I understand how the title of this blog can be a little problematic but hear me out.
2020 will be the year that many of us will reflect on for quite some time to come. It forced our very structural organization into a reboot, much like we were a Windows 95 or 98 operating system. As humans and a higher species, we like to think of ourselves as amphibious and adaptable. We also feel we reserve the right to be adamant, headstrong and dominant. A missing link in this equation for prosperity is sometimes, our sedated response to the ever-changing scenarios of life, along with our urge to negate these changes in any way possible. Thus, by any quirk of fate, if you have had a reasonably good 2020, I would attribute it to your quality to adjust, compromise and react appropriately to trying times, whether you are aware of it or not.
In more general terms, let’s not conceal the fact the my 2020 was a shit-fest much like yours. However, it was also a year spent in introspection and retrospection. Though I am not thrilled about how the year played out for the world, I am quite happy and grateful that this year took place in my life when it did.
I would like to share some of my takeaways from this tailspin of year with you, for whatever it is worth:
1. Don’t take life too seriously, but don’t take it too lightly either
Life is a game, eternally playing hide and seek with you, constantly trying to reveal itself to you. Play the game but don’t take it too seriously. You might just lose the forest from the trees.
Instead play the game sincerely. Give it your all, while still recognizing it is still a game. You are a ripple in an ocean going through your own crests and troughs.
2. There is always time for reflection
There is a good chance that any decision you take today will seem like a big mistake five years from now. All you can do is take this decision to the best of your knowledge at that very given moment, full well knowing that with time you will be rendered wiser with new insights and fresh conundrums.
Having said this, leaving room at the end of the day for some reflection is something that will go a long way to rehabilitate, restore and reinforce your peace of mind.
3. Well begun is only half done
An age old dictum which holds true to this day. Your dreams and aspirations are like saplings, while you are the gardener in the garden that is your mind. No matter how many people visit your garden with their two cents of thought and advice, you are solely responsible for its nurturing and growth.
So whenever you have a moment to spare, visit your garden.
4. Curb your expectations from people
Nobody owes you anything. Your expectations from people are inversely proportional to your happiness. Leave all your expectations at the door. This will leave you with room to be pleasantly surprised, once in a while.
5. How you do anything, is how you do everything
Our actions and reactions are a by-product of our up-bringing, surroundings and ideologies. As higher beings, nothing we do is sporadic or rash. It is up to us to recognize which trail of thought in our minds lead to our actions. Sometimes we can change how we tackle everything in life by changing how we tackle something in life.
6. Your take home message may be different
Never gobble down another person’s opinion of something assuming that, it is correct. Take a moment to process what and how you feel about it. You will be surprised to know how many times your interpretation of a scenario gives you new insight on how you interpret life.
7. Time is your only limited resource
Time is an asset. We can’t buy more of it and we can’t get any of it back. All we can do is hope to waste as little of it as possible. And yet we act like it’s the most renewable resource on earth.
Take time, to take stock of time.
8. You can always choose to make time (contradictory?)
Remove the statement – “I don’t have time” from your vocabulary today. You don’t have time because you don’t make time. You don’t make time because you feel, subconsciously the task at hand, is not befitting your time. Conversely, if you feel a task it deserves your time, make the time.
9. Self preservation vs. self destruction: peace of mind is a virtue
Each one of us battles two things constantly – a feeling of self-preservation and the tendency to self-destruct. The feeling of negativity is quite tempting and reason is quite easy, negativity is simple.
Self-preservation demands effort. It asks for a promise – of positivity, of kindness, of generosity, of compassion.
Surprisingly, we have always been told, the more effort we put in, the more we’ll get out of life. But of course this isn’t always true. Take falling asleep for example. You can prepare in the right way, put yourself in the right position, and get yourself comfortable. But even after all that you can’t force it to happen. In fact it works exactly the other way around. The harder you try, the less sleepy you become. It’s only when you stop trying that you finally let go, you drift off.
10. Simple living, high thinking
Get back to embracing the basics. Books are your best friend. Reading a book gives you the ability of download decades of knowledge and experiences from one individual in a matter of hours. Talking a stroll cleanses the mind, body, spirit and soul.
Think of a gift you would like to give your future self, six months or even a year from now and take it up as a habit or goal. Your future self will thank you for this gesture, I guarantee it.
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