Hi all! It's been a long time coming for this post. I was supposed to publish it for my 25th birthday last year but because I chose to focus more on my board exam and not my blog, this list (and my other blog entries) had to wait. I thought starting off my backlogs with this one in the new year would be perfect--maybe you could learn a bit from the lessons I've learned from my own mistakes and change your mindset or correct yourself before it's too late.
These are a few lessons I've learned which often recur at different stages in my life this past quarter century. I mean, if life has been trying to teach me a specific lesson over and over, maybe it just means that I should learn it and never forget it.
1. If you never ask, you'll never know. If you don't go for it, you'll never know. If you don't try, you'll never know.
A bit self-explanatory but I cannot stress it enough that's why it's #1! There are so many times that I was so afraid to ask somebody for something that I would forego it because I didn't want my ~*pride*~ to get hurt by being rejected. However, there are some things you CANNOT forego asking for because you really need them and that's where having to ask somebody for something comes in. You know what, every time I ask and ready myself for rejection, I ALWAYS end up surprised because my requests come through.
Same with opportunities. You have to voice out what you want to get what you want because no one can guess what you want and how you're feeling. So try. Getting a no is the worst that can happen to you, and there are more earth shattering things that can happen besides that.
2. Always be kind.
We are all going through some kind of struggle. I am only human and sometimes I forget to be understanding in certain situations. But when I remember how kind others are to me during times I struggle, I feel ashamed of myself, so I really try to be kind whenever I can. Be kind, especially to those in the service industry.
3. Life isn't a race, go at your own pace.
This is one of the lessons of my own life! And I guess a lot of people can relate. I want to expound. Might actually write a separate blog on this.
4. Take every opportunity you can, but be smart about it. Don't say yes to everything.
So this is kind of a life hack, to me at least. There are times when opportunities are but a trickle and there are times when they overflow. During the overflow, it may be tempting to take and take and take because who knows when the next time it's gonna come? I say, be smart about it. I used to be like that, I took and took, but I ended up not liking what I was becoming. I ended up not feeling authentic or myself. I ended up tired and not working at all.
I guess what I am trying to advocate here is strategy.Be strategic with your actions. Some people can go through life winging it, but most of us are not as lucky. When you have a strategy, you have a clear plan of where you are headed and what you want to achieve. You go through life with more purpose.
When you have a strategy, you have a clear plan of where you are headed and what you want to achieve.Click to Tweet
5. When people say 'no' to you, make your own opportunities.
One of my favorite motivational speakers Francis Kong said Success is always associated with actions and movement. So, if one door shuts, then carve a tunnel. LOL. If it is something you really want, you will exert all means to achieve it.
6. Be open to learning as much as you can.
Be humble enough to acknowledge that you do not know everything, and that you can learn from other people and different situations.
7. You are never too old for anything.
May it be it trying something new or doing something you used to when you were a kid, or even achieving success. I look up to my mom in this aspect. She finished her Business degree after she had my sister and I, and pursued a Nursing degree, years after my brother was born. Whenever I think about being too "old" or being too late to learn a skill, I think about my mom.
8. Keep doing things that excite you. There is nothing sadder than a life with no passion.
When a person lives a life without passion, I think that it doesn't make that person any different from a robot because he/she will be living a life that will be reduced to what seems like automation. You may be living, but are you truly alive?
9. Do your best at everything you do, so when you look back, NO REGRETS.
I got this from a blog while looking for tips to pass the board exams. The blogger said that it would pain her less if she failed while doing her best because at least she knew she gave it her all, and wouldn't you know, she got topped her board exam! I recall my own experience in Math 55, the first subject I failed in my WHOLE life. I cried because I was worried about the status of my scholarship and maybe because I felt cheated because deep inside I knew I did my best. I ALWAYS DO MY BEST. I even got a tutor, for crying out loud! When I had to take summer class to make up for the subject, I easily got a high grade despite my little efforts because I knew that I knewthe subject.
10. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES.
I think that with maturity comes choosing where to spend your time, efforts and energy on. While we were reviewing, Maimai and I would call each other up with petty concerns and this is what one would always tell the other when the other felt like breaking down.
I mean, everyone has a choice. Take those trolls on social media, why waste time and Facebook wall space on them? Ignore. If you know the one you are arguing with doesn't get your point and the argument goes in circles, let it go. What do you have to gain, arguing with that person? Think about what you will lose and what you will gain doing so. Will winning the argument make you a better person, or are you arguing to show that you are superior and you just wanna feed your ego? General rule for me is, if it doesn't concern you or your immediate family and closest, dearest friends, ignore. If it wont matter a year from now, then ignore.
With maturity comes choosing where to spend your time, efforts and energy on.
11. Always choose to believe the best in people. Even in a world filled with so much hate and violence, humanity may still surprise you.
There are times I get so annoyed and frustrated with how the world is. But in every little corner, if you just look, just reeeaaallllyy look and pay attention and not be on your phone the whole time, you will be surprised.
I want to share one story about the time I had to go to Intramuros to get something for my dad straight from review class. I was a bit hesitant to ask the street vendor what to ride going there as I had been waiting for awhile. She had noticed me, asked where I was headed and I told her where. She told me which jeep to get on, and I said my thank you to get on my way. To my shock, asked her son to get me a ride. She said "nak, kunan mo si ate ng masakyan" I will never ever forget that.
