We are half-way through 2017, so now is a good time to reflect on this year and see how we can improve it. If you have been off to a rough start, and January 1st seems far away, you may be hoping that this article will motivate you to kick-start the rest of the year. You are right, there is still 6 months left to make it one to remember. 2016 was a pretty miserable year for me thus, I was determined to turn my 2016 mistakes into my 2017 guidelines for a “better me”. And so I bring to you my lessons learnt from 2017 and how they have helped me (so far). If you’ve lacked motivation in shaking things up, or shooting your shot at a better 2017, I hope that this will motivate you to kick-start the rest of your year!
1. “Stop trying to support people in the way you would want to be supported. Instead, start supporting them in the way they need to be supported” – Myleik Teele
I used to get upset if I felt that someone did not appreciate the support I showed towards them. Especially when I thought that I was doing something that could genuinely make them feel appreciated. Through confronting my friends/family on this subject, I realized that the type of support I bring, might not always be the type of support they need at a certain time. Maybe monetary support here is not the way, rather emotional support is more fitted. What I learnt in that instance was that asking someone what they needed, rather than assuming, will always be the best option. Not everyone can support you the way you intend for them to do, and that’s okay too. Everyone has a different way of showing that they care, or that they are there for you.
2 What’s for you will always be for you.
I’ll share a personal l story. I am currently on a dual masters at Sciences-Po Paris and Peking University (in Beijing). I was very anxious when applying for this degree, though everyone around me was confident I could get it. However, the reason why I was anxious is that I had applied to both of these schools (Sciences Po and Peking University) on separate occasions and was rejected both times. I applied to SciencesPo 3 years ago for my bachelor’s and completely failed the entrance test. I applied to Beijing University for a masters a few months before applying to my degree, and was also rejected. But somehow, when I applied to a joint degree with both these universities, I was accepted and it felt RIGHT. The moral of this story is that there is no amount of obstacles that will prevent you to getting to where you are destined to be. At other times, something that is for you will simply be delayed but let me tell you something: DELAY IS NOT DENIAL. Whether you believe in God, the Universe; I can assure you that your destiny will not miss you.
3. Everything you have sown in tears, you will reap in joy.
This is actually inspired from a Bible verse (Psalm 126:5), which basically means that all the hard work and hours of struggle you put in, will pay off in the next season of your life. If you are going through a rough patch and feel that things around are not moving, or not moving as fast as you would like, is because you are in a season where you must plant your seeds before you can reap the profit. This life is made of seasons. Some are made of hustle, sleepless nights, insane workload. Others are meant for you to enjoy the results of your hard work. Let us not rush into the next season, without being done with the current one. Rather, let us honor the process and take it one season at a time. Remember: worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
4. SHOOT YOUR SHOT!
The only thing standing between you and success is the one shot you are willing to take towards it. 2016 for me was characterized by the MANY shots I was too afraid/lazy/scared to take. This was mainly because I had too many people around me which did not make me feel like I was good enough. That is the reason why I started this blog, because I wanted to give my writing a shot and encourage others to try to go after what they want. This is a very obvious advice, but for me it was very important to have that as a reminder. Keep shooting your shot until you can say “you weren’t with me shooting in the gym” to all those who did not believe in you from the beginning (for those who lack in knowledge of urban culture, this is the reference). But most importantly, do it for yourself, be your very first supporter. There will always be people in the world out to get you, you do not need to become one of them. Shoot your shot; whether it is a hit or miss, cheer for yourself.
5.“The work you do while procrastinating is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life” – via Jessica Hische
This quote is something I am still debating but which I believe holds a lot of truth. Usually when I procrastinate from my uni work, I do things that I absolutely love such as writing, practicing visual creation or reading. I think for me, the things that I do while procrastinating are things I want to do for the rest of my life as a hobby. But this might be different for some of you. If while procrastinating you do something that you can make an income out of, that is a blessing and you should go after it, if you want to.
6. Practice gratitude until it becomes a daily habit.
Being grateful is something that has changed my life. Growing up, I was not aware of some of the privileges I had. Thus, being thankful and grateful for the little things was not part of my daily routine. And why should it be? Waking up in the morning, perfectly healthy is a given, right? Well no it is not. It is an undeserved blessing, because some people do not get that chance. In fact, it is a lottery. Same for having a strong support system. Through my first year of masters, I struggled a lot, but not once did I feel like I could not get through it because I was surrounded by very supportive friends and family. I cannot count the number of times where my best friend (who is in a different country, on a different time zone) stayed up with me until 5-6am to make sure that I was not alone through the night, while writing my essays or studying. This is something that money cannot buy but only Grace can provide. Hence, the only thing you can do to show how thankful you are is to adopt an attitude of gratitude. My sister gave me a ‘gratitude/blessing jar’ in order to help me in this exercise of gratitude, and I recommend you do that too. Just take a regular glass jar like this one, and every night write down on a little piece of paper something that you are grateful for today. Do this every single day. And on December 31st 2017 (or any random moment you feel like you need it), you will have a jar full of reminders of what to be grateful for!
I hope this helps someone, and please don’t hesitate to share what keeps you motivated in making 2017 an amazing year, even after the initial excitement of the new year!
Photo credits: French Mirror