Below I share some lessons I'm still learning as I move into the final year of my twenties -
|Almost 30 already?|
1. Contentment drowns comparison
The trick to contentment is to give. The more you give, you'll realise, the more you have.
After all, its only those who have who can give no?
If you're irked by parents, relatives and friends who compare you with others - walk away and do a something good for another person. Buy the next person in line coffee or give up your seat in the bus. You'll feel empowered immediately by the joy of the other.
If the images you're seeing on social media leave you feeling envious - put down your device and go on an adventure. Do something new, learn cycling or scuba diving. There's so much more to life than wasting it on envying someone else's.
2. I say it too often, but less is always more
Some may ask, why do those who have less seem to be happier all the time?
Well, those who have less do more with their time. Work is more driven when it means meat on the table. School is more crucial when it means securing a job in the city.
Parallel to the lesson above, having less positions us to give others more. We don't need two blenders or four sets of bed sheets. Neither do we need beautiful (but useless) decor in our living room. Because we give away, our friends can share our joy just as we first experienced as recipients of those gifts.
Giving away is not taking the giver for granted. Spending time with the giver is often times far more rewarding for both parties.
3. Gratitude is an attitude
Much like how a ballerina stretches diligently to maintain a deceivingly simple graceful posture, being thankful requires a lot of practice. First you say it with a nod or a wave, then you progress into a quick 'thank you' after which this may evolve into cards or gifts. Before you know it, every where you look, there's someone to be grateful for.
I'm grateful for the nurse who support my back in the crowded train today as well as another who stopped watching her korean drama to give me her seat. Grateful for the birthday wishes and prayers. Grateful for the love and kindness by those who have bothered to prepare gifts.
4. Beauty begins deep within
Too often we seek to be an image of someone else because we think they are beautiful. On the other end, there are those of us who think mainstream concepts of beauty are too overrated so we completely (vehemently even) neglect how we look.
Self image is termed as such, because you create an image of yourself based on your perception of yourself. So if you think you're ugly, guess what others see.
Being pregnant has made me sorely aware that every day I'm looking more and more like a penguin.
But I choose to look at the beauty which remains despite the unrecognizable shape of my body.
We must stop allowing others to impose their standards of pretty on us, but must begin to choose to look at ourselves as beautiful. And if you ask me, the best facial enhancement product has got to be a smile.
5. Finally. Love generously.
Not because you should, but because you can.
Too many people in the world are angry because they feel short changed. Everything comes with the question, 'what's in it for me?'
Well what if there's nothing in it for you, but you do it anyway?
Take a year off to do volunteer work. Go on a medical aid trip somewhere hit by an earthquake. Learn another language so you can help lost-looking tourist. Offer to babysit.
Do something when there's nothing to gain and you will see that it is those who empty out their hands who will be given so much more!
I wonder what year 29 will look like, but I'm planning on honing these five lessons and so much more. Thank you for being a part of my journey!