What a year. I hope 2018 was a successful and happy one for you. It was a challenging year for me amongst some wonderful moments also. Here are some of the things I learned this year in my own spiritual and emotion growth. By sharing them I hope you get some value from them.
1. Communicate to Avoid Conflict
In 2018 I experienced a lot of drama from others who seemed to have some kind of issue with me. This was both frustrating and confusing and it caused me a lot of anxiety. I didn’t understand. I pride myself in being honest and having integrity, respect for others. What the hell had I done? In reality, nothing but I soon realised that gossip, presumption, misinterpretation and negative opinions can be formed if you are in some way absent or have a lack of communication with people. This can happen both ways and only serves to drive paranoia and anxiety in us. Generally I am unfazed by the opinion of others, but the exception is when this is with those you care about.
With this experience I have learnt that we shouldn’t assume that a negative exchange with someone is because they have a problem with us. In reality we don’t know what’s going in other people’s lives and the challenges they maybe be facing. If you know you haven’t done anything wrong or underhand then there should be nothing to worry about. We just need to keep good lines of communication open to avoid any misinterpretation of our actions. If we feel there is an issue, we shouldn’t be afraid to assert our concern directly.
2. Putting Yourself First, Serves Others Better
Putting others first is thought of as wonderful selfless act and it is, but I have learned that it doesn’t take long for us to be wiped out and unhappy. I take a lot of pleasure providing and looking after those I love but I have experienced first hand the toll it takes on my mental and physical well-being. When this happens we are no good to anyone and life will get very hard. Putting yourself first is not a selfish act, it is in fact critical for you and the ones you love. Be good to yourself, find time for you to improve your emotional, physical, spiritual well being. Based on my research and my own experience, waking up before anyone is the best time to allocate time for yourself. You wake up rested and you are at your best so having this time to work and take care of yourself is invaluable. When everyone else wakes up and begin to make demands of you, you are better placed to deal with it. Get match fit for life, your family, your career and yourself.
3. You Matter – Don’t Suppress Your Emotions/ Feelings
Whether your feelings and emotions are heard, or not depend on how assertive a communicator you are and how confident you are in yourself. For me I wouldn’t share my feelings because fear always got the better of me. This fear is a fear of abandonment, conflict or rejection and drives many different negative behaviors. It damages relationships and self esteem. Not openly sharing our feelings is a form of self protection and preservation, but in reality it’s also one self harm. Unresolved feelings or emotions are a ticking time bomb, ready to explode when the conditions are right. By not expressing our emotions/ feelings you are telling yourself and your spouse /partner that they are unimportant and don’t matter. On the other side this cultivates frustration, withdraw and anger from our partners. This is clearly not good. The only way to address this is to get over the fear through working on yourself, to build your confidence and realise that fear is a charlatan. By believing in your own self-value and that whatever happens you can deal with it, will release us and take away any pressure. It will also empower you and most likely your relationship too.
4. You Are Your Environment
If you live and work in an inspiring and positive space then this can help your thinking. Organise and de-clutter this space and fill it with meaningful things that can serve you as tools to provide you with indirect affirmations on how to think that also inspire and motivate you. Sometimes your identity can be lost when you have a family but its so important to have a sanctuary for yourself.
5. Everything Good Starts With You
Everything good starts with good physiology. Don’t expect boundless energy, mental agility or self confidence to happen without nourishing yourself with good food, sleep and exercise. Just like the bad the good stuff snowballs to! Get to it. Today!
6. Remind Yourself Who You Are
In the drama of life it’s easy to drop all the things that make you who you are. For me spending time with the guys and being with like minded men is a kind of therapy that literally reminds of the parts of me I have lost over the years as an adult. It’s now so important that I schedule in regular meet ups as part of my monthly routine. The benefits are huge to my happiness and also in being my authentic self within my family.
7. Gratitude Is Happiness!
Being thankful for what you have stops you focusing on what you don’t have, it helps you hit the pause button and gives you time to reflect. The Persian proverb I heard recently says “I cursed the fact I had no shoes until I saw the man who had no feet.” – There is always someone who has had it tougher than you. Gratitude gives the mindset of action and happiness rather than that of being a victim. Stop comparing or competing with others, it’s exhausting and of no value to you so appreciate what you have got.
8. Turn Off the Noise
Take the pressure off. Life’s touch enough without the noise of others peoples drama’s or opinion to fit everything in. This goes for the toxic mainstream news that serves up so much fear, death and negativity – It’s too much for our mental well-being. Spend time going back to basics, switch of the bombardment of information and instead nourish your body, mind and spirit and spend time with those you care for.
9. Zero Tolerance on Personal Attacks
Don’t tolerate insults or put downs of any kind. There is banter of course but ‘being offended or hurt is down to your level of insecurity’ + who made the insult! Look at any minority who looses their mind over something – deep down it relates directly to some kind of ‘I’m not worthy self belief’, the level of anger reflective of how cut they are. If you are verbally insulted, judged or put down – DON’T STAND FOR IT, it’s simply not acceptable. Call them out and draw boundaries.
10. Relationships Need a Good Mix to Succeed
Relationships need to fulfill the basic human needs in-order to succeed along with open, honest and regular communication. They need a healthy mix of security, adventure and novelty.
11. Self Discipline Is the Key to Success
Self discipline is the key to achieving anything, master this through self awareness and set a new standard for yourself everyday. Anything less than that is less than you deserve. Find ways to make yourself accountable, maybe this is by teaming up with others or publishing your goals – whatever works for you.
12. Banish Fear, Its a Liar!
Fear is our enemy. Without fear we can overcome anything. Fear is designed to protect us but in most cases we actually have nothing to fear, only perceived dangers to our self value. When people sky dive the fear is scary but the actual act of falling through the sky is pure exhilaration. With the vast majority of things in life we will survive and handle it so we shouldn’t let fear limit us.
13. Pat Yourself on the Back
Learn to acknowledge your own strengths and uniqueness and appreciate everything you have already achieved. From here you can build confidence and motivation to succeed in anything you put your mind to.
14. Respect Others When Speaking Your Mind
Speaking your mind and being direct are strong and positive traits but not at the expense of others. Be direct but be tactful. When people speak their mind it can be a great thing as authenticity is a virtuous attribute for anyone to have but when this is done with no regard to others with a narcissistic agenda it is despicable and disrespectful.
15. Plain for the rain
Living in the moment is important and spiritually a wonderful thing, however anything could be around the corner that could change your life or the lives of those you love forever. If something happened to you, what would happen to your family? would they be financially secure and safe with a roof over their heads? Get your finances in-order and plan for them.
What did you learn in 2018 that you would like to share? Comment below and share your own life lessons.