10 Life Lessons I've Learned In The Past Decade

It feels surreal how swiftly the past 10 years have gone by. The decade has seen me move from being a nubile college-goer to fairly more confident young adult. It has witnessed me gather degrees, find my career calling and also what I believe is my best version of personal style. In between, I managed to find my path to love and forge wonderful adult friendships. In a nutshell, it has been eventful which in many ways, is life's greatest teachers. In all the universities, colleges and business schools I've studied at, I've realised that some of the best lessons I've learned have been outside a classroom. That's why I've decided to take a leisurely stroll through the last decade and pick out some of the highlights. It should be an interesting ride and who knows, maybe you'll take some of it with you into 2020.

Image credit: Raynor Pereira / Style File
 1. Learn to let go
The only way to move forward is by letting go of the past. This applies to almost anything; be it broken promises or friendships gone sour. Sometimes things do not work out the way you want them to and that's okay. For your personal peace of mind, leaving it in the past is the best way to go.
2. Health comes first

It's easy to get sucked into the cycle of chasing dreams and adding designations but it cannot ever be at the cost of your physical or mental health. Both form the very foundation on which your entire life runs; whether it's to function at work, socialise with your buddies or even just get out of bed on a Monday morning.

3. Be Kind

The easiest reaction to an unpleasant situation is usually a negative one like screaming, scolding or scowling. Doing the exact opposite like brushing it off or accepting an apology with a smile is definitely harder but can have a wonderful effect. You never know what someone else is going through and the way a tiny gesture of kindness can turn their day around.

4. Do more than work

Yes, jobs pay the bills but life has much more meaning than money. Don't be that two-dimensional person who only talks shop at cocktail parties. Build skills that aren't exclusive to your career; be it competitive running, playing the piano or line dancing. You'll be amazed at the way a hobby or recreational activity can clear your mind and broaden your horizon.

5. Family is everything

No matter how independent you get, life barely has meaning when it's lived alone. Surround yourself with family, whether you're related by blood or otherwise is one way to change that. Whether for company on a movie night or when you need a sounding board after an argument, there's absolutely no one in the universe that can replace them.

6. Invest in yourself

The only companion you will ever have throughout your life is yourself. That being said, ensure that you make yourself the most exciting and enriching partner you can have on this journey. Read books, study more, indulge in the arts, meet new people, polish talents you let go on the way. Put yourself out there to become the best version of you.

7. Don't be ashamed of your choices

Because you read a certain book, watch a pretentious show or date a posh lad doesn't make you better than anyone else. Similarly, watching trash TV and reading gossip magazines doesn't make you worse. Your choices are just that; the choices you make and they don't determine anything else than that so it's silly to think otherwise.

8. Declutter everything

Mario Kondo is a hit for good reason. Decluttering may be a physical activity but has psychological effects too. Whether with the spoiled food sitting in your fridge for months, the pile of clothes on your bed or messy office desk you've been working around, strip it down to the basics and you will find it more manageable to manoeuvre and easy on the eyes too.

9. Think before you swipe

Consumerism is a modern epidemic. Purchasing everything from furniture to groceries has become so accessible with the internet that cards are swiped, CVVs are added and money is exchanged in minutes. While that's perfectly fine if it genuinely fulfils a need, if it isn't for one then take a step back. More often than not, you don't really need it, you're feeling temporarily indulgent and you already have what you're looking for at home.

10. All for the mother

With resources running dry, global temperatures rising, ice caps melting and species going extinct, it's important to look at the larger picture which is beyond your life and work and social circle. We all inhabit the same planet and it is in desperate need of TLC. Expecting you to drop everything and join the Peace Corps may not be the most feasible solution but doing your best in your own way certainly can be by opting for reusable products, conserving water and cutting down on waste that isn't biodegradable.

Here's to a fantastic 2020 to come!



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