I’m a firm believer that everything I go through, Every milestone I achieve has lessons for me to learn from.
On the 1st of May 2019 just before turning thirty I started sharing 29 lessons before turning 30 on my Instagram, and because I didn’t share all of them there, I then decided to share my list on the blog. This is part 1, I will be sharing only 9 lessons on this post, more to follow.
Lesson 1: Never to compare my life’s journey with someone else’s.
Some varieties of flower seeds take long to germinate while others are as quick as a racehorse, even though all the seeds may be provided with correct environmental conditions needed they do not germinate at the same rate. However once they do get to germinate at their TIME, they BLOSSOM.
Like flower seeds our germinating rate (journey) is different, I have learned to spend zero energy in comparing my life with others. I bloom at my pace. MY JOURNEY IS UNIQUE
Lesson 2: Some things in life happen for me, not to me.
There was a time in my life where I viewed all the challenges I faced as an indication that
“I don’t matter”,
“nothing good is meant for me”,
to a point where I decided to take my own life…and my attempts were a complete fail (I’m grateful to God for that), instead of dying that day I later was diagnosed with asthma (of which I am now completely healed from). From then on I made a conscious decision to look at challenges as something beneficial, as something that doesn’t happen “to me” but “for me” to learn from and be a better version of my old self.
I am grateful for this life lesson because now I know that all the red robots and the stop sign that seem to delay me on a busy/rush hour day, are also happening for me not just to me. All the bad, losses, failures, etc. are not just aimed directly at me but for me to learn something from them.
Lesson 3: A title should never determine my self worth.
My husband and I are in the IT & branding space, when we have to print a signage for a client we don’t just use our eyes or any other method apart from a measuring tape to determine the size of the required signage/item. If we just estimate the size and print, it usually doesn’t come right.
I believe this applies even in determining my self worth, if it is sorely based on the title that I possess, I.e. “Mrs” “CEO” “Director”, etc, it will definitely affect the kind of life I will live. My life probably won’t come right. “If my identity is tied up in my bank balance or stock markets, I’ll always be just one stock correction away from losing myself”
A Christ-centered life is rock solid it cannot be shaken. The impressive-sounding titles may come, but my identity won’t depend on them. They will serve as nice perks in an already rich and fulfilled life. .
Lesson 4: Everyone has an opinion, but there’s no need to feel pressured by them.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steve Jobs
It struck me the moment I got married, even more, when I became a mom that there seem to be a large number of people that don’t seem to understand what an opinion is. They pass it on to you as though your life depends on it, as some kind of final verdict. I am glad I understood early that an Opinion is just a preference for, or a view formed about something, it is not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. Opinions have no basis in defining what a person is all about. They aren’t the truth, so there’s no need to feel pressured by them.
People talk, and they always will no matter what one does. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You get married, then they say, “Get a baby”
You decide to grow your family and have one baby, then they say, “have another one and another one.”
All this “opinions are voiced out without considering what might be best for you. They are just some confinement of someone else’s preference so there’s no need to center one’s life around them. I welcome other people’s opinions but I will not be pressured to live my life according to them.
Lesson 5: Value every chapter in my life
Today I had a moment to reflect on all the chapters in my life and I came to a realization that every one was needed to make me a better person.
Just like in a book some chapters are captivating, some challenging, good, scary and others are a celebration, but in the end every section, chapter in the book are necessary for it to be complete and a good read.
- The years I spent in different Doctor’s offices until all the medical aid ran out, helped me value health and be willing to take care of my health and that of my family.
- The day I married my best friend I learned to love another person I was not born with as much as I loved myself.
- The 23 hours I endured of labour helped me realize that I am stronger than I had imagined, they later made me a patient and even more thoughtful human being.
- Even the death of my loved ones has taught me to not waste a moment waiting for the next, live my best life today and now, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.
I have learned to value every chapter in my life as it has made me a better version of myself.
Lesson 6: “A ship is safe at shore, but that’s not what it is built for“. Albert Einsteinhttps://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9483167-a-ship-is-always-safe-at-the-shore-but-that
Growing up I missed out on a lot of things for a number of reasons, one of which was that I was shy and didn’t want to fail at those things. I was part of the choir, I did some drill dance and drama, I was always there for practice for all these, but I never got to perform for any of these because they required me to be out of my comfort zone, I didn’t want that, I was too comfortable at the shore.
It was until I realised the potential in me, just like a ship it was built for a purpose, whether to bring a cargo or passengers or boats from one point to another, through stormy or a quite sea, it serves no purpose at the shore. Unless I use my abilities to fulfil my dreams and passions even though I may experience failure or hardships along the way, I will learn how strong and able I am.
Lesson 7 : I have learned not to underestimate the importance of my health.
“Health is not everything, but without health everything is nothing”
One of the things I was not blessed with growing up was good health. I was one of those kids who had number of sicknesses some seemed to pop up every now and then, keeping me in hospital for days and weeks. If I were to document all that I suffered from, I’d probably fill an entire page or more, I’m grateful to God to have been healed from it all. Many of the health issues were hereditary and some were lifestyle diseases.
This life experience taught me not to underestimate the importance of my health, not just physical health but also to strive to be healthy holistically; mind, body and spirit. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, get enough sleep, think good, positive thoughts and strive to be at peace with all man.
Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they are depleted.” Denis Waitley .https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/denis_waitley_146927
Lesson 8: I have learned to RESPOND, not REACT
These two words are often used simultaneously, its easy to mistaken them to mean the same thing, however they aren’t the same.
A Reaction is usually instant, usually based in the moment, and it often doesn’t take into consideration of long term effects of what’s said or done. On the other hand, a respond comes slow. It takes into consideration the well-being of oneself and those around, it takes the situation in and then decides the best course of action based on values, facts, and compassion.
Proverbs 13:16 says “Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.”
Since becoming a mom, I have experienced different situation that have taught me to respond more than to react. My little one and I were watching some videos on my phone and she somehow got too excited with what was playing and didn’t want me to watch anymore, she just didn’t want me to share in the fun, in trying to hide the phone away from me she hit me with the back of her head on my chick bone.
I noticed my anger reaction but then I chose to respond with compassion. I first checked if she was okay, I rubbed the back of her head, comforted her then educated her about sharing and that just because things don’t go her way she doesn’t have to react in anger. She later with tears on her eyes apologized for hurting mommy.
I have learned to be mindful, pause and to give a compassionate response.
Lesson 9: Think before I speak .
“Be careful with your words, once they are said, the can be only forgiven, not forgotten”
What if our words were like arrows shooting from our mouths to our friends, husband, children and all those around us? Imagine how many causalities we’d have walking around with arrows on their entire bodies from the hurtful, upsetting words we would have shot at them. Words spoken without engaging the brain hurt too much, yes they may be forgiven but not forgotten.
I have learned that the words I speak shape the life I live. I now put more effort in controlling the words I speak and that has changed my life.
Matthew 12:37 “For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Proverbs 13:3 “He who guards his mouth protects his life, but the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.”
Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from distress.
This is part 1 of the 29 lessons, be on the lookout for part 2.
Thank you for hanging out with me. On the comment below, share what are some of the lessons you have learned in life.