In just a few days, I will be celebrating my 45th year on this planet. Seasoned or jaded–I believe I am more of the former. Always learning, never tiring. Learning makes life interesting every single day, more so when you learn something about yourself, about someone else, about the things around you, and even learning about little details that people would otherwise not pay attention to. And it is good to make a list.
1. I have learned that some children today do not know how to play ‘step-no-step-yes.’ Remember this game? Outdated it may be, but this game could actually help children’s sense of space blindfolded. Remembering the lines drawn on the ground using chalk or charcoal forming what looks like a house, and not stepping on these lines while one walks with eyes closed is quite a challenge to memory and imagination.
2. I have learned that giving is more rewarding than receiving. Try it. A giving mindset will naturally result in receiving. So perhaps it wouldn’t hurt so much if at the start of the day, you ask yourself, “What can I give today?” If you want to be loved, love first; being loved will result, as naturally as there is oxygen in the air.
3. I have learned that making a To-Do