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35 Life Learnings I Learned in 35 Years

I wanted to write my birthday reflection this year as I did last year. Instead, I found myself thinking about what my son said the other day. It surprised both his dad and me.

He said, "I want to live forever."

No, that wasn't the surprise. It wasn't the first time he said it. We had a you-can't-live-forever kind of conversation a couple of times before since he turned 6 years old. Our answers were always the same.

"No one can live forever because our body changes as we get old. That is why you need to be healthy and try to live a good life."

His response that day was different and surprising, he said:

"And make good choices."

I didn't realize that he would actually remember the things I say.

Sometimes, my answer will be expounded to "That is why you have to find out what your mission is. Every one of us has a mission in life. You will find yours."

Have I mentioned anything about making good choices? I may have, but not in the exact phrase. I can hear my husband in my head now, "Genius nga!" Every time I try to overthink Lucas' responses and actions. Hehe! I guess we have a tendency to think that our child is special abilities.

Anyway, as I was thinking about that conversation, it makes me happy that he loves life enough to want to live forever. It also scared me a little. How do I teach my child to make the right choices? How do we make the right choices in life?

"Life is a result of the choices you made. If you don't like it, it's time to start making better choices."

I don't know who said that quote. I agree. Along with being accountable for your choices. Holding yourself responsible for your own choice, you alone. Not other people and not even your circumstances.

How then, can you make the right choices? We only have one life.

Looking back, I realized we can never be sure if we are making the right choices. And so the only way we do it?

Until the unfamiliar become familiar.
Until the uncertainties become certain.
Until the unclear becomes clear.
Until failures become a success.

The truth is, it's trial and error.  Do you know what the outcome will be once you make a choice? Of course not. I mean, we based it on previous experiences. We formed a new plan and strategy based on past failures. Hoping that this time, it's the right choice.

We learned now. There are too many external factors. One day, we are working towards our goals in a company that we love working at. The next day, COVID19 happens, and the following months have been a series of uncertainties.

The mysteries of life are solved not by talking about it.  It is only solved by taking action.

Just like when he was learning to walk. He needed to fall, then learn how to get back up and keep trying because he wants to walk. I realized I cannot shield my child away from making poor choices. But I can guide him when needed, based on my own learnings in life. And since I'm forgetful, better list them down now!

35 Life Learnings I Learned in 35 Years

Here are my 35 Life Learnings I Learned in 35 Years:

1. Don't let doubt postpone things because you're afraid to fail.

2. It's not easy to be happy all the time but we can keep on trying.

3. Learn from the past. It teaches a lot.

7. Learn to count your own blessing. Sometimes you have less than others, sometimes you have more.

9. Friends show up no matter what. Be that kind of friend. Cherish true friends, they will love you for you.

10. Be patient. It's hard sometimes but try.

11. Live. Laugh. Love. *Leo Buscaglia* Yes, go on... have a good laugh!

12. It's hard to love chocolate and stay fit. Try again anyway. As long as you're living you can go back to Day 1!

13. Your smile is your superpower. Science says so.
14. Bad things happen. Cry but live through them. Choose to survive.

15. Be brave. "Take risks while you're young. Don't take risks when you're old." *It's a bit of advice from a 103-year-old lady, I'm not sure what she meant, I guess we'll find out!

16. Give thanks in action and in words. Give thanks to God. Just do it.

17. Nature lifts the spirit. Emerge in nature even once in a while. Find yourself again. Find God.

18. If you are afraid & anxious. Shift your focus to what you know for certain. Then direct your actions towards that direction. Most of your fear comes from the unknown.

19. Finish your education and never stop learning. Keep a growth mindset. You may find yourself with no money one day, but you'll think of a way or two to earn money again from learned skills.

20. There are bad days, boring days, fun days.  Life is exciting! Yes, cherish the boring days too. Never turn down a rest day.

21. Not everyone will like you. It's okay. You don't have to like them too. Be a better person. Be kind to everyone.

22. Know your priority. It will help you not get overwhelmed and get the most important things done.

23. Connection matters. Listening matters. Opening up to people matters.

24. Be thoughtful in spending. Thoughtless spending gives you more stuff and you end up with less money.

25. Don't let doubt mess things up. Amaze yourself!

26. Eat healthily. Sleep well. Drink enough water. Self-care is going back to basics. 

27. Love yourself in detail, including your physical flaws. You are beautiful.

28. Sometimes it feels like you are just beginning. Take time to reflect on what you have already accomplished. Then keep moving forward.

29. Loving means making peace no matter how mad you are.

30. Share for the right purpose. Applies to social media too. πŸ˜‰

31. Know what's happening in the world.

32. Surround yourself with grateful & joyful people. Be that person to others.

33. Yes, We only have one life but traveling adds years to our life span because of the experiences we gain.

34. Take risks but not at the expense of your freedom, peace, and relationships.

For the parents, how do you teach your child to always make the right choices? We don't. We can't. We can only encourage them to be risk-takers. To be accountable for their own choices. And let them know that we are here for them.

That's it for now. Happy Birthday to me! 

I hope you can relate to some of it. If I missed something it's because I'm still a work in progress. 

May our choices reflect our hopes and dreams and not our fears.

乾杯 Kanpai!

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