In just a little more than a week, the decade will officially be over. Soon enough, we’ll enter the roaring twenties of the 21st century. Who knows what this new ten-year period will be referred to as in our historical textbooks? Techie Twenties? Curated Twenties? Potential historians will decide. I can proudly say that I have lived through not one, not two, but THREE decades thus far and in no time, four decades! Madness, absolute madness if I’ve ever heard of it. Plus, the amount of decades lived through will only increase from here. If this is not an indication of how old I become by the day, I don’t know what is.
The 2010s were incredibly interesting. They posed all kinds of transformative series of events for me. In the first half, I propelled myself to make healthier lifestyle choices, became fervently passionate about health and wellness, transitioned into high school from middle school, found new friends, and discovered Food Science. The second portion of this decade involved enrolling in university, acquiring knowledge from cross-functional areas, cultivating new relationships, figuring out what kind of people I want to surround myself with, rethinking the meanings of health and fitness, adopting a vegan lifestyle, and plant my future into full-on inddependence. The 2020s promise all my visions to harvest into reality, which is both exciting but terrifying. More accomplishments, but more responsibilities and risks.
In preparation of the next decade, I deeply reflected on the most critical lessons I’ve treasured from my life thus far. They all are interconnected but can stand as their own mantras. They are meant to guide you as you move along adulting, creating, channeling, working, pausing, and so much more. I promise that you will benefit from at least one of these lessons in any stage in your life!
- Ask others for help. You, my friends, are not a pillar of expertise in EVERY area. It is very discouraging to acknowledge this truth, but it behooves you to understand for several reasons. Firstly, by requesting feedback and/or answers from other resources, you attain more knowledge and experience for yourself to stick under your belt. Asking my youngest sister for help on designing my business card and my dad on checking out my resumes were insanely mortifying, but worth every minute of assistance. Secondly, you may garner interest in this area. Thirdly, you expose yourself to a resource that most likely has more credibility or familiarity with this realm of knowledge. It’s a humbling task, but it administers self-improvement.
- Stay in your own lane. Piggybacking off the first mantra, just like how you are not a conglomerate of superior intelligence in EVERY single aspect of life, someone else may have more superiority in certain facets than you and vice-versa. Wallowing in self-pity because your colleague receives a higher average of Instagram likes or that your significant other is more skilled in calculus than you just gorges on energy that you could have spent channeling into improving said facets. Alternatively, you could choose to dedicate that energy to excel in other abilities that will help you succeed. At the end of the day, you decide what matters to yourself because you are in control of every reaction in your life. Ask for assistance when you know it will be of service to you, but do not diminish your capabilities in the process.
- Don’t sell yourself short. Nowadays, it appears that every person is a brand. That’s right—you, yes you, are a brand. Says who? Says the company who will potentially employ you, the university that you’re applying to, or the exclusive club that attributes qualifications for each member. For instance, your resume emulates your brand on paper, including your experience, contact information, anything that will make you stand out. The question they all ask reads as this: “Why YOU?” When projecting yourself to the rest of the world, don’t downplay your image or your energy. This is something I definitely need to work on–I tend to wear the same clothing items and stay in my own headspace unless if the event mandates me to exude my best self. Having said that, why not emulate your best possible self every single day? This doesn’t mean you have to dress up head-to-toe 24/7, but put some thought into what kind of person you want to be every day. Showcase that you are a freaking incredible human being–take care of your skin, find an excuse to laugh, and demonstrate your value while being kind and genuine at the same time.
- Be realistic. While we all have aspirations, we also have facts. Our goals require precious resources such as time, experience, certifications, education, energy, and so forth, but sometimes, not every goal is possible. One of my goals is to publish a book, but I know it is unrealistic of me to do so right now because I would need a proposal, connections with a publishing company, and very specific visions on what the book would comprise of. Additionally, if anything sounds too good to be true, it generally is. For instance, remember that everything you see on Instagram is a refined highlight, not a raw documentation of every waking second of someone’s life. It’s perfectly acceptable to not want to post a selfie on a dreary skin day, but understand that no one else will do the same. Lastly, in reality, nobody is perfect and no situation will ever be perfect. You have more than plenty of aspects of yourself that you need to tend to or at least reflect on. Trust me, any honest person would inform you on anything that you could afford to tend to, even if it’s as small as a stray hair or a tendency to say “like” too often.
