5 Life Lessons I Learned Last Year That Are Making This Year Awesome
1. You Never Know What's Around The Corner
So you checked the weather before you left home and the forecast said clear skies all day. Perfect! No need for that umbrella.
Then you head out to grab a bite to eat at lunch time, and it’s bucketing down.
We all work in different ways; some of us revel in the unexpected, living spontaneously day to day. Others like to speculate about the future, to be prepared for anything that might come hurtling our way.
The reality is that we can plan and plan, but really we have no idea what’s on the horizon for us. I woke up in 2017 as a Londoner, and in 2018 as a Londoner who recently relocated to Sydney, Australia.
Once I accepted the fact that there’s always going to be unexpected moments in life, I realised how bloody exciting that is.
2. Gratitude Can Completely Change The Way You See The World
2017 for me continued in a similar way to the two years before it; with a bucket-load of self-development.
I thought I would try seeing a life coach for a while, something that I had never done before.
She casually informed me one day that “gratitude is the parent to happiness”, which in simple terms basically means that when you’re thankful for what you have, you have no choice but to feel happy.
And so I embarked upon a trial period of keeping a gratitude journal, where every single day I would write down the things I was thankful for.
I know it sounds corny, really I know. But it actually did change the perspective with which I saw my life.
I became more aware of things I take for granted — the use of my legs, my health, an intact family — and shifted my mindset to one from frustration to appreciation.
Sure, there’s still a lot I want for my future. But now I feel lucky that I even have a future… I warned you it sounded corny.
3. Everyone Is Just Trying To Figure Out Their Own Sh*t
Of course, you can’t take the highs without the lows.
While 2017 was a year that brought me closer to many of my friends and a lot of my family, it was also a year that drove me apart from others.
It’s understandable to react from a place of hurt and anger if someone does you wrong, especially when it’s a friend. But when I was left upset last year by one person in particular, I decided to try something different.
I remembered just a few of the (many) times in the past where I now feel disappointed by my own behaviour. Why did I act the way that I did? Because I was going through something significant at the time and I didn’t know how to deal with it.
Sure, it would be just lovely if we could all walk around with the knowledge often gained with hindsight. But that just doesn’t happen.
We’re all human, and we’re all trying to figure out our own lives. So maybe it’s better to cut people some slack, and just hope that they sort out whatever it is they’re going through, instead of just defaulting to anger.
4. It's Good To Take Time To Question What You Actually Want
If there’s one thing you’re bound to hear someone say around New Year, it’s “I can’t believe that was a year ago”.
I get pretty freaked out on a regular basis at how quickly time seems to be passing.
When we obtain some kind of regularity in our lives, be it in a work, social, or even relationship sense, it’s easy to just slip into the routine of things. We go to the same office every day to do the same job we did yesterday. We do the same hobbies with the same people each week.
What we want constantly changes . One day you might have the desire to revolutionise the industry you’re working in, the next you might simply want to make to make a super carb-heavy dinner.
Sometimes getting too comfortable in our routines means that we forget to take the time to ask ourselves what it is, at that moment in time, that we want.
I asked myself that question regularly in 2017. It’s what caused me to quit my job, to leave London, and to embark upon a little adventure down under!
5. It's Important To Try And Enjoy Yourself
Anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that sometimes I can get a little too stuck in my own head.
I can be quite a driven person, there’s a lot that I want to achieve. What that means is that I’m often berating myself for the things that I haven’t accomplished.
But really, when it all comes down to it, what’s the point in achieving anything if you haven’t enjoyed yourself along the way.
I had a sobering reminder in 2017, when someone I knew took their own life, of the finite time we all have. We can learn all the lessons, make all the mistakes, so more of the world, and earn however much money, but is it really worth it if we haven’t enjoyed it all while it was happening?
I think we all know the answer to that one.