5 Simple Life Lessons I’ve Learnt the Hard Way

Photo credits: unsplash.com

In the recent months, I can say that I have come to learn more about myself as a person — my character, personality, values, priorities, and more. Through the times learning and picking up new skills and knowledge, working on and off, serving in church, meeting and talking to new people, and such. Many incidents have allowed me to reflect and get to know myself better — about what I like and don’t like about myself. I am thankful for that as many of us don’t have the luxury of time for reflections. This whole season of barrenness that I went through really taught me much and I figured I better take some time off to get some clarity and to document some of that down before “life” takes over again (in less than a week).

Here are some lessons (or principles) that I have learnt that I feel may be worth sharing to help others going through tough times:

1. Keep your family and close friends close

This cannot be emphasised any much more. Life is all about relationships and the people you meet and eventually keep. Many times so many of us make the mistake of keeping to ourselves and isolating from the world, because we just need the space to think and cope alone (trust me I know it). We push away the people who care about us and we gravitate towards what we think we know best. But time and time again, that has proven me wrong. You don’t get better, but you get worse instead and head towards self destruction.

Without the support, understanding and encouragement from family and close ones, I would not be able to see the silver lining, to keep believing and be positive. They know you best, sometimes better than you know yourself, so listen and trust them. Grateful to my parents who remain encouraging despite my stubbornness and occasional wilfulness.

2. Stay humble, work harder

“The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love.” — Pope Francis

Someone recently asked me to choose two words from a group of adjectives to best describe myself. There were words like detailed, dynamic, strategic, and such. I eventually chose “creative” and “hard worker”.

I’ve always believed in working hard and giving my best in all that I do. You reap what you sow, nothing comes easy. My parents taught me the same thing. And I think that has started to pay off. People can see your work and your attitude.

While the world tells us to chase after the material things, God teaches us to be excellent, work hard, to serve others with humility and to love genuinely. Of course I do work smart, but I work harder behind the scenes even if nobody sees it. I’m a big fan of the value of humility, it keeps you real, fresh and more selfless.

3. Never stop learning and defining yourself

With humility being said, we should never stop learning. You cannot know the limits of your own abilities nor what you can learn from others and situations. We need to stop being defined by what we already know or think we know, and start creating ourselves and our future.

“What we learn becomes a part of who we are.”

For me, I took the time to patiently pick up new skills, to watch tutorials about softwares, to read, to study and get myself online certified for various skill sets, to talk to others and learn from them and their experiences. That has made all the difference. Today I’m many steps closer to who I want to be, what I want to do.

Photo credits: unsplash.com

4. Dare to try and venture

Since young I have always been a bit of a daredevil (though sometimes a pretty cautious one haha), loving the outdoors and sports, and not afraid of trying to get what I want… Pretty competitive at times haha. I love rugby because I get to chase after my “challenge” and then “take it down”. I love sports because it teaches you to work hard, never give up, make calculated decisions within seconds, strategise, and dare to try. If you fail and fall, you get back right up and try again. No time for licking your wounds.

It doesn’t help that I have always had crazy ideas to do this and do that, and wanted to run my own business. I even have this book where I write down all my different ideas and plans for future ventures I want to work on. Finally I’m many steps closer to that as well! (Stay tuned!:)) I must say that everyone is right about “it is not easy to run your own business”, but they also forgot to say that “it is nonetheless fulfilling”. We have learnt so much and I’m glad to be putting my skills and experience to good use and practice. I’m glad that I have tried and dared to venture out, to step into the unfamiliar and uncertainty, to prepare myself for failures but also successes.

5. Don’t lose Hope, keep the Faith

To be honest it hasn’t been easy in recent months, to experience barrenness, dryness, despair, desperation, lost of all hope, faith and love. To have thoughts attacking your own self esteem, self worth, and everything that you believe, hope for and worked for.

Nonetheless what separates you from others, is what you choose to do in situations and tough times. Do you choose to be the carrot that becomes all soft after boiling, or the coffee bean that takes the form of the boiling water, adapt to grow stronger and better?

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

Faith and hope keep us alive, get us going and give us meaning. We are lucky to be in the situation that we can still have hope, when many less fortunate cannot and may never. Let’s dust off the dirt, pick yourself up, renew and realign your thoughts and start hoping, dreaming and working.

The future is ours to create.

Originally published at notbyanychance.wordpress.com on March 21, 2016.

Like what you read? Give Jamie Loh a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.