A Dozen And Three Things To Reminisce All Your Life
Are you completely satisfied with the way you spent 2016? Do you feel like you failed to live up to your own expectations and could have executed your tasks in a more efficient manner? Do you want to kick-start 2017 with a renewed zeal and make the absolute most of it?
Well, you have to come to the right place ! Everyone wants their year to be a memorable one and after all, a new year provides people with a fresh start and you can start the year with a positive outlook.
The calendar year 2016 or ‘ Year of the Monkey’ taught me quite a few lessons. I proffer you some motivation, some truths of life and some small tricks which can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. These are the things I learnt and you can apply them in your life too:
1. Exposure -
You should always keep exposing yourself to varied people from different walks of life and their cultures, customs, traditions, languages and food.
Only when you have friends and acquaintances from different fields and professions, will you understand how many different types of world views exist. Every single person has a different opinion, thinking and talent.
Exposing yourself to distinctive mindsets will broaden your horizons, and enrich you with knowledge.
Live life the 'Carpe Diem/YOLO' way.
Talking about knowledge reminds me of the next point….
2. Knowledge -
Never, ever stop gathering knowledge. The best way to increase knowledge is reading. Many people despise reading, but I assure you, it's more than worth the effort.
Read books, articles, magazines, transcripts of historic speeches, quotes etc. Reading helps you increase your vocabulary and you get to know what's happening around you and to the world. Your knowledge of surroundings, current events and vocabulary may help you get a great job or make a lasting impression on people you wish to impress. It also helps you increase your horizons, just like exposure. Exposure is another way of gathering knowledge.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool." - William Shakespeare
Let me give you an example:
You are in a party, you have come there with the intention of socializing. But after some time, you realise, all that people around you are discussing are the repercussions of D.Trump’s election! Soon enough, due to your absolute lack of awareness about this matter, you aren't able to participate in the conversations and end up being bored.
This could have been avoided. Only if you read the news for 5 mins instead of going on Insta and posting a photo with a few hundred hashtags. Only if you had watched the news, instead of watching a 'reaction' video.
The topic of discussion can be anything and depends on the environment you are in.. If you're in a social function, probably people will be talking about their culture, culinary dishes, arts, or traditions. You are sitting with folks from Wall Street and they talk about stocks, portfolios, bonds, bullion etc, and you are clueless!
Well, keep gathering knowledge from different sources on a multiplicity of topics. Even if it means having a minute amount of knowledge on a particular topic. Something is better than nothing right?
But what if someone is discussing something you've got no idea about? Say, you just met an archaeologist, skydiver or author. How do you NOT get bored and at the same time carry out a conversation with the person without making the other person feel bored?
Well that brings us to the next point -
3. Conversations -
When you're in a situation as described in the previous point, dive in. Ask the person about their profession. What do they do? What are the perks? Why do they do it? When did they decide they would do that? The other person will be exceptionally satisfied and will more than willingly tell you about themselves.
Not only will this help in accretion of your knowledge, the other person will surely relish every opportunity of conversing with you and will help you make a lasting impression on them! Who knows? Maybe next time when you need help, the person may go out of their way to help you out.
This takes us to the next point…..
4. Expansion of your network -
Nope, this neither means increasing your website’s bandwidth nor does it mean increasing the number of the so-called 'friends' on FB,(people you have never even met once).
This point means, increasing the number of friends you have in the real world.
Businessmen, spies, diplomats, politicians and people of such kind surely understand the essentiality of networking.
Always keep socializing and making more friends. You never know, who may help you during difficult times.
Ask the importance of networking to a young entrepreneur. It means the difference between the life and death of the entrepreneur's startup when it has a cash crunch and desperately needs funds.
Elon Musk secured funding for SpaceX at the last moment when he was 1 week away from declaring bankruptcy and had a contingency plan of selling his company to Google.
How? Only because he had contacts !
Such contacts often help agencies nab criminals and help spies escape.
One sure shot way of making friends is by showing interest in others. This technique has worked very well for me.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you”
5. Nobody in your life is permanent -
You may think your 'bff' will always be there but that isn't true. Priorities of people always change.
A person you spend all your time with today, may not be there tomorrow. Absolutely anything can happen. The person may have met with an accident, or transferred to a different city.
I had a friend in my school who I used to spend all my time with. Our teachers used to get frustrated with us and say, “It’s impossible to seperate these two”. But when I shifted from this city to another city, I was the one who missed him and used to call him everytime. He never called me. It was because my environment had changed, not his. I used to feel sad at first but eventually I got over it, made new friends and moved on.
This story illustrates this perfectly :
Life is like a journey on a train...
with its stations...
with changes of routes...
and with accidents !
