I don’t believe in new year resolutions. But, I do believe in reflecting. I opened my diary, to see how the year went by. 2016 was a challenging year. If I could use two words to describe this year they would be – stress & anxiety. There was a lot I wished didn’t happen. But, I’ve learnt a lot too. We already ‘know’ a lot on how to deal with life. But, we don’t understand them until we are actually ready. And, nothing readies us like a few knocks (or blows) to the head. Lessons that I take with me into the new year:
- You are not your thoughts and neither are they reality. They are ‘commentaries’ on what has happened or might happen. But these commentaries form the basis of your actions & reactions thereby becoming real. So be cognizant of what you are thinking.
- Meditate. It’s the best way to observe your thoughts.
- If you don’t want empty yesterdays, learn to live in the moment. When you live in your mind, which is preoccupied either with the past or the future, you miss out living in the present. That is why life sometimes seems so empty. You were never ‘present’ but the days rolled by.
- Don’t try to change anyone. People don’t change, unless it is self determined. Stop trying to convince others to see your way even though you are right.
- Let go. Peace is not in the chasing, but in the giving up of the chase.
- Wisdom does not mean inaction or resignation. It means understanding sometimes action is not necessary.
- If believing you can do all & be all is confidence; realising you cannot do all & be all is the beginning of humility & wisdom.
- Don’t let your self esteem hang on what others think of you.
- Social validation should not become your arbiter for action. Majority opinion does not make a wrong, right or a right, wrong. Worry more about your character than your reputation.
- Quit social media. There is no ‘audience’ you need to think about or play to, every moment.
- Wherever you go, there you are. If there is no peace within, there is no peace without. Look inside yourself.
- Try to ‘want’ less.
- Spend time in nature.
- Spend sometime everyday doing what you love to do. Cultivate a hobby.
- You cannot be happy all the time, not because you don’t know how to, but that is how life is, by design.
- ‘What is in my control here & what is not’. Always ask yourself this question. Learn to focus only on what is in your control.
- Accept life as it comes. Both the good and the bad. Don’t get excited when something great happens, because this too shall pass, and don’t get disappointed when something sad happens, because this too shall also pass.
- Read philosophy. It is not for the old, but for the young to learn how to live.
None of what I wrote here are new. I’ve been talking about these over the course of the entire year, but I believe they are worth repeating so that they actually sink-in.
With two words in my mind, I look forward to the next year – accept & act. Accept life as it comes & act on what I can and leave the rest to god/fate/force. Tall order. But, the journey has to start somewhere.
Happy New Year to one and all.