Last year, I wrote 19 Life Lessons for 2019 and I am still a work in progress who is trying to live a life governed by those lessons.
I am beyond grateful for everything 2019 has given me and here are 5 things the year has taught me and why I don’t have regrets:
1. Self-care is often not a very beautiful thing
Social media fed me that self-care is about treating yourself with things that you WANT or crossing out some travel destinations from your bucket list. Genuine self-care is deciding to build a life you are regularly escaping. It is not as beautiful as what you can see from the trendy topics. It often takes doing the thing you least want to do…like enforcing yourself to go to the gym, cooking yourself healthy meals, cutting toxic people, getting a second job, resisting from adding another lippy in your cart or turning off your phone for a day. Self-care requires more discipline, painful healing, sacrifices and behaviour correcting. It means looking your failures and disappointments straight in the eye and re-strategize. The renewal process is uncomfortable and needs hard work of undoing years of damage.
2. Take big and ambitious dreams
Ten years ago I created a bucket list containing achievable stuff but never imagined possible given my status in life. Then, one day in 2019 I woke up and found that journal and I realised that I crossed out 80% from that list. Nothing really is impossible if you have the passion for something greater than your fear. Have courage and take big and ambitious dreams. There will be days you’ll be overwhelmed by how big and ambitious your dreams and when that happens, try to break those dreams down to their simplest form and then make marginal adjustments to your routine to improve any odds of achieving them. Your goals may look impossible at the moment but you will get surprised by the capability you have to turn your dreams into reality.
3. Work hard and give your best
Joel Osteen said, “Don’t settle for mediocrity; never let good enough be good enough.”. Always work hard and give your 100% in everything you do…from the simplest daily routine to the most complicated process of achieving your ultimate goal. Everyday people are settling into okay relationships, okay jobs and okay life because okay is comfortable. Okay allows you to go out with friends to enjoy happy hour, pays the bill and gives you warm bed at night. But an okay limits you and creates void in life. It removes the thrill, the passion and even the reason to get up everyday. An okay is not life-changing or unforgettable. We only live once and with an okay you do not risk anything or everything for that small probability that something absolutely wonderful could happen.
4. Worry less
Worrying is an inevitable feeling but too much of this is not good for you. It creates stress and it is bad physically and mentally. Worrying gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere they say…which is very true. How many times did you worry so much on petty things this year? Did you notice how worrying sucks all your energy and changes your mood affecting not only your sanity but also the people around you? And then you will realise that you worry for nothing because everything turned out well? Sounds familiar, ha? Now, before you start worrying for something, analyse first the situation…do you have the power over it or you are totally out of control? If your answer is the former then do what needed to be done and if it is the latter then let it be and pray for the best to happen.
5. Always choose love and kindness
People and circumstances will not always be nice to you but you can always choose to love and be kind to them. No matter how bad someone or life treats you, be patient and understand the situation and try your hardest to be gentle to them. If you think they are too much for you to handle, distance yourself from these negatives and allow yourself to heal and grow into a stronger person. Give yourself time to fill in your soul with overflowing love and kindness you can give to the world everyday.
When I was a little younger, I thought of how some older/adult people around me can confidently say that they are happy for all the decisions they made from the past. I mean, no one can decide for something and always get a favorable outcome so how come they don’t regret anything? And as I get older (and hopefully wiser), I now understand the reason why…and it is because whatever we choose regardless if the result is in our favour or not, everything that is happening in our lives has a purpose and will eventually fall to their proper places. We make good and bad choices in this lifetime so why not efficiently get all the lessons these situations will teach you and utilise these to become a better person.
Let’s do this, 2020!