Some Lessons from 2013...
It is exactly three days to the New Year and even though 2013 has 365 days like any other non-leap year, for me it has seemed like it has been twice as long. I am not superstitious but at some point during the year I was tempted to think that the “13” in the year was a sign of ill-luck. However, like someone once said, you don’t need to be in class for you to learn a new thing… how true this is! This year has been a serious learning ground for me.
You see, lessons come our way every single day, regardless of where we are, or whom we are with at that precise moment. Question is, how often do we retain the lessons we learn through such informal and random ways? In helping me remember some of the lessons I have learnt (the hard way) this year, I have decided to sum them up in this last post of this year. Here goes ….
I have learnt that when you reach the end of your road, that’s where God’s begins and if you let Him lead you, then you have no reason to worry about your future because He holds you and your future in the palm of His hands.
I have learnt that this is the only moment I have…. I cannot be sure of what the next minute holds for me. The best I can do is maximize on the time I have and be the best I can be NOW without really worrying what the next person thinks. This brings me to the next lesson…
I have learnt that no matter what I do or how I do it, I will never please everyone all the time.....Even Jesus didn’t and yet He had all the power. And if Jesus didn't, then you can rest assured that even Chuck Norris can't.
I have learnt that I can’t control the weather, I can’t control the wild animals and I definitely can’t control YOU. The only person I have 100% control over is me. This means I can’t stop anyone from being a hater, but I can definitely stop myself from caring about their hating, which brings me to the next point…
I have learnt that being bitter and unforgiving about something someone has done to me is like drinking poison and expecting that person to die. Unforgiveness and bitterness can be equated to some kind of acid that corrodes the container in which it resides. I have to admit I have suffered and I am still suffering this corrosion in certain areas of my life, but I am work in progress and I know with time, I will be free of those side-effects.
I have learnt that people will come into ones life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Every person who comes into your life for a reason or a season will most definitely leave as soon as the mission intended for them is accomplished. When the time comes for them to leave, keep the memories and use the lessons they brought with them to your life, but don't cling to them. Let them go.
I have learnt that every person on earth has a purpose to serve and a mission to accomplish (even if its only to drive you nutts or bring out the worst in you). At the end of the day, everything works for the best. A classic example is the role Judas Iscariot’s played in Jesus’ life. Need I say more?
I have learnt that though I will do the best I can in all my functions, appreciation is not always guaranteed, but I will still do my best anyway.
I have learnt that the best way to avoid being disappointed is by expecting less from others and expecting more from yourself. And because your expectations from others is low, when they do something that exceeds your expectations you become pleasantly surprised.
I have learnt that not everyone who smiles and laughs in your presence is your friend. Besides, they could be smiling because they have just gotten a new idea of how to frustrate you.
I have learnt that in life, the most impacting lessons are learnt through the most painful of experiences. However, the greatest tragedy would be to lose those lessons.
I have learnt that happiness is a personal agenda. You cannot depend on someone else to make you happy because chances are likely that they are more unhappy than you are, meaning they can't even make themselves happy.
I have learned that each one of us comes with a seed of discipline, self-control, and patience. However it is up to each one of us to choose to develop them, cultivate them and grow them to bear fruit.
I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
I have learned that nothing in life is permanent. Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes and I have to relearn how to live it.
I have learned that there is a great difference between thinking of doing something, and actually getting it done. One gets you results while the other denies you results.
I have learned that wrestling with a pig is a waste of both your time and energy. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. So who is fooling who?
I have learned that when dealing with backstabbers, they are only powerful when you got your back turned to them. They don’t have the guts to play their dirty tricks in your face; they have to go behind your back and stab you when you least expect it. Cowards is what I call them.
I have learned that sometimes going by the majority may be misleading. Besides, it could mean that all the idiots are on one side.
I have learnt that no matter how bad things are, there is always something positive to be thankful to God for. In other words, you can decide to look at the glass as being half full or half empty.
I have learnt that there are no mistakes in life. Just lessons.
Last but not in any way the least, I have learnt that even though you might have had a bad day, or even a bad year, you should not mistake this for a bad life. Always look on the positive side of things and realize that it could have been worse.
Of course these are not all the lessons I have learnt this year, but I can say they are some of the most outstanding of them all. Do you have any you would like to share? Please feel free to do so.
As you look back into the year 2013 and make your own reviews of it, do not forget to be thankful for the many blessings we often forget to be thankful to God for. Remember to be thankful to God for the little before you can be given the more you are hoping for in 2014.
I wish you all an awesome 2014.
PS: Article published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 29th December, 2013, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words"