With this new sun rising, I’m sure there’s a question daunting you already – what’s your new year’s resolution? Well, in my mind, there could be two possible reactions to this:
Either you have a long list, yet again.
Or you have a knee-jerk reaction that says, “Well, I don’t believe in resolutions.”
My reaction, however, is a mix of both. Here’s what I’m starting my new year with – My Learnings from the year 2018.
The only resolution that I make is to remember the learnings of last year and leverage on them to make sure that this year is my year in every sense of the word.
Before I go ahead with my list of “learnings”, I just want to spend some time on this concept of learning. I feel that somewhere, learning is restricted to reading new books, surfing on the internet, or watching a Ted Talk and feeling nice about the fact that “we learnt something.”
Learning is in every experience of our lives; it is in store for us every single day. The only thing that it takes is for us to be aware – aware of what we’re doing and what we should; aware of what’s needed for us and what’s not; aware of what we’re doing for others around us and what we needn’t. And you know what’s amazing about awareness? It is that the more aware you are, the better you get at it.
Another word of caution on learning is the fact that learning doesn’t have to come from guilt or regret. When we do something wrong, instantly someone tells us to learn from it. But that doesn’t mean that we carry the guilt forward. We need to detach ourselves from whatever happened and the mistake we made because we can (thank God we are humans) and just pick up the learning to ensure that at least this bit is taken care of with our heightened self-awareness.
So keeping the guilt behind in the year 2018 and entering this beautiful year with my learnings, here are just a few of them that I hope you resonate with:
All that we need to do is to consciously improve ourselves as human beings … every single day. This can be done with an act of kindness, with the consciousness of not hurting people around you, who may have possibly hurt you in the past. It can also be done with the willingness to improve your skills so as to achieve all your goals in life. Talent is something we’re born with. It’s something that has been given to us. A skill, however, is something we learn. It’s acquired. Decide right now that you’ll be an expert at what you do. Plan 2019 knowing that it’s your year, not just because you said so, but because you put in the work for it to be one. 2019 will require more than just determination, it will require skills. So develop new skills and enhance your skillset. No matter what you do, you’ll need them.
The second big learning for me is to let go. There is only that much energy that we have. We can either exhaust ourselves and our energy by holding on to people, situations, and emotions that have not worked out well for us in the past, or we can use the same energy to create more. Maybe all this while, I’ve been exhausting myself by holding back stuff that I knew was always unnecessary. My learning, henceforth is to totally, completely, consciously let go and put all my energy into only creating and looking forward.
We make difficult people or situations bigger than they are; left alone, they can cause no harm to us. Difficult people defy logic. Many of us are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that such people have on those around them. Such people seem to derive satisfaction by creating chaos. Whatever it is, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and, worst of all, stress in other people’s life. So let them go, for they can only cause us harm if we let them.
The third learning for me is to not judge others. Yes, I must confess that for the past six years, I consciously worked on not judging others. Yet. I catch myself doing that once in a while. Just recently I was watching some award event and I saw an actor dressed up in something really weird. And the first thing that came to my mind was, “doesn’t he know what he looks like?” Immediately, my awareness made me realise that he’s probably more fashion conscious than I am and that doesn’t make him wrong and makes me right. It’s what he chooses to wear and he’s happy with that. Who am I to judge? This is the question that always holds me back from judging people and I’m passing it on to you.
So if a thought crosses your mind when you realise that you’re judging someone, ask yourself, “Who am I to judge?” Here’s another very interesting learning – the more you share what you know, the more you realise what you need to know. There is just SO MUCH to be learnt and known that it’s humanly impossible to learn it all or to know it all (as they say).
So when we share what we know, more often than not, it’ll be a moment when we also learn what we didn’t know. The only thing that can possibly come in your way in such a situation is when you’re judging the other person and sticking to your point, believing that you already know it all. Not a good spot to be in, so push yourself out of there if that’s where you’re stuck. Your self-awareness will give you the answer.
Feedback is a gold mine if it’s received well and if it’s received from the ones who genuinely care for us. You might not like this, but the fact is that there are people who truly care for us. It’s just that, they take us for granted when it comes to expressing how they feel. And it’s rarely sugar-coated. Our knee-jerk reaction to that is to just dump it thinking it’s repetitive and it’s nagging. But there’s nothing more honest than the feedback of people who know us, have been with us for years, and genuinely care for us. So be open to feedback. In my journey of life so far, feedback is one thing that has helped me a great, great deal.
Another aspect of feedback is when we’re giving feedback to people. There have been times when I was tempted to correct someone’s way of carrying themselves, someone’s way of presenting their own business in an entrepreneur summit, or just the gestures and etiquette that I saw people following which needed desperate correction. I can’t tell y’all, friends, how exasperating it was for me to stand back because I realised that feedback is accepted and honoured only when it’s asked for.
This is not a point of arrogance, but a deep realisation. No matter what your intention is, it is received in a form dependent on the other person’s state of mind. Hold back your intention and wait for the person to be open to receiving feedback and asking for it. Only then will it help them and strengthen your relationship with them
So, these are my list of learnings. There’s more that I can add, but let me not hold you back to start this fantastic year of 2019. Something makes me feel that this is going to be the year of excellence for us all with absolute ease. I wish you all a fantastic year ahead and hope to hear from you on what your key learnings have been from the year-that-was. Once you share it, you remember it. So, remember to share your comments with us below.