Now that 2020 has officially begun & 2019 is officially over, I can pen down the lessons I have learned from the past year.
1. Keep Faith, no matter what has happened to you
Perhaps you lost a job.
A romantic relationship ended.
A business partnership broke down.
You went through a few bouts of illness.
Any of these can pull you down. But don’t let it keep you down.
Go through the grieving process, after which, release the thoughts & feelings associated with the incident.
Then have faith that things will get better, because once you’ve hit the bottom, the only way is truly up, baby!
Trust that the breakdown had to happen so that you can clear things out from your life. Once this is cleared, you have created space in your life to welcome new experiences.
There’s no guarantee that the experiences will be better, but they all serve to develop & grow you as a person.
In 2019, I have:
- Lost yoga teaching slots at studios.
- Lost ‘friends’.
- Was downed by a viral flu for about two weeks.
Yet, I kept faith that things will get better.
2. Trust in the Universe, it’s timing is impeccable
Sometimes, we push for something to happen by a certain time. However, as much as we plan & do, it will not happen if the timing is not right. Unfortunately, this is something that we can’t control.
This is just how life works!
Let’s look at a simple example: A promotion at work.
You have been performing above expectations in your role and thought you would be promoted by June of the year. However, it didn’t happen. Thus, you became disappointed & question your next step.
Sure, the promotion is decided by your superiors or company management. Yet, that’s just how the universe works — through people & circumstances to deliver what you have to experience.
Perhaps the promotion didn’t happen because your current skills & mindset are not yet sufficient to take on a larger role or greater responsibilities. Pause to reevaluate why you’re professionally not yet prepped for the promotion, and what you can do to get there. Then allow the universe to work its magic — give up expectations of when the promotion will happen, simply focus on self improvement, then find yourself arriving at your destination when you least expect it.
This applies in many different ways to all areas of our life:
- Upgrading from a small apartment to a bigger one.
- Getting promoted at work.
- Getting a salary or benefit increase.
- Having a partner in your life.
- Travel plans.
All we can do is set intentions to achieve or experience something, then set it free for the universe to deliver it to you when you’re ready to receive it.
Trust in it’s timing, the universe always delivers.
3. Be Kind, in particular to strangers
One of the things I’ve noticed as I go around my day is that a smile can change how someone feels. Many times, perfect strangers are lost in their thoughts, or have a scowl on their face. Yet the moment I smile at them, their facial expression or look in their eyes soften. Some return the smile to me.
I’ve realised that just like me, everyone has their own personal struggles. Some struggles may be real, such as losing a job or not being able to afford a place to stay, while some are struggles in their mind.
Whatever the struggle may be, everyone is fighting their own battles every day. It may not be the same as what you’re experiencing, but like you, they’re dealing with stuff to the best of their knowledge and capabilities.
The least that you can do is not dump your thoughts or emotions on others, deal with them yourself.
I also find that when I fill my heart with kindness, I feel better. It will not change what I’m dealing with at that moment, but it changes the way I feel. And this is usually the start to changing the way I look at the situation.
Also, one of the best ways to brighten up anyone’s day is to interact with children. Remember that you were a child once, and you were innocent.
Take time to smile or wave at them, ask a few questions if their parents are interactive & open, then watch your own day transform.
4. There’s No Right or Wrong, it just is
Yesterday evening, within minutes of being introduced to a guy, he began pouring out his thoughts and feelings about the lady he is currently with.
Setting the context: He has started divorce proceedings ever since he got together with this lady, who is also Chinese (perhaps that’s why he felt like I could relate?), who has the same birthday as three other of his ex girlfriends (no idea if these were before he got married or before he got divorce).
As she is already in a relationship with him, he feels it is wrong of her to speak with other guys because of her history of being (in his words) taken advantage of. He said that she needs to learn her lessons, and he is there to teach her how to learn the lessons because what she is doing is wrong.
When I asked him how does he know what is wrong or what is right, and why does he think he must be the one to teach her anything, he just kept insisting that it’s because he has to and she doesn’t know.
Then when I asked why he was still in this relationship with her when it sounds like he doesn’t trust her, he said I didn’t understand.
When I pointed out that this is her journey to experience, and that he has his own journey to experience through his reactions to her, he immediately stated that I didn’t understand and that it was just wrong of her.
Firstly, there are many things that I don’t agree with about how he entered this relationship with her, given that he is still married.
Secondly, I also don’t agree with his attitude towards her.
Many would label his attitude and actions as wrong. Yet,
What is wrong and what is right?
This is an experience that they are sharing, and until they discover what it is they need to learn from each other, there is no right or wrong.
It is the same for all experiences in our life, be it family, friends, work, approach to life.
We shouldn’t judge other people’s actions, even if their actions are different from our set of morals or ethics.
What they are going through just is, there’s no right or wrong.
5. Be Grateful, for every experience
As I lived through 2019, I remain grateful for each encounter & situation that I went through.
There were times that felt particularly challenging — I dealt with emotions of loneliness, feeling lost, and a general sense of “What is the purpose of this?”.
Yet, it is after the experience has passed that I’m able to look back and make sense of it.
What may seem hopeless at that point, turned out to be an opportunity for me to grow as a person — I changed how I viewed something, I found a new way of getting things done, I challenged my mindset.
So even though I don’t have any idea of what’s the result of the experience, I remain grateful for it.
6. Work on Your Self First, your life is your own business, not someone else’s business (and someone else’s life is their business, not your business)
This is probably one of the hardest things for most people to do. Only because we love poking our nose into other people’s lives.
Yet remember: There is no wrong or right, it just is, how other people live their lives is not your business.
Yes, even if you don’t understand, and especially more so when you don’t understand it.
The most important person you need to pay attention to is yourself.
If you keep returning to the same types of relationships or situations, stop to ask yourself why this is happening.
If you’re unable to spend time changing the way you look at things or understand things, your life continues to remain the same, and you feel as if you’re stuck between a rock & and a hard place.
Rather than waste time on other people’s lives, which you can’t change unless they wish to do so themselves, spend time on your own life, which you can change.