Another decade has ended. And when we say that things have changed, that sure is an understatement of everything that has occurred within the past years! Our lives have evolved in ways we never would have imagined and the world has become so fast-paced that we often come to the point that we wonder how quick time has passed without us even noticing it: which may be a problem since we lose focus on the important things about life and how we should be living it.
But then again, it is never too late to sit up, take notice and change our ways around for the better. And while we are uniquely different and have our own ways of doing things, here are some lessons we can reflect on as we start another decade of our lives:
Learn the art of the pause
A commendable work ethic and passionate drive never hurt anyone and are key elements to success in any field; but the constant pressure to exert one’s self to fit into the expectations and the demands of society often makes us miss what is truly important. Sure, earning for one’s family, for an instance, is important but we should be careful of the fact that a family, or any relationship for that matter, is not sustained by material wealth alone. You might be working so hard for your loved ones that you barely spend time with them anymore. And then of course, there’s your own self to consider. When was the last time that you took a break from the daily grind and truly spent time on yourself? Many might brush this off as unnecessary but it actually is essential in preserving one’s health and sanity. So learn the art of the pause. Once in a while, take a step back and try to enjoy the pleasure of spending time with your loved ones or with yourself. It doesn’t have to be something grand or expensive: a simple family meal at home, an hour or two with a close friend or even a long, warm bath—these are all easy ways of slowing yourself down.
Remember who you truly are.
Living abroad enables just about anyone to acquire not only skills but also new perspectives on life one didn’t have before. Filipinos are known to possess a knack for adapting easily to different cultures; and while this is advantageous at most, we must remember that there is a fine line between adapting to fit in and losing one’s identity just to fit in. You might think, “oh that’s ridiculous, I would never”, but there’s no denying the fact that many had done just that. Adapting to a new culture is fine and even vital but it doesn’t equate to forgetting who you truly are. After all, you already possess fine qualities that may not be inherent in the people you are adapting to. For an instance, the Filipino anchors its culture on warmth, resilience and a strong sense of kinship—some values that are not predominant in other places. In such case, the best thing one can do is to imitate the good qualities you see in other cultures and preserve your own at the same time. This will not only make you fit in but become a better person in the process.
Life is hard, we all know that. And it even gets harder and more complicated as we get older. Nonetheless, the difficulties are also coupled with joys and this is something we must be grateful for. It’s easy to succumb to negativity and despair especially when we get caught up with the mundane flow of our daily routine. There may even be days that nothing seems to go right but come to think of it, there are still good things happening around us if we would only be more mindful and take notice. Even the simplest kind of things like the fact that there’s food on the table, that we are not sick or that we have our loved ones ready to support us in bad times. One good habit is naming three things you are thankful for in the morning right after waking up and at night before going to sleep. Sounds Pollyana-ish but there’s no harm in being one! You might even surprise yourself by getting to think of more than three things to be thankful for. That will help you cultivate the habit of positive thinking which seems to be becoming rarer and rarer nowadays, come to think of it. Being thankful for even the smallest of things trains us to be more appreciative. Moreover, gratitude should never go out of style because it is something that fuels hope in our hearts and gives us the drive to keep on trying and to keep on moving forward.
Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, we all know that by now but it doesn’t mean that we cannot make the most out of it. The three lessons given are just but some of the many ways we can improve our outlook on life especially now that we are starting off in a new decade. Despite the complications and challenges we face every day, we always have the prerogative to rise above these and be better versions of ourselves. Let us choose to be exactly that.