Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Looking Back

Today is 31st December. The year 2013 finally comes to an end. As I review the year, I realize that it has been a particularly interesting year for me. 2013 was packed with challenges and there were some moments where I felt I had completely hit rock-bottom. Of course, there were several good things also that came my way which, to some extent, neutralized the effects of some of the lows.

While each day is a learning experience, these are some of the important lessons I learned in 2013:

Lesson 1: Set Goals.
This year I realized that it is easy to feel lost when you don’t really know where you are headed. Making a list of things to achieve not only helps you develop skills or gather experience but it also helps you keep a more positive outlook towards your future. While I still advocate others to go with the flow and not to have plans set in stone, sometimes it is good to define one’s goals – it really helps one stay focused.

Lesson 2: Relax.
I love what I do! I feel I can be a complete workaholic simply because engaging in work gives me sheer pleasure. However, it is extremely important to take ample time out of your busy schedule to just chill! It is perfectly alright to take a day off work and just sit at home – you don’t need to do that only when you fall sick.

Lesson 3: Say ‘NO’.
I haven’t found it easy to refuse people. I used to give in to people’s demands even at times when I knew they were inconveniencing to me because I was scared of hurting them. This year, I learned that saying “no” isn’t such a big deal! People aren’t so delicate that they will be shattered because you refuse to do them a small favour. They’ll move on and you need not feel guilty about saying “no”.

Lesson 4: Enjoy Your Own Company.
In the past, I was known as a social butterfly. I always fluttered from one group to another, forever mingling with all kinds of people. This year I realized how important it is to appreciate your own company. Spending time by yourself helps you connect with your core – allow yourself the space for that communication.

Lesson 5: Be Non-Judgmental.
From the very first day of my counselling course, it was hammered in our heads that we need to be non-judgmental, empathetic and have unconditional positive regard for all our clients. This year I realized the value of extending this to every other person with whom I come in contact. Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources available to them – think a million times before passing a judgment about someone.

Lesson 6: Never Treat Others The Way You Don’t Want To Be Treated.
Karma really is one heartless bitch! Sooner or later, you are going to have to pay for your actions as what goes around comes around. Take your precautions and avoid causing pain to others. It is extremely painful when the same treatment is meted to you!

Lesson 7: Travel.
Visit new destinations. Learning about new places, people and culture only expands possibilities for your universe. You also learn to be tolerant and appreciate people from backgrounds that are completely different from your.

Lesson 8:  De-clutter Your Life.
Get rid of all the excess baggage. Clean your closet regularly to discard things you no longer use. Donate to the needy or throw them away if they are not in a condition to be distributed. The faster you get rid of things you don’t need, the sooner you will have room for things in life that you actually want. Similarly, get rid of people who are causing you pain and allow awesome people to fill their void. Drop all grudges and other negative emotions if you wish to feel the positive experience that is life.

Lesson 9: Ask For Help.
We don’t always have all the answers. It is alright to seek guidance from others when you find that you don’t know how to help yourself. Turn to your near and dear ones to assist you in your life’s journey – they will be happy to help because they know you’ll do the same for them! Also remember that no one can read minds. When you want to be helped, you need to ask for it.

Lesson 10: Cherish Your Friendships.
Even if you are extremely busy, take time off your schedule to make that call to your old friend in your home-town. Friends help you get through life by supporting you in your good and bad times. Value them and nurture the relationship. In moments when you feel that you are stumbling, you will need these friends to help you discover your inner strength.

Lesson 11: Don’t Hesitate In Taking A Few Steps Backwards.
Have you ever tried aiming at a target? In order to make the arrow strike the target, you first need to pull the string of the bow backwards. The further behind it goes, the greater is the distance travelled by the arrow. Similarly in life, sometimes in order to move forward, it is necessary to first take a few steps back. Do not get depressed if you feel you are hitting one setback after another instead of advancing towards your goal. Just believe in yourself and be patient. When the time is right, you will reach great heights.

Lesson 12: Prioritize.
While we may wish that we had all the time in the world, the sad truth is that we don’t! Build your life around things that matter to you because you don’t have a lot of time to do all the nothings that you want!

Lesson 13: Love Yourself.
This is probably the most important lesson that 2013 taught me. It is good to love and respect others but it is most important to love and value your own self. We all have faults and it is a common human tendency to feel insecure and fearful because of them. But do not be harsh on yourself. Remember that nothing is perfect and being human means to be fabulous despite your flaws. This year I realized that I need to stop being overly critical of myself. Life is beautiful and so are you. Forgive your flaws. Accept yourself the way you are. Love yourself. It is the first step you will take towards loving another being.

What did 2013 teach you?


  1. Great set of learnings, Divya! Numbers 1, 6 and 13 resonate so much with me. I've also learnt to believe more in myself, and not to fear failure, so long as I've tried. Wish you a Very Happy New Year!

    1. A Very Happy New Year to you and your entire family :)

  2. Lovely lessons Divya...this is what 2013 taught me :


    1. Thanks dear :) :) Checking out your post ;)

  3. Bravo, Divya! 'Couldn't have said it better. You hit it right on the head. Wisdom right down to the last entry on the list. :-) Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year!

    1. Wish you the same, dear Ellen :-) :-)

  4. Wish you a blessed 2014 Divya:) Loved your compilation, esp the point about not hesitating to take a few steps backward, brilliant analogy. As for me 2013 taught me a lot of things I kind of knew yet was unwilling to accept... I realised not everybody deserves to know the real "me", even the ones whom I really care about and would give my life for... But then I also learnt to just accept and not expect... Life is flawed but thats what makes it so beautiful :)

    1. Happy New Year Reshma :-) It's alright to hope but let's not be disappointed if our expectations weren't met! Cheers to 2014!

  5. De Cluttering your life and loving yourself, are the best lessons ever!!
    Happy 2014 to you love!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, my dear :-)

  6. Hey Divya,
    Have a blessed new year.I think being non judgmental is the hardest think for me.I am really trying hard on it.Hope I achieve that goal soon.
    Well written.

    1. Hi Vaidehi :-)
      I know how hard it is to be non-judgmental but best of luck :-) I am sure if you set the intention, it won't be difficult at all ;)