It’s yet again the most exciting time of the year- the beginning!
I love the feeling of a fresh start and a new year to me represents just that! A new book with 12 chapters and 365 pages of which I am the author who gets to write and express my story however I want. How liberating! !
The past year for me was nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster! There were highs and there were lows, I made a lot of discoveries and travelled to many strange lands (I still am), I met a lot of new people, went to school,challenged myself to do things that I had never done before and also had lots of fun. All in all, 2017 was a phenomenal year!
Looking back however, there are many things I learnt that I believe have made me wiser. These are lessons I got from my experiences that I will definitely be applying in 2018 and that I would also like to share with you.
Ready?Here we go:
1.All that glitters is not gold.￼
Cliche as it may sound, this ancient proverb has nothing but depth and truth. Not everything appears to be what it seems. We live in a society that glorifies vanity so much so that people go to great lengths to be seen or be perceived as successful, beautiful or romantic based on standards that have been set by the world. This applies to friendships and relationships as well.Do not be rash in making decisions. Take your time. Things or people can be very alluring at face value but once the fascination wears off, the reality can turn out to be very different.
2. Always,always,always live by your principles.
Your principles are your moral code. In life, we will often find ourselves in situations where we will be tempted to compromise. Sometimes this can happen as a result of peer pressure, pressure from our loved ones to fulfill their expectations,pressure from within ourselves to achieve certain goals we have set or to keep up with our peers. Sometimes we may work for things that have seemingly taken long and there is the temptation to take the short cut,at a cost of course. Everyone goes through these experiences at some point in their lives. The question is, what do you stand for? Like I have said before, your principles are your manual, they are your guide. They are meant to act as a reference point to steer you in the right direction when faced with life’s challenges.If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. It is important that we stick to our personal set of principles. They are the sign posts on our journey that get us to our destination.
3. Be careful who you let influence your decisions.
Who are you listening to? where are you getting advice from? While there is nothing wrong with seeking advice, it is paramount that we ensure that those who are influencing our decisions are on the same wavelength with us in regard to our principles and values.
If you want to solicit advice from someone you deem successful, find out how they became successful. Did they work for it or did they employ other means to get to the top? Are they someone you would like your children to emulate?
Don’t just let anyone influence you, make sure they are worth it!
4.Not everyone is on your side.
Never confuse the people around you with the people that are for you. The sad fact of life is that not everyone we consider our friends necessarily want the best for us. Don’t go sharing your dreams with everyone.
Sometimes seemingly silly words of discouragement can be enough to kill your dream. I know a lot of people who gave up on their dreams because they were teased and taunted by their so -called friends.
Be careful who you allow in your inner circle, make sure they are people who can stand with you, encourage you and love you enough to tell you the truth even if it’s not always pleasant.
5. The devil is not your friend
Ever heard of that age old serpent? the one who convinced Eve to eat that seemingly delicious fruit even though it was forbidden? Yes that’s the devil I’m talking about. The one who made the fruit look so irresistible and tantalizing but in the end ruined the lives of both Adam and Eve. He was crafty then, and he still is as crafty as ever now..and no, he is not that hideous red creature with horns. He comes as that tall, dark and handsome guy, that drop dead gorgeous girl with a beautiful figure or that business deal you have been waiting for but have to compromise just a little to get. The catch is all his gifts come poisoned! Everything he offers is for your own destruction!
If you have to compromise or sacrifice your dignity to get or keep it, think twice!
6. Tables really do turn!
As a child, I remember visiting my cousin’s house. We spent a lot of time in their kitchen (they made really good food). One sticker on their fridge always caught my attention. It said ‘Love me tonight, tomorrow I may be rich and famous‘. As simple as that sounds, life really can change in an instant.Don’t ever under estimate the power of tables turning. The caterpillar becomes a butterfly in one day.You can start the year as one thing and end the same year as something completely different. Learn to treat everyone with respect regardless of their background. You don’t know where they will be or where you will be a few months down the line.
7.TV is not real life
I don’t watch a lot of television. I used to at one point in my life but I stopped when I realized that my perspective of life was heavily influenced by the shows I was watching. Once I understood that my mind was powerful and that my life was shaped by what I fed my mind, I started being very cautious with the things I watched. I started reading books and doing research but the one thing that really opened my mind was travel.
Traveling has made me realize just how much TV had skewed my perspective of the world. I remember the first time I visited Los Angeles. I was shocked to see another side of that city that I was not used to seeing on TV. I’m not saying that LA is a bad city, matter of fact it’s one of the best cities I have visited but it’s not all glitz and glamour. We don’t get to see the homeless people or the trash on the streets or the Hollywood walk of fame which I expected to be a high end secluded area for the stars, only to find it’s just a sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. I also remembered visiting Watamu island along the coast of Kenya. Watamu is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to on earth,but that is usually not the image of Kenya we see on TV. What I am trying to say is that traveling gives you an objective perspective of the universe.
The new year is all yours for the taking!! I hope these lessons have sharpened and equipped you not only to live but to conquer!