2017 is finally coming to an end!!! Whoop Whoop!!
I’m super duper excited! Can you tell?
This year has been all sorts of amazing! The good, the great, the not-so-good and the downright discouraging. It’s been one huge rollercoaster but one that I’m super grateful for. For me, the year 2017 has been full of so so much; from expectations at the beginning of the year, to realizing certain dreams and taking baby steps in the right direction, to conquering fears and growing in various aspects of life, to unexpected blows and disappointments, to establishing new and exciting relationships, to the random numerous blessings and exciting moments. I can go on and on!!
But I think one of the most important things I have appreciated this past year are the lessons learned from life’s experiences as well as from amazing people in my life. I will be sharing some of and I hope we can pick one or two things from these lessons and also be encouraged as well.
1. Just get started
Clearly, this was one of my biggest lessons this past year since I put up a whole post about it. If you haven’t read that, you can here
. But it really helped me appreciate a whole lot about life. I’ve learned that no matter how small or big a dream may be, the most important step is just to take a step. How would you know if that dream is for you or not if you do not? Sometimes, things seem so far from us when they are merely within our reach and all we have to do is reach out and grab it. I know that for me, there were quite a number of fears I had to conquer even with starting this blog (the observant folks will notice I have been registered in blogger since early 2016) but never really came around to posting any content. I know some of us may have read that first post and were pumped to just get started on that dream or activity and with time, the “ginger” died down again but I am here to remind us again, especially with 2018 in view. Maybe you’re one of those that write down your resolutions (which I’m coming to in my next lesson below) or maybe you’re not but if you have that dream that you want to accomplish in the next year, the only way would be to get started.
One thing I’ve learned is that getting started is not the hardest task. The hardest task is to keep going. To keep going during the discouraging moments, to keep going during the moments filled with doubts, to keep going when life deals you unfair cards and to keep going when it doesn’t seem like something good might come out of where you are presently. I, for one, have been faced with a lot of challenges since I started this blog and sometimes (and I don’t know if anyone can relate to this) it feels like you were just chilling in your comfort zone but the minute you decide to take a leap of faith and do something, so many challenges spring up and want to eat you alive. But that I’ve learned that to keep going is key. As Harriet Stowe once said “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Never stop trying. Never stop believing in yourself. Never quit. You can do it. 2018 will be a great year.
2. Write things down
So this seems like a basic enough lesson to learn but this was something I deeply learned and appreciated in 2017 not only because it helped me remember vital things but the fact that there’s something about putting pen to paper; be it aspirations, short term goals, long term goals, notes from messages, things not to forget, people to call or message and so on. There’s something pretty amazing, I’ve learned, about putting things down on paper and later ticking them off when accomplished. I also found that it reminded me of things that I was yet to accomplish and there was always this thing nudging at me to get stuff done when I saw them written down but not ticked off.
So maybe going forward, you can try writing stuff down, especially if you’re one of those “I have it in my head, I’m good” kind of people. Not that there’s nothing wrong with keeping things in your head, but I figured that with daily distractions, hustling and bustling everywhere, even uncertainties and fears that may creep up out of the blues, sometimes it gets hard to keep track of long term goals and progress with respect to short term goals or even daily goals. Sometimes, creative ideas or pointers may come to you in an unexpected instant and may vanish the very next if they are not put down in writing. And if you think you’ll be able to pull it out of your head much later when you’re lying down or relaxed, chances are it may not happen. So, write them down. Oh, and if I may add, you stand nothing to lose by writing things down. Helps with organization as well. Yes?
“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”- Francis Bacon
3. Expect to fail
So this lesson was one of my biggest this year and I remember when someone dear to me said it and I thought “huh? why should I expect to fail when I want to expect to win all the time?” and then it was explained to me clearer and having pondered further, I realize that expecting to fail is an ironically positive mindset to have. I understood that by accepting that there is a possibility of failing at something I do, I subconsciously admit to myself that I do not know everything but am constantly learning and finding new and improved ways of doing everything.
Of course, failure is not a word anyone wants to be associated with, but by understanding that before I succeed, I may try a number of times at something and fail, I learn not to dwell on the failure when it occurs because I understand that I am an imperfect human being undergoing a continuing learning process. By doing this, I also expect the possibility of failure in advance and keep a positive mindset even when it happens and am able to bounce back faster that someone who must have rejected the whole concept of failure as not being applicable to them.
