28 things I've learned in 23 years
There's no hiding the fact that I'm totally going against the grain with the post title here. I wanted to keep it really personal and decided to make a list of 28 things, which happens to be my birth date. To add to the abnormality, the original idea was to publish it that day, but I guess I just wasn't quite ready then. But now I am, so you can dive right into it!
1. ENERGY IS REAL
And we have all felt it at some point or the other, but too often a time we tend to overlook. How at times we don't like somebody the moment they enter the room and have never even met them before? Or how we feel so good around some people without any reason? Energy is very, very real.
2. MORE POSSESSIONS = MORE STRESS
Like an excerpt from the book Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton-
"Less stuff, more soul. Less hustle, more ease. Less chaos, more calm.
Less mass consumption, more unique creation.
Less complexity, more clarity. Less judgement, more forgiveness. Less bravado, more truth.
Less resistance, more resilience. Less control, more surrender.
Less head, more heart."
3. YOU ARE INDEED SPECIAL, BUT SO IS EVERYONE ELSE.
And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this ('one of a kind'-ness) isn't going to earn you anything. It is great to have a realization of how we're all different from each other and special in our own way but one also has to convert it into action to be able to bear all the fruits the uniqueness has to offer.
4. IT'S OKAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND, EVEN DRASTICALLY.
And you don't need to explain yourself for it.
5. IF YOUR CONFIDENCE COMES FROM THE CAR YOU DRIVE, THE HANDBAG YOU CARRY OR EVEN THE SCHOOL YOU ATTENDED, IT WILL GO AWAY.
There will always be somebody with a shinier car, costlier handbag or somebody smarter than you in the room and if that is the reason for your confidence shaking up, it's not at the core.
6. EVERYBODY IS DOING THEIR BEST FROM THEIR LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING.
Too often, we offer advice for others' problems and tell them how it can be dealt with if only they followed 'our way'. It's more than likely that they already thought of that, applied it and failed. It's easy and very common to tell people that they are not doing 'enough' but sometimes all that's needed is a little understanding and many times, just a listening ear. People have a greater need to be trusted and respected rather than guided. And the code word here's- EMPATHY.
7. COLD MEDICINES AND COUGH SYRUPS DON'T ACTUALLY WORK.
8. THERE IS NO SHORTCUT TO GOOD HEALTH.
Magic potions like warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning won't make you lose weight. Adopting a western fad diet and not staying true to your genes won't give you a healthy body. And fruit juices do you more harm than good.
9. REAL FRIENDS HUG YOU WHEN THEY MEET.
And true friendships stand the test of time and distance.
10. BEFORE YOU TALK ABOUT SOMEONE, TALK WITH THEM.
People are changing and growing every second of the day (except for those who aren't- run away from them). There is a valid reason for everything if you look closely. Generalizing or assuming only stops our own growth and prevents one from seeing all that could be.
11. HELP OTHERS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
And allow others to help you.
12. WORDS CAN FOOL YOU, SO CAN ACTIONS. CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
We all know that words alone should never be trusted. People might also go out of their ways to back their words up with actions- once or even twice. But that as a sign for authenticity is not quite enough. One should always look for a steady course of actions to determine the genuinity of one’s nature.
13. SHOWING EMOTIONS IS NOT A SIGN OF THE WEAK. IT TAKES A GREAT DEAL OF STRENGTH TO BE VULNERABLE.
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” - Criss Jami
14. IT IS IMPORTANT TO BURN SOME BRIDGES.
When people really drain your energy, serve you negatively or don't add value to your growth, you're allowed to cut them off- no explanations needed.
15. WHAT YOU SEE IN OTHERS IS A REFLECTION OF YOURSELF.
What you hate in other people very outrightly explains what you hate in yourself. If there are some particular traits that irritate you or something you just cannot stand, it's more than likely that you possess those yourself and want to change it or get rid of. Always pay attention to what annoys you the most.
16. WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME TO START NEVER GETS THE JOB DONE.
Waiting and waiting especially for 'the perfect time to start' has always been the problem for the ever so indecisive me. To feed to some other notions- 'inspiration comes when it comes' or 'I can only work in pressure' (yes, near deadline) are excuses a lot of people give to themselves and I was no different either. There have been times when I'd not be able to even start working a project because I was stuck on trivial decisions like choosing a font, what paper to use or even if I want something to be in portrait or landscape! But what I've learned over time is that it's always going to be 'less than perfect' and that is okay. The main thing is to get started and work on improving anything as you go about it.
17. LOVE THE PROCESS MORE THAN THE OUTCOME.
We often attach ourselves to the outcome and end up feeling stressed/depressed when it doesn’t turn up as we had expected. What we forget is that we have no control over results. But what we can control is the process. So we should instead direct our energy to what can be controlled and work on it to be better versions of ourselves.
18. IF YOU NEVER ADD LEMON ZEST TO YOUR FOOD, DO YOU EVEN COOK?
19. BE BLUNT AND HONEST.
A lot of people might not like you for that, but that is exactly why it's worth it. The people who like you will do so for all the right reasons: for your realness and for being you! And who even has the time for sugarcoating and fake flattery? It might get your work done temporarily but over a period of time, the only thing it does is reduce your value as a person.
20. THE BEST REVENGE IS TO LET IT GO.
If a person has wronged you, they have wronged themselves. One cannot grow without the painful self-reflection that involves accepting one's flaws and taking responsibility for one's wrongdoings. When a person denies going through this uncomfortable process, they only hamper their own growth.
21. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. ALWAYS.
Be it friends, possessions or experiences.
22. MEDITATION IS LIFE CHANGING.
My tryst with meditation began only about a year and a half ago, but I practised diligently and in no time I got very serious about it. There were times when I'd meditate multiple times a day! It is just how relaxed and calm you feel after each session. One thing to outline here is that different things work for different people. For me, laying down to be most comfortable works best as my mind is relaxed and not distracted by a backache from sitting. Although that could lead to falling asleep but that's okay. Some meditation is better than no meditation. Another thing is doing group meditations as the joint energy of all the people in the room really makes a difference. To meditate is one advice often taken with a grain of salt. I cannot stress this enough but I have felt major shifts in my mood and an overall outlook in general and there's nothing better you can do for your mind+ body.
23. STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN. STAND UP FOR OTHER PEOPLE TOO.
Integrity is best judged when no one is looking.
24. WRITE THINGS DOWN. THERE'S NO WAY YOU'D REMEMBER THEM.
To be extremely honest- still learning.
The best ideas strike me in bed, just before I'm about to fall asleep and I make it a point to note down anything and everything, no matter how little or silly.
25. READING BOOKS IS NOT ABOUT TICKING OFF CHECKBOXES.
It is okay to skip parts of a book. It is okay to skip chapters. It is not okay to waste your time finishing a book just for the sake of completing it.
26. NATURE SOLVES EVERYTHING.
The hills, the greens, rivers and the sun have the power to put almost everything into perspective. That is precisely why to look up at the stars and contemplate the vastness of the universe can make you feel so small and your problems so insignificant. In other words, surrounding yourself with nature has a therapeutic effect that makes you realize how you co-exist in harmony with the things as is. It is liberating to know that it is not about you at all.
27. WHEN PEOPLE ACT OUT OF CHARACTER, BELIEVE THEM.
Believe that it is who they really are. That is exactly when they aren't playing a role to 'fit in' and the real them has leaked out of the mask they've been wearing the whole time. Especially what one says when they're angry is also what they truly mean. No, people don't get creative when they have a bad temper and make things up just to hurt you. If they say something totally out of line, there's a 99.99% chance that they always had it in their minds somewhere. They were just really good at keeping it concealed the whole while.
28. NOTHING IS MORE ATTRACTIVE THAN BEING COMPLETELY, UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOURSELF.
And that comes best with accepting your flaws.
Share it with somebody you care about. We never know how something can make a difference :)
Also, what are some of your favourite life lessons?
Let me know in the comments below!