- Take initiative and research. In light of the mantra in asking others for advice, thanks to technology, we now have a massive array of resources at our disposal. You never know what could happen and life is too short. Take some time to learn! Personally, I have been obsessed with immersing myself in more knowledge on entrepreneurship, skincare, human design, personal branding, energetic exchange, and of course, anything that is new in food trends, development, and more. It’s also wonderful to revisit topics that you are already passionate about to see if the science has evolved differently. Understanding the world around you just a little more can make a significant impact on the quality of your life.
- Treat the Earth more kindly. Face it–resources are limited on this planet. The practices we have adopted in society are wasteful and energy taxing, including product manufacturing, transportation, single-use packaging, and food and water usage. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to alleviate such waste and pollution, but it’s simply the matter of taking action and initiative to do so. Invest in metal straws, reduce any sort of plastic use, find more sustainable transportation, and just turn off the water faucet and unplug whenever you can. Moreover, try to consume more plant-based meals with limited to no presence of animal products. You do not have to quit cold turkey, but less frequent purchases of these animal-derived foods help immensely.
- Keep accountability of everything around you and yourself. It’s ironically funny how we love to call people out and judge others for mistakes that we can very much be guilty of at the same time. Alternatively, we own up to our destructive habits in a vicious cycle. Time to put a halt to that. If you find yourself ready to procrastinate on a task, set up a system where you treat yourself to five minutes of social media or watching a funny video after it is finished. Create to-do lists and reminders that have audible or physical alarms to wake you unexpectedly if you err on the forgetful side. As challenging as it may be, inform others if they directly claim to change something but fall back into their old ways (“hey sis, you should clean your dishes before heading out!”). They will thank you in the end–if not, you could just thank yourself for them.
- It’s okay to be triggered sometimes. Seriously. It means you care and it means you have an experience that can potentially prompt you to grow positively. There are more than plenty of instances where I feel triggered–what I do is allow myself to donate some mental and emotional empathy and gratitude. Empathy for those who were directly affected and gratitude that goodness still exists elsewhere, if not in the future of the circumstances. What you should not do is spend more than five minutes feeling angry or distraught about an issue you have no control over and that has nothing to do with you, such as your favorite celebrity couple breaking up or the concert tickets of your beloved artist’s tour being sold out. It is okay to feel remorse about climate change and sexual assault, as well as anger in a politically difficult issue, but it is more important to act in defiance of these matters.
- Recognize that every individual is in a different place in their life. Time flows in such unique and flexible ways. Everyone will bear their fruit, culminate their success, reach steadiness, and then settle or decline. Certain experiences and journeys will hold vastly quick peaks and valleys or slow and steady bumps on the road. If what you currently work on does not seem to make any progress, have patience because the future might prepare you for something even greater. Be wary of anything that proceeds too quickly, even if it is financial or critical success. Trust me when I say that life works according to the laws of physics. Events must work in equilibrium because they encompass energy, which cannot be created nor destroyed. Rates simply vary drastically. One day, society will reach a different–hopefully more enlightened–consensus of understanding, or one day, you will finally see the vision of exactly what you want to pursue in the future. It may take as quickly as a few minutes to as slowly as several years. In the meantime, just believe in and trust the process.
- Embrace your creative energy. The 2010’s was far too preoccupied with doing that it hardly acknowledged the importance of creating. Yes, we have amassed an entirely new plethora of technologies that will either be widely sold or brought into fruition in 2020 and further, but it seemed as if those who did not work themselves to exhaustion were admonished. Now, it seems that energetically, more people are embracing those who offer original and practicable ideas that can resonate with others, whether it be a new organization, a business, or a product. This isn’t to say that we no longer need generators–if anything, generators are also creators! They simply need a little guidance but can cultivate something phenomenal and will execute their masterpieces for who knows how long (think of Oprah Winfrey!). Whenever you sense a new idea or revolutionary thought, experience it to its strongest degree. Stop whatever you are doing and record it on a notepad if you have to! The process may be dreadful but you will eventually adapt to just recalling it in your head from improved mental sharpness.
Cheers to the end of an old decade and in with the new! So long, 2010s! See you soon, 2020s!