Truth is, I almost did not publish this obligatory new year's post just because it's faddish, but my year's a very interesting one that I just had to and my golly, the lessons I learned were pretty much life and attitude- changing; they were great even if my 2015 wasn't so great.
I did not have a very great year, to be honest; well, I'll be fair with you, 2015; you were half great; it started out well; really promising and prosperous because it's the year when I finally materialized my dream: a business, which is a Digital and PR agency; I've always loved telling stories, social media, and I've always felt that the path of entrepreneurship is the way to go for me; it was overflowing with potential. Come the second half of the year, I started to feel its birth pains: stress, anxiety, tons of adjustment to a totally new schedule, sleepless nights, crappy eating habits, and financial burdens, not to mention I had to turn my back on some high paying opportunities for the blog just to launch the business; no one told me that entrepreneurship is going to be this tough; I almost gave up and went back to my old life that wasn't sure, but at least safe.
But at least I ended the year on a pretty positive and hopeful note; the business gained some traction, portfolio looks impressive now, people have been asking more and more about it, and our first clients were really happy with our service. All's well that ends well.
2015 wasn't a good year in terms of material aspects, but it sent me a tidal wave of learnings that helped me grow as a person. Thinking about it now, 2015 wasn't so bad; perhaps it wasn't meant to be the best for my physical achievements, but rather, for the inner ones.
So here's a post Christmas gift from me to all of my readers: life tidbits that I had to learn with matching tears and heartaches that will improve your life (hopefully) as it did mine.
1. To be productive, start the day with gratitude, prayer, and meditation.
- 2015 year was the year of the frustrated Martha; I was always anxious and frustrated on why people won't respond to me, why they would back out, why they would be this, be that, and so on. I literally spent my day ranting about some people, work, and my situation that I ended up not doing most of what I intended to do. My spiritual mentor asked me once how I start my day and told him that I go straight to my laptop, open my email, and try to get a lot of work done before the day ends; he told me to change my ways by devoting at least 10 minutes of my time to prayer, meditation, and uttering at least 10 things that I'm thankful for in my life; It only took these rituals to make me more productive again.
Meditation makes you more placid, allowing you to think and decide better. When a door closes, prayer always seem to open more doors. Lastly, a grateful heart helps you let go easily, thus you can move on to accomplishing other tasks, ergo making you more productive.
No matter how busy you are, make time for meditation, prayer, and saying thanks. Trust me, it will make you more productive than ever.
2. Don't let work own you.
- The problem with me is I always tend to get absorbed into work that I forget about equally important things like exercise, hang outs, prayer, and my loved ones. When I'm finally off work, for real, I always realize that I've missed out on some really fun, memorable things, things that I can no longer repeat. Too late.
Work will always be there. There will always be work. It wouldn't harm to put aside work for a while and just savor conversations with long- time friends, sit down with your parents and talk about anything under the sun, stop and stare at the sky, and play with your beloved pets; you may no longer repeat these things, but work will always be never ending.
3. Next to God/Divine, Health should be your top priority
- God, Buddha, Allah, or your choice of divine being should be your first priority; next should be your health-not your happiness, your family, your kids, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your husband/wife, and your parents; I will explain why: Society tells us to always be of service to others and to put others first, and that means sacrificing our health and well- being most of the time. Without a healthy body, you won't be able to be of service; putting yourself first most especially your health is not always selfishness because sometimes, it means wanting to be in the perfect shape to serve more and do more for others.
4. Don't make the failure of others your failure
- Whenever people in my personal and professional circles fail, I tend to admit to their failure too, thus making me think that I'm also a failure, when in reality, I'm not. I pondered on why I would always admit to the failure of others, then I realized that I value camaraderie so much up to a point of unhealthy tolerance. I learned that a thing is a failure when you think that it is, and you are a failure if you think you are; when people around me are failing, the choice left for me to make should always be to stand up; tough love sprinkled with a bit of tolerance is the way to go and despite these, if people still fail around me, I should bear in mind that I can only do so much and it does not speak of me, but more of them as an individual. This is not selfish thinking; this is thinking that puts a stop to failure.
5. More than failure, success will reveal who your real friends are
- I've read in an article a couple of years ago that people love it when others fail. SCHADENFREUDE (look it up). Because failure is relatable; it makes people feel good about themselves; it's the norm; humility is a virtue. Because it's really nice, fuzzy, and comfy at the bottom, and it ain't so bad here because there are millions, no, make that multi-millions of us down here. I don't want to sound as if I'm doubting the goodness of humanity, but most of the time, this explains why people are kind to you when you fail.
But when you succeed, people slowly drift away from you, treat you like crap, talk shit behind you, diss you, and act as if all of a sudden they don't know you and you've never shared a friendship (because it makes them look superior, thus making them feel good about themselves). Why? Because success is a dream for everyone yet a gift to a few; it's an elusive prize; it makes people feel inferior.
Allow me to brag, but I've successfully staged an entrepreneurial act last year and my success brought out the true colors of some people around me: personal, Blogging, and professional circles.
Do I feel sad? At first, I was. As I said, I value camaraderie. But then again, maybe it's better to have fewer friends and a smaller circle: less shit, less drama. As a quote once said: Keep your circle small and your beer cold (make mine Starbucks Iced White Chocolate Mocha).
6. If you wanna succeed, you gotta ruffle some feathers
- Success irks others; that's the truth. No matter how benevolent you are as a person, people will still find something to say about you if you are successful. They're not irked by you; they're irked by your success. It depends on you if you wanna be the "kind" one or the successful one. Now if you want success, go ahead and ruffle some feathers.
7. Make time for your soul
- I've learned that regardless if you're an employee or an entrepreneur, work can be soul- crushing: lost promotions to other people, more losses than profits, workplace conflicts, stress, more work, less pay, and whatnots. That's why it's important to make time for your soul; yeah, that weekly spa treat, shopping, and luxury resto treat can only go so far; what I mean is read up on books and articles or listen to audio/podcasts that enrich, uplift, and heal your soul; you'll need it more than you ever know.
8. You can never be too young to save money or learn about financial intelligence
- I think the last 3 years of my life were my best, financially. People told me then that I was at the perfect point to save and invest, but I kept on delaying it to a later year. Believe me, I really had the intention to save more and to invest, but the problem was I thought that I was too young to do so and there's always a next year. I was ready to invest last year, but the business ate more money than I expected (besides, it's technically suicide to invest and run a business at the same time if you're starting out with both!). I guess there's a reason why regrets come in the end; it makes sure that you won't make the same mistake again!
I've finally taken a breather so I made a couple of adjustments to my saving and spending habits, started tracking my expenses, and looking at stocks investment. Thank God for new chances! :)
9. It's okay to ask for help
- I was conditioned to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness that's why for the longest time, I tried to do everything by myself; even if I can't do it anymore, I still go for that last stretch. I've had the worst work burnout last year then it just hit me to ask for help; believe me, when people started to help me out, it felt like I was resuscitated to life! I realized that asking for help is normal; it isn't really a sign of weakness, but more of intelligence (leverage) and it's good for the health! :D
10. Yup, LET THAT SHIT GO.
- PRETTY SELF-EXPLANATORY.
What I could only wish for this year, aside from non-stop success for my business, personal endeavors, and first foray into investments, is that I don't forget all these important lessons I learned last year and I grow into another, much better version of me; I wish the same thing for you. :)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.