For My Child(ren): Life Lessons I Want You To Know
Over the years, I have begin to understand the value and importance of family.
Family can mean ‘Father and Mother, I Love You’ and it can also be defined in many other manners, be it biological or metaphorical.
Over the years, I have met those of whom I classify as family yet they are not related to me by blood.
The heads of our families are usually our parents. We may not feel it then, or now, but parents play huge roles in our lives, from being our guardian angels to teaching us life lessons to molding who we become eventually.
Parenting is hard work, yet often unpaid. It is also one of the most empowering, respectful and fulfilling role you can ever have. While not for for everyone, most would experience this role at some point in their lives.
Some of us become parents by default, some by choice.
As a child myself, I didn’t use to understand certain theories, logic or advice my parents tried to imprint in me.
As a rebellious daughter, I would often find myself on the opposite end of what they would try, advice and persuade me into not doing. Sometimes I ended up with positive results but many times, I learned my lessons the hard way.
Of course, as I matured, I began to see from their perspectives and realize the truth and logic for myself.
Different people with different cultures, values and upbringing bring different parenting styles with them.
While I deeply appreciate my parents’ hard work in bringing us up, I remember myself telling my mother once in a serious disagreement that she was only a parent for as long as I have been born (with me being the eldest), and many situations that she had to face with my issues could be first time for her to deal with as a parent as well. It does not mean she has failed as a mother if I chose the wrong path or made the wrong decision because I am old enough to think for myself and be responsible for my own actions.
It might be too soon for me to say because I might end up saying ‘Yes’ to my child(ren), but it has brought me to thinking that the various life theories and lessons I would want my child(ren) to pick up and understand when they grow up.
Life today is so much different than our times and indeed, it will change again with generations to come, however life theories, subjective as they can be, are principally universal and evergreen.
- Be Happy. That’s all I want for you.
- Be Who You Are. Be who you are at your core. Be the natural you even if it means you are average, accept yourself and don’t be harsh on yourself. You don’t have to be smart and witty, but be sincere and honest. Love you for who you are.
- Find out what you value. Find out what matters most to you in your life. Having values make your life easier. They guide your path and decisions in life moving forward. If you value health, you will find yourself more inclined to saying yes to events and no to unhealthy choices.
- Find out what you love doing, the sooner the better. Build on what you are good at and what you love doing. Stick to what you enjoy doing for at least three years.
- You can pretty much achieve anything that you want. Just be sure they are what you want.1 Don’t make a big detour in life to achieve things that people recommend you or expect you to achieve only to realize you hate what you have been doing for years. Have clear actionable goal plans. Understand the ‘one degree deviation’ theory where deviating one degree from your course would mean you get off course by many degrees by the time you reach your destination. It is necessary to stay on track or pull ourselves back on track to reach where we want. Along the way, learn to appreciate the beautiful view. Similarly, if you want to adopt a good habit and get rid of an old one, one degree each day could mean you will no longer bite your nails or walk with better posture and confidence in time to come.
- You don’t need any validation from anyone, not even your parents (after you’ve grown up). The only reason why you are still accountable to your parents now or until you are mature is because they have more exposure and maturity to understand the complexities of life than you at this point. Life is full of ups and downs, and grey areas you have not come across before or would even think acceptable but that’s how life is. Simple yet complicated.
- Do what you want and do it responsibility. Be accountable for your own actions and decisions. Own up to your own faults and mistakes. Correct them. Don’t run away from your problems.
- Never let anyone hold your dreams back, not us, not even yourself. If you have a dream, go for it wholeheartedly.
- Experience freedom. You can be who you want to be. That is true. Be free from worries, be free from sickness, be free from materialistic goals. Be free to travel, be free to explore and learn something amazing, be free to have fun.
- Feel Freedom. Learn to swim. It gives you freedom in water. Learn to fly. It gives you freedom in the air. Go skydive or parachuting. Fly a plane. Learn to soar in all aspects of your life.
