21 Things I learned in the last decade.

The beginning of a new year is filled with resolutions for the new year, review of the lessons of the past year and goals for the new year.

Since the beginning of this year, I have been reading some wonderful blog posts. One of them was on the lessons of the past decade and goals for the next decade.

As I went through them, I realized that even I had learned a few important lessons in the last decade.

So today, I have decided to share a few lessons, that I learned from my experiences, with you.

1. Love yourself no matter what. Don’t wait for others to love you, to love yourself.

The more we love ourselves, the less we need others to love and accept us for who we are.

2. Respect yourself first. If you don’t, others won’t either. Self-respect is very important. If we respect ourselves enough, we will be able to respect others as well.

On the other hand, if we keep pleasing others at the cost of our ownselves, we reach a point where we feel unhappy.

3. Don’t explain yourself to anybody.

You don’t owe an explanation to anyone. Your actions and decisions are based on your experiences.

Don’t explain yourself to others with the intention of getting their approval. You don’t need anybody’s approval.

4. Don’t expect support from others for the decisions you take. They are your responsibility.

As I said before, the decisions you take will be based on your experiences and your dreams. It need not be understood or accepted by others.

People, in general, will go by the rules (when it comes to your life) and, your decision may not fall within the prescribed rules. So, don’t seek approval from others. People close to you will support you in all your decisions, always.

5. Self- care is very important. Unless we take good care of ourselves, we cannot take care of the people we love. Don’t postpone self-care over other priorities.

Self-care need not be an elaborate process. Keep it simple. Do small things every day. Read a book, write in your journal, go for a walk, indulge in an ice-cream, take care of your body, sit for a few minutes in meditation, listen to some beautiful songs, pursue a hobby…

6. Take care of your mental health. Life is very precious. Every person goes through a bad phase in his life. The important thing is to accept it and turn it around.

Try to forgive people, who have hurt you. Try to accept your own mistakes and forgive yourself. Please understand that it is okay to make mistakes, the most important thing being able to learn the lesson.

Don’t be scared of failures or about being judged. Only your relationship with God (the Supreme power) matters and God never judges you.

So please, next time you think of taking your life, always remember that there is someone who loves you. Cherish your life!

7. Learn to forgive others as well as yourselves. This is one of the most important lessons that I have learned in the last decade. It is something that I am still working on.

Forgiving is important for our own mental health and growth. If we don’t forgive others, we tend to go back and forth between all those incidents and the people, who have hurt us. That way we will never be able to let go off the pain of the past.

Likewise, forgiving ourselves is very important for our self-worth and confidence. We have to understand that it is okay to make mistakes. We are all human beings and we can make mistakes. But we need to forgive ourselves for the same.

People will remind us (again and again) of all the mistakes, that we have made but we need to learn to forgive ourselves and move on. Once we let go off our past, our future will unfold itself for us.

8. Physical health is very important. Don’t wait for an illness to happen to change your lifestyle. Do something for your body every day. It needs to be worshipped.

Inculcate healthy habits in your family. Teach your kids the importance of eating healthy and exercising. They will thank you later for the same.

I say this because I am very thankful to my mother for teaching me to eat healthy.

9. Learn something new everyday. There is no age for learning. So, it can be a lifelong process. By learning something new every day, we can keep our creativity alive.

I have noticed that if I learn something (that interests me) everyday, it makes me feel young and curious. My mind gets to learn something new rather than brood over the past.

10. Count your blessings. I know these words are very commonly written by everyone but they are powerful. It is very important to be grateful for everything that we already have.

Unless we see all the blessings in our lives we can never be happy, because then, we live in a “I don’t have” zone all the time.

I have learnt to value my life a lot more after I started being grateful.

11. Respect everyone. Every person is different and they all come from different backgrounds. We need to respect every person irrespective of where they come from. It shows the strength of our character.

In respecting others, we respect ourselves too.

12. Say no where you need to say no.

People will keep expecting you to do things their way all the time. If you don’t agree, it is important to say no. Don’t do something just to please somebody.

Nothing is worth more than your own happiness.

13. When faced with negativity, convert it into positivity. The important thing here is, to accept negative experiences as part of our lives and look for lessons in it. This helps us to look at an experience from a positive point of view.

We then take the lessons from such experiences and move on with our lives. This helps us grow and improves our personality.

14. There are many alternative ways to reach a goal.

We all have goals and we all have plans to reach those goals. These plans are based on our knowledge, principles and personality.

When we start our journey towards our goals, some plans work, some don’t. It doesn’t matter. Always look for alternatives. Take advice from people who have already reached similar goals.

The important thing here is not to let anybody scare you to do anything just to reach a goal. Remember, there will always be another way which will match with your principles.

15. Say sorry when you need to. Instead of coming up with excuses, say sorry when you need to. The word “sorry” is magical because it has the power to dissolve conflicts in a matter of minutes.

It takes a lot of courage to accept our mistake and to say sorry. So be proud about it.

16. Be thankful to every person for everything they do for you, directly or indirectly. It is the best way to do something for them. Just a small thank you will make their day. They will feel appreciated for the work that they do.

17. Never miss a chance to compliment someone. You never know, it might make their day.

Just tell your mother or wife that the food was wonderful and see the smile on their face!

Just tell your wife how beautiful she looks and make her happy!

Tell your colleague that his help made your life easier and see his reaction!

Tell your husband that the new shirt suits him well and see him glow!

There is one important thing in this though. You have to be genuine in what you say. People will understand and feel your genuineness. So give compliments only when you really feel like it.

18. Love your parents as much as you can. There can be nobody as selfless as them in your life. They are the reason you are in this world. So be grateful. Tell your parents how much you love them.

The closest people in your lives are your parents (some may have exceptions). They have seen you right from your birth. You may fight with them, argue with them but never hate them.

19. Belief in the presence of Higher Power (God) is our ultimate strength.

When we know that there is a Higher Power who is with us all the time, we are confident in all the decisions we take.

When we know that there is a Higher Power who is with us all the time, we are careful about our words, intentions and actions.

When we know that there is a Higher Power and that power doesn’t judge us, we are able to accept our mistakes and forgive ourselves more easily.

Talk to God (the Supreme Power) and ask him to lead your way.

20. Don’t share your sob story with others. Your hurts and your failures should be personal to you. By sharing your fears, failures and hurts with others, you give them a lot of power over you and your emotions.

Every person experiences failures and hurts. The important thing is to learn from them and let go. Instead, if we decide to share it with others and get their sympathy, we may never be able to let go off those past experiences.

Even if we try to forget them, there will be people, who will keep reminding us of our hurts and pains.

21. Your intention has to be pure. Whatever you do, do with the best of your intentions. It sets you free from any sort of negativity.

Make a friend because you like the person as a friend, not because he is rich and has money.

Gift somebody to show that you value them, not because you have to show off in the society.

Your intention will make your words and actions powerful.

These are some of the lessons that I learned in the last decade. Do let me know if you have an idea, different from me on any of the points.

Love,

Rashmi

P.s. image credit Julian Jagtenberg from Pexels

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