In the beginning of the year, it is almost customary to come up with rules and resolutions to live by. Granted, some of those rules will be broken as soon as they are laid out, but still they serve their purpose, to give some sort of direction in an otherwise confused world… I have been randomly introspective, given the fact that the past year has been quite a journey. Getting to find out things about myself when I thought I had me figured out. So in the light of setting things out before the year gets into a mad rush to the end, here are some rules. Most of them are things I have learned (or am still learning) in the not-too-recent past:
Lesson 1: Be open to the counsel of others
Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a back seat and listen to what people have to say. Notice I said sometimes.
The things you are going through may seem unique or randomly problematic, but you are by no means the first one to go through them, and neither will you be the last. Life has divided people into two main camps. There’s those who teach, the wise ones who have had experience in whatever it is, and those who learn, those who are looking for that experience so that they can make something out of it. there may also be a third group, the ones who read about it in a book and became instant ‘experts’ on whatever it is. But we shall not talk about them, they’re better left ignored.
Be open to advice from other people. You may not want to admit this, but you don’t know everything. And the best way to get advice is to ask for it. there is no pride in getting things wrong when you could have asked about whatever it is and gotten it resolved quickly and painlessly…
Lesson 2: Filter information
People have ways of saying things without actually saying anything. Like they can go on and on abut something and in the end you go away wondering what all that is about. take the core of hat is being said and treat the other information as accessories to the core. This is hard, because there is always the hoarding instinct, that every piece is important. But you have to decide, sometimes on the fly, what is important and what isn’t. This takes lots of practice. I may go on about how I don’t think I am ready for a job, for example, when what i am really saying is I am afraid of change, and I may need some help to transition into a different state of being.
The most important thing is to actually listen, not just to hear what is being said.
Lesson 3: Be available
Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone in need is not to get involved in their mess, but to actually be there for them, letting them know that whatever happens you still have their back. Sometimes people want you to just be there for them, whatever they are going through. they may not want a random massive gesture, neither do they want some random display of whatever emotion you feel is appropriate for the situation. they may just be asking for you to be there for them. The world is shifting all the time. people come and go, the situation may change as it sees fit, but you being there may provide more security than saying you will be there.
The point here is to establish Trust. Showing that you can be trusted come what may to be there when things get thick.
Lesson 4: Be unconventional
The main reason for a mental box sometimes is so that people can think out of it. Do not limit yourself. Just because nobody’s done it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. At the risk of sounding cliche, dare to be different. the world can only fight you for so long until you break out of whatever square they consign you to and you become your own person.
Lesson 5: Be yourself
Much as we are all cut from the same cloth, sometimes the pattern is different. And our differences are what make us worthy of admiration, or praise, of love even. Being individuals is the reason why we stick out rather than tone ourselves down into mediocre, half-baked versions of a ridiculous ideal, we should strive to be the best people we can be. We are not given free will to sit on and quash, we should not feel the urge to belong to something that needs loss of character…
Be yourself, that’s all you can be. Learn from yourself. What you go through is the best teacher there ever was.
Although I am certain that i shall break several of these rules this year, I shall not forget them. They are meant as a guide, if only to make life a little more worth living…