“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” – Steve Maraboli
Each day there is a new thing that we learn irrespective of our age. I remember papa telling me this few years ago when he completed 50 years that each day there is at least one thing that still surprises him. That is so true. I couldn’t agree more. Why? Because it is so. You would probably agree with me if I tell that sometimes it’s not the age or the number of years you need to learn some very important lessons, but it is the situations you have been in and how you have handled them that brings the lessons. Again, irrespective of the age.
Hence, I tried to amalgamate all the significant lessons that I learned by my 25th birthday and bring it all together. There may be things one might not agree with but I am sure you can relate to them, for it would have happened at least once by now in your life too.
- Happiness doesn’t depend on anyone – This does not mean that everyone makes you sad or anything of the sort. It simply means that until and unless you find happiness within yourself, all other happiness is going to be temporary. Start enjoying time with yourself and discover the true you.
- Be prepared for the worst – Papa always told me this right from I can remember things that no matter what the situation and no matter what you do, always be ready for worst to happen and worst will never come. Not always true. It might come but on the positive side, you are ready for it. This does not mean one should only wait for something negative to happen. It simply means enjoy the present but be ready if reality hits.
- Change is the constant you cannot control – In my recent blog I have mentioned about how changes happen and what’s my take on it (You can read about it here: Change, transformation and more… ). This will happen. To you and to people around you and one must adapt it to and accept it gracefully. It’s no ones fault per-say. It’s situations and times that make things happen and it is alright. It is for a reason and it will be for the best.
- Patience is the key – I was a lot more patient than I am now. It gradually dropped due to a lot of reasons and sometimes you won’t even realize until pointed out by any of your friends or family. Presently, I am working to bring it back to my normal level. It will not only help you deal with things and situations in a better way but also control your tongue at a lot of times that might save things/friendships and relationships.
- Smile is not only contagious but can definitely spread lot more – Personally, not many people in my life have seen me without a smile. At any point of time they are with me, and heedless of what is going on in my life right now. This not only has spread joy to my friends but also strangers on almost daily basis. Don’t confuse this with fake smile pasted on the face. This is being genuinely happy about each day and little things that keep me going. I have seen it make a difference to random strangers and lighten their mood (which I was told while they were getting down from the bus/train I was in at the time). That in turn gave me so much more happiness and energy 🙂 Try it yourself and see the magic for yourself.
- Boosting others gives you confidence too – The more you support and boost someone’s confidence, it brings out more of you the inner energy.
- Try and fail – It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to be bad at somethings (actually even many things). As far as you have tried it once at least. This does not imply for everything you do. And definitely not for things that matter, like education.
- Faults are okay – Everyone has their flaws. And each ones own imperfections makes them the person they are. So, it is absolutely fine to have flaws and accept them. This makes it much easier to not just appreciate honest critics but embrace the person we are.
- Simple gestures can do all the magic – A simple thank you and sorry. A little card to say you appreciate or wish someone on some day that means something to them. Such little things have so much impact on every human, no matter where the person comes from or how old is the person. Act of kindness always can be seen in the ripples after it.
- Be ready to be served what you serve – I personally believe in the concept of what goes around, comes around or in simple words, Karma. If you do wrong to someone one purpose, you will be served your own dish in some way by the universe. Do good and see it all come back to you on a silver platter. Choice is yours and I have seen this work each day past 25 years.
- Be empathetic – It’s really simple to say “Aww, I feel so bad for you”. But in order to really make someone feel better or understand someone, try to place yourself in their shoes. It will truly make you realize what they might be actually going through. And that impacts more in personal relationships. Makes it stronger than we realize.
- Express truly – No matter good or bad, it is important to be true with it. If you truly like something about someone, express it. And similarly, if you don’t, then do that too. Sometimes while being honest and especially if the truth is bitter, perhaps a bow around it would be better (depending on the person) but on a general note, be straightforward. Maybe it sounds rude to some at first, but for a long run, it will help you no matter what.
- Clear misunderstandings before it all goes down hill – From what I have learned (the hard way) is never wait till a threshold to clear any kind of misunderstanding. It can not only ruin communication but also the mistaken feeling fixates deep down. It can break best of relations and losing people due to any kind of misunderstandings will have a long regret following it.
