2019 has been quite a ride.
Got laid off, started a new job, created a startup, pitched and spoke at conferences, received a few Yes’s and got plenty of No’s, through health and sickness, and somehow still thriving with lots of lessons learned. Here are a few of them.
Setting my own standards of success.
I used to think that success means earning some amount of money, getting some random title, having some random stuff. It’s based on the accumulation of knowledge from what I have seen, what I have learned, and what I have been told.
I kept looking right and left to check whether I am going in the right direction. However, I still felt lost at most.
What I realised this year: I was using someone else’s map to reach someone else’s destination.
I am currently learning to cut through the noise to figure out what matters for me. And starting to head to that direction, one baby step at a time.
It’s never about whether you can or cannot do. More about whether you want to do it or not.
If there’s one thing that I know for sure in life is: we really can do anything if we set our mind to it.
Move to a new country without any job? Yes I can!
Create a startup without any experience? Yes I can!
Play chess with Gary Kasparov? Yes I can!
The hard part is to get the motivation to pursue it. To find a big enough why to make us want to do it.
This one is a major topic for me this year: Why I do what I do.
Now I am trying to be more aware of my intention when I decide to do something.
Do I attend this party because of my fear from being outcasted?
Do I meet this people because they matter to me and I want to be in their life? Do I host someone at home because I am scared they will not like me if I reject them?
I am learning to stop doing stuff if my intention is based out of fear, instead of love.
Fill my own cup.
Having been ill for a week now, it’s hard to take care of others. It could even be harmful to them as I could infect them with my disease.
Just like our physical health, same goes with our mental and emotional well-being. It has to come first.
I am learning to set boundaries and take time for myself.
I can change my narrative.
I used to suffer a lot because of the stories I told myself. When an unwanted event occurred in my life, I thought I could only take it as a negative experience. I rubbed salt to my pain.
This year I learn to see possibilities in every situation. When I heard a no, when I failed at stuff, when things didn’t go my way. I learn to take it as a lesson or something that I can laugh or grateful about.
Having one plant-based meal a day doesn’t kill me.
In the wake of climate change, lately I have been asking my self “What can one person do to save the planet?”
Then I bumped into this One Meal Day initiative. It’s about swapping out one meat- and dairy-based meal for a plant-based, climate friendly meal — for our health and the planet.
If you eat just one plant-based meal a day for a year, you’ll save almost 200,000 gallons of water (that’s 11,400 showers!) and the pollution equivalent to about 3,000 miles driven in your car.
I am a meat-eater and I thought I couldn’t live without those yummy chicken, beef, pork, salmon, etc. Well, it turns out that I can.
I started to have at least one plant based meal a day and so far I have been feeling very good about it. I might not have gone full vegan (yet!). However, this is my first baby step to help the planet (and myself!).
Making peace with childhood scars.
We all have baggage from our childhood, and unfortunately it all resurfaces sooner or later.
As a daughter of a single parent, I’m raised to fend for myself. After seeing the hardship faced by my mom, it’s not easy for me to develop bonds in a relationship. I noticed that I tend to be more guarded and aloof.
I realise that my childhood traumas are still there and I am making a conscious effort to rectify it. I am starting to see a therapist regularly now and it has been helping me to be more aware of my patterns and notice all the layers of emotions and stories that are buried deep within.
Finding joy in being.
I used to spend the majority of my energy either doing things, or thinking about the things I want to do. It often made feel bad when I thought that I wasn’t productive enough or fast enough or contributing enough as if my self-worth was judged by my achievements for the day.
I am currently learning to be still. To look. To listen. To be present. To be myself. To be fully myself.