Don’t let the title push you away. This is not a course. I have not lived long, but I’ve learned a lot of things some of which I’m doing my best to accomplish even though I know that they’re difficult to do. I’ve gained a lot from these things and I would like you to gain from them, too. It’s a compilation of what I’ve learned so far in my life while I’m still struggling with them too. Trust me, you’ll learn from it if you stick with me and read below:
1. Always be grateful
For what should you be grateful? Do you want me to mention them? Oh, I’m sorry that I can’t because they’re too numerous to write. Just look into your life yesterday, today, and now and tell me for what you’re grateful. I know that you have many and you should never stop being grateful. Be grateful to God for His never ending mercy upon you and be grateful to people who one way or the other have helped you get to where you are today.
I know that you’re facing many challenges now, yet there are still countless things for which to be grateful. I ask you to look into yourself and be grateful no matter what.
There is nothing better than gratitude because it brings joy, happiness, and hope. Always be grateful.
2. Always be content
Contentment isn’t doing anything. In fact, it’s a way to tell yourself that whatever you have accomplished after so many struggles is good. Being content is the inner satisfaction one gains after acquiring what one needs rather than what one wants. There is a distinction between wants and needs. Be content with whatever you accomplish after doing your best.
3. Be Impeccable With Your Words
Words are powerful. They’re like condiments. When they’re used in a proper way, they add flavor to our lives, but when overused and abused they get sour and hurt us. Be impeccable with your words. Don’t spread rumors or gossip. Many people’s reputations have been destroyed due to someone else’s false accusations or words. Your words can save many lives and can also kill many too if one is not careful with it.
4. Don’t Make Assumptions
How many of us are guilty of assumption? We assume everything in our minds even when we don’t have any idea of what’s going on in another person’s mind. We’ve become professional mind readers which in most cases we’re always wrong. Assumption kills trust between people. Whenever we don’t understand something about others, we should always ask questions as asking will make us know the truth. How many times have we assumed something and later discovered that we were wrong? It is better not to assume no matter how unclear a situation is, rather one should ask questions for clarification. Assumption is evil. It has caused wars between nations, and conflicts between friends, family, coworkers and really anyone with which we must communicate. I fight this evil every day. And each time I assume something about other people I’m always wrong.
5. Don’t Take Things Personally
Most of our negative reactions to what people say about us come from the fact that we take their words personally. We should realize that whatever they say about us is just a reflection of who they are and not us. Ignoring them and moving on is better than taking their opinions personally. Or better still, you can just feign a smile and let it go. Taking things personally will not only ruin your day, but also makes you angry unnecessarily. Remember that if you stop taking things personally you will have a happier life
6. Never Stop Asking
“He who asks questions, cannot avoid the answers.” –African Proverb
Is it a crime to ask questions? I mean better questions? Of course, it’s not but people of today find it so difficult to ask questions. Some are afraid to admit they don’t know something and others are afraid that people will think that they are stupid if they ask what some may think is a stupid question. Thus, the curiosity vibe to ask why this and why that has been squelched in many people. There is no crime in asking. Everybody has the right to tell you yes or no, but that should never stop you from asking. If you ask questions, and given the right answers, you gain clarification, or even if you are told you can’t do something at least you can make better decisions and so you also gain. It’s a win-win for you. Most of the things I know today are from the good questions I asked people who know more than I do. No one knows it all and that’s why you should ask questions if you find yourself in need of answers. It’s only the curious minds that ask good questions in order to know more.
7. Never Stop Giving
Giving is living. If you’re not giving, you’re not living. Be generous to people and give with sincerity without asking anything in return. Don’t make giving a reciprocal attitude because it’s not. Yes, our culture has made giving to be like that and that’s why we’re still having problems with charity. Never stop giving if you’ve the wherewithal to do so, because if you give sincerely you will receive more than you give.
