5 important lessons in life

Life seems to be a roller coaster ride with all its joys, disappointments, excitement, serenity, sadness and laughter that sometimes we really do not know how to live it.  But then again, we just love the ride, don’t we? We just need a good dose of optimism.

However, what makes life worth living are the interesting lessons we all draw from them every single day of our lives, which differ between individuals. But there are common ones that we can all learn from, especially the ones that lead us to success in life.

These life lessons are many but here are five which I hope that you will find them useful and insightful:

  • Focus: It’s good to be a generalist. I know this for a fact because I am one.  There is a flip side to being a generalist though. Unless you are self-employed, employers will question the validity of your expertise since generalists move around quite a bit. “What do you exactly want in life?” is another question by interviewers for generalists. It is hard to understand the passions of generalists that has enabled them to have a wide repertoire of transferable skills (that are almost cross-disciplinary in nature) unless you are one. Nevertheless, developing a few set of specialised skills are essential to increase the market value of generalists and for their voices to be heard in the workplace. And one way to attain mastery of a skill is to stay focused, very focused – for years. And this advice is coming from a generalist.  And of course, generalists can always be enterprising entrepreneurs. Even if you are not a generalist, the benefits of being focused in life still apply.

  • Want change? Do something: If we want to improve the world, we need to start with ourselves. Want to increase literacy rate of students? Be an educator. Want to provide a listening ear to people in emotional distress? Be a counsellor. Want to reduce conflicts in the workplace? Be a Nonverbal Communication or Conflict Management Trainer. The key is to take action and do it. It may not happen overnight but we can plan and work towards these positive goals. Be the positive change that you want to see in the world.

  • Patience: The cure for all ailments of men can commonly be attributed to patience.  Frustration, anger, miscommunications, misunderstandings can all be prevented through the practice of patience. Whenever we feel like getting angry, remember that we have a choice not to. The pause to let go of anger can be improved with meditation practice but even in the absence of such spiritual practices, we can still choose to think in a more positive way.  We all live in our own separate realities and these create different and at times conflicting perceptions. Change our perceptions in a more positive way and anger dissipates. This is easier said than done, so practice is critical. More importantly, we have to be patient with ourselves.

  • Be persistent, but know when to switch direction: Persistence is required for one to achieve success in life. The most intelligent individual may not be able to secure success in life but the most persistent individual usually does. However, it have to be highlighted here that while being persistent is an important ingredient in the success journey, we still have to know how to switch direction when the situation calls for it. For example, if our studying techniques are not working out for us, we have to modify or even change them to enhance our learning abilities. If our resume is not getting the number of favourable responses that we have anticipated, it’s time to be creative to rethink our strategies. Powerpoint resume, anyone?

  • Sincerity: There are few things that people appreciate more than sincerity. A genuine smile, a warm handshake, a simple but specially-selected gift, the fulfillment of our promises are some things that express our sincerity. To befriend someone, we have to be sincere first. Remember your mentors, send them gifts and let them know that you remember them. Purchase and present a gift to a leaving colleague, and let them know that you care. There are many ways to show sincerity. However, the most important thing is to do it.  Sincerity is an essential ingredient for success in our lives – be it in love, work or life.
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