I usually have moments when I get overly philosophical and thinky.
During such moments, I get an urge to write. After celebrating my birthday(in 2012), I was hit by that urge and there is nothing like a 27th year wake-up-call to increase my philosophical and writing tendencies.
Just by the fact that I am still alive today, it means there is still a higher purpose that I am yet to fulfill in this world. In my quest to fulfill that purpose, I have come to believe in a couple of truths or Fi-losophies(as I like to call them) that I feel obliged to share.
They are quite many, but to honour my years, I have selected 27. I am hardly perfect at any of them; But writing them down keeps them etched in my mind. Hopefully they resonate with you in your own journey in this crazy world…..
1. Family is as important as you make it. Or it can be as annoying as you think. Take your pick. But trust me, cherishing them is definitely way more fulfilling. I mean, who else in this world is as genetically and morally inclined to forgive your endless silly mistakes than they are?
2. Family and close friends are given to us to be substitute consciences especially when we refuse to listen to our own. They really know how to burst bubbles and bring you back to earth when you really need it, don’t they? Do listen to them when you should.
3. Friends who constantly make you forget the reasons why you are in that friendship aren’t worth squat. If keeping a certain friend is as excruciating as a shirtless Rick Ross, then save yourself. Your personal Club of “acquaintances” is always looking for such people.
4. Without more emphasis on creative, practical and mentally stimulating subjects, the education system will continue to churn out cynical ‘robots’. To avoid being one, get into groups, clubs or societies that bring back your humanity. Believe in something Good and pour all your passion into it.
5. Much of what you learn(t) in school will be insignificant until a younger sibling asks you to help them with their homework. Then you’ll have to rack your brains and realize you are looking for something that is securely locked up in one of your mind’s prisons; So for the sake of the homework that needs to be saved, you will have to look for the keys, bribe the wardens and get access…then hope that your sibling will be better at unlocking their current education in future.
6. There is nothing like a challenging life situation to show you who your true friends are or should be. Life gives us these hard times to help us in the process of sieving through who deserves to stay in our lives and who doesn’t.
7. Bad relationships are important since they give you better eyes to spot the good ones coming up. I am not using ‘important’ here to mean ‘inevitable’ or ‘unavoidable’. If you can avoid them, run as fast as you can. If they happen to catch up with you and you just so happen to have a bad run, know that it can ONLY get better from there onwards.
8. Past relationships always seem better in memory than they actually were. Unless there is a some sort of learning or unexplainable magic tagged on them, they will be using up much of your priceless brain space for nothing.
9. Trust is like currency. You only get value from it once you give it away. As hard as it sounds, it is an inevitable struggle that must be worked at for those relationships that matter.
10. The beauty of travel is always the magical feeling that you are thinking louder, thinking longer, thinking deeper, thinking crazier….It is that feeling that you are becoming someone else each time you step outside your country’s border- To travel is to grow. Try to do it as much as you can and whenever possible.
11. The irony in cultural travel is that: the further away you travel from your culture, the better you get to understand your own. Why? Because you will get to answer A LOT of questions- your own and other people’s.
12. Travel is a hugely powerful weapon against ignorance and discrimination. But sadly, not all kinds of ignorance and discrimination can be cured by travel.
13. Living in a different country for longer than six months is the single biggest personal learning experience any person can get. It challenges your values, beliefs, cultures, thoughts, emotions- just about anything that is resident in the mind. Self-awareness can’t get any better than that now, can it?
14. If you find yourself envying or wishing to be someone else, know that it is one utterly useless venture; mostly because, that other person is also envying someone else or in twisted cases, envying you. It is way easier, faster and less painful to love who you are. And if some people don’t like it……well, it is not your problem.
15. If you find yourself playing different versions of You with different groups of people, then you are fooling yourself too. Being one person is hard enough- focus on that. You have a whole lifetime to be You, no one else.
16. Constantly worrying about what other people think is an addictive Sisyphean task. The sooner you can stop, the sooner you can enjoy more of your life.
17. Learn more about the world around you. Ignorance is not exactly an endearing quality. Your brain came with unlimited space and unlimited processing power. Feed it!
18. Any chance to experience Leadership, however small, is as valuable as a single course of University learning, possibly more. So don’t blame anyone in AIESEC, Rotaract or other school leadership roles for having that hard-to-explain urge to take their duties more importantly than their studies. I am not saying it is excusable. I am simply saying it is understandable. But, be serious with your education- it is a stepping stone to the kind of life you want to live.
19. Life plans exist to be changed. You can have a state-of-the-art plan towards a certain goal, but life will almost always throw you a curve ball. Be flexible. Let the plans process in your head more than in your mouth. Otherwise, you will get tired of those “What happened to….?” conversations.
20. You know those goals that scare you and make you say “Impossible”? Yes, those are the ones that will be most fun to try and accomplish. They will be the ones that your grandchildren will most love to hear about.
21. Your brain is the single most powerful resource you have. Use the unlimited power of your subconscious mind to create the life you want. Your life is not in your hands- it is in your Mind. Think it then Do it.
22. Make your health a priority. Do not wait until a doctor tells you that it should be. As it is often said: ‘You don’t have to be ‘fat’ to be unhealthy’. Trust me on this one.
23. Take care of your body- it is an absolutely worthwhile habit. Once ingrained in you, it will become something that your future self with thank you for 30-40 years from now.
24. Take everything you do seriously, however small; but then again, don’t take life too seriously. Tough balance, I know.
25. Cherish the existence of social media. Thanks to it, people will always remember your birthday; you will always have a way to communicate with people you meet throughout your life; you will always have a quick way to find out what is happening in the world; you will always have a way to vent out your frustrations; you will always have a way to know people’s real and fake personas; and most dangerously, you will always have a way to be scrutinized or stalked by people who are out to find out who you are- including your current and future bosses.
26. Learn how to ooze confidence. It is the single most important quality in the world. It can take you anywhere. And if you can’t learn fast enough, learn how to feign it.
27. In this over-marketed, over-persuasive world, they best thing you can do for yourself is to know who you are and learn how and when to say No.