With 2016 quickly coming to an end, I wanted to share five life lessons I learnt in 2016.
1. My free time is worth a lot more than a purposeless feed
As a student, I often had (a lot more than I’d like to admit) lazy days where I’d just aimlessly waste my time away on social media or the internet. This would often be a few days in a week or even late hours at night. Doing what, you ask? Absolutely nothing.
Ever since I started working full time I realised how valuable my time really is. After a long 8 hours at work, I didn’t want to just lay in bed aimlessly scrolling through social media. For a while now, I’ve managed to grow out of this habit and start actually doing things that add value to my life. Right now, it’s either working out, reading a new book, meeting with friends or writing a new blog post.
Admitting that this is a problem was difficult for me personally, but I am now investing my time more effectively by spending more attention on things (and people) that I love. Ultimately leading to a happier version of myself 🙂
Related to the point above, I’ve learnt this year that because my free time is worth a lot, I will spend my time with people who make me feel happy, positive and bring value into my life.
What I won’t do – which is a bad trait I’ve had for years – is continue to hang on to people who do not find value in me or my time. For years I’ve given my 100% effort to relationships and despite the constant love and support I give, sometimes people aren’t willing to invest as much effort or worse – ignore it and disregard everything.
Do I need that in my extremely short Homosapien life span? No. My understanding of self-worth has been a looooonnnng journey and is something that I still struggle with. But through some of the worse experience I’ve faced this year, I feel like I understand it a lot more (and it’s made me stronger!)
3. Rejection is growth
One of my 2016 goals was to gain professional experience in a form of a placement short or long term. I was so determined on getting one and started applying to millions of different places across the UK.
At times it got difficult to keep my motivation high especially with my second-year university priorities, part time job responsibilities (as at the time I was one of the most experienced members of staff and had to deliver training sessions to new members), family commitments and of course, the long application processes. And when the rejections started pouring in, it was a real overwhelming kick down to the ground.
Yeah, rejections suck but if I had allowed myself to stay down and give up, I don’t think would’ve been given the opportunities that were given to me shortly after.
For example, because of the rejections, I wouldn’t:
- Have gained an interview at Oxford for my graduate dream job (with them considering me as their first intern)
- Have been granted web-dev work experience after impressing the employer with my interactive organ donation project
- Be 5 months into my year in industry placement as their first intern
Needless to say, the “failures” in life aren’t always a bad thing. In fact, these rejections have helped me grow!
4. Unconditional love is the best love there is
This year I had the chance to re-connect with some old friends and spend more time with my family. Sometimes when you’re so focused and totally in love with one person (i.e in a long term relationship), you may start to forget others who love you just as much you love this one person.
I know this has been the case for me.
During possibly the worse time of my life to date, I was overwhelmed when I phoned friends who I hadn’t spoken to in months or were miles away at the time but still listened, cried with me and made sure that at night I wasn’t up alone.
I KNOW this is cheesy (you know who you are) but because of these amazing people I finally know what unconditional love means and it puts a smile on my face.
The same goes with my family – sure, we fight, we argue but at the end of the day, my parents are the only ones who love me without boundaries. Thank you for letting me come home to cry and cooking me healthy food!
(Also more:? but those significant people I mentioned above feel like family. I am so thankful. *tears up* Ok, ok, I’ll stop.)
5. Strive for Progress, Not Perfection
This year I decided to face my anxieties and solve it through ways that didn’t require me to take some strange pill which would have probably done more harm than good.
Discovering meditation in the summer has helped me with my mental health, stress and additionally taught me a lot about myself as I practise. I am no way perfect at keeping a more spacious mind at all but I’m proud of myself for taking the steps to be more in control of my reactions, emotions and thoughts.
This also applies to my current fitness journey. Getting the body and fitness level I want is a hard work and at times, I want to give up when I don’t see significant results. I’ve come to learn that no one has a “perfect” body (our bodies change 24/7) and no one walks around flexed all day (hopefully) so there is no point comparing myself to the people on Instagram who look amazing (because hey, sometimes the lighting hits our abs at the best spot possible
and flex game is strong)
Always strive for progress, not perfection.
What are the 5 things you’ve learnt this year? Comment below or link me to your blog post!
I wish all you a wonderful Christmas!