2014 was a lot of ups and downs for me. I changed my hairstyle 4 times, got it dyed in 5 different colors. I was going through a lot of pain, but at the same time I was working hard and earned small achievements in life. It was a very stressful year, but one that I am thankful for as I have come to many realizations and was a given a different perspective in a lot of things. Here are some of the lessons I wish to carry with me this 2015.
- What was broken by love can be mended by love.
It can be exciting when your heart runs away from your chest from sheer excitement of seeing that person or even just a simple ‘hi’ from that special someone, but it can also be torturing with countless of sleepless nights and constant what ifs. Wounds incurred by love, may be healed by love. It doesn’t have to be from the object of our affection. (Which we very much prefer honestly speaking.) It may come from the goodness of your heart or from the care others bring to you. As we impart something of ourselves in each kind act, we give of that feeling of love and we receive the same through their thoughtful smiles and heart-warming gratefulness. By loving others, the void we feel in our hearts gives us a sense of fulfillment and completeness… a joy to our soul which in itself empowers us to move on or break free from what is keeping us sad. Love, may come from strangers, from our families and friends. There are many kinds of love in this world, and we are given the chance to seek each kind there is. When love is given, love is returned ten folds.
- It takes a lot of work to be great.
Grinding, pencil-pushing, late night reviews and drinking a pitcher of coffee just to keep yourself awake to study… are just part of the work we do so that we can be someone great. Why torture yourself? But greatness comes with big responsibilities; even working towards to greatness comes with big sacrifices. There are no shortcuts in life, but remember what they say… It’s the climb! Greatness is not being on top or getting to the finish line… that my friend is just the medal or the icing on top. Heck, even those who joined are given a round of applause for having the courage to fight. It is not purely winning. It is overcoming all obstacles, not losing hope and having the courage to fight for our dreams. It is all those nights we do not sleep… all those gruesome hours of studying or working that makes as better than our former self. Doing over and above than what is required gives value to people rather than just success.
“There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.” –William F. Halsey
- Happiness is a personal choice.
It is such a messy choice that once you’ve chosen it, it rubs off on other people. As the saying goes, one can’t share happiness without rubbing some of it to one’s self. You can’t make others happy, they have to choose it for themselves. What we can do is give them a reason to smile. As said by Gandhi, happiness is when your thoughts , words and deeds are in harmony. It isn’t what you have or who you have in your life that determines your happiness, it is what you think and do about it.
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
― Abraham Lincoln
- One act of kindness creates a hundredfold difference.
I believe that we are all innately good. But what makes others stand out is that they reach out to others. They give a helping hand to those in need. They exert effort to make a difference in the world. What is great about people is that they have the ability to effect change, to affect those around him positively. Everyone around you has a battle they are fighting, and to let them take a rest from that battle through any act of kindness is humanity in its most beautiful form. Kindness can make a deaf person hear, a mute person laugh loud and a blind man see.
- Value silence and listen well.
Talking is overrated, listening is underrated. We are often trapped in a situation wherein what remains is what is unspoken. What lies in silence are the feelings underneath. Valuing silence is understanding on a different level. It creates a connection stronger than imparting words of love from the lips.
- Dreaming is the start of planning
I have a classmate who is more than 60 years old, has a family and spent his years providing for his wife and two sons. Now, he is studying to become a lawyer and fulfill his dreams. Age is not an excuse and time is not a hindrance to stop learning. Always keep a dream in your pocket and never run out of it. Dreaming is part of planning, it is the start of everything that we place our minds on doing. Happiness is found in dreams. Dream big and be happy about every achievement towards that dream no matter how small. You find happiness when you take steps towards achieving your goals. The tears are always accompanied with smiles, the sweat are always accompanied with laughter if you love what you do. Do not be afraid to dream great things. Do not be afraid to dream together with the people you love… your family, your friends, and your special person. While too many of us live in never ending dilemmas, or crushing dramas, it is in our dreams that we seek solitude, answers, hope and even faith. We learn not to give up when we dream. That’s how powerful having a dream is.
- Family and friends are treasures we blind ourselves from searching and experiencing.
For almost the whole year, I have spent 10 or more hours in the office, I don’t go home to the province to visit my parents, and I skip dinner with my siblings. I have been overly inattentive to my family and I regret it. My parents are getting old and I spend less and less times with my siblings. I decline offers to go out with my friends. I worked hard and earned a lot but at the cost of the time I should have been spending with my family and friends. I thought that since they are family, the will love me no matter what and will understand my need to work hard. Yes they will understand, and yes they will love you no matter what, but what’s the use of it all when they are no longer around. What is most important is the time we spend with our loved ones. Money is something you can earn, but the people we love cannot be replaced.
- Confidence is a talent which everyone potentially has
We all have potentials and to market the potential we have, we need confidence. Confidence can be considered as some kind of an outfit that you could rock with but for me it’s something that is in all of us but is clouded by fear and doubt. Confidence comes from the power within ourselves, believing in that inner voice within and discarding any opinions from outside. Success comes easily to those who are confident. People notices the beauty of who you are. People tend to hold back their true selves, so we go out there being someone who we think we are not. Don’t ever let anyone dull your spark, let people see how awesome you are for the beauty within.
- Lying is a talent which one can’t keep forever.
No matter how talented you are at lying, the truth will always come out. There is a saying that talent at lying may win you the game, but truth and courage wins championships.
- Being grateful will bring you happiness
A person who knows how to express gratitude is a happy person. Saying thank you is not only fulfilling to the person you want to express your gratitude to, but it is also fulfilling to the person saying it. It’s a two way street and a sure equation for happiness. This help people shift their anger, bitterness and despair to something more productive and awarding.
- Criticizing is a roadblock towards happiness
You dwell on the negativity. Everyone is not worse off, just different. No one has the right to criticize others. You might think you are smarter but that doesn’t make you more insightful than the others. We each have our own battle scars, and we each have our own way of dealing with things. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses. Never judge anyone because we never know the stories they carry around in their hearts.
- Fake it til you feel it
No one is actually perfectly fine. There’s just no such thing. No matter how we prepare ourselves or give our 100%, we don’t actually often obtain 100% of the result we expect, but we keep going. Sometimes the first step to making it, is faking it. I’m not saying materialistically faking it, like buying things you can’t afford, I’m talking about the emotional side, the big strides in our lives. The strength of your will shows the strength of your heart, and a strong heart has a bigger chance to find happiness by withstanding pain and sacrifices.