This post was written by Anastasiya .
This post is part of a series “ Life Lessons ” started by Abubakar Jamil . I was pleased to get an invitation from Abubakar to write an article for his inspiring project. Enjoy!
It is far more powerful to live your truth than to preach it.
I want to share something special with you today. I will do it just once because I do not like bragging or talking about myself too much. I want to share with you life lessons that I have learned in life (my life hasn’t been too long yet, that is why I am going to stick to just 5 lessons) and that have chiseled my life into a balanced and harmonious existence.
Do you sometimes read blogs or books and just wonder “Does this person really know what he/she is talking about?” The advice that you read seems completely illogical, impractical and just useless. You read “Smile, be positive and everything will get better.” But how can you do that if you have a sick child or you have just lost your job? Maybe you hear “Stop eating so much, start exercising every day and you will lose weight effortlessly.” Yeah, right, like this is THAT simple … Do you know what I am talking about here?
I do not want to be the person who preaches without living my truth. I want to help people find balance in their lives but I share only tips and advice that have worked for me already. I am not the person who will say “Jump!” but stay behind in the plane. This post is not about me, it is about lessons that I want to share with you and that I hope will help you on your journey towards balanced and peaceful living.
1. Patience and perseverance.
Thomas Edison said “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration.”
This is a truth that I have learned in my life. We often want results to appear overnight and we give up too fast when something does not work out the way we want it to.
I am still leaning patience in a lot of areas (I am not sure when I will get my toddlers to use the potty and sometimes I want to throw in the towel) but I also know that this is the only way to reach my big goals.
When I started this blog I didn’t put much effort into it. I threw something together hoping that miraculously it will find its own readers and it will be a success (Here is a flash from the past – exclusive screenshot of Balance In Me when it was born – click here). Of course, that never happened. I am not the most talented writer and when I started my blog English was my third language (not even my second one.) I finally took my blog seriously and started creating content and learning a lot. My first posts were not that great (actually they were pretty bad and you can still find them in the archives) but I worked my way to better grammar, a better writing style and better advice. Patience and perseverance were my allies in this journey. It took me almost three years to get where I am now but I have enjoyed every step of that journey.
2. Loosen the reins.
Do you like to be in control of your life? I used to have a real problem with that because I just could not loosen up in life. I had to have everything just the way I planned; I had to be #1 all the time (your typical description of an over-achiever.)
The trick about life that I’ve learned is that we are never in full control of our lives. While we can try our best to be the best we can be sometimes things just happen. They just do.
I have learned to enjoy my life this very moment and not to worry about things that I have no control over. I am grateful for what I have right now and while I make plans for the future I still make sure that I can enjoy every moment of my life now, not 10 or 20 years from now.
I do not have to be # 1 anymore.
I do not have to be a superwoman all the time.
I do not have to leap over hurdles to be happy and content.
I have to remind myself constantly that I need to slow down in life and savor every moment. It helps me and it will help any other person on this planet, I am sure.
3. Accept who you are.
The biggest discovery that any of us can make is discovering who we really are. A lot of times we try to be somebody else because we want to portray a particular image in life. No matter how much you try that, this “fake” personality will never work out and you will never be able to feel at peace and in balance with yourself.
I have always been fascinated by extroverts – people who feel at ease in any surrounding and can communicate with anybody. I am an introvert by nature and though I always knew that, I tried to change that part about me. The harder I tried, the more miserable I felt.
When I gave up my attempts and accepted who I was (basically, a nerd) I started feeling so much better. This discovery made me realize my strengths and feel confident around strangers and generally in any situation. Yes, I am not a social butterfly but I am also not the one who will sit in the darkest corner of the room during a party.
4. Listen to your gut.
One of the best skills that a person can learn is listening to him/herself. Listening to yourself will help you make friends with your body, it will help you use your intuition and your potential to its fullest. The “gut feeling” can be the voice of God talking to you, it can be your unconsciousness or it can be both.
I have finally managed to take control of my weight when I started listening to my body. Instead of dieting and exercising like crazy I started making food choices that were healthier and tasted good to my body ( warning: chocolate cake and chicken wings taste good to my mouth but my body does not share this love.) I have also changed my exercise regime to fit my personality (I like solo exercise that is why running and Pilates are my top picks.) As long as I listen to my body, I feel great and I do not have any weight problems.
I am not the only one who was using intuition to make decisions in life. George Washington solved his most difficult problems during the Revolutionary War with intuition. His orderlies were instructed not to disturb him while he relaxed and intuited decisions. Actually according to one theory the founding fathers valued intuition so much that they have tried to remind us about it on the back of the dollar bill. The picture of the unfinished pyramid with an eye above it represents how important intuition (the eye) is in developing ideas or making decisions (completing the pyramid.) (This example came from the book ThinkerToys by Michael Michalko.)
5. Always challenge yourself.
When we get comfortable with a certain way of life we get lazy. This laziness keeps us from growing, from trying new things and from living a more balanced and happier life.
One of the challenges that I place in front of me is to learn something new constantly. It keeps my life exciting, it opens new business opportunities and it makes me a more fun person.
When I still lived in Ukraine I found a job in a web design company. I was hired because of my English skills but words like “hosting,” “html” and “ftp” sounded like a foreign language to me. During the first few days I was scared of everything because I didn’t understand what was going on there and what I had to do. In order to feel comfortable I decided to learn HTML and go through all the basic web tutorials that I could find. In a month I could create a simple site, I was comfortable talking to customers and I actually could guide them through the process of setting up a website and making basic customizations (something that seemed like rocket science to me at first.) That was a huge personal triumph.
I use things that I learned on my own much more than things that I learned in college. Actually now I understand what one of my professors always told us “The goal of a college education is not to stuff information into your head but to teach you how to find any information when you need it.”
It does not matter how old you are because you can always challenge yourself and learn something new.
These life lessons help me keep my cool in life and live in balance. Can you share your life lessons with me? Please leave a comment below and share this article with your friends if you liked it. You can also write an article with your life lessons on your blog and leave a comment with the link. I’ll be sure to share your article on my blog.