By Simran Tandon
In a recent colleagues catch-up, the air in the room was that of excitement. Excitement for the year-end celebrations, for the new year to come and the hope that comes with it. What was also interesting to hear were the introspective conversations that were reflecting back on the year, the achievements it brought and the lessons it taught. Year-end reflection is undoubtedly an enlightening experience which when shared, multiplies for good only.
Since a learning of one can resonate with many, this blog aims to share with you 7 life lessons that were learnt over this year by our Head of Departments. Each lesson is simple yet thought-provoking, something we often lose sight of.
We hope you enjoy this video and give the blog a read to see how these lessons can have a positive impact on your life.
7 LESSONS FOR A BETTER 2023
1. Make Health your Priority
Let’s start by saying that this will not just become a New Year Resolution to be broken but rather our priority for life. Since humans are prone to wavering motivation levels, understanding the power of ‘WHY’ we want to make lifestyle changes is critical. For some the ‘why’ might be disease prevention and longevity while for others it might be to have increased energy or improve self-worth. Find that reason first because that will help you show up for your health each day. The second thing is to keep a broader perspective of health in mind. As much as you focus on your eating habits, also focus on how you feel each day, how are your stress levels or how can you reduce bad habits like excessive drinking or smoking. Health is a culmination of the trio aspect of life i.e. physical, mental and emotional health. Also, you are not alone in this journey, hence ask for help, be it your doctor, friends, family or partner.
2. Enjoy the Process
During my college days, I remember being asked by a professor “So, how was the process of designing and presenting this project proposal, did you enjoy it”? At that moment, my colleagues and I had a lot to say. Someone mentioned how intense the research was while someone quoted all the funny things that happened while working together, to celebrating the small wins and the confidence boost we experienced when the project was ready, in that moment we all found ourselves laughing despite being sleep-deprived. In introspection, the process involved to reach our goals gave us more happiness and memories than our goal result did. We often fail to appreciate the process that helps us achieve our goals. Don’t put your happiness or fun at hold, rather make it a part of your goal fulfillment process. In between the hustle and bustle, celebrate the small steps and wins because these will always keep you motivated towards your goals. Hence, this year, enjoy the process.
3. Experiences over Material
Someone rightly said that “A possession is a potential pleasure, but an experience is an active enjoyment”. Your material possessions don’t bring you joy 6 months down the line as your vacation memories do that you made a year ago. This is the power of intangible things in life that do not depreciate like material goods. People will not celebrate you for the goods you buy but for the experiences you share. So starting 2023, rethink your investments. Invest in experiences because experiences help you create memories that are social, incomparable and long-lasting. They help you cultivate new relationships, broaden your horizons and define your definition of happiness. So next time you are confused between taking a trip or buying a gadget, my advice- take that trip.
4. Be Comfortable to Change
The idea of change can be uncomfortable, I agree. When I wanted to make a career change, the idea of leaving my comfortable cocoon and starting over from scratch made me anxious. But my desire for a better life was certainly greater than my anxiety. No matter what you are trying to change, be it a habit, a job, a house, or even the country you live in, embrace change with positivity. Un-strangle yourself from the reasons that are limiting you, whether it’s the thought about what others will think, age, fear of failure or even procrastination. Start visualizing the changed outcome and take one step at a time.
5. Be Positive Each Day
A study published in 2019 revealed that people who possessed higher levels of optimism, had an 11-15% longer life expectancy. Who doesn’t want that right? To be honest, I will not tell you to stay positive all the time, because humanely it’s not always possible. But what will recommend you for sure is to look at it positively from a different perspective. Positivity in everyday life has to do with us becoming more resilient. Not losing hope and confidence in oneself, believing that every situation has a positive side and not losing your smile when faced with a challenge is resilience. Start with this mind-set shift and you will start to find sunnier outcomes even during gray days.
6. Find Joy in Little Things
Observe a child and you will see how they light up with joy at almost every little thing. Be it the bubbles during their bath, their favorite cartoon on TV or the excitement to run in the garden. These are so simple yet profound for them. Ask your younger self now- what things used to make me happy? I bet you, the answer will not lie in big things like gadgets, cars or social media, but rather in small moments which we fail to acknowledge today. In 2023, let’s try to change the narrative. Pause and recognize moments of joy today, say yes to things that you put aside, disconnect to connect with self and activate your inner child. All it takes is to acknowledge that the current moment is yours to live. As Robert Brault once said, “Enjoy the little things; for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” So next time, appreciate the cool breeze on a sunny day, dance to your favorite song, prepare a meal with your partner or give a hug to your loved one.
7. Practice Forgiveness
Wrong has been done before and wrong will be done again. It is a part of life which everyone experiences mostly because we are humans who are not perfect. It depends on us how long we decide to carry the resentment. Forgiveness isn’t just about letting the wrong-doer off the hook but it’s more about us choosing to release oneself from the baggage of burden, pain and stress consciously. With forgiveness, comes peace and closure from the negative experience. Your forgiveness might teach someone a valuable lesson, result in the new relationship beginning or even make you emotionally strong. Whatever it might be, remember that forgiveness is a process towards healing. Hence, don’t rush it, rather feel and accept it.