I came across this article from zenhabits a few days ago and thought, hmm, I’m sure there are a couple of pretty good life tips my loved ones have shared with me that are worth sharing with everyone, too.
And then I stumbled upon the Weekly Writing Challenge last night, and it was as though God him/herself summoned me to write this post.
Or maybe it was just the WordPress team.
The point is – lists, we gotta love ’em.
I’ve received many advices in my life. Some have been forgotten, and a very selected few are treasured. This 2012, I found myself doing a lot of reflecting and through those moments, I’ve noticed that I’ve been following these words of encouragement pretty diligently.
Here are 6 everlasting advices I made full use of in 2012:
#1 – Make Your Bed
I can’t recall the moment he said it to me, but the look on my father’s face was probably the sternest I’d ever seen him. I had just freshened up on a lazy weekend morning and sat next to him for a cuppa when he asked if I had made my bed. I said yes, as I usually dusted and folded my blanket (my idea of making my bed) before stepping out of my room since my sister had no domestic helper.
He then decided to go on and tell me how important it is for one to make their bed in the morning. “It’s the first duty of the day,” he said. According to him, it’s a good sign to how the rest of your day is going to go, because if you can’t even fulfill the first duty – making your bed – how do you expect yourself to go on and accomplish other things in the remaining hours of the day?
Talk about setting standards, ei?
In 2012: I made my bed! I’ve been slacking off on this ever since shifting to the new house (our domestic helper likes to spoil me, I don’t know why!), but I still make it a point to make sure my bedroom is kept neat at all times.
#2 – Know Your Worth
This one goes back to the year 2007. I couldn’t make up my mind regarding a full-time position offered to me even before graduation. I called my mother to ask for her advice, half expecting that she would say something like “up to you”, because my parents allow me to be independent like that.
To my surprise, she told me that the offer didn’t seem like it was going to be worth my time. She told me that I had to know my worth and if, and only if, I thought that it was reasonable enough – considering that it was my first job – I should take it. She somehow hinted that I wasn’t very deserving of such a menial role in said company.
I thanked her, hung up and rejected the job offer. I’ve never looked back at my decision with any sort of regret. Mums do know best.
In 2012: I shifted professions. I had two job offers that came in before I left Waves, but I decided to go with this one because I knew it was challenging – a new field but with supervisors who allowed me the flexibility of time and understood my want to go home to my family without carrying work back. I’m blessed.
#3 – Wash The Dishes NOW!
This tip is also mentioned in the zenhabits article (link above). I was bestowed with this wisdom from a dear friend, and although I must point out that it’s a very Asian-centric philosophy, it made total sense to me (oh wait, I am Asian – haha!).
Basically (yes, I used this word), we all live and work to fill our rice bowl, i.e. put food on the table, to fill our tummies. If a person refuses to wash their rice bowl after devouring their meals, leaving the rice bowl sticky and icky, how will more rice get filled in an already dirty bowl?
I know, I know, it sounds rather far-fetched, but like I said, it made sense to me. And besides, I like washing dishes. True story.
In 2012: I still make it a point to wash my dishes immediately after every meal. Again, our helper in the new house just loves snatching my plate from my hand even before I get up from the table but I think she, being trained by my mother, lives by the same principle in life.
#4 – Slow Down
To say that I’ve slowed down altogether would be telling a lie, because I’m just punctual and rushy (don’t forget paranoid!) by nature. Thing is, my need for speed (heh) has started to show its effects on my health, so I’m doing my best with taking things slow.
I do however, believe that there is no need to slow down my speed of thinking. In fact, I think that as I age, I start to realise how many things I’m missing out in life. I aim to catch up with the stuff I’ve always wanted to do but never got a chance to – it’s just that instead of rushing and then falling off track halfway, I’m going to work on them steadily and complete the journey eventually. Confucius said it best.
In 2012: I’ve stopped multitasking too much. I enjoy walking home from the train station instead of taking the bus because I feel like there’s no hurry to get home anymore. I will spend that extra hour watching aimless Indian melodramas on TV so I can spend time with my mother instead of surfing Facebook. And I’ve stopped expecting people to deliver things as fast as I do, too.
#5 – Take Responsibility
I learnt about the theory of “diffused responsibility” during my time spent as a Psychology student. It is, in simple words, the passing on of responsibilities without actually knowing if someone else is going to do the action or not.
In 2012: I’ve started to be more responsible for my own actions. I pick out my own mistakes, make my own decisions, and as much as possible, stick to them. I carry out my daily responsibilities and although I’ve started making little efforts to help others, I still have a long way to go. I suppose I assume less, now.
#6 – Shoo Away Negative Energy
Credit for this one goes to my late cousin. He always had a carefree nature, telling his family members to stay away from negative people and detach yourself from bad emotions. He constantly reminded us to live by the day and always taught us that laughter was the best medicine.
In 2012: I’m still a pessimist at times, however, I believe that my outlook on life is lightening up, so to speak. Now that I’m assuming less, I find myself being less of a victim of other people’s whiny rants and baseless arguments. The feeling is a breathe of fresh air, I tell you.
And because it’s the season of giving, here’s a bonus word from my favourite cartoon character (please excuse the vulgarities).
What words from the wise do you cherish?