I turned 29 last Tuesday. Sometimes I can’t believe I am reaching my thirties! As I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude for all the wonderful people I have, all the amazing experiences I have had. I can see I have grown so much over these years and what a journey it has been! I want to share with you, the valuable life lessons I learned in these years. I hope you’ll be able to resonate with me, and I hope my story helps you to overcome the hurdles of life and to enjoy life to the fullest. So, here we go....
Lesson 1- Take suggestions from others, but make your own decisions:
At different stages of your life, there will be a lot of people pouring suggestions on us, regarding courses, studies, job, marriage, and everything. What to do then? The best thing is to listen to all of them, but in the end, making our own decisions. Also, we have to be ready to accept all the consequences of those decisions, because that’s how we grow!
Lesson 2- No matter how lost, or alone/left-out you feel in your childhood or teenage, you are just amazing the way you are:
I always felt I was very different from the people around me. I didn’t have many friends; I wasn’t the leader type; I was shy and introverted. For a very long time, I thought of myself as inferior to others, less capable than others. I felt no one could love me exactly the way I am and I need to fit into the world’s standards.
During my teenage, I told myself, I am not intelligent enough to achieve whatever I want, my English is not fluent enough to compete with the world, and so many other things.
But as I grew, I did everything that I thought I couldn’t. And I met people who I could resonate with, people who love me for who I am. So, remember how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. There’s a big world out there and so are thousands of chances to meet your kind of people. There will be someone who appreciates you and loves you just the way you are.
Lesson 3- You don’t need to impress everyone (anyone):
Seeking validation and approval from others is normal human nature. According a psychological theory called Maslows Hierarchy of needs love/belonging and esteem are two important human needs. As kids, we unknowingly build a habit of seeking others’ approval for everything. But as we grow, we need to notice it because it’s not healthy and people can manipulate us.
You don’t have to impress anyone, be it your parents, boss, partner or friends. Keep doing what YOU want and the right people will be impressed automatically!
Lesson 4- Your height, hair, skin color is not important:
People used to tell me I am not tall enough, I have too much body hair for a girl, my hair is not smooth and silky, and I believed all of them were my weaknesses. I constantly compared myself to others and felt inferior.
One day I decided “enough is enough”, I started telling people “my ‘height’ doesn’t matter, what heights do I reach in my life matters” and started living by that statement!
There might be relatives and friends commenting on your skin colour, your eyes, hair and whatnot. But beauty always lies inside someone’s heart. Accepting our own body and skin and loving ourselves just the way we are is very important.
Lesson 5- Books can solve all your problems:
We get stuck in life sometimes, there will be hundreds of questions inside us. I believe the right book can answer all those questions. So, read, as much as you can. There’s an ocean of knowledge out there. Invest all your time and energy you’re spending in worrying, doubting, getting angry at someone, spreading hatred on reading. It will change your life.
Lesson 6- The answer is always a no unless you ask.
I have never been that bold girl who goes first for everything, asks what she wants. But in time, I have learned no one is coming to you and offer everything you want. YOU have to ASK. Ask people, ask the universe whatever you want. Don’t fear rejection. If you ask, the answer can be yes or no. But if you don’t ask, the answer will always be a no!
Lesson 7- You learn the most during the toughest times of your life:
It’s very easy to preach such things. But when that tough time comes, it’s very, very uncomfortable. It’s intolerable. It feels like the end of the world. It seems like it’s going to stay with us forever. BUT... if you look back after a few years, all you see is GROWTH. You don’t grow when you’re happy and relaxed. You grow during the most difficult phases of life. It sounds so clichéd but it’s the truth.
Lesson 8- You are in charge of your happiness, no one else:
For a very long time, I believed it’s my boss, my friends, and other life situations making me unhappy. But now I know it’s always my own thoughts creating all my moods, be it happy or sad. Whatever the situation might be, how you react to that situation decides how you feel about it.
Lesson 9- Work is not life:
Work is just a part of life, it’s not your whole life. You should never decide your worth based on your work because if you do that, you’ll not be able to LIVE life. There’s so much more to life than work. Having a balance can go a long way in creating a happy, healthy life.
Lesson 10- Making others happy will make you happy:
Various research studies have shown doing random acts of kindness makes us happier, more energetic by releasing some brain chemicals.
We are all immersed in our own problems all the time. But just for a moment if we can pause, and look around, there are so many people who need help. We can help them in whatever small way we can. It might be listening to a friend who’s going through a lot, or encouraging the neighbor kid when he’s tensed about his exams, or just asking the security guard how was his day?. All these little gestures that bring smiles on someone’s faces will make you happy from within.
Lesson 11- Look within yourself, you’ll find peace:
Self-introspection has the power to change your life. When you look within yourself, you realize most of the problems don’t really exist; they are just in your head! The best way to do this is by journaling and meditation. Check out this article on how to start journaling and stick with it forever.
Well, these are the valuable lessons I have learnt in 29 years of my life. Hope you found something useful in this.
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Have a great weekend and I will see you next Saturday...