Sunday, 20 March 2016

Handbook for Life #1

These are just a few things that ran across my head this not-so-lazy Sunday morning. So I penned them all down...

1.       Stay Positive: There will always be bad times, hurdles, rough patches, you can’t ask for sunshine and colours without expecting darkness now and again. Through it all, keep your head above the rising waters, think happy thoughts, and don’t let those negative thoughts push you down. It’s hard to be positive all the time, but try and keep the negative ones at bay.

2.       Don’t compare: There will always be someone better, more successful, more social, more good looking or more popular than you. Don’t compare yourselves with them. Your only comparison should be you and how much you have grown over the years and how much more can you improve. You are your own challenge.

3.       Let your life be your own: Many a times you start living the way other people expect you to live, it may or may not be the way you want to live it. You start changing things you have always wanted to do because of someone else’s opinions; it could be your family or someone you love even. I know because I have made decisions based on someone I love’s opinions, and speaking from experience, don’t do that. Of course if it’s wrong (illegal, etc), well, don’t do it. But if it’s something you really want, then go ahead, don’t let others opinions hinder you. Live for yourself.

4.       Fall in love and then fall out of it: You need to experience this, not just the romantic kind (although yeah, fall in love!). Get your heart broken in friendships or with that guy you-used-to-know.  Only then will you know how to love, your faults, your shortcomings, what you did right, what you did wrong, what you want from a friend or a partner in life. After all, it’s all trials and errors.

5.       Make memories, live in the moment: Just because you have had a bad day, don’t let that affect the time you spend with your friends/ family later on. Even if you end up crying all alone at nights, laugh and enjoy that dinner you all had been planning for weeks, or that random lunch you end up going to with all your friends. You can be sad, upset or angry, but not with the people who didn’t have any role to play in making you feel that way. Enjoy that time with them, you need it more that you know (I should take my own advice here!).

6.       Be childish at times: Okay, I don’t mean be immature and whiny (and no, that’s not what I think of children!), but do those things you feel like doing at times but then you talk yourself out of it because that would just make you look so immature. I realised this the other day at the mall when I finally gave in to the urge to climb up an escalator going down. And that really made me feel good, it’s a small thing, but trust me; it makes you feel so free.

7.       Friends will come and go: You are continuously moving through life, and you will meet and make friends all the time, with some you will make everlasting memories with, even though things might not end up well in the end. No one is perfect. In the end, humans will always be selfish. There’s nothing called selfless friendship, so don’t expect too much.  Enjoy the good times, but be prepared to face the hard times alone.

8.       Be kind to everyone: There are times when we are so distracted, that we don’t really ‘listen’ to what others are trying to tell us. I know I do that. Be kind to everyone, treat everyone with respect, and be fair. Actually ‘listen’ to what they are telling you and what they are not. Everyone is going through some tough times; everyone has their demons that haunt them. Don’t judge them (I know I do, although I’d like to believe not so much now). You don’t know their story. Be kind. If you can’t help them, then just listen and empathize.

9.       Keep your expectation low: Or you will end up getting disappointed. It could be people, situations or something you had been looking forward to for weeks, things will not always go according to plans. It’s something that we all struggle with (I know I do, a lot, especially when it comes to people!). One thing I have learned is never expect a lot from people, family or friends. Take a few deep breaths and let go of the expectations, you will live a happier life when you do.

10.   Learn to appreciate being alone: Learn to love your own company. Don’t be a loner but appreciate that time you have to spend with yourself. Introspect. You will come to know yourself better. Realize that you’re living this life alone and you don’t ‘need’ anyone along for this journey. People will tag along on this journey, some will get off at some stations, some will take the other way, some you will miss, some you would never want to leave, but know that your destination is yours alone. No one is getting off at that destination with you, you will be alone. Learn to love that.

11.   Love yourself enough: No, I’m not asking you to be selfish. Rather love and respect yourself enough to know when something, instead of developing you as an individual is only harming you. Know when to put a stop to it. It could be a bad habit, unhealthy relationships, or even something you have been doing for a long time. Let go of it, no matter how difficult it is for you to do this. It will take time, but in the end you will be happy.

12.   Everything will be okay in the end: Things are hard, they will be. Friends will leave. You may not get that job you wanted and worked so hard for. You may fail an exam. You will have relationship problems. The work load will stress you out. Everything that you love or worked hard for will fall apart around you. Your will have family troubles. But this isn’t the end. You will come out of it stronger, better prepared and with your head held high. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. If it’s still not okay, then it’s not the end. Have faith, and just live.

And then I realized these things are so easy to preach but so hard to practice. Honestly, it would do me a world of good if I followed my own advice at times. But well, no one is perfect. However, you reach a point in your life when you realize how important these things are to follow, and I think I am there. Now the next step is to follow them which hopefully you and I both will.
Cheers to life comrades! We’re all in this together.

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