(And yet, at the same time, I kind of hate myself for being surprised when someone does something nice for me, as if the world is pure evil and we cant expect niceties anymore. But maybe this should be saved for some other blog entry. LOL. dami kong feelings)
12. The best things in life are not things.
So another thing that probably comes with maturity is realizing that the most important things in life cannot be bought. You start to appreciate experiences and moments with the people you love more than material things. This is something I realized after our house got flooded in 2012. What we had then were literally the clothes on our back and about 2 other sets of clothes we hastily packed. My sisters and I went to school in casual clothes because we couldn't get our uniforms. We stayed at an inn while waiting for the water to subside. Lying there that night on a mattress on the floor, I realized that it didn't take much to function day-to-day. I literally had everything I needed in one backpack, everything else was excess.
13. Showing up is 80% of life (or in my case, I'd like to believe, 80% success)
When I was in the student council, I would abhor activities that required early call times or activities scheduled on Sunday. I thought about the long travel time, the kapoy and other lame excuses why I didn't wanna show up. Same thing goes for some job interviews. I would think that why bother when I wouldn't probably even be hired anyway, blah blah blah. But because my sense of duty is so strong, I would show up and end up not regretting it.
Anyway, if you need to be at an interview, audition or a try-out, just show up. Showing up is the hardest part. If you're there, there isn't any reason not to participate.
14. The friends you thought you'd have for long, won't always be for long. People come and go so don't take it personally.
I honestly don't like losing friends. I take it as an attack on myself, kind of like it was my fault. But, as you get older, you realize people change and grow apart. You realize that it's okay, better even, that some people are better off out of your life than in it. Maybe they were meant to teach you a lesson, maybe they weren't, but their time in your story is over, so it's time for you to move on as well.
15. Money isn't all bad if you use it responsibly.
Money isn't all that bad, if you see it as a tool. Yes, money is the root of all evil but only if you let it use and consume you, instead of the other way around. I used to save and save and save because I was afraid to run out. Correction, I do not ever want to run out because I know how it feels. But, it has gotten to the point where I even deprive myself of some things I want and think I deserve even when I can afford them, like the concert I missed.
I guess money is best used in moderation. Save up, but also enjoy and treat yourself sometimes. Anyway, as long as you are able and working, money can always be earned back.
16. There is something BIGGER than us worth believing in. Whoever (or whatever) that is, hold on to that because it will give you strength.
I cannot explain how I feel about this without going deeper into another blog post. All I know is that faith is different and personal for everybody, so understand this the way you want to understand it.
17. Learn to love and listen to your body.
I've found that another mark of maturity is learning to listen to your body. I know a lot of people pass that phrase around a lot, but it really happens. Listening to your body means giving up on meeting with friends because you badly need to rest. Listening to your body means not eating unhealthy stuff. I swore off junk food for a few months because I noticed how it made me bloat. The next time I ate it, my pee smelled like the junk food I ate. Okay, TMI, but proof that your body gives off these little signals to alert you if something is wrong.
18. There are no ugly people, just lazy ones.
With the popularity of make up and cosmetic surgery nowadays, there is no excuse to leave the house looking like a homeless dog. Whenever I feel homely, I tend to bemoan why do I look this way, blah blah blah, but I realize that I could've done something about it, but I chose not to, so I should live with the consequence. LOL. But seriously, everything comes so easy to us nowadays, no excuse to keep complaining.
Everything comes so easy to us nowadays, no excuse to keep complaining. Click to Tweet
19. You are your own worst enemy.
20. Don't be so self-conscious or care about what people think! Most people only care about what they do, and if they care about what you do, then they have too much time on their hands.
The second of The Four Agreements say that People are not against you, they are for themselves. Whoever said a nasty word about someone to someone else aren't actually thinking about the other, they are comparing themselves to the other. Just go do you.
21. Long term goals vs short term feelings
This is another one of my mantras in life. This is for the times I don't want to do something because I don't feel like it at the moment (ie. exercise, study, save money..mostly exercise). Everything comes instantly nowadays so working hard towards a LONG TERM goal can feel like "Ohh, I don't wanna do this anymore"
When this happens, remind yourself of your WHY. Why are you doing this, why do you want this, Remind yourself that you are sacrificing something temporary for something long lasting.
22. If you do not believe in what you're selling, others wont buy it.
Doesn't this sound like a marketing tip? With the world becoming ultra-competitive nowadays, you have to stand out. Everyone is unique, everyone has something to offer, but not everyone believes enough in themselves. I know a lot of talented people, but some of them do not know how to market themselves, and I think part of that comes from not believing enough in their product or skills. Well, I say to this: everyone has different standards. Everyone has different tastes. So maybe you don't work out for the other, but you could be the best for someone else.
23. Progress, not perfection.
I am guilty of analysis paralysis, and I'm sure a lot of others do to. Analysis paralysis is that situation where you want to start something you are passionate about, so you start reading and reading and reading about the subject, but end up doing nothing because it seems as though that dream is too far from your grasp and just the thought of starting is overwhelming.
The good news is, you can get out of that. Things don't have to be perfect all the time. Would you rather NOT have your dream start at all, or work your way to that dream, little by little. Good things don't happen overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day. So don't pressure yourself to ACHIEVE if someone seems to be ~*living the dream*~. Everyone has different circumstances and timelines.
24. Place a high enough value on yourself. People who see your worth will rise up to meet your standards.
I know people say this often with regards to love, but don't realize it is also applicable when it comes to work, especially for freelancers or creatives. I realized this recently when I started accepting freelance jobs. It can be a tricky situation when your clients ask you how much you charge. Don't be shy. KNOW YOUR WORTH. Take into account your experience and expertise, and be confident, not arrogant.
25. Fake it til you make it.
No one actually knows what they're doing. I mean, I don't know what I'm doing, writing down this hopefully helpful article. But I'm crossing my fingers this finds its way in time for someone who might need it. ;)
So, what are other lessons you have for your life that keep coming back, like they want you to *pounds head* learn them? Would love to hear some! Please leave a comment below!