Wow, I can’t believe it’s Christmas tomorrow! I’m currently at my parent’s house reflecting back on the year and it’s crazy thinking how much has happened. This year in particular has been challenging since I’ve had to overcome several adversities in different areas of my life. I got married in September, the company I work for went through major restructuring, and I had a falling-out with a long-time friend. It’s not how I imagined the year to end but you can’t predict what life throws at you. What you can do though is control how you handle the situation and use these opportunities to learn, grow and become stronger. I’m looking forward to 2019 since these experiences have taught me valuable life lessons and I’m stoked for what’s ahead.
3 LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2018:
- Always follow your gut and don’t do things because you feel bad: 2018 was interesting because the majority of it was spent on wedding planning. Wedding planning taught me a lot, in particular it showed me that I have a tendency to feel bad and make decisions that cater to other people’s desires (I’m sure others can relate). There were choices I made because I didn’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings, although I had reservations. It’s never a good idea to do things because you “feel bad” because you won’t be truly happy and it will enable people to take advantage of your kindness. I started building resentment from decisions I felt pressured to make and in the end I learned that the outcome would have been much more positive if I had followed my gut. There’s a reason why you feel the way you do, so listen to it and don’t ever let “I feel bad” be an excuse.
- If you can’t change the situation change your perspective: I learned a long time ago that sometimes you are going to be stuck in unfavorable situations. Although you can’t change the situation, what you can do is change your outlook and perspective. This has drastically helped me to become happier and take every opportunity (even the negative ones) as a blessing in disguise. In example, my company had major layoffs while I was on my honeymoon. I was not part of the lay-offs but I came back from the highest moment of my life to a pretty big low. I came back to co-workers venting and their complaints started to negatively impact my mood. Since I couldn’t change the situation, I chose to minimize my communication with these people and shifted my perception. I saw the layoffs as an opportunity to take on responsibility in other departments I was interested in and a way to bond with remaining talented co-workers. Changing your perspective and focusing on gratitude instead of negativity is a simple yet powerful way to living a more fulfilling life.
- Don’t ignore the small stuff and do small acts of kindness: This relates to every aspect of your life. It’s easy to forget or ignore the small things in life because they can seem petty. What’s important though is to look at patterns of the small stuff. Is there an overarching message associated with it that leads to something bigger? Even though it’s tedious to solve every small thing, it’s best to deal with them while they’re small before they add up and become more difficult to repair. On the other hand, don’t forget about the small things in life that can make all the difference in the world. In example, opening doors for strangers, smiling when someone is having a bad day, and reaching out to friends just to show that you’re thinking of them. It’s usually not the physical act of kindness itself, but the meaning behind it that people appreciate. It’s easy to take people for granted so doing small gestures of kindness that take seconds to do can make all the difference to someone else.