nana johari

January 1, 2017

Extra: Lessons Learnt 1 [2016]



Well, 2016 is ending (has just ended actually). It was indeed the year of realizing things. Someone made a joke about how 2017 would be the year of dealing with things instead. Ha. Okay let's not talk about 2017 yet. I was thinking about making a post to celebrate the death of 2016 because this year was shit, let's be honest, and sharing some lessons learnt seems to be a good idea to spite 2016.

So this is the list of what I have learnt so far (that I can recall) in my 20 or so years living in this world. Some I learnt by being there when other people were dealing with it, some I had to bleed and learn myself - kicking and screaming (not literally of course, except for screaming, that I did), some took me years - countless whys and introspection to finally realize. At the risk of sounding dramatic, my reality has crashed and burnt, and these are the ashes.

(What can I say? I love using figure of speech).

It can sound harsh, probably, I don't think it is, it's the usual tone I use with myself:

  1. Most of the time it's better to be alone than to be with someone who disrespects you. 
  2. Familiarity can be the best illusion of safety. Never let down your guard completely. 
  3. People can't fight for you forever, sometimes at all. Learn to do it yourself. 
  4. Speak the truth, stand against the wrong things, even when your whole body shakes.
  5. Be nice to yourself, especially when you think you don't deserve it; say positive things to yourself, affirm your worth, acknowledge your effort and feelings. It will help.
  6. Your mind is the beginning to a lot of things. Be careful with what you let inside your mind.
  7. Emotion needs to be acknowledged, experienced, understood and let go - in this order. Never suppress it, avoid it, question it, judge it, pretend it isn't there. It wont work. It will hit you harder in the future. Give it your attention, respect and acceptance. 
  8. You have more power than you actually realize. 
  9. You can't be enough for everyone. That's okay. It's realistic. We have different needs, sometimes a single person can't meet all of those needs. Learn to be enough for yourself so you don't have to rely heavily on others to meet your needs, so when others struggle to meet your needs - you are capable of meeting them halfway.
  10. The first step to deal with reality is to acknowledge it in all its rawness. Learn to look ugly truth straight in the face no matter how much you hate it. Peace can't be gained through the avoidance of reality, but through the acknowledgement and the acceptance of it.  
  11. (If it's personally directed at you or about you) It is not a joke if it hurts you. Tell them. State your boundary. If they truly care; they will respect your boundary, change their behavior or at least compromise, without shaming you for being hurt. 
  12. Know your boundary. When you don't, it's easy to get confused between what can be allowed and what cannot, you'll tend to follow others' rules. The problem is when their rules are full of biases, when the rules put them in an advantageous position and you in the opposite. They will step on you. 
  13. When a problem arises, look at both yourself and others. E.g: If people don't understand you, there might be lacking in them, but it also means you don't communicate in a way they understand. 
  14. Learn to enjoy your own company.
  15. The world owes you nothing. If you want something, get it yourself. 
  16. Stop viewing yourself as a victim of the harsh fate and cruel world. Continually blaming others, fate, the world, external events for making you do things is like saying you are a puppet. Don't be a puppet.
  17. Self-pity will get you nowhere. You hate how awful you are at talking with people? Learn how to communicate. You hate how worthless you are? Go out and do things, contribute, volunteer with charities, make changes even little ones. Don't just say how suck you are and yet do nothing about it. Fix your actual problem. Improve upon it in any way you can.  
  18. That social blunder you've just made? No one really cares. If someone does at that time, they probably will not remember it or it probably will not be significant later. If they tease you for days about it, either they are assholes or they want to interact with you but don't know how. If they actually spend time to gossip about your small mistakes then they have problems with their life, which tells more about them than it does about you. 
  19. If you don't make a choice, a choice will be made for you. 
  20. Not taking an action is an action in itself.
  21. In order to become good at something, you first need to bear looking and feeling like a fool. It will pass. People will laugh, they will mock and criticize you. But that's the price you have to pay for excellence. Don't stop until you get there.
  22. Manipulative people will twist your words until they get what they want; if possible, do not argue with them, do not take them seriously/personally, do not give them your time.   
  23. Be careful with people-pleasers. 
  24. Practice self-awareness. Knowledge about yourself can help you a lot in life. 
  25. The old way is not necessarily the best way. People can be stupid, that's including our ancestors. The new way is not necessarily the best way either.
  26. Don't just listen to one side of the story. Listen to as many as you can. Find similarities, connections and holes between them. 
