With the academic year coming to a close here in New Zealand, I thought I should take it on myself to draw upon all the things that I have come realize this year. While I would like to say that this has been the MOST AMAZING YEAR OF MY LIFE (and make my life sound idealistic), I am instead going to be honest and tell you that this year belongs in the category of ‘the most challenging years ever’ along with several of my other most challenging years.
- 1. Health is Wealth
It took me a while to realize health is another definition of wealth. Now let me explain why, I’ll use some of my personal experiences as a backdrop to this valuable advice.
For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’d like you to know that I am a work-a-holic and a perfectionist. Now that, my friend, is a deadly combination. And if you are a work-a-holic/perfectionist or even both, I sympathize with your situation. Being a work-a-holic and perfectionist means that I have the uncanny ability to use and abuse my body like a machine. There have been so many days were I have completely forgotten what sleeping feels like because I have wanted to finish a project, for example, to perfection. And trust me, those days where I don’t get something done to perfection all hell breaks loose – upon myself. I realized that these past few years, on countless occasions I had driven my body to a point of physical, mental and even emotional exhaustion. So many-a-times neglecting myself of luxuries such as sleep, a nourishing diet and a healthy social life. Despite having fallen sick a number of times in my last year of high school, I hadn’t realized the value of a healthy body and healthy mind up until just a few days ago when my body started to give way as a result of a series of panic attacks right before my exams. Those of you that have experienced the plight of panic attacks know that it drains the life out of you and you are left in a condition were neither your body nor mind wants to work at the pace it used to.
My mother would make it a point to constantly remind me that health is in fact wealth. She would reiterate the importance of maintaining a healthy balanced life suggesting that I hang out with friends, have a proper diet and get adequate sleep whilst completing my work. To me all these things felt like excuses for being unproductive. But these last few weeks, I have been rudely awakened to the importance of health and how health should not be taken for granted. It is truly unfortunate that I hadn’t been open to taking her advice prior to this experience. But I sincerely thank my mom for having been so consistent with this valuable advice.
- 2. Imperfection is the new perfection.
If you are a student or have ever been a student you will be well aware of the fact that at school or even in college you are gradually coerced into defining yourself according to the kinds of grades you acquire throughout the academic year. In the last few years, I have realized that students are willing to do anything to achieve that A grade and frankly speaking I am in no position to critize cause I have done more than half of those things on the list. Dr Phil once mentioned, “I rather have a B that I earned than an A that I stole.” And that is rightly so.
I hate to break it to you, but none of us are perfect. Most of the time we strive to be the best (in the sense – aiming to beat the rest), when in actuality we should be striving to be better than what we were yesterday or the day before.
- 3. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It’s true, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will obtaining a successful life be achieved in a single night. It is just like climbing a ladder or even playing a computer game, in order to get to the last level you need to past the first. Passing each level takes time. Sometimes, things don’t happen as we would like it to, but that doesn’t mean that we have failed. It is important for us to remember that when things don’t go our way, it happens for a reason. Later, in the near future, that ‘reason’ will unveil revealing to you the bigger picture, which for all you know maybe better than your original plan.
- 4. Don’t cry over split milk. Clean it up and pour yourself another glass!
What has happened is the past. Its gone and it isn’t coming back. Let me tell you now, failure is not when you fall, but it is when you refuse to get back up again. Those mistakes you made or those times you fell are moments that make you stronger, moments that pave the path to your ultimate success. Rejoice every mistake that you made because that is what has made you far wiser than what you were yesterday.
- 5. Appreciation is the key to happiness, while comparison is the theft of joy.
Appreciate every moment in your life – good or bad – it is there for a reason. If comparison is necessary, compare yourself to what you were yesterday.