As we wrap up a globally tumultuous year, we may be feeling a myriad of emotions. Some of us may have made significant progress to our long term goals, whereas some others may be feeling stagnant or confused and uncertain of our progress. Before we move forward, it may be beneficial to reflect on the life lessons we have learnt that can help us as we navigate 2024.
Now some of these lessons can take years to sink in and integrate. It often takes many mistakes and bad experiences for us to understand and accept the lessons. Here are some of the lessons I personally learnt which I hope to take forward into the next year and beyond.
NEVER COMPROMISE ON VALUES
Whether it comes to business or friendship, compromising on our values is an act of self abandonment. Once we do that, it becomes hard to stop and then we fail to recognise ourselves. We can always stop before we take things too far, and learn to embody what we believe in.
PUT EFFORT TOWARDS NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS
True and meaningful connections are gained through moments of emotional intimacy, shared experiences and eye-opening conversations. Creating stable and long lasting relationships can improve our state of well-being and help us lead long and happy lives.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE SHADOW
The shadow is the part of the self that we like to conceal even from ourselves – our darker side and our toxic traits. Unless we constantly check our shadow and approach it with a sense of love, it will take over. The cycle of guilt will continue. Acknowledging the constant presence of the shadow is the first step to transformation.
BEING TRUTHFUL MAKES LIFE UNCOMPLICATED
Seeking to manipulate or dupe others requires the spinning of a complicated web of lies. In the end, we really end up deceiving ourselves and losing others who put their faith in us. Even when it means the risk of exposing our true selves, we need to be truthful.
ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN AT ALMOST ANY GIVEN MOMENT THAT CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE THE TRAJECTORY OF OUR LIVES OR EVEN END IT. WE MUST LIVE WITH INTENTION AND VIGOUR AND EXPLORE AS MANY NEW EXPERIENCES AS WE CAN TO GROW.
LIFE IS UNPREDICTABLE AND FRAGILE
Anything could happen at almost any given moment that can completely change the trajectory of our lives or even end it. We must live with intention and vigour and explore as many new experiences as we can to grow. We need to learn to forgive and let go of old grudges because we never know what might happen.
SPIRITUALITY CAN BE A SOURCE OF SOLACE AND REFLECTION
Spiritual practices help us gain insight into who we are as an individual. Rituals remain meaningless if we do not embody or live by their intention. True spirituality or faith comes with honest reflection of the self.
ANYTHING THAT IS SUPERFICIAL WILL NEVER BRING CONTENTMENT
We may choose to live with a consumerist mindset where nothing is ever enough and more is required to bring us pleasure. While these things can help us mask the pain we are feeling, they will never bring wholeness or contentment.
EVOLUTION IS A CONSTANT PROCESS
We are always changing, evolving and growing into newer versions of ourselves. Our old identities can start to feel like clothes that we have outgrown and simply do not fit in our current existence. Just because we are used to a certain way of being, we do not always have to perpetuate the habits, patterns and relationships that do not serve us.
DEATH CANNOT BE ESCAPED
To live means to die. By being aware of our own mortality and those of whom we love, we can make the most of our precious and limited time here on this earth. Rather than wasting time on meaningless pursuits, we can choose to find ways to make a meaningful impact on the world around us.
PEOPLE IN POWER DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYONE ELSE
If the events of the world have taught us anything in this past year – it is this. This is a lesson that we all need to remember and take forward. Governments and institutions lie and will always push their own agenda. They will spread misinformation and legitimise their own claims. We need to be discerning and use our own sense of judgement rather than following anyone blindly.
IT IS OKAY TO CUT SOME PEOPLE OUT
Even though it can hurt, it is better to cut out people who do not have good or honest intentions towards us. Energy and frequency never lie. It is okay for us to set standards for how we wish to be treated.
LESS SCREEN TIME MEANS MORE QUALITY TIME
As we watch others live their lives on social media, it can get easy to get caught up in a state of comparison and envy. Rather than trying to keep up with the demands of society, we can choose to put our phones away and actively engage with the people and environment around us. By remaining present and in the moment, we can gain true contentment and peace.
So there you have it – these are my learnings of the past year. What lessons do you hope to integrate in 2024?