It has been a long while since I last updated my blog but I’m back now! Needless to say, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting and working on myself on the past two months. Aside from this, turning the big two-five this year brought along much perspective as well. Through that scattered reflection, I’ve managed to curate a list of 25 things I’ve found to be true over the “past quarter century”. Just a disclaimer, I wrote this for me, and I am still personally working to master many items on my list. I hope this list somehow could lead to a more abundant life for others.
1. Family will be there for you through thick and thin.
It is an undeniable fact that family is everything. Family will always be there for you through thick and thin regardless of what. The way they express their love might be different as yours as everyone’s love language is different. But trust me, the love they gave you is genuine and unconditional. Cherish every second you get to spend with your family.
2. Give and expect nothing in return.
Of course, it’s nice to receive a thank you or something in return, when you give something. However, the best gifts (whether is love, time, money, gifts, forgiveness, etc) are the ones that we give freely. The trick is to get away from our own egos and accept that we may not get something back. Always remember there is no such thing as “ROI” in life, we might not receive back from the same person or event to which we give. Just an example, we don’t get back from the charity necessarily, but we give because it feels good.
3. You’re stronger than you think.
I know it seems like things will never get better. And I know that you feel like you are stuck in your current situation. Life has seemed like more of a battle than a blessing lately, and every time you finally seem to make a breakthrough, life only seems to knock you back down. These are the days that can either destroy or define you, and it is up to you to decide which path you take. I know it is taking forever but I hope you don’t let it destroy you. Today may not be your best day, and tomorrow might not be either, but I promise you that day by day you will be better and you will wake up and realise this is the beginning of everything you have ever wanted.
Cause everyday I let go. Just a little bit more. – Lany | Thru These Tears
4. Be kind to others and also YOURSELF.
To be honest, you don’t need a reason to be kind. Just spread kindness like confetti everywhere you go, the world needs a little more kindness. If you recall the rush of positive feelings you experienced the last time you performed a kind act, you would likely agree that kindness feels good. Apart from being kind to others, remember being kind to yourself is also very crucial (this is what we including myself lack of). If we would tune into our internal dialogue, most likely we wouldn’t say those same words to someone we love: I am not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I am not something enough. Naturally, it may be easier to be kind to others than to ourselves, so it may take some intention and effort to befriend ourselves, too.
5. Forgive and let go of grudges.
The biggest lesson I have learned in this year is perhaps forgive and let go. I know this sounds really cliche like a typical script from movies. But, who hasn’t been hurt by the actions or words of another? These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger and bitterness, even vengeance. However, if you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. You’re going to be running in circles, a never ending loop. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting the lessons or excusing the harm done to you or making up with the person who caused the harm. Trust me, forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life. It feels REALLY good!
Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. It’s accepting the past for what it was and using this moment and this time to help yourself move forward. – Oprah
6. Don’t be afraid to seek for help.
I used to think that I will be a burden to others if I seek for help or support. People, if they can, will help you. Hence, if you need a pair of ears, support or advice when you have no clue what to do with your life or any kind of problems, don’t be afraid to reach out. Your family and best friends are more than happy to give you any support.
Give yourself a pinky promise that you will exercise at least twice a week. Don’t give yourself any excuse for not hitting up the gym. A long walk after work can also help you in relieving stress.
8. Make your own decisions!
Never ever let anyone talk you into helping you make any kind of decisions! You can have all the time you need to think and make the final decision on everything involves you. Most important thing, never make decision when you are upset, angry or unsure. It is good to ask for advice from others, but at the end of the day, learn to take the risk on your own terms.
9. Love yourself.
Love yourself from within. Learn to accept your imperfections, embrace them and forgive yourself for the mistakes you have done. You are not perfect and you don’t have to be. Nobody is! If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others and how do you expect others to love you. This is a tough task but please work on this, peeps!
10. Everyone has their own timing.
Don’t rush things because you felt left out from your peers, the society. Everyone in this world works based on their time zone. People around you might seem to be ahead of you and some might seem to be behind you. But everyone is running their own race, in their own time. Example: You don’t need to buy a house or get married by 30.
