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Top Ten Lessons to Jumpstart Your New Year (2013): The Second Cut
An Appreciation of Alexandra Stoddard’s “Things I Want My Daughters to Know”
Let your each day be an infinite expression of your love and appreciation of THIS life.
We only have ONE LIFETIME to live.. Just ONE.. Nobody knows how long will your days be here on earth. Most people decide to harbour on anger, seek revenge for people who hurt them, wallow in the darkness of devastation and loneliness or poison their soul in self-doubt and second-guessing others , I’d rather respond to life with love, forgiveness, joy, hope and peace. It’s not easy. It is the most difficult decision I wrestle everyday but it also becomes the most rewarding act that I make.
Without missing a beat, let me walk you through my next favourite lessons.
Top 8: DON’T SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST
Vanessa Williams, the artist who sang the emblematic song, “Save the Best for Last” or her fans might not agree with what the author shared. I prefer to believe Alexandra Stoddard’s premise. Most often, we prepare ourselves primarily towards the future, not giving much thought about the present and how this can be an essential portal which creates pathways that realize our life wishes. We plan so idealistically and intricately in such a way that we paralyze ourselves to grow with and in the process that our life is offering us. We keep our souls in haste of a never-ending race that leads you nowhere only to find out that you miss the message that the Author of Life is directing and redirecting you. Perhaps, you can recall a time when you set aside the best dinnerwares for the most grandeur festivities instead of celebrating even during the simplest of your days. We rely so much that tomorrow will give us better chances or a better time for expressing and showing our love to the people who have been with us through our life’s journey, or for bridging gaps and healing our pain, not realizing that tomorrow is always a promise. It is never assured nor guaranteed. Life’s sweet revelation expresses that our flexibility is a necessity because no matter how you tried to work your neck off, you still do not control everything. Our God does. So why not just do it today than putting it all off tomorrow? The swift taste of reality can shutter your structured plans in less than a wink. Sudden swerves of inserts into your life’s goals can lead you to be dishearten but remember that He puts in place everything for His greater purpose in you. However, most of the time, we prefer to choose what is good above the BEST that God is offering to us. Again, decide to grow in the process. It is good to plan out your tomorrow but never forget to live and savor each minute of your present because it is all that you have. Surely, you would not be reaping any regrets because you have done your part clearly well and you would be able to accept, adjust and adapt all circumstances without any word of complaint or resentment.
TOP 7: ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL OVERLOOK THINGS
I captured how Alexandra Stoddard expressed this lesson as she explains, “Many well-meaning people feel it is their duty to complete every task right away. All the deadlines at work must be met, often at the expense of our life at home. We have to strike a balance by putting things off. We cannot finish every task or get it all done. Be able to sincerely say to yourself that you can and will overlook things. Don’t create impossibly high standards for yourself. You’ll be in harmony when you let some things go. Find ways to strike a balance between what you do and what you choose not to do.” It is truly absurd that people create their own “to do lists” only to find themselves lost and frustrated because aside from unfulfilling most in it, they are controlled by the list that they have created. Amidst the list of our things to do, I zealously invite you to weigh and choose which are the ones that matter most to you. Choosing wisely is a crucial skill of a Champion. Unlike fast-food joints and apparel shops, we cannot choose things in combos or in a buy-one, take one packages. Again, choose which are most endearingly important to you. The process of accomplishing a task is initiated not on the intention of just completing it but rather, the decisive process you take to complete it. Thus, it is in this process-based approach can we only plunge into the results we wanted by choosing which is essential. Too many times, our focus are distracted by too minute details that are just accessory to what we are supposed to do. Do not be afraid if you cannot complete everything. Be happy that you have completed what is most important. Learn the skill of choosing efficiently.
This goes the same thing in our relationships. Alexandra Stoddard shares, “We also have to overlook certain things in our relationships. You don’t have to rise to the bait with an insulting co-worker. Take things at ease. If there were perfection, we’d have no way of further improving our lives. The challenge for us is to be able to continue to strive for excellence.” If people provoke you, remember that you are more than your emotion. Learn to CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. You cannot prove anything to anyone. They believe what they want to believe regardless if those information are validated or not. Take comfort to the fact that the reasons of their delusions are from their own doing. You need not to explain any further. Allow them to be themselves until they realize what they are doing. Learn to let them go and believe that it is far more noble to keep your silence than to engage yourself to their meaningless chatters. Above all these, what you gain afterwards is YOUR PEACE. Celebrate it!
TOP 6: DON’T SEE PEOPLE WITH HOW COULD THEY BE BUT AS WHO THEY REALLY ARE
This is probably the pain-point of an optimist. Being one of these people who would like to see everyone in the good light, I get subjected to accept the agonizing reality that they are NOT really THAT GOOD at all. Despite of our best intentions to people we love and care for – and sometimes, we often clothe them with infallibility that they have no capacities to becoming the people who would soon hurt us or mislead us, they still CAN think, SPEAK and treat badly of you because they want to and that’s WHO THEY REALLY ARE. Open your eyes very well and see how they transform into beings you should stay away from. SEE PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY REALLY ARE not what you expect them to be. We become masochists if we don’t accept their true colors. We invest much about ourselves – time, money, friendship, love only to be on the hurting end. Although there are times that it is manageable and definitely fine because you are able to prove to yourself that despite of it all, you KNOW HOW TO TRULY LOVE. You just CANNOT ALLOW THESE PEOPLE TO HURT YOU endlessly. When their TRUE COLOR EMERGES on a blinding light, especially in a defining moment of a trial, doubt and confusion – BE FIRM to DESELECT & ELIMINATE the people who have proven that they have no worth for your love. Respect them STILL by accepting who they really are. In this life, there are only two types of people: the REAL and the FAKE. The fake ones are rude, backstabbers, highly-critical because they THINK they are perfect. The real ones are overflowing with respect and are always accepting and understanding. BE CAREFUL WHOM TO BE WITH. The real ones get to progress the most because they learn and accept people with love. The fake ones decay in stagnancy because they FAIL to be open-minded and thus, just settle on their pre-conceived judgements. Always remember that the VALUABLE ONES are those who never fail to be by your side despite the storms of your journey. Although we must respond to every person in LOVE, we must also learn to protect ourselves from the pain that the others can cause us repeatedly. When people hurt you, it is not because you deserve it – but rather, it is because you do not deserve them. ACCEPT and RESPECT THEM FOR WHO THEY REALLY ARE. Check your reality and be firm to deselect them. Enjoy the company of genuine people who truly loves you.