Hi everyone! This is a sequel to my previous post. I recently turned 24. Yay! As always, I write reflections and thoughts for every experience, event or learnings from people I meet. I deemed it timely to share 24 lessons that I learned through the years.
I hope you’ll find this article useful.
THIRTEEN- Live with a war time mind set.
A few years back I was sitting in the pew during our church’s prayer time. As our Pastor shared the Psalm for the week, he also shared John Piper’s book called Don’t Waste Your Life. It is one of my favorite books and I try to read it again and again in order to be reminded that we are here on earth for a short time. We need to make every moment count. We need to be good stewards of our time.
This is also the reason why I had a shift in perspective regarding shopping and spending idle time.
I encourage you to read this book! It is free for download. Just click the link above.
FOURTEEN- Make others feel good.
I am a very sensitive person. I tend to be very happy for a moment then sad for the next several hours. I am easily affected by circumstances and words of other people. I guess it’s just part of my personality but I think it is not an excuse to make others feel bad.
I am still working on this but thank God for Joy’s mom for her example! We can be joyful even if we feel disappointed.
FIFTEEN- Live with less.
I wasted a lot of parent’s resources when I made bad decisions. I tend to buy unnecessary stuff but they all ended up sitting on the table. After a while, I realized that I am not being a good steward of the resources that God has given me or my family.
Recently, I have been more conscious with what I buy or consume. Maybe because I am already working and spending my own hard earned money. I learned that we can enjoy life by living with less. It also helps us to clear our thoughts when our spaces are not cluttered.
SIXTEEN- Be in the moment.
There are a lot thoughts popping in my mind as I write this line. I better understood myself after reading a series of blog posts by Katie Kuo especially this one regarding day dreaming. My sister will often get angry at me when I could not keep up with what she’s saying. I think this explains why.
I need to remind myself to be in the moment. To focus on every word that some people are talking about. I think looking at them in the eye helps.
I also deem it useful to bring my notebook with me and write down what I observe. It helps me to be immersed.
SEVENTEEN- Allow yourself to fail.
I am afraid of failing. Everyone is looking up on me especially during my elementary and high school years. I am afraid of seeing myself lose. Thankfully, after failing a subject in college, this fear was lessened.
I’m not sure how to do this either but maybe trying to do something that you like will help you accept failure.
I learned that failures are not the end. They’re like closed doors of opportunities. We should just keep on knocking on different doors so that we’ll find the right door. But of course we must choose wisely!
EIGHTEEN- Read. Read. Read.
I hated reading when I was a kid. I cannot stick to a page without moving uneasily. I preferred making up stories while playing with my sisters or browsing my aunt’s pile of magazines. I got sick of my dad constantly reminding me to try reading.
This changed when a relative gave us a Magic Tree House book. It was really interesting and short. I started reading this series but always wondered why I could not find the purpose of doing it.
When I joined a camp and had to leave because I got sick, we dropped by at the nearby National Book Store because I asked my dad. I saw Sean Covey’s book entitled 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. I knew I wanted to try reading that book after seeing the adult version from my dad’s shelf. After reading this book, I realized that I am interested in non fictional books–business, self help and inspirational.
My dad would always brag about his reading achievements. He told me he could read a book in one sitting. I wanted to achieve that so I never stopped reading ever since.
My course also required us to read a lot! I guess I appreciated reading more!
NINETEEN- Learn something new today.
I believe that we can learn something new every day. It can either be a skill or an information about something or somebody. We just have to be unconventional and try to look outside the box.
We can start by asking, “God what are you trying to teach me today?” too!
We can also learn something new when we visit to a place we’ve never been to. Several weeks ago I had the privilege to get to see Dangwa, the flower district in Manila. I’ll be posting our photos and reflections separately.
TWENTY- Acknowledge that everything has a purpose.
When we seek God, we gradually understand that even though we may not see a bird’s eye view of our lives, He can. We may not understand why we are going through a season in life but He knows. He knows everything about us.
I always go back to Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
That is also our mentoring group name.
TWENTY ONE- Give more.
For the past several years, I always write a goal to give more but I could not. I guess it’s because it is a bit vague. They say that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I couldn’t agree more! My aunt has this generous spirit that is why people are naturally drawn to her.
Studies also show that people who give more are happier. They are also content. During the year, I hope I will be able to live by this lesson.
Setting aside a certain amount will be of help. We can give to our family, relatives, friends, organizations, and those in need.
TWENTY TWO- Eat what is right (and enjoy your food).
During my high school years, I restricted myself to a lot of food types but never resisted anything sweet. This imbalance will probably cause me to be more diabetic prone.
After eating halo halo (filipino version of Bing su) in my university years, my tonsils suddenly hurt. I ate congee for several days but the pain would not subside. I visited an ENT doctor to check the swells. This incident occurred again after a year.
I learned to lessen my sweets during that time. God taught me to eat a balanced meal gradually. I am also learning to enjoy my food.
TWENTY THREE- Care less about how you look.
I craved other people’s attention. I wanted to always stand out. My image became an idol. I cared about how people compliment my outfits or the way I look. I tend to get sad when nobody tells that I look pretty or that my dress looks great.
I guess it was connected to my clothes obsession (although I think my previous outfits were horrible looking back). Living with less means living with the basics.
I am learning to care less about the way I look. Instead, I wanted to exude a God given confidence so that other people will be blessed and will feel good.
TWENTY FOUR- Freebie suck.
I am always thrifty. I bring food in school and at work. I also bring my water bottle with me. I love free stuff. I enjoy them! Through the years, I made a conscious effort to use free stuff or service as long as I can in order to save. I realized that we don’t need to spend to have a good time.