We board this train when we are born and our parents are the ones who get our ticket.
We believe they will always travel on this train with us.
However, at some station our parents will get off the train, leaving us alone on this journey.
As time goes by, other passengers will board the train, many of whom will be significant - our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.
Many will get off during the journey and leave a permanent vacuum in our lives.
Many will go so unnoticed that we won't even know when they vacated their seats and got off the train !
This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, good-byes, and farewells.
A good journey is helping, loving, having a good relationship with all co passengers...
and making sure that we give our best to make their journey comfortable.
The mystery of this fabulous journey is :
We do not know at which station we ourselves are going to get off.
So, we must live in the best way - adjust, forget, forgive and offer the best of what we have.
It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to leave our seat... we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life."
See? Priorities change.
Move on, live and let live. This is one big reason why you should make a lot of friends. You lost one set of friends? No problem! You have a hundred more to spend time with! Just move on. This again takes us to the next point -
6. Tune out the negativity -
It is human nature to value things which are scarce and take anything in cornucopia for granted. That’s the reason why diamonds are exorbitantly expensive while iron ore is cheap.
Same way, when it comes to friends, if you have a large number of friends, you will not value them much if you're very egotistical. If you're humble enough, you won't do that, and would appreciate each person for their distinctive qualities. After all, each person, no matter how big or small in their stature, has something to teach you.
If you have very few friends, you are forced to be with them no matter what or else you will become lonely. Some of them may bully you, or won’t give you any importance. It is also possible you may have got into bad company. Today’s Generation Z, also known as the’selfie generation’ are extremely narcissistic, self absorbed and egomanical. Not all, but a huge part of the Gen Z pie chart is. So people with few friends may have a difficult time coping with this problem. It can lead to low self-esteem or confidence and ultimately depression if it continues for a long time.
In these kinds of scenarios, having lots of friends will help you cut off such narcissistic and negative people. You can just forget them and spend time with people who actually respect you. You can wisely select friends and you will be in a position to choose instead of being helpless. This connects us to the next point -
7. Be helpful, but don't be a doormat -
It is indeed a very noble quality to be kind, humble and help others. But don't go out of your way to help people all the time. People will consider you a pushover or doormat. They will take you for granted.
Have a hint of attitude when facing off with doubters and negative people but be humble to genuine friends.
8. Confidence -
This point must have been repeated to you over a thousand times but it is always stressed upon due to its high amount of significance. Be confident and trust yourself. There's no one who can judge you better than yourself.
9. Your own satisfaction is all that matters -
Whenever you want to try out something, go ahead and don’t think about what others will think about you.
You can have an awful or awesome experience on the new thing you tried out. It’s your experience, so only you have the right to judge it, comment on it and decide whether you want repeat it.
No one has the right to judge it or comment on it because they didn’t experience it the way you did. They don’t know your obligations, limitations, circumstances etc. Basically they don’t have your 'sit rep’. For the uninitiated, 'sit rep' means 'situation report' and is military lingo for what’s happening in your surroundings.
Choose wisely as explained in the previous point.You will be able to choose what you want. This will help you be satisfied. You will always feel positive and elated when you are satisfied.
You don't need to weep if someone says something negative about you or what you're doing. Chances are, the person is envious of you.
Your successes and failures are just small blips on other's radars.
They will forget your accomplishments and failures soon. Then why should you waste your time over what they think?
Be satisfied with what you have, but always strive to break the ceiling and reach dizzying altitudes.
10. Silence is golden -
Sometimes when you don't know anything about a topic, it is better to keep silent and not comment. Learn from others, observe them and express your views next time.
Sometimes people may mock you, but it's better to ignore them, keep silent and not let the situation flare up into a bigger trouble.
"Silence doesn't mean that the person quits, it simply means that one doesn't want to argue with someone who just won't understand"
"It is better to be silent and thought to be a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
Geniuses and leaders always observe carefully and learn from others by listening to them rather than making others listen to them.
"To hear, one must often be silent"
11. It is important to say 'NO' sometimes-
It is very important to prioritise your objectives.
Saying Yes is Easy
That’s the problem — we say Yes to something because it doesn’t sound like much. Sure, I can have coffee with you! But that coffee also involves getting there and going back, and it involves a few more emails to coordinate day and time, and of course there might be a proposal during coffee that leads to more coffees and maybe even a project (especially if we say Yes to the proposal during coffee). And so on.
Saying Yes to everything means you really have time for nothing. You can’t possibly say Yes to everything, because where will you fit it all? Want to go to every meeting, every event, every coffee? Want to do every project that comes along? Your days will be crazy, and you’ll have no rest, and what’s more, you’ll likely not meet all your obligations.
