In a few days, the year 2017 will wind down completely. In usual fashion, we will be wishing one another a happy new year. And like every other time when a new year is ushered in, many will be full of new hopes and aspirations. It’s a script that plays out every 365 days. It is constant. Unchanging. The truth is, at the end of the day, the Ist of January in any year is just another day, however, one can’t deny the sense of freshness and new beginning it elicits. Whether some of us downplay it or not, a new calendar year will always represent a good time to do a self-appraisal, and start afresh.
As much as we are eager to begin a new phase in our existence, it’s important to take a look into the past, and more importantly, learn from it in order to increase the chances of succeeding in the future. To this end, I have compiled a short list of the 5 biggest lessons I learnt this year. I hope it inspires someone one way or the other as we countdown to 2018;
This too shall pass: I had a tough 2016, and this rolled over to my 2017. I was optimistic at the beginning of the year, but soon enough when the challenges remained stoic and daunting in my face, it became difficult not to wonder if the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t a farce. The challenges came thick and fast, and in different shades too. But soon enough, things began to look up. Many months down the line when I look back now and marvel at how I survived the torrid times, It dawns on me that challenges actually come and go. No matter how gloomy the situation looks, no matter how bleak the future appears, always remember that it will pass. Life evolves, circumstances change, the world is an often uneven medley of the good and bad. If you’re going through tough times at the moment, I am here to tell you it’ll pass. It always does, keep the faith.
Complacency is the devil: Whatever you do, don’t get complacent. Don’t. Don’t. When something doesn’t grow you anymore, learn to leave it. You always have choices even when you think you don’t. Don’t get so comfortable with any situation that you cease to better yourself. You have to always think “What if things go wrong here, what am I going to do?” Never take a loving partner for granted, never assume you cannot be ousted from a position. Always have a Plan B. Constantly reinvent yourself. Be relentless in your quest to be better, and as much as possible prepare for those times when life comes hard at you. Preparing for exigencies or unfavourable turns in the tide of life doesn’t make you negative, it makes you smart.
Be so good you can’t be ignored: I have this motto pinned on my Facebook and Twitter walls. It’s one of my life’s mantras, and not a single day goes by without me thinking about it and working towards it. While it’s true that nobody is indispensable, it’s also true that you can develop yourself to a point where it would be difficult for anyone to ignore you, or at least fail to acknowledge that you are one of the best at what you do. Being the best at what you do earns you respect, it makes you relevant and of course, ensures that you are never technically out of job. The journey to getting to this point is a long one, however. But the principles are the same; hard work, persistence, diligence and consistency in being the master of your craft.
Do it your own way: Societal pressure is real. Everywhere you turn, everyone is trying to make you be like them. No matter your vocation, religious beliefs, race, marital status or political affiliation, people will attempt to make you dance to the rhythm of their own beat. Society will write a script and demand that you play the character assigned to you to the letter. For instance, once I tell people I am a blogger, they automatically assume I blog about gossip simply because many blogs are all about that. There’s a subtle, and sometimes more direct pressure to follow the bandwagon so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb. But that’s exactly what great people do, they stick out like a sore thumb, they stand out in all they do. They forge their own paths and do things their own way. They are original, you should be too.
Take your chances: Many times, a lot of us talk about getting an opportunity. We long for it. We swear we’d seize it if it ever came our way. But sometimes, we are ill-prepared when it comes. Other times, we aren’t quite convinced we are ripe for the move and worry that we would fail if we made it without being 100% ready. I am here to tell you to take any opportunity that comes your way as long as it is in line with your vision for your life. Take a chance on yourself. The truth is, you are never going to feel you are fully ready. Sometimes, you have to throw yourself in the deep end. Besides, what’s life without adventure? What’s life without risks? Considering the limitation of time and the reality of the finiteness of man’s life, you really should be taking as many chances as you can in the awfully short time you have. Don’t dillydally for too long. What’s the worst that could happen anyway? You fail, yes, failure is not an attractive prospect, but, remember, the world’s most successful people have all failed at one thing or the other. Time is short, go for broke!
P.S: Here’s wishing every reader of Lolo’s Thoughts an outstandingly prosperous new year. You’ll be seeing a couple of changes (positive, of course) on the blog in the new year. Thank you all for the love and support you continually extend to this platform. Cheers!