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How The Things I Learnt In 2016 Are My Stepping Stones For 2017 And Ahead

Posted: February 3, 2017
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There are a few things I learnt in 2016, depending upon which I have a list which I’d like to diligently follow in 2017 and in the years to come.

It’s not easy getting used to something even if it happens year after year. Another year has flown by and we’re already in the next year. By the time we get used to writing 2017 instead of 2016 we would’ve already reached March.

Anyway, now that we’ve stepped into another new year, I realized it was time for an annual tradition that I’ve been following for the past couple of years. I try to take stock of what I could have done better the last year and how I could make some changes to the current year. It’s not that I wait for a new year to do this, rather I take this as an excuse to set things straight if I feel they aren’t.

2016 was a very hectic year for me. I had a tough time managing my personal To-do lists than my To-do lists at work. As challenging as it was to do so much in so little time, looking back I now wonder how I pulled off most of it. At the same time, I wonder if I could have fared even better in certain aspects if I had laid down a few ground rules. Anyway, better late than never.

Here are a few things which I learnt over the course of the previous year, which I’d like to diligently follow in 2017 and in the years to come.

It’s ok not to do everything

These days it’s very easy to get inspired by someone and take up a new activity. All it took for me to start training (and eventually running) for marathons was listening to a friend who was a pro runner himself.

As exciting as it is to pursue new interests, the real problem comes when we have to manage these activities/hobbies apart from our routine. I’m not good at multi-tasking (unlike the perception that women are multi-taskers!) and there are some activities that require all your attention. This leaves you with hardly any time for the million other activities on your list.

That’s when I realized, when we try to do a lot, we end up either doing a mediocre job or mess all of them. That’s the price you pay for trying to excel in everything.

However, I realized I felt it was time to let go of certain things. I wrote everything that I wanted to do and decided to concentrate on 5 things at a time. I decided that every now and then I would swap a few activities from the pending ones in the list. It was not an easy decision, but I knew I had to.

2016 was the year I stopped doing a lot of things which came in way of something else. I’m happy I decided to let them go.

The importance of staying focused

You know how you can blindly trust some people when entrusted with a task and be assured that they would do their best? Anyone can do a decent job, but only some people can pull of a great job with attention to details. It’s difficult concentrating entirely on something even when there are no distractions. Let’s give social media a break here.

I admire people who can completely isolate themselves from the surroundings and dive deep into their work, with full concentration and give a perfect output. I do not suffer from attention deficit syndrome but I get distracted quickly. One minute I would be concentrating on the task at hand; the next minute I would have flown away to some dreamland. This results in focus shifting towards completing the work on time rather than doing it well. So, I definitely want to learn the art of perseverance and keep calm till I reach the last mile and ensure that the job is well done.

To more meaningful friendships

I’ve felt that we often take friendships for granted. The very little time we actually spend with friends (perhaps at colleges) is the time we also need to spend coming up with a career plan and experimenting with the viable options that can be pursued.

They say a strong foundation of the friendship bond is required to ensure that the friendships last the test of time. It’s easy to make friends when at school. At college, we become a bit choosy. Post this academic life, it’s very difficult, though not impossible, to find the kind of a person whom you can trust and who would have a similar wavelength and who wouldn’t be judgemental.

We meet a lot of people, but only few of them can stay friends for a long time and earn your trust. Like any other relationship, I would like to spend quality time with my friends and invest in more meaningful friendships and spend more time with my close set of angels who’ve always been there for me.

Mastering the art of tolerance

I can safely say that my tolerance levels are reasonably good these days compared to what they were a year ago. I walk away from people I can’t tolerate.

I’ve learnt not to prove my point to anyone who cannot have a friendly argument. I’ve learnt it’s ok not to have the last word. I shut my mind from conversations that make me angry and I ignore negative environments which can harm my happy state of mind. While at times, one part of me would definitely want to go back and give all of them an earful, another part tells me not to be bothered.

Sometimes it might even look like people are desperately trying to do something just to annoy the rest of us. However I figured out that it was not my problem. I’ve also learnt that if something is not my problem, I should not open my mouth. Self-control is a virtue these days. And I know I’m better off without trying to prove my point of view to anyone.

Looking happy vs Being happy

It’s surprising how many of us are bent on proving to the world that we have the best life (even if reality says otherwise). I see many people desperately trying to portray the perfect life.

It dawned on me that beyond a point people just don’t care about you. At some point or the other I realized I’m guilty of doing this. I understood that it is more important to be happy than to look happy. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you. Everyone is busy with their own lives and the one second they spend looking at us doesn’t necessarily mean they are concerned. And I think I don’t have to care about what the world thinks of me. Social media does feed one’s narcissism, and makes one feel like a celebrity but this is definitely not a case of fake it till you make it. I’m going to focus less on looking happy and focus more on being happy.

These are my resolutions for 2017. No, not just for this year but for the years to come as well. I should probably check every now and then to see if I’m making progress.

Have you incorporated similar behavioural changes at any point in your life after a dramatic epiphany? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

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Published here earlier.

Image source: shutterstock

Ashwini CN

Ashwini CN

I’m a blogger from Chennai. I believe that anything worth talking is worth writing, precisely the reason I blog. I love reading books and talking with like-minded people. I’m happy when I can eat, smile and laugh without being bothered by anything in the world.


Author's Blog: https://ashwinicn.com/

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