The year might not be over yet, but the Christmas decorations are out on Oxford street and the days are at their shortest, so to me it seems like the perfect moment for some reflection. What a year it has been! I would have never -ever- imagined 2015 would go the way it did. From being a bored banker to working in a tech start up while writing articles for another start up at the same time – it has been an incredible ride so far. Here’s what I learned over the past eight months.
1. Complaining doesn’t help anyone. A total waste of time and absolutely useless, that’s how I think about complaining. Not only does it make you feel miserable, it will have the same effect on those around you. There’s only so much a friend or a loved one can bare, even the most positive and patient person will become tired of your complaints eventually. Can’t blame them for it.
2. Only YOU have the power to change things for yourself. The one thing worse than complaining, is complaining without doing anything about the things you’re unhappy with. I have been guilty of this for far too long myself. There isn’t going to be an overnight miracle that will make all your worries go away, if you’re unhappy with something in your life, you will have to undertake action. Do so!
3. It’s only when you jump into the unknown that you’ll see what’s the next part of your trip. If like me, you’re stuck in your job and you stay in it because you ‘don’t know what else to do’, you’ll probably never leave. As long as you stay where you are you simply won’t see what’s out there. Yes, you -know- there’s supposed to be a whole world of industries and jobs you’ve never heard of (trust me, there -really- is), but you haven’t experienced it and thus don’t fully grasp the potential of available opportunities. It’s once you set foot outside your old world and into a new, unknown one, that you’ll realise how much else you can do. Granted, it’s scary as hell to step into the dark, but it’s the only way of going forward if you want to get unstuck.
4. Be grateful. Sounds cheesy but is very true, or at least to me it is. Call me superstitious, but I believe it’s important to count my blessings. Every day I try to write down a few things I’m grateful for, and if I don’t have time to write -which happens to be the case far too often still- I try to take a moment to be thankful. For me, it’s a good way of saying thank you and it helps me put things into perspective whenever I get too carried away in some kind of nonsense issue…
5. Always be open to new people and new things! Follow your curiosity and explore different activities. Speak with people you don’t know if an opportunity presents itself and really listen to them. If you’re interested in a certain subject, try to find out more about it, and see if that triggers you to explore it even further. To me, it’s important to keep learning, this is part of the reason why I love talking to people that come from a completely different background and that do things I’m unfamiliar with.
6. Challenge yourself. Those of you who follow my blog faithfully know I have an ambiguous relationship with this one. Nevertheless I’m convinced that setting yourself (realistic) goals is a good thing. It gives you something to work for and it’s a good way of motivating yourself. I like to recapitulate every six months and set myself a few new goals at the same time.
7. Relax. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I often feel like I -have to- do so many things and I’m never ‘done’. There always is a book I want to finish, another one I want to start reading, a website to check out, an email that needs replying or a blog post that needs to be written… Obviously all of this is on top of a job that needs attending, dirty clothes that need washing, diner that needs to be cooked, and bills that need to be paid. Be kind to yourself. Look at all the things that you -did- get done and be proud. Allow yourself a brief moment of delicious, well-deserved, laziness every now and then. Tomorrow is another day, full of Have-To’s, I’m sure…