15 Life Lessons I Learned in 2018

I know that we're almost at the end of the first month of 2019, but I still wanted to share this as life lessons I learned from 2018. Because 2018 was such a big year of growth for me. I went through loss, achieved huge milestones at work, read a few life-changing books, made heaps of changes in my thinking patterns, and made new friends. And for the most part, all of this happened at the same time. So here are a few lessons 2018 taught me:

1. As you grow older and your life evolves, make friends with those who made the same life choices as you. They'll understand you like no one else does because their life followed the same path as yours and your future goals will be common, too.

2. Nothing will make you feel more powerful than being in command of your own body and health. So do whatever it takes to maintain a fit body and mind.

3. Becoming more mature means that success, intelligence and good looks stop being as attractive as kindness does. Your entire goal in life becomes to be kinder and to be around people who are kind.

4. Learn to say no. Even to the little things. When your friends are all going out and you don't want to, say no. Don't eat something you don't like just to finish it. Respect yourself so much that you start to say no to every little thing that doesn't make you happy.

5. Read books on personal growth. Read books on organizing. Read feel-good fiction that just makes you happy. But please, read. It's one of the best ways of discovering how other human minds function and makes you self-aware of how your mind does, too.

6. You are so much more resilient than you think. A tragic incident or a difficulty makes you face your biggest fears and when you come through it, you realize you're so much stronger than you thought.

7. Don't overthink things. Don't overanalyze. It's such a waste of your brain. Sometimes letting go of the need to control the outcome takes you to an even better result.

8. If someone doesn't like you or treats you badly, don't assume it's because of you. Most often people do things that serve only themselves, not because they want to deliberately hurt you.

9. One simple thing to look forward to can help you get through a tough time. The thing can be as simple as meeting a friend or going to your favourite cafe for your favourite chocolate cake or a cuddle with your pet. When things look bleak, think about the one good thing coming up or plan one.

10. Don't make yourself lesser out of a sense of guilt that you don't deserve to be this smart/ look this amazing/ be this successful. Or because it makes others uncomfortable. Shine with all the beauty and light you have.

11. Do whatever it takes to reduce stress.

12. Use happiness as the only yardstick to do everything in life and it will take you to amazing places.

13. Don't delay enjoyment. Wear party clothes every day. Open the champagne. Don't wait for an occasion. Every day is a celebration. 

14. Stop stopping yourself from feeling happiness fully. We usually fear that if we feel TOO happy, something bad will happen. This only stops you from living that happiness completely. You're an amazing person who deserves to be unashamedly, completely happy. Start believing that, fully. 

15. Rid your mind of the ridiculous notion that you have to work really hard and sacrifice a lot to achieve your goals. This will only make you feel that just because you got something easily, it's not amazing, and even if there's something that can be achieved very easily and with minimal effort, you will create complications and do too much work to attain it and then feel like your reward didn't live up to all that strenuous hard work. Also, you'll resent people who seemingly get the good things in life much easier than you do. Save yourself all that heartbreak and anguish and just throw the concept out that goals can be achieved only through arduous work and self-sacrifice.

There are probably a lot more lessons that last year taught me, but these are the ones that come to mind the most when I think about it. I always thought of 2018 as a really tough, crappy year, but once I started to focus on what I learned in this year, I realized it was a lot and that I probably didn't grow over the years as much as I grew in this one year alone. Here's to more lessons and more growth in 2019.

Now it's your turn. What are some of the most valuable lessons you took away from 2018? What would you add to this list? I would love to hear your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,
Shabana Feroze

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