2015 has been a major roller-coaster! I cannot count the number of times I wanted to pull out my hair or walk out of my skin.
During the course of the year, I went through emotions I never thought I could feel, and they opened my eyes to lessons I never knew were there. It occurred to me one day during meditation that I needed to write these lessons down. Heaven forbid I forget them and have to take the mind-boggling, nerve cracking life classes again! Of course some of them were pleasant lessons; I mean the year hasn’t been entirely terrible, and some I learnt from the stories of others.
I decided to share them with you as the year draws to an end not only to give you an insight into how my life has played out this year, but to also give you life lessons you can apply now and perhaps in future. You know what they say…. life’s too short to learn ALL your lessons from your mistakes. Learn from others too. Here goes:
#1 Don’t spend your life looking for love. Be love.
#2 Action is character. People are what they act like, not what they say they are.
#3 People will judge themselves by their intentions, but judge others by their actions. Judge others with the same scale you judge yourself.
#4 Emotional intelligence is key; in all you do, strive to improve your EQ.
#5 Address emotional issues (hurt, pain, anger etc) as soon as they arise. Procrastination should not apply to emotions.
#6 Be kind to yourself. Love begins from you.
#7 Don’t compromise on qualities you cannot tolerate in friends or even a spouse; it is better to be alone than to spend your life questioning your decision.
#8 Don’t keep quiet when a person hurts you. Pressure builds in silence. You’ll burst at the seams if you don’t let out the steam.
#9 Never ever agree to abandon your dreams to be half of someone else. You’ll never fit in because you were created to be whole on your own.
#10 Listen when people talk about the successes and failures of others; it’s a preview of what you’ll get from them when you succeed or if you fail.
#11 Confront your fears; latent as they may seem, they affect how your life plays out.
#12 Be aware of yourself, your words and your actions – this is a strategy that keeps you from being a pawn in someone else’s game.
#13 Go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner not because you have a date, but just because you can. You deserve special treats as often as possible.
#14 Make it a mission to look better than you feel. Dark days pass, but bad impressions last long.
#15 Don’t fake it till you make it, you’ll probably fail. Faith it till you make it. Faith requires dedication and hardwork. Faking it requires pretending you know it all when really you know nothing.
#16 Be careful of who you trust. Some people would go to a knife fight with a shotgun.
#17 When days are dark, friends are very few, but know that God is always with you.
#18 Hope deferred makes the heart sick but never stop hoping. As improbable as it may seem, hope can bring light to a season of darkness
#19 Sometimes you’ll have to stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself you’re awesome even though you don’t feel like it.
#20 You don’t have to accept or even consider every love proposition you receive. Sometimes, the best decision is to remain without attachments.
#21 Let love lead. Fall in love, give love, but more importantly, receive love.
#22 Starting at the bottom is subjective. You don’t have to aim for the ‘worst bottom’ of all.
#23 Don’t get weary waiting for love; don’t compromise reasonable standards for a temporary high.
#24 Choose your battles wisely. You don’t have to accept every battle invitation. Besides, no battle is worth fighting if you’re not sure of victory.
#25 Never grumble about your work. Grumbling takes the joy out of everything and results in anxiety.
#26 If you’re not the first choice, become ‘no choice’ else you’ll spend your life wondering if your spouse is content with the decision he/she made.
#27 Let the child in you come out to play every now and then. To be child-like is to be carefree, and sometimes that’s all you need to enjoy your day.
#28 Cry! There’s no strength in not crying. Tears are how we renew our strength. After crying, our inner vision is clearer.
#29 Defensive people have a lot of insecurities brewing underneath their skin, and always seek to blame others. Don’t get caught in their web.
#30 Do everything in moderation. Going overboard can spoil a perfectly good thing.
#31 You are not infallible. Apologize for your mistakes and move on.
#32 God’s answers to our prayers are not dependent on how long or intensely we pray, but on His timing which is perfect
#33 Whatever your hands find to do, find joy in it. It is better to be busy than to be the devil’s workshop
#34 If you have to watch what you say around your friends, you’re in the wrong circle. Find new friends
#35 It’s OK to let people apologise first when they are wrong. Humility is not equivalent to stupidity.
#36 Never react to people’s actions; that puts them in control of you and your emotions. Always take deep breaths and respond to the situation at hand instead. This is a secret that will earn you respect.
#37 Know when to walk away; there’s no dignity in forcing emotions, relationships, friendships and anything else to work. Keep your dignity intact.
#38 Guard your thoughts always! Your mind is a battlefield.
#39 Have some empathy. Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.
#40 You have a right to anger, so don’t let your anger lead to guilt. Rather let it lead to a resolution.
#41 Take a leap of faith and do what scares you the most. It might not work out but you will be an improved version of yourself when it’s over.
#42 Own your flaws, failures, shortcomings and problems. That way no one can use them as a weapon against you.
#43 Surround yourself with those who are willing to lift you up, forgive you, and remind you of your awesomeness.
#44 You are amazing just the way you are.
#45 When God starts putting everything together, it first appears as though everything is falling apart.
#46 Listen to your instincts even on the most trivial things.
#47 Embrace what makes you unique and happy. Don’t make others comfortable at your own detriment.
#48 Beware of those around you who are more concerned with outshining you than shining with you.
#49 Be brave enough to admit what you’re feeling – hopelessness, despair, despondence, a crush, love, anger, bitterness…. whatever it is, be brave enough to own it, live through it, and get past it.
#50 Surround yourself with people (friends, family, spouse) who genuinely love you. True love sticks around when you’re being unlovable. Good friends are the stars that shine when days are dark.
I am grateful for these lessons, and even more grateful for those who pushed me into the difficult situations that taught me these lessons. Above all, I am grateful for the friends who were bright stars in my dark sky; and I am grateful to you all for checking in on motivation springs regularly. Thank you all for making 2015 amazing! You are the real MVPs.
Tomorrow is the start of a new year; a blank book with no words. It is up to you to decide now what you intend to make that book about. It is up to you to change your script and write a more daring and courageous story. Make it your best story yet!
Keep an eye out for the motivation devotional launching 1st Jan 2016 under the motivation devotional tab. If you haven’t, please like the facebook page by clicking here. 2015 may not have turned out to be what you hoped, but believe that 2016 is going to blow you away in a good way! Happy new year! Sending lots of love your way! XOXO