- Living alone is the best teacher – This is my third year living alone and I know it for a fact that I have learned the most crucial and hard lessons during this time. Each one must try living all by yourself and see yourself as a much stronger person after that.
- Find peace in solitude – Some people like being with themselves right from the start. But that wasn’t the case with me. I couldn’t stand being away from people for even short durations. After starting to live alone I obviously spent a lot more time introspecting little things about myself and over the course of time, I have figured where I truly find my peace. It is none other than in solitude.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes small. Sometimes too big. But no matter what it is, learn from them and forgive yourself. There is no need of being hard on yourself. All you can do is fix the mistake, learn and move on. Simply keep that in mind and try not to repeat it. It is going to be fine and few years from now, maybe it won’t even matter.
- Have no regrets 10 years from now – Regardless of what you want to do or whom you want to express yourself to, do it. Think about it this way, 10 years from now if you would ask yourself why didn’t you do a certain thing, you will not have an answer and the time would have flew. Do it now and don’t have regrets for old age. Have stories for then (be it failure or success, you will laugh about it while telling them to your grand children).
- Expectations with hurt – Expectations in any form and from anyone will hurt you. It is but normal to expect as a human. Everyone does and it’s not easy to just give up on everyone and everything but it can be limited to a very minimal level. This not only brings peace to yourself but hurts way lesser.
- Appreciate and scold yourself – If you have done something good, don’t wait for anyone to notice or appreciate you. I learned this (again) while living alone. No one is going to tell you well done. Appreciate yourself and what you do. Treat yourself every now and then on your accomplishments. Similarly, no one is going to scold you for being stupid or doing something wrong. Scold yourself and tell yourself not to repeat it. (DO NOT HURT YOURSELF PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY EVER!) It’s the last thing you should do to yourself from what I have learned. It’s not worth it.
- Learn to cook for yourself and find happiness in serving it – I started my experiments in kitchen from age 11 and ever since I have loved trying new things and serving people. Earlier it was at home and after moving away from home it has been endless list of people who have tried my food. It gives me the happiness that I possibly cannot explain. It might not be theee best but I know they enjoy eating it just by the way they enjoy eating.
- A clap needs 2 hands – Everyone goes through arguments, fights and sometimes just unproductive conversations which are regretted after it’s done. But I realized that as easy as it is to blame someone else for it, you too were a part of it and it always takes two to clap. Instead of blame game, just sit and analyze why it happened and how can it be resolved (after some introspection of course).
- You will be criticized anyways – Get used to handling it. This might come from your family, friends and sometimes people who barely even know you but it cannot be avoided. It can be surely ignored though. Remember that it shouldn’t matter to you or your mood until and unless there is a serious need for you to improve on something.
- You don’t need to carry all the burden – I may have realized this a little too late but the thing is, one shouldn’t carry all the burden of the world. Each one carries their own set of weights and most of them try to feel better by just adding that to someone else’s shoulder. You need not take it. This does not mean don’t care about family or so, it simply means that be there and try to make them feel better if you can but don’t let it pull you down because everyone needs to know and learn to deal with their baggage.
- Bonding with sibling right from the start gives you best friend forever! – This is 100% proven because I can vouch for this with absolute assurity. My brother and I have an age difference of 4 years and we have bonded ever since I can remember he started talking mere words. No, it’s not that we don’t fight and literally drive each other over the walls, it simply means that today after all these years, if there is practically one person that I probably cannot live without, that would be my brother. ET-BT forever.
- Forgive and forget – There are many more things that can be written and discussed but the most important one that I was once told by my aunt was this. And it isn’t easy to start accepting it but gradually if it seeps in, it works wonders. I do have a long-term memory and perhaps that’s the reason I still remember some really insignificant things from the past but it’s relatively really easy for me to forget if someone tells me something that hurt me. All I do is think that maybe it wasn’t really for me and that person needed to feel better. Done. I am glad I started doing this since I was 14 if I am not wrong and no other learning has been this useful till date.
So, here it is. My top 25 things that I have learned.
P.S. If you think I have missed out on some vital learning (which I am sure I have), please mention them in comments below 🙂
P.P.S. Keep smiling and stay strong! 🙂