This mentality does not mean that one should not expect to win or expect to have things work in their favour, but I have learned that it just makes you humble and better prepared for any adverse situations that may arise in realizing your dreams. So I stay positive and expect the best as well as understand that I may not get it right the first time around. As we forge ahead into the new year, we definitely should expect that the very best will come our way. However, leave room for mistakes, learning experiences, imperfections, growth and self improvement and development.
4. You’re not an island
Well you’ve obviously we’ve all heard the “no man is an island” oldies’ song (yup, I am that old). It’s really not just a song anyway. I learned this so so much this past year. We are not here to exist on our own. I guess that’s why we have family and friends and other acquaintances in our lives. Sometimes, we get lost on trying to figure things out stuff on our own that we shut others out and get so comfortable in our own worlds. We don’t check up on friends and family and just assume everyone understands because work is stressful and you “cannot come and go and die” by keeping in touch with the “whole world”. I figured it’s more than that. It’s about connecting with people and about being a source of inspiration or encouragement to others. Life is not just about hustling and trying to make ends meet. A simple phone call might make someone’s day in ways money might not (if you also want to give money please do. Money makes people happy too. LOL). But yeah, the phone call. Yes. Do that.
On the other part of it, I reposted a video on my instagram not too long ago about a deer that was stuck on ice sheet and tried effortlessly to move but it could not because the ice was slippery and its hooves( or what they have) would not balance on the ice to help it walk out of there. Apparently, deers do not ice skate. But the deer kept on trying and fighting trying to stand up but would just keep slipping and falling until some man came over with a machine to help push it onto land. Even when the deer heard the sound of help coming, it still kept on trying to find its way and stand by itself (even though the deer might have been afraid of the machine anyway).The lesson I took from that was sometimes we’re too busy trying to do things ourselves that even when people offer us help, we can’t see it and so we want to do it ourselves. Sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to be helped by others for fear of feeling like we owe them something in return or we are obligated to them.
Remember, you’re not an island.
5. Don’t Dwell
So this was a major one I had to learn this past year. Not dwelling on misfortunes. It really taught me a whole lot. We say it a lot and encourage ourselves by it and decide not to dwell on misfortunes or unfortunate events in our lives but sometimes we do not know how much we can be caught up doing this until something not-so-great happens to us.
I learned that things happen for a reason and most times, in unfortunate events, all we might be able to do is take the lessons to be learned from the situation and just forge ahead. Really, what else can you do but to keep going and keep moving. Dwelling on the not-so-great things or being hard on yourself after mistakes have been made or dwelling in the past of what could have been or dwelling on what may never happen really never makes anything better. It definitely would not make you feel better. There’s nothing positive that comes from it anyway and time wasted on feeling bad can never be gotten back.
Remember, you cannot start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.
6. Indecision is the worst decision
Another major lesson I learned from someone dear to me was on making and taking decisions in life. Sometimes, we have what some call “analysis paralysis” where we over-analyse certain decisions that we plan to take and end up not even taking any decision. Why not just take a decision and stick by it?
Sometimes, we fear the results of taking certain decisions in various aspects of our lives, so much so that we refrain from taking those decisions and remain in our comfort zones for long time. I’ve figured that when faced with decisions, think carefully, don’t dwell, make that decision and see it through!
7. Believe in You!
This was perhaps the biggest lesson I learned this past year. I definitely found myself growing in the aspect of believing more and having faith in myself. In doing this, I was able to conquer a lot of my fears and do away with negative thinking. I’ve figured that most times, when faced with a task or challenge, it’s not really that we do not posses the skills or knowledge on how to go about it, it’s just that we doubt ourselves so much that we get paralysed by the doubt and fear. We subconsciously believe that we cannot or are not able to do what is before us and the molehill appears to be a mountain.
It is often said that “we are only as powerful as our minds” and rightly so because the first step to being able to achieve anything is believing that we can. So whatever it is you’re passionate about accomplishing this 2018, first believe that you can and you’ll be well on your way! Take a leap of faith and believe in yourself and your abilities as well as your potential! Never let self-doubt keep you from realizing that which you’ve always wanted to achieve. Believe that you can and you will!
Remember, “They conquer who believe they can.”
Thank you for reading! 2018 is going to be a great year!