8. Don’t Compare Yourself with Others
All of us want to be like that person on the big screen, a popular person, or like that artist with cute smile. Sometimes people hated themselves that they pretend to be somebody else. They are so caught up in putting their self-down; they fail to remember all the good qualities they possess. You’re beautiful in your own way. The artist you’re seeing on the TV will never show you his warts and hemorrhoids or any other flaws. Do not hide the truth of who you are. You’re unique in your own way. Comparing yourself with others will either make you feel inadequate or could make you feel arrogant; neither of which is good. Comparing one’s self with others hinders one from discovering who one really is and what one possess. You’re a genius, beautiful, and you’ve the perfect look. Don’t look somewhere else. The only person you should compare yourself with is who you were yesterday. If you’re better than the person you were yesterday, then that’s enough.
9. Never Seek For Perfection
We all know that no one is perfect and yet we still demand perfection from anything that we do. Why? Because we think that if we do something that’s perfect it means we have achieved excellence. We are wrong in this kind of thought. Perfection will never come until we appreciate the little that we’ve done. Perfection always kills productivity. It always pops the word “not-good-enough” into our head which stifles us and then we never achieve anything. We should rather be consistent in anything that we do and never seek for perfection, because that small dent in our work is what makes our work more beautiful and unique.
10. Never Look Down Upon Others
How many of us are guilty of this? Many of us are, even though we preach it to others, yet we still fall into the same trap. Since none of us are perfect this is such an unfair attitude to take. After all, what makes you think you are better than someone else? It is such an arrogant thing to believe you’re better than someone else, and no one likes an arrogant person. Would you want someone judging you and looking down upon you? You have no idea what another person has endured in this life that may have hindered them from becoming the best person they could be. We all start out with different talents and blessings, and many of us experience difficulties that impede our progress. Thus, some of us start our life from a more advantageous point than others. Therefore, we should not look down upon another person because they haven’t attained what many people consider a success. After all, success is subjective not objective—what one deems a success another does not. So hopefully now you can see why you should never look down upon others.
11. Never hold a grudge for a long time
Not holding grudge for a long time means forgiving the other person. Why should you forgive others even when they have not apologized? It’s because if you do, you’re doing yourself a favor and not them. Forgiveness brings tranquility into our soul; we find peace and harmony after forgiving others and letting it go. Holding a grudge does just the opposite and who needs that kind of stress?
12. Fight For Your Ideas
We all have ideas and most of our ideas die in isolation. Fighting for your ideas means working towards them. It means one should plan and take steps that will bring it into reality. Fighting for your ideas doesn’t mean you should punch those who are against it. We are all geniuses in some way. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Do you have an idea that could bring change to this world? If yes, then fight for it and bring it to life. No one has the right to stop you from bringing your ideas into being. Yes, there will be some naysayer and some critics, but if you believe heartily in your ideas fight for them. The world needs great ideas and in the end you will be glad you fought for your ideas. Who knows, perhaps from one of your ideas you may have in some way left the world a better place than it was previously.
13. Pray Always
Prayer is the key to all success. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying you should not hustle or work harder, but when you pray while working hard it makes your work more fruitful. Prayer is not only a form of requesting something from God; it’s also a form of showing gratitude to God for everything He has been doing in your life from birth until this day.
14. Always Listen
Most conflicts and unnecessary arguments that people have are caused by one party not listening to another. There are a lot of things we could learn from others if we could take our time to listen to them and sometimes it only takes a second to be patient and listen to others. If we could put this simple lesson into practice, I believe we would be less upset and much happier than we were previously.
15. Always Do Your Best
How hard is it to do all the things mentioned above? There is no doubt that they’re very difficult to implement. Should that stop you from trying? No. What I’m asking you is to do your best. Yes, it’s going to be difficult, sure, you’ll face some challenges that will make these things impossible to accomplish, but there is only one promise that can make you closer to it and it’s to do your best. Let that be your motivation to keep you going. If you do your best every day even though it’s small, you will get closer to your goals, but never stop doing your best. Always do your best and if you could look me in the eye and tell me that you did your very best, then that’s all I can expect of you.
-MOAB © 2014