Saying Yes to everything means you’re not really saying Yes — it means you’re not setting priorities.
So we have to say No first. We have to clear up some space by saying No to things we’d like to do, but that are taking up space in our lives — space that could be used by something we really really want to do.
Say No to all those things we said Yes to over time, that have accumulated and piled up like driftwood.
Create room in your life. Some breathing space. Some time for what’s most important — your important work, the things that you love, the people you love.
Then start saying Hell Yes to those things.
Source : Zen Habits.
12. Don't be apprehensive when asking questions -
When a question pops up in your mind, don't think a hundred times before asking it.
“ He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” – Chinese Proverb.
If you don't understand, then ask. You may seem foolish at the time, but you will learn the answer.
When you want to make a new friend, don't think twice before striking up a conversation with the person. At first you may think that the person isn't exactly your type and you won't be compatible. But trust me, you will be surprised to know how many people have interests similar to yours.
After all, there are only so many interests in this world. I've experienced this several times in 2016 and I'm pleased to have been successful every time. I'm sure you would experience it the same way. You will surely regret not asking a particular question later on in life if you keep being apprehensive.
Also, asking questions helps us in attaining the goals of the next point -
13. Be a 'Jack of all trades, master of some' -
Acquire skills in various fields.
Learn art such as calligraphy, painting, sketching, learn some musical instruments, get a scuba trainer's license, take some photography lessons, learn some coding or whatever interests you. But don't become 'Jack of all trades, master of none'.
Instead be 'Jack of all trades, master of some'. Experience different things but don't keep on switching. Specialise in 3–5 things. These skillsets can help you a lot in life.
Some ways in which they can help -
- Earning some money ( Painting, photography, scuba training, coding, calligraphy etc)
- Recreation ( Art, photography, music etc)
- Landing great jobs ( Coding, calligraphy etc). Each extra skill that you possess increases your value and many candidates have got jobs because the interviewers and candidates had similar interests.
- Skills can helps you make a good impression on someone or help you perform, showcase your talent, win accolades and get applause.
- Apart from these points, being versatile helps us attain all the points I had cited earlier such as exposure, knowledge, making friends from a broad spectrum, etc.
14. Be realistic and visualise -
People always keep saying be optimistic no matter what. If you say something that is true, they say you're being a pessimist. After all truth is bitter.
I strongly disagree.
It is just not possible to be positive 24x7x365. Life is like a sound wave. There's a crest, and a trough. Crests are great, sure, but without the next trough, you can't make the wave move forward or in this case, without failures you can't move on in life.
You just have to accept sometimes that you will falter. There’s no use of hoping against hope. In these situations you need to be practical and realistic.
Sometimes it's true that the job you have isn't fun or working out for you. There's no use of sitting there, waiting for the day when your job will lose its dreariness. Just because someone told you it will be all ok, doesn't mean it actually will. Its time to change your job, look for new opportunities and explore. Do whatever you want but don't sit there 'being optimistic'.
Accept and gulp down the fact that you have failed or what you're doing isn't good enough. Move on. Or else you will regret not moving on all your life.
What is visualising?
Visualising is playing an entire movie in your head. Over and over again. And again. And again.
But wait, it's not playing a conventional Hollywood movie. It is actually a movie whose script is written by you, casting done by you with you starring as the hero and you directing the movie.
Going to compete in a race? Well imagine you have started the race, and you're running. You're able to to see yourself running from various angles, you can change and fine tune your running technique perfectly and make yourself the winner of the race. After all, the race is an imaginary movie playing in your head.
But when you play this movie a million times in your head, you subconsciously get used to it. You end up winning when you actually race. This is because your brain has been tricked into thinking you're capable of winning which boosts your confidence. All this happens subconsciously without you having a clue of what is going on.
Sheer willpower can do a lot of things, including making a man break down an entire mountain. Dashrath Manjhi - Wikipedia
Your brain is a hypnotist’s favorite toy. You can trick your brain into doing anything. Visualisation uses this characteristic of the brain.
Visualisation also helps achieve what is described in the next point….
15. Potential -
Never stop dreaming. Dream big. No, wait…dream gargantuan! Only if you dream of brilliant will you be able to achieve excellent.
There will always be people who will envy you, pull you down, pass comments, make you feel worthless etc.
But that's just background noise. Tune it out.
These noises are a necessary evil to motivate you and prove the nay sayers wrong.
After all, even the vacuum of space without any sound seems eerie, doesn't it?
When it comes to achieving things and your potential, people say, “Sky's the limit” .
But I say, “Sky's just the beginning. The boundaries of space are the limits. And we all know where the boundaries of space lie……..”