At last, in less than three hours, we will call it a wrap for the year 2015. As usual, the end of each year marks the beginning of yet another brand new one – and the promise of starting on a clean slate. The New Year ushers in fresh opportunities to accomplish your life goals and, knowing that you are wiser and more prepared, makes you stride into it like a boss.
As much as it may feel like time has really flown by so fast and that may be, you haven’t changed much; if you spare a minute to reflect on the past year’s happenings, you will realize that you have learnt so much and grown in ways that you wouldn’t have imagined at the beginning of 2015.
Don Williams Jr once said that, “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Indeed, if life is a journey, then we are all travelers. The only difference in us is that we normally travel towards different directions. But if we are keen enough, the lessons from our different life journeys are always the same. That is why, at a time like this, we love to pause and take stock of the year gone by, in an end of year personal review.
This provides us with the basis to set new targets that we call new-year resolutions. However, we must take note that; every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. So, if we are not careful, we will indulge ourselves in several ritualistic beginnings and ends, without making much difference.
We all have a tendency of taking note of the big changes, or the sudden major lessons that life’s experiences throw at us. But, sometimes, the biggest lessons in life come from the most mundane things and the small daily interactions that you have in life. Today I decided to focus on the little lessons from 2015. Here are 10 of them. I am just thinking aloud.
1. If you have been making new-year resolutions and breaking them only two days into the New Year, don’t trouble yourself making Many New Year resolutions any more. You need help. Make only one resolution; that you will spend time to ask God to make you a better person in 2016
2. Never hate anybody. Hate leads to bitterness, and moving around while carrying bitterness in you is like drinking poison and expecting somebody else to die.
3. It is true that social media has taken over part of our lives. Most of us here lead double lives; the virtual online life that we would want others to see, and the real lives that we live daily. We are all guilty of a bit of show-off. Studies have shown that depression is on the increase, due to comparison of lifestyles online. Announcing our presence in big hotels is the norm. Checking into the airport is announced with pomp. Showing off our best clothes and meals is the new normal. Those who don’t have are left asking God questions. Just ask yourself. Why do we do it?
4. Consider life as a game of chess. The pawn, the queen and the King end up in one box when the game is over. That is how all human beings end up in some box, and then the soil, when the game of life is over. Never despise anybody; the titles we carry on earth end the day we die.
5. We might all earnestly deny it, but human beings subconsciously get some consolation when they know that someone else is doing worse than them. It is human nature to always strive to live, or seem to lead a better life than the next person. That is why comparison has always been a big motivation to a great number of human beings.
If you know that comparison motivates you, don’t worry; it is actually not a crime. It might indeed propel you to unimaginable heights. The only thing it will not give you is fulfillment. It also means that you are about to mature, because the day comparison stops being your chief motivation, that is the day you will start living your own life. That is the same day you will mature.
6. The higher you go in life, the more devastating the fall is likely to be, if it happens, hence the bigger the fear of falling. The temptations of using both fair and unfair means to remain at the top become too real. That explains why those at the top are more corrupt than those at the bottom. Don’t be too much in hurry to climb up if you have not learnt how to stay there.
7. We all love delicious and expensive food. But have you ever paused to think that no matter what you eat, your fart can never smell good? It will always be a lethal emission that might spell doom to six-legged creatures nearby. Never judge any food by how delicious it is, but by what value it adds to your body. The same applies to what we feed our minds. Life’s biggest paradox is that, the sweetest things are the most dangerous to our bodies and minds.
8. An African proverb reminded me that, “however beautiful a coffin might look, it will never make anybody wish for death!” Our love for beautiful things is usually biased and selfish. Apparently, we all want to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die! Donge?
9. I believe that corruptly acquired wealth can never be termed as hard work, unless one is serving a maximum jail term, with hard labor and an odd number of strokes of the cane. That is what should happen to all those who pinch what is not theirs.
We have seen plenty of people who acquired ill-gotten wealth and they noisily demand respect from us. I have long learnt that they don’t deserve any, regardless of their status in society. Respect is earned and not demanded. If you want to know who should not be respected, just check out anybody who demands to be respected.
10. Finally, and above all, as we usher in 2016, let us all remember the words of Susan Gregg Gilmore,
“It’s a funny thing, how much time we spend planning our lives. We so convince ourselves of what we want to do, that sometimes we don’t see what we’re meant to do.”
If you finally find what you were meant to do, you will have found the most important thing in your life; your passion. May you all find what you were meant to do in life in 2016. I already found mine.