As I struggled to hold on to the arm of my one-year-old to keep her from getting lost in the busy galleria, she defiantly pulled it away, taking her first independent steps into a world she wanted to explore on her own. Her brazen sprint mirrored glimpses of my young rebel spirit and I shredded at the thought of how fast she was growing up.
I wanted be a part of her growing up process and hold her from taking the wrong turns. I didn’t wanted her to learn the most important life lessons the hard way through her mistakes so I sat down to write all that I wished her to know the day she sets out on her own journey to explore this world on her own, I hope to read it out to her one day sitting by her side, caressing her hair: this is what I want you to know, my little princess.
1. If you have to win, don’t try to run ahead of others, try to outrun yourself.
Compete against who you are today so that tomorrow you emerge as a better person even if it is just slightly better than who you were yesterday. In the long run it will all add up.
2. If you want to succeed, follow your interests and whatever you truly care for.
Think about what makes your day, what motivates you even in the darkest of your moments, what excites you and drives you. Once you know what it is, follow it with all your heart.
3. If you want to be loved and give love to others, fall in love with yourself first.
Approve of who you are, instead of seeking others to approve of you and your actions. Be comfortable with your physical appearance and make peace with your inner being. Don’t try to fit in, stand out and make a mark for yourself!
4. If you want to be happy, don’t chase after happiness.
Happiness cannot be achieved by running after it because it does not exist outside you; true happiness is within you in the form of compassion, love, gratitude, creativity and goodness. Practice these virtues every day to find true, everlasting happiness in each and every moment of your life.
5. If you need companionship, try to be your own best friend first.
Try to know yourself better by spending some introspective time every day, read a lot, write a bit, explore your dreams, travel unknown trails and the day you get lost is the day you will truly find yourself, and the day you find yourself, success, rewards, friends and joy will follow.
6. If you want to rise in life, throw away the baggage that’s holding you down.
Liberate your true self by letting go of painful memories, fears, doubts, worries of the future, regrets and grudges. This will create space in your life for the important and the meaningful.
7. If you want to make each day your best day, practice gratitude.
Life is beautiful and each moment brings with it something we can be grateful about, appreciate it and end your day by being thankful for all the good things that happened to you today.
8. If you wish to be strong, practice forgiveness.
If someone lets you down, forgive them but make sure not to allow them to hurt you again. Forgive yourself too of your wrongdoings but don’t stop trusting yourself or trying new things; learn from your mistakes, be thankful for the experience and move ahead.
9. If you want good things to happen to you, practice goodness yourself.
The world will not always be good to you and people will hurt you and situations will work against you, believe in goodness and the power of compassion anyway. Believe that in this circle of life, the good that you do today will come back to you tomorrow.
10. If you want to make good decisions, take responsibility.
Keep your commitments, take responsibility for your actions, stick to your words and the promises you make to others and when you make a choice, stand by it till the end.
11. If you want to avoid anger and frustration, accept change.
No matter how much structure you build around and how many regimes you follow, life will still throw a lot of surprises at you and routines will go haywire. Accept it because it is the only way to allow better things in life.
12. If you want others to think high of you, look up to yourself first.
Develop your own standards, value your principles, hone your personality and appreciate your talents. Your self-worth will dictate what others think of you.
13. If you want to live long, practice good habits.
Take the best care of your body: Exercise daily, be active, get out of your comfort zone, eat healthy, get some sun, feel the fresh morning air on your face, connect with nature and the beautiful world outside.
14. If you want to keep growing, keep learning.
Life is a continuous process of learning, enlightening and improving yourself and demands you to be in a constant state of evolution. Knowing that you are each and every day becoming a better person is the only way to keep growing.
15. If you are going through a rough patch in life, help yourself.
When you are going through difficult times, don’t look to others for help, because your best saviour is nobody but yourself. Keep a positive mind frame, stop asking “why me?”, believe that you can, make an exit plan and take action.
16. When in doubt, ask yourself a question.
Life will keep demanding you to take decisions: some simple, some complex, and some life-changing. When unsure, ask yourself the question, “will it still matter five years down the line?” You will find your solution in the answer.
And above all , know that “I will always be there right by your side whenever you would need me. I love you!