So, 2015 is here! It seems like each year goes by faster than the one before. This just makes me realise how insanely valuable time actually is. Looking back at what 2014 brought to my life, took away from me, taught me, and where it took me, I feel proud, happy, sad, motivated, nostalgic, and inspired in so many ways. I’m thankful for every experience and every situation that made me feel something, whether good or bad, feelings trigger emotions and thoughts that highlight what matters most to us. Feelings lead us to a deeper understanding about ourselves; they let us see with a clearer vision what’s important, what we desire, and with that, we can know which path to take to move forward, and head in the right direction.
So here’s a list of things that 2014 taught me that must be remembered this year…
1. There’s no established time or age to follow your dreams
Not really. We might grow up believing that our dreams will start to come true once we graduate from college, or once we get married or have enough money…and because of it we stop pushing ourselves towards our dreams. Truth is, the hardest part is starting! Once you do you’ll be on your way, and that’s all that counts because nothing happens overnight. As long as you feel you’re ready to do something, do it. Work when you feel inspired, even if that’s at 2am, and rest when you feel tired, even if it’s 2pm. Success will come when it will, but we must work and push ourselves whenever we have the energy and the hunger…otherwise we never will.
2. To achieve, plan for long-term dreams, and then concentrate in many short-term goals that will get you there
Just recently I kind of freaked out because when thinking about all my goals, I thought about everything I wasn’t doing to achieve them. I then thought about how scary it is to look at the big picture, because the process becomes this horrible, uncertain blur. The key—I learned, is to achieve tiny goals that in the end will help build the steps to getting closer to achieving the bigger dream. In the process, opportunities come, and you begin to move forward to your goal, but you need to be in the process to embrace them. So get started! That’s really the hardest part.
3. There’s always time for what’s important
I really believe that there’s no such thing as “not enough time”, because there is time, it is all a matter of priorities. When something is important to someone they make time for it, no matter how saturated the agenda is. This year I learned to appropriately distribute time for what matters the most to me, and I find myself a lot happier because of the balance there is in my life. Finding one’s priorities, and giving all of them some time, really does make all the difference.
4. Attitude plays a strong role in your life
- Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.– Zig Ziglar
- Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.– Thomas Jefferson
- Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.– Winston Churchill
- For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.– Walter Scott
I discovered that the best of ideas come to mind when being alone. There’s a huge difference with being alone and being lonely. No one wants to be lonely, it’s not healthy, but being alone is actually necessary. It’s at times spent with oneself that one can hear one’s thoughts, analyse them and take action with what we come to realise. So learn to be with yourself! I know many people who avoid being left alone because they feel like they may break down in no one’s company, but there’s no way to permanently avoid being alone, there will be times in life when you’ll only rely in yourself, so it’s important to learn to be alone, and to be happy with it.
6. Be positive and you’ll attract positive
So, this one is similar with “attitude plays a strong role in life” because it has a lot to do with our way of viewing and dealing with what happens to us. I’ve learned and proved that by eliminating negative thoughts and actions, they disappear from our life. It’s true! Hope for the best, and expect the worst (just to be prepared in case the worst does happen) but strive for the best. Think positive, and positive will happen—even if your worst case scenario comes to happen, with a positive mentality you’ll control and handle the situation, and it won’t be as bad as you would think.
7. It’s good to have work to do, but leaving some time to treat yourself is just as important
Being a hard worker is definitely a good trait, but I learned that knowing when to stop is just as important. Sometimes the stress that comes with school or work can create pressure and make us skip meals or hours of sleep, and that’s not right. With good organisation, you can avoid neglecting treating yourself, and you can prevent the unhealthy side effects that come with intense work and stress.
8. Confidence goes a long way
There’s a phrase that says “if you’re going to be weird, be confident about it”, I love it. Just because it states how the weirdest thing can be accepted if done with confidence. Being yourself is always the way to go, even when you’re the different one. You’ll regret less things, feel better, and have the right friendships. You’ll feel happier with yourself simply because you’ll stand up for what you really believe in, and those who agree with you will follow. Being confident about who you are is the best thing you can be.
9. Control your emotions or your emotions will control you
Controlling your emotions is an important lesson to remember in 2015 and in the future. I’ve come to discover that the older I get, the more I know how I tend to react upon specific situations, with this, controlling my emotions becomes easier. There’s a time and a place for most things, know when it’s appropriate to express your mind, and know when it’s best to leave things behind.
10. You can’t please everybody
We’re all different people with different opinions, pleasing everyone is IMPOSSIBLE. It’s best to be oneself and act upon what qualifies to your own ethics code. Do what you think is right, and never hold back in fear of not fitting in. When you do your own thing, in complete honesty and out of pure kindness, you’ll do wonders.
11. If you’re going to complicate your life, do it for the right reasons
This I learned in 2014 through hard work and volunteering. I’m the kind of person who loves to help out and give everything my 100%. Because of this, I tend to give the things I love to work on more time than those I actually should be doing, like schoolwork, or certain projects I must complete. Therefore this lesson gets a place in this list. It’s perfect to want to dedicate your time to volunteer work, or extra curricular activities; the key is knowing how to balance that with the work you must do. It’s also important to consider the reasons why you want that extra work, if it’s for a good cause, go ahead; if it’s because you need a distraction, do it, but don’t give it more time than that which you have available for that task. Otherwise, you might end up neglecting important work, and replacing it with less-rewarding activities.
12. Exclude every excuse
Excuses are a persons worst enemy. I agree that there are times when they may be in order, but more than likely we pass on the blame to someone else when things go wrong. Maybe not intentionally, but we do. For example: we may defend a team project done poorly with the excuse that two members of the team went awol the day the assignment was to be completed. In reality, it all traces back to us because we allowed that to happen. If we would’ve done the assignment with anticipation, they would’ve been present or at least we would’ve had more time to locate them, and get the work done. For better results in the future, exclude every excuse and assume responsibility for what goes wrong in your life, only this way you’ll have control of what goes wrong, and will be in place to make things right.
13. Honesty is the best policy
There’s nothing better to say than the truth. I’m a firm believer that honesty is the best policy, in any case scenario. If you’re a kind person, and if you think before you act and speak, you’ll rarely be put into situations where you feel like hiding reality; and if you are, because we make mistakes and sometimes things just go wrong, you’ll have something to say to support your actions, because you acted out of the goodness of your heart. People will forgive you because they know and respect you, and you will be ready to move on. Do things intelligently, if they go wrong, own up to them…that’s the way to go; lies are transparent, and have a habit of resurfacing.
14. Never compare yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others will NEVER do you any good simply because you’ll never have all of the information to make an acquainted one. You’ll most likely end up comparing your private life to what someone else chooses to show about themselves. Social media tends to be treacherous, and people rarely share every single detail about their lives, specially the things they’re not proud of. So, that’s something to think about next time you feel like comparing yourself to others… appearances are deceiving, remember that, and appreciate every single thing that you have, and strive for what you don’t.
15. Your heart is your best compass
Remember that tough decisions will have to be made, recognise that people will not always agree with you, and be strong enough to follow your heart. Your heart truly is your best compass, let it determine the directions that will lead you to love, friendship, honesty, respect, and happiness!
May 2015 take you to foreign lands you never imagined, and may the journey within be as fulfilling as the journey you seek on the outside!