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10 Personal lessons I have learnt

This post is written as part of a Group Writing Project: 2009 in Revieworganized by Daniel Scocco of  DailyBlogTips.Com. It’s also a great time to reflect as the year is coming to an end.

 1. We can only be truly happy if we live in accordance to our core/true values.

When I realized I had lived my life according to other people’s values and expectations, it took me a lot of courage to change it. I quit my corporate job, went travelling, and now I am back working in a simple full time job that pays the bills while I spent my free time doing stuff that feels right. Such as spending time with family and working on my blogs.

2. When you ‘downgrade’ your social status, you would lose friends, but you would gain ‘real ones’ as well.

You may fear that your social circle would change once you quit your job- you’ll still keep most of them if you are moving towards a better and high paying job. But if you quit or downgrade your earnings, you’ll start losing contacts. Don’t feel too bad because you’ll probably end up gaining new ones, probably those that shared the same wavelength and interests as you do.

I spent 9 years working in a company but when I left, no many people had kept in touch- except for a few friends who made the effort to keep in touch and reply emails. It does not matter because I know that they’re busy and they need to prioritize the little time they have. But I’ve gained new friends because of the new path of life that I’ve chosen- and I am surprised how much of similarity and how nurturing these relationships are. Often, in order to gain something, we need to let go and make space for it- often we let the fear stop us.

3. Travelling and living amongst the poor can genuinely make us grateful for the blessings that we usually took for granted.

Either if you quit your job and go travelling or volunteer your service, you will become a better and changed person. In my case, I had the chance to do both- and in volunteering- I felt I personally benefit so much more than those I’ve helped. In a remote village when the villagers depends on the forest and fishing for livelihood, I knew the children could never get out of poverty that their fathers and grandfathers are in if they do not get a decent education. They’ll have a much better shot if they know English- when I taught them- their genuine appreciation and will to learn touched my heart.

4. If A talks to you something bad about B, you really need to be careful of A, and not B.

When someone that you do not know really well starting to come to you and bad mouth somebody, resist the temptation to get involved and take sides. That’s the root of family quarrels and office politics. A person who can talk back about someone can also easily talk about you.

5. Money means nothing to an empty heart.

It’s may not be only a money management issue when we cannot manage our finances well. If we are not happy, we tend to splurge on things we do not need, and have the discipline in keeping our credit in line and our bills paid on time. More has been written in a previous article.

6.  Learn to face your fears- tackle it one by one. It sets you free.

Fears are mostly irrational. A lot of fears are amplified beyond measure. It is not as scary as it seems once you face them. This year, I’ve learned to face some fears– because I no choice but came face to face with them- fear of staying in the wilderness, of snakes (have close encounters with them a few times), having my molar extracted again (I’ve been delaying it), staying alone in the dark isolated place, etc. Facing them make me a stronger and more resilient person inside. When you come face to face with things that scares the life out of you and come out of it alive, somehow a lot of other things would pale in comparison. You get to go through life with greater confidence, both in yourself and higher power.

7.  When you hate someone, the person probably reminds you of an attribute of yourself that you are not prepared to address.

This is a very tough cookie to swallow. But this applies to me and a lot of people that I’ve observed around me. This year, I’ve learnt to understand why it arise- why do I dislike certain people so much. And when I turn and examine myself, I could see attributes within that person that I have. For instance, I once felt someone was irresponsible for the staff- and letting the staff suffer. But when I examined myself honestly, I realized that even though I am responsible at work (unlike the person), I am not responsible enough at home. I use the excuse that I am not good at cooking to avoid doing it and all types of excuses for not getting up early- while at the same time complaining I do not have enough time in a day to get things done. It took courage- but in the end, I took the effort to learn cooking, and got up earlier. And a few times of doing that, I immediately felt better about myself- and mysteriously, the intensity of aversion dropped by nearly 100%.

8. The stronger your love for something, the stronger the aversion could be. The best is to stay neutral as much as you can.

For instance, if you are crazy or hero worship someone, it can easily turn into aversion when the person done something wrong. Extreme emotions may not be healthy. Also putting a person on a pedestal can really disappoint you if you find that the person does not live up to your expectation. But to begin with, it’s usually not the person’s fault- probably in our awe, we’ve automatically assumed someone to be like something that they’re not.

9. Inability to lose weight and lot of health problems can be due to the inability to let go and cope with stress.

If we cling on to negative emotions and cannot effectively deal with stress, health ailments such as fatigue, gastric, pains in the body, migraines, allergies, flu and sickness tends to happen more easily. If you have tried all sorts of ways to lose weight but is unable to do so, don’t beat yourself up to it. Tackle your emotional levels- and learning to let go- by doing that, the body would let go of the ‘fat’ that it holds on to. This year, I’ve lost more than 30 pounds- because I’ve finally learnt the art of letting go. I am not expert at this yet, but with the change, I found that the weight that I had been constantly battling for years (with exercise and diet), effortlessly dropped. When I went for interview for my current job, my boss could not recognize me in photos that I took about 2 years back because of the weight loss.

10. Say sorry and mean it.

Learn to say sorry and mean it. It repairs relationship and heal wounds. I’ve apologized to quite a number of people this year and ask for forgiveness from people whom I may have done wrong towards.

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3 comments




  • LSC December 11, 2009, 5:02 pm

    Thumbs up.I really impress person can make life as priority rather than work, nice job and have fun.

    • Yin Teing December 12, 2009, 10:44 am

      Dear LSC,
      Thanks so much. Learn by lots of trial and error.

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