11. Seek validations from within.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy by having negative thoughts about ourselves. This lead us in seeking approval from others, or social medias. But you can never get enough and feel content by solely relying validations from others. Hence, the key is to recognise your own worth. Knowing you are loved, valuable and worthy simply because you are, and not because of what you think, say, do, or what others think of you.
12. Travel SOLO at least once.
Traveling solo is a rollercoaster of emotions from excited, to mind-blown, to accomplished, to feeling loved, to being scared, to bored, there is no shortage of adjectives to list. A solo adventure is a time we can only rely on ourselves. Which ends up being very rewarding as you tend to learn a lot from all the things that happen throughout the trip. The biggest takeaway for me is I became braver and I did things I normally wouldn’t do. P.S Do not wait for retirement to travel the world. Do it while you are young and mobile. Who knows if you will be alive for retirement?
13. Enjoy your own company.
I’m the type of person who loves to spend time with myself. I can stress no more that how important “me time” is. You are going to know yourself better through all the internal monologues you have with yourself. Besides, you also know how to make yourself feel better.
14. Trust is the foundation of any relationship.
Any relationship built on the right amount of mutual trust indeed goes the extra mile. However, having blind faith is suicide. Let your friend or partner explore you layer by layer, once at a time, rather than you voluntarily stripping your life and gifting it to them as a token of trust. Trust need to be gained instead of giving out voluntarily.
15. Accept the fact that some people are meant to be in your life for just a certain amount of time and no more.
You have to embrace that each person that you’ve encountered with in your life has played some type of roles which you have grown as a person. It sucks when some leave, but there is nothing to do about it. People who wants to stay, will make an effort, and will not leave at the first place. So, if people choose to leave, let them go.
16. Read more!
Always make an effort to read. Reading is irreplaceable for activating certain regions of the brain. If reading is not your cup of tea, try listening to podcast or even audio books. Audiobooks and podcast are game changers! You can always tune in while you’re driving, going for walks, or even cleaning.
17. Single can be a phase or a choice.
It is okay if you are not in a relationship, even if everyone else around you is getting engaged and married. Do not settle just because you think you should. Most important is never love someone only because you are lonely. Love is not an umbrella you use only when it storms.
18. Do not stress over things you can’t control.
Do not stress over situations in your life that cannot be controlled. It’s easier said than done (and I’m still working hard on this challenge until today), but it’s something to learn to handle as young adults. Life is never going to get any easier.
19. Don’t care about what other people think.
I knowwwwwwwwww this is extremely hard!!! There will always be people judging and criticising whatever you do (or don’t). So FUCK them and do whatever makes you happy.
20. Change is REALLY the only constant.
We are constantly changing. You can change after reading a book, after listening to an inspiring podcast, after a conversation. Some philosophers and theorists suggest that we are in a constant state of flux, so much that we cannot even say we have one, specific ‘self’ (or a fixed personality). People’s thoughts, ideas and views change on a regular basis. Hence, if you are making positive changes in your life and evolving as a person, it is a good thing as it shows you’re improving. So, don’t worry about the naysayers, you need to get on with it and do what’s best for you.
21. Acknowledge your emotions and let it flow.
It is okay to be not okay! If you feel upset, cry it out, talk it out, do whatever that makes you feel better instead of avoiding those negative emotions. As over time, avoidance becomes a prison, because after a while you begin to feel the need to avoid many situations, people, experiences and places that may bring the negative emotion to mind, stir it, or remind you of it. And the more you avoid, the weaker you feel, the more your coping skills diminish, and the less of life you can experience.
22. Get drunk when you’re happy not when you’re sad.
Many tend to drink to forget all the problems for a bit. Yes, it is only for a bit and you have to deal with all the shitty hangovers so why do so? Please don’t drink when you’re sad. Drink because you’re happy. Drink because it’s a beautiful day or because you’re stoked on your new project or you’re just feeling good. Drink to celebrate life, not to deal with loss.
23. Love what you do.
Love what you do for a living. Not everyone loves their job, but this is the time to figure out what you are passionate about. It is okay if you have not discover what you like, just take the risk to try something new.
24. Be here, now.
Past and future have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun. Thus, the key to happiness is embrace the present.
25. Save a portion of your money.
People nowadays spend more than they can afford and chant “life is only once, live it!” — but life can be pretty long. And, am sure you need savings at some point for something big.