Today is the last day of 2017. This year has been very eventful. I took a new job; make new friends and new connections, and confronted with challenges I have never faced before. With each challenge, comes tremendous opportunity for growth. Although I feel there’s so much more to achieve in life (that’s always the case for someone who always put very high standard in everything), I remind myself to pause for a while and look back on what I have achieved so far. Even though the wins seem small, consider them as small wins, which will eventually lead to bigger win (success).
Looking back to the person I was 1-2 years ago, I admit that I have progressed so much. That greatly matters to me. I don’t want to compare my milestones with other people. It will just make me feel never enough. I have to convince myself that I AM enough, and the only person I want to compete with is just my own self. As long as I am now better than my previous self, I am okay. There are 3 important life lessons I have learned this year.
1. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Firstly, I learned to practice gratitude more. Life is not always rosy. From time to time, it throws curve balls at us. It’s easy to feel happy and thankful when you get what you asked for. But, it’s more difficult to keep feeling grateful when you have less. It is really important to appreciate what you have, instead of stressing too much on what you don’t have. Take a minute to list down 5 things you’re most grateful about today. You’ll be amazed how instantly it changes your mood. Even looking at the little things, you will feel so much better.
Take a glance at people who are less fortunate than you (in various aspects). While you are whining about your ‘crappy’ job, there are others who desperately seeking for one. While you complaint about your physical ‘imperfections’ (no body is perfect, by the way), there are people who are struggling with serious, debilitating health issues. While you’re unsatisfied with your small home, there are people without shelter over their heads.
2. FOCUS ON THINGS THAT MATTER
What matters most for me may not be the same for you. Everybody has his or her own things that matter. Decide what matters most to you, and be okay if you cannot commit to others. We have limited time, energy and money. The sooner you realize that you cannot do it all at the same time, the more content you will become. However, it does not mean that we should stop striving to do the best we can.
3. PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE
Finally, the most important lesson I learned in 2017 is to practice self-love and prioritize self-care. Be aware of your physical and emotional needs. Prioritize your own wellbeing before you can help others. When your ‘battery’ is full, only then you can present your best self to those around you. Putting your oxygen mask (in-flight) before putting it on others under your care is not selfish, it is a smart, responsible act.
I wish the New Year would bring us all the abundance, success and everything we wished for. Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018!