on to Him for dear life for I have come to realise that it all starts and ends with Him.