As I look back at how 2019 was spent, it feels me with great joy and happiness that I have grown and learnt so much. We only see progress upon cumulation, instead of the daily little steps forward.
2019 has been with ups and downs. And with that, it brought along lessons learnt. Some lessons are painful to learn, others are necessary for growth.
- To avoid disappointment (a waste of energy and time), have no expectations on things out of one’s control. We can’t control everything, like another person. But we can control our emotions and reactions to various matters.
- When in doubt, pick up a book. Books are filled with information and knowledge. Grab a book, go to the beach and spend a day getting the golden tan and some quality knowledge.
- The world is so much bigger than your brain, stop living inside your head. Our head creates tons of scenarios. Stop living in it, go out and experience it.
- We are blinded by many (un)conscious biases. As much as we aim to be rational and have plans to follow through, sometimes we don’t get there simply because our monkey irrational brains are at work. It’s okay, that’s just life. Learn to have the discipline and routine to follow through. Above all, forgive oneself for the irrational behaviour.
- Life is just an accumulation of lessons learnt, to build who we are today. The one question that I get asked the most this year is “how did you become you”? I wish I could say “I woke up like that”. But it is not. It is an accumulation of life lessons. It’s the power of compounded knowledge, lessons and experiences.
- I learnt that we can’t always get everything we want.
- Even in the cynical world, love. And love with all one’s heart. Even if it results in a heartbreak, the ability to love and be loved is one of the most beautiful thing in the world.
- In times of heartbreaks, focus on work. When we love, we open our heart to something. When that something is gone, replace that empty space with work.
- Have a theme of the year. 2019’s theme was “get yo shit together 2019”. And I did it!
- Routine + Discipline > Motivation. Fuck motivation, it does not work. The little feel-good orgasms to propel one forward is not trustworthy enough to achieve all the dreams and goals. Instead, have a strong routine and have the discipline to follow through.
- Some periods are shit. Never ever let that 10min of shitty period define the rest of the day. Time is too limited to do that. Instead, take a nap and restart the day or end the day early. Tomorrow is always a new day, a new beginning.
- In times of procrastination, press the timer. It pushes me to get things started.
- Time is money. Only hang out with people who are truly worthy of the time spent.
- There are more good people than bad in the world. Almost everyone I meet is a genuine and kind person with a beautiful heart. Never allow the world to turn you cynical. Always remember that there are truly kind and beautiful people out there.
- Be careful of who you trust. I am still learning this lesson, but in Q4, everyone is telling me to be more skeptical of people and everything. It is quite challenging because I trust people (in my personal life) very easily.
- Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter. Easier said than done, because of the sunk cost fallacy. Once we have invested in something, we are more likely to stick with it, even if it is not right. We also create scenarios in our head, to make memories 100x better than it really is. Take a deep breath, and come to the realisation of what reality really is. It is not easy, but it is important.
- Friend with benefits does not work (for me), because I truly love my friends very much. The unconditional, always-there-for-you and we-can-talk-about-everything type of friendship love. And then it can be confusing and I end up catching feelings and it spoils my routine. Don’t know what to do moving forward, but I’m just going to focus on work.
- Not everyone should deserve Lisa’s love. (More like lessons from my friends, who are scolding me)
About Becoming Me
- Write the plans and goals on the wall as a constant reminder of life. And reflect after each quarter to know where I stand.
- Don’t be limited by physical boundaries. Always be flexible to options and be adaptable to new environment. Change the environment to what suits you (e.g. my room now) and be flexible with the boundaries (online and offline communities).
- Sometimes, the conscious mind makes bad decision. Rely on the quieter voice inside for the truth. E.g. the sugar rush from a sugar ball doughnut is delicious. But the quieter voice inside is saying “you’ll not like the aftermath of eating those sugar balls! Don’t do that to yourself.”
- It is incredibly easy to make friends. Be genuine, be open and be real. I make friends very easily and always end up having chats for hours into the night. I am learning to translate that into business relationships too, and I’m grateful if we can do business as friends too!
- Energy level changes based on the periods of the year. Summer and winter are low periods, which means I should focus on conferences/meetings (where I get my energy from) or focus on research (where I don’t have to deal with people). Spring and autumn are periods of activities, focusing on more getting-shit-done.
- Drunk Lisa is actually more rational and calm than Sober Lisa. Always managed to get home to my bed safely, someway, somehow. Drunk Lisa is super protective too. I still don’t know how I do that.
- Lastly, I am the luckiest motherfucker in this world. I’m incredibly grateful for everyone that has touched my life, because every encounter is a lesson learnt. Counting my lucky stars everyday, because people are simply too wonderful and great.
2019 was a hell of a year. Every year keeps getting better. Always keep dreaming and striving for new heights. Not everyone understands, but those who do are the ones to keep for many life times
Here’s to 2020. New beginnings and more clarity.