- Go After What You Want. Take that leap of faith. The bravest thing you can is to face your own fears, overcome your own challenges and achieve beyond what you think you can. You won’t know what you can achieve until you actually go and do it. Don’t over think, or worry too much. Pursue what you want, enjoy the journey in spite of occasional tough times and feel that sense of achievement, then share your journey with others, learn together.
- Get to Know Yourself First Before Others. Know yourself. Understand your character and personality. Find out what you like and dislike, enjoy and want to try. Take your time to find yourself. Don’t be afraid to try out new ideas, spend time with yourself, sign up for courses and attend them (go alone if others are not interested), try out things you say you’d never do or can’t do.
- You are your own best friend. You may have huge circles of friends, many great buddies, a few BFFs or siblings whom you are close with, but the one who will stay close to you, all your life, is yourself. When you are down, she’s there. When you are happy or when you celebrate momentous, she’s there. There might even be times when you face certain situations that you are not able to share there and then, (you might be able to share later but not at that moment), it is you who understands and can share what you are going through, every second of your life. You may think someone else know more about you or love your more than yourself but that is not true. Learn to spend time with yourself, get to know who you are inside out, be you.
- Value your relationships. Family stays together, in good times and bad. Friends can come and go, but real friends are like family.
- Be a Champ, a Humble Champ. Ego and pride takes away life in a person. It makes you hard to get along with, work with or befriend with.
- Enjoy the pleasure of being in company and being alone. Being alone does not make us lonely people or losers. When we are alone, we enjoy peace and we become more connected with ourselves. We learn about ourselves when we do things alone. When in company of others, we learn about communication and tap on each others knowledge and experiences by sharing. Win-Win situation.
- Don’t follow the crowd. It is boring and uninspiring. It is hard to do the right thing differently but it is possible.
- Have your own stand, your own views, your own perspectives. Don’t be sitting on the fence not knowing where to go. Sitting on fences make your life difficult. Being pulled in all directions and deciding based on the opinions of others is one of the most dis-empowering act you can allow yourself. When you stand firm, others may judge you or label you, but so what? The judgement is theirs and so are their opinions, so long as you know what you stand for.
- Learn to communicate, assertively. Dare to speak up. Speak your mind. You have your rights to your own thoughts and opinions. Others may not accept them but it’s fine, they don’t need to agree with you anyway, nor you them.
- Listen more than you talk. You’ll find yourself picking up nuggets of valuable wisdom, and you’ll find yourself a more observant person.
- Change is normal. Changes happen everyday even when we don’t want and even when we don’t realize it. Changes may seem bad at times but we grow with changes. Keep changing and keep growing. If you don’t change, you’ll be forced to change one day, no matter how unwilling you are. If you change but you don’t grow, you are treading water as well. Nothing stays the same forever. In fact, change could be the best thing that can happen to you. Without change you will never learn about the possibilities that would appear. Without change, you will be bored with the old stuffs.
- Learning does not end with Education. Keep Being Curious and Keep Learning. Ask questions. Always be curious. Find ways to get information. Quench your thirst for curiosity. Read up non-fictions. Listen to audios. Make use of resources that you can tap on to fast track your learning journey. You need to keep learning even when you have a Master’s degree, even when you are 50 years old, even when you are already the best.
- Challenge Yourself All The Time and Break Personal Barriers. Keep doing things that challenge you to be your better version than yesterday. Learn, tweak and improve on your weaknesses and strengths. You can only get better in time. Share and Teach what you know, so that you will learn more.
- Respect Yourself by being firm and assertive. Know where your limits are, say No and mean it when you say it. Respect others’ boundaries too.
- Be a warrior, not a worrier. Laugh a lot. Worry less. Most of our worries are over played. Turn your worries into a well-prepared adventure. Turn pessimistic thoughts into positive outlooks.
- Don’t be a complainer. If you have nothing good to say, better not say anything at all.
