17 Lessons I’m Taking With Me In 2017


I’ve got a couple of backlogs that I meant to finalize and post back in December but I got lazy never got to do so and this is one of them. It’s already February and I’ve been itching to put my cluttered thoughts in order because 1) Twitter’s character limit is very, well, limiting and 2) posting blog-length updates on Facebook is a huge no-no for me and 3) it’s been getting really noisy in my head.

I skipped the whole “New Year’s resolutions” crap because years of experience has proven that I break my resolutions EVERY TIME and I commit the same errors every year. (Don’t you ever learn, Heidi?)

Since we’re on the topic of learning, I decided to think about the lessons I learned in the past years, especially the ones I learned in 2016, because God knows that year was chocked full of them.

1. Life isn’t a race.

THIS is probably lesson I found the hardest to swallow. I’ve spent days with high levels of anxiety because I’m nowhere near where I want to be in life.

We’re not meant to have our lives completely figured out. Life isn’t linear and there are a million possibilities as to how things are going to turn out. I’m still learning how to slow down. If you think about it, life’s finish line is death. That’s something no one would want to rush off to now, right?

My friend, Daryl Dy, managed to explain life well. I wish he’d put that lesson in one of his vlogs.

Me explaining to @michclutton how life works. #caseyneistatlessons

A post shared by Edwin Daryl Dy (@daryldy) on

2. Truth is subjective.

I am convinced that there is no universal truth. I also believe that just because someone believes a specific idea is a fact, doesn’t mean it is indeed a fact.

Everything is true from a particular perspective, and also everything is false from a particular perspective.

You can’t convince everyone of your own truths. Forcing what you know on people who refuse to listen to you will leave you frustrated and exhausted. I have learned to let people believe what they want to believe, be it an idea or their perception of me. This is because…

“You have no control…who tells your story.” – George Washington to Alexander Hamilton

3. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.

I know this is something straight out of The Four Agreements but it is solid advice and the book is worth reading. This is why I tell myself to not judge people. Seek to understand and know that what people do to you or say about you is not a reflection of you.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” – Wendy Mass

4. Be smart with your finances.

If you’ve read my blog post about being broke, you’d understand why this is a must. We ain’t getting younger and money doesn’t come easy.

5. Time is not a measure of quality; of infatuation, or of love.

Walang forever, as they say. Before thinking that it’s sayang, realize that the length of time spent together is not directly proportional to the love shared. Big loves aren’t measured with time. Two people can be together for almost a decade and still not end up together at the end. Some our lucky to bump into someone one afternoon and realize that they’ve found their forever person.

6. Too much isn’t always a bad thing.

Too much love. Too much laughter. Too much fun. Too much happiness. Too much confidence. Too much work. Too much pain. It’s okay to have too much of something. It’s okay to be too much of something. In the end, it’s better to be too much than not enough.

7. Show up.

I don’t know if I’m a homebody or just a huge flaker, but I have found comfort in staying in and shutting the world out in the last two years. I would spend days alone and realize by Sunday night that I didn’t speak to another human being the whole weekend. Humans are social beings. We need to be around other people. You don’t have to go out and party every night. All you have to do is actually make an effort to show up for those who care for you.

It’s the same thing for job opportunities. Show up to interviews and give it your best, even if it’s not a job you didn’t want initially. You won’t have a fighting chance, and you’ll never know, if you don’t put yourself out there and try.

Before working as an intern in ALI, I honestly wanted to cancel attending my interview because the office was too far for me (I lived in QC back then). It was only the night before that I decided to respect my confirmed appointment and show up. And I’m glad I did. Because I had the best 18 months there. I learned a lot and made friendships that I treasure up to this day. No regrets. ♥♥♥

8. Choose memories over material things.

At the end of your life, How much money you made or how many cars you got to buy wouldn’t matter. Material things depreciate, memories don’t. Be there for your loved ones, either physically or digitally. Cherish the relationships you have with the people you want to keep in your life.

9. Learn to say no.

You don’t have to say yes to everything, especially if it makes you uncomfortable. You don’t have to give in to what other people want. You don’t have to please other people at the expense of your happiness. You don’t have to say yes because the other party wants you to. If you want out, say no and be firm with it.

10. An ending is also a beginning.

You know that thing they say, when one door closes, another one opens? Life doesn’t end when you lose a job or a relationship. An end to one things mean you have the chance to start anew somewhere else, with someone else.

“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” – Mitch Albom

11. It is perfectly okay to be selfish.

It is not inconsiderate to put yourself first. No one is obligated to your attention and energy. You have to take care of yourself before you can properly take care of someone else.

12. Be the better person in every situation.

It’s easier to fight fire with fire, to seek revenge when someone has wronged you, or stay resentful towards another person. Maybe you thought that if you make him feel as bad as he made you feel, you’d feel better. But, no, because a mistake could never be corrected by another mistake. In the end, this kind of negativity takes a toll on you. To hate is to remain obsessed. Learn to let go, for the sake of your mental and emotional health.

Always choose to be better. Give every situation/relationship the best that you can. You won’t regret trying and giving something your all, even if things fall apart in the end.

13. Do whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

Whether it’s buying that expensive dress you saw in the mall or applying makeup on a daily basis, do what makes you happy. If wearing red lipstick makes you feel pretty and confident, then go do that. If people tell you, “I like you better without makeup,” cut them out of your life. No, I’m kidding. You can choose to believe them or not. If you don’t feel comfortable without makeup, then don’t stop yourself just because someone likes you bare-faced. It’s not about them liking you, it’s about you liking you.

14. People grow apart.

Life isn’t consistent. Things change, people change, and you lose people along the way. Don’t feel guilty when you stop being in touch with people you used to be close to. No social construct requires you to stay in touch with everyone you meet.

15. Cutting ties can be good for your soul.

In relation to growing apart, it’s also okay to cut toxic people out of your life, especially the ones who have wounded you deeply. If you want your wounds to heal, stop picking at your scabs. Cutting ties with the people who hurt you is your gift to yourself. You meet new people and make several friends in a lifetime and you choose who you want to keep in the end.

16. It is okay to not be okay.

Things don’t always go the way you want them to and there’s nothing wrong with that. When you’re at your lowest, it’s okay to watch a sad movie and cry yourself to sleep. You don’t have to fake a smile all the time. Because it’s okay to be honest with yourself. It’s okay to admit that you’re a wreck. Everyone is.

17. Celebrate small victories.

We don’t chance upon grand victories everyday, but there is always something worth celebrating. Pause and celebrate a small victory, even if it’s just clearing your inbox, or finishing your chores for the day, or just making the bed. When we celebrate the little things, we become more grateful for what we have. In turn, we become happier individuals.

Do you have any lessons that you’re taking with you this year? I’d love to learn from you. Please leave a comment below!


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