  27. Don't be so quick to choose side. 
  28. To change what you feel, change what you think. To change what you think, change your belief/perspective.
  29. Intention and impact are two exclusive things, but are connected by an action. Intention > Action > Impact. Action is fixable. Action influences impact. If you don't get your desired impact, fix your action. Good intention can't justify negative impact, it can't take it back or erase it. Don't use your good intention as an excuse for the negative impact your action has brought, work to fix your action instead. That is to say, criticism on a negative impact doesn't equal dismissal of the good intention behind it.
  30. If you don't want to do something, at the very least be brave enough to say so. If something happens later, people can't hold it against you for not speaking up. 
  31. It's always better to ask than to assume.
  32. People's value/self-worth does not depend on what other people do to them or what they have experienced. It depends on the choices they make, what they learn from their experiences, and their next action after realizing they have done wrong.
  33. Do not ask someone to smile. If you want to see them smiling, make them smile. 
  34. Do not mock anything that people were born with. It can take years for them to recover. It also shows your insecurity and immaturity.   
  35. Some people search for things to fuel their hatred, for no other reason than to hate. It validates their ego. Don't do that.
  36. It's never too late to learn. Screw what other people say.
  37. Before you stand against something, make sure you know what exactly it is.
  38. The most important key in relationship is communication. Communicate your thoughts, your needs, your boundary, your hates, your likes, everything. Say it, tell them. Do not wait for people to read your mind. People can't read minds. Do not use revenge, do not use punishment (emotionally, psychologically, physically), do not get even. Discuss it with them until an understanding/solution/reconciliation is achieved.
  39. Own your mistakes. Less blaming and more accountability. 
  40. Do not apologize for someone else's feelings or yours. Apologize only for your actions.
  41. Your feelings are your problem first and foremost. Don't hold others responsible for what you feel.
  42. More thank you, less I'm sorry. Instead of apologizing for being late, thanking people for waiting for you. It promotes positivity. 
  43. The more fears you confront/manage/fix, the more self-assured you become.
  44. Do not get into a love relationship if you are not ready to be vulnerable or exposed. Do not get into a relationship if you are not willing to change or compromise anything. Don't let your pride get in the way of your love. Relationship is very much like business; if you want something, you have to give something in return. But be sensible.
  45. Do not cheat on your love partner. It messes with their trust in relationships. Properly break things off with them if you are over the relationship. If you are not over the relationship, don't cheat. That's not how you solve your loneliness or hurt feelings. Refer 40. 
  46. If you find yourself falling for someone unavailable, you still can cut off your feelings. Do it as soon as you notice it, pull away and stick to that. Don't use your 'inevitable' feeling as an excuse to screw with someone else's relationship. It's a fate you can control. You are not that helpless. 
  47. Love alone is not enough in a relationship.  
  48. Emotion is a message. It is there to tell you something about you. You don't always have to act on it.  
  49. Humans are work in progress. Don't be so sure you know someone. Re-verify from time to time.  
  50. Know the difference between liking someone and liking the attention they give to you. The first can mean the latter. The latter doesn't necessarily mean the first.
  51. Use your anger, turn it into something productive. 
  52. Observe. Imitate. Always do it better.
  53. Just because someone's mental illness does not make any sense to you, doesn't mean it's not real.
  54. When helping someone, be careful with getting emotionally invested. If you are emotionally invested in their improvement, you will feel frustrated when they don't improve. Helping people is usually a choice even if it doesn't feel like one. They don't owe you their improvement. On that note, don't be too hard on yourself when you can't help people, we can't help everyone. Acknowledge your attempt and effort. 
  55. Do not only wait for the right person. Work on yourself, be the right person.
  56. Determine what you want. Find out the requirements for it. Devise a plan to meet those requirements, do extra work if this can increase the probability of success. Execute it. Record and keep track of your progress. If you fail or something doesn't work, find out what went wrong, understand and fix the problem, devise a new plan and execute it again. 
  57. Be direct, ask direct questions, get direct answers. Most of the time there's no need to over-complicate things. You may need to find balance between being direct and tactful though.
  58. If you dare to do something, dare to be responsible for the consequences.
  59. Don't get caught up in other people's definitions and interpretations.   
  60. Sometimes, disturbing the peace and harmony is worth it. Go and break their illusion.  

I intend to elaborate on a few topics in this list later.

Okay that's it.
End.