- Let Go of Hatred. If you hate someone, you will always be under their influence. What they do or say will affect you. The best way is to let them go from your life. If they did something wrong to you, forgive them and move on. That way, you are setting yourself free from hatred and letting the past go as well.
- Be connected to your emotions. Immerse in your joys and sorrows, rejoice or grief when you feel them but when it’s time, get out of it. Don’t numb your emotions because you fear being hurt or betrayed.
- Don’t beat yourself up for not being someone you can’t be. You are who you are. There will be an expert in you, a scholar in you, a philosopher in you. There will always be someone better than you, if not now, then later. Only you have access to the vast plain of mind-land that you can nurture with water and fertilizers everyday.
- Define success in your own terms. It may mean earning big bucks, being in management positions or being a boss, or it could mean having close knit and happy family, being free and healthy or doing what you love.
- Failure is okay, in fact they help you become a more successful and wise person. A person who has never failed is like someone who has never experienced success. If you give up before you reach anywhere, be it success or failure, you have given up a lesson worth learning. If you persist on and failed, you’d have found out why you failed and improve from there. If you succeeded, you know you can share this experience with others on the same journey as you.
- Learn from lessons. Don’t make mistakes without learning your lessons. Don’t fall and stay down there waiting for help. You have to help yourself. Find ways on how to climb back up.
- Don’t sweat over small stuffs that won’t matter in a year’s time. How would you know if it will still matter? Failing a subject does not mean you will fail in society. Not being an entrepreneur does not mean you are not successful. If someone will no longer be in your life, wish them well and move on. If they meant to be with you, they will come back to you sooner or later.
- Beauty can be skin deep or it can be much deeper. You are already a beautiful being. Only those who appreciate and value you will see the inner beauty that you have. Beauty on the surface is shallow, but it still take lessons to learn about aesthetic beauty. Focus on your inner beauty, brush up your intellect, polish your knowledge, skills and expertise. Be an interesting person with vast experiences. Don’t be an empty vessel with only good looks, because they can’t help you in the long run.
- Stay present and mindful. Appreciate the quiet moments, we don’t get them much in the city. Always be aware of what is going on. Don’t get lost in your own world too much.
- Compassion is what the world lacks and what you can give. Show kindness. Be appreciative and grateful. Nothing comes automatically. What you have today, the house the road the education the ease of travel the resources the communication the knowledge have been carved for you and your next generations from our generation and those before us.
- Resilience means being able to stand up after each trip and fall, again and again without saying you don’t want to do it anymore. It’s what make winners, winners.
- Be connected to nature; the sea, beach, trees, animals, mountains. Do more for your environment. The world’s beauty is depleting at a much faster rate today. Soon, we may lose all the beautiful sights and fresh air that were meant to be appreciated. Pick the rubbish. Use recycle bags.
- Create something. When you are bored, do something instead of sitting around flicking channels, playing games or surfing net. Go outside and play with your friends. Make something tangible with your hands; paint an art piece, make a jewelry, write something worth reading.
- Experience every (legit) thing at least once in your lifetime. Do things that make your heart skip and come alive. Go cliff diving, go skinny dipping, do triathlons, be a boss, have kids, travel the world, go bungee jumping, wake your senses.
- Appreciate who you have and what you have. In bad times, learn to smile. When times are good, don’t forget the times you were in hardships. Learn to not take things and especially people around you for granted, they won’t be there forever.
- Life is short. Don’t take it when people try to tell you that you are still young at 18 or 21. If you have found what you love doing, go for it. You have my support, morally. We will grow old and die, or we may die tomorrow. There is no sequence. Enjoy your life and every moments that light your heart up. We don’t know how long we will be here on earth. Life is short. Life is unpredictable. Life is also magical.
- Life is a process. Don’t aim for the end point, live the journey. Enjoy the process and experience every moment you go through. Feel your food when you chew, be lost in your book when you read, listen and imagine how it is like when you converse with others.
Originally published at l3hub.org.