Hi ASA fam!
Wishing you all a happy and blessed 2017! I sincerely hope you enjoyed the festive season break: got to rest, spend time with friends and family but most importantly had loads of yummy food to accompany these special moments. My break was pretty awesome and I feel refreshed, inspired and so hopeful for 2017 🙂 ! In line with my reflection of 2014 (here), I decided to share with you my biggest lessons of 2016.
From a mere idea I procrastinated on for over 2 years, just like that & as imperfect as it is ASA is here… :)! I have come to interact with you, wonderful peeps: enjoying the journey while finding my own voice and space as a blogger 😀
This seems so simple, yet challenging as it so easy to see what we do not have and complain about what is not working,etc. I chose to believe that living in #gratitude is a way of life regardless of your religious background (or lack thereof). Learning to see the positives on a daily basis helps you remain present in the moment, which does two things: (i) allow you to keep your spirits up when going through a difficult time and (ii) stop you from complaining unnecessarily. No one wants to be around a friend that never seems to see the good in her/his life regardless…
You are the product of your environment
This was probably the hardest lesson of 2016. You are not an island but heavily depend on “your environment” however good or bad be it classmates, colleagues, friends, family, etc. If that environment was removed, you may still not be the same person… Understanding this is CRITICAL and has humbled me in so many ways… It also helped me be more tolerant towards the “difficult others” as I could be them if circumstances were exchanged. Do not take your “greatness/goodness” for granted-learn to cherish those around you who bring that out & nurture them.
Allowing yourself to dream
While going through a difficult time in my private life, I came across Terri Savelle Foy (a Christian public figure) on the net (here) and she has taught me to be bold with my dreams… Not sure about you, but I realised that my main motivation in my 20s was fear i.e. fear of failure and not graduating, fear of not getting papers & be allowed to work, fear of falling pregnant outta wedlock, fear of being judged, fear of ending up with the wrong guy, etc. While fear can work as a motivation, it is certainly not the same as the pursuit of excellence and doing your level best. So for the first time in my life, I feel encouraged to set goals that actually scare the sh*t out of me & through words of affirmation believe these will happen however long it takes. Do check Terri out & let me know your thoughts.
The importance of planning
Terri insists on two things (i) writing down the goals, and (ii) plan your time such that you allow time/activity related to achieving that dream/goal be it lose weight, learn a new skill, get a first in one course, write a book, etc. Planning just does not happen, it takes time (a few hours however regularly you might need it). I am terrible at it but am planning to spend more time/effort on it this year
My mother always used to say something like “if one is looking for gold with a narrow mind, he might stumble across a diamond (with much more value) and still throw it away”… Remain open to new experiences and opportunities as they might bring you much closer to (& maybe faster) to your goals despite the fact they look different from what you were hoping for. For e.g. it might be being accepted into a different degree, or starting your first job somewhere else-it might just turn out to be “your diamond”.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I would love to hear more about what 2016 taught you e.g. what you were grateful for, what you struggled with,etc. What to expect from ASA in 2017? Well, for starters more regular & hopefully shorter posts (weekly or bi-weekly), a blog re-launch with the French translation (Francophone Africa, I got you) & a social media account. I hope you enjoyed this post & wishing you a smashing 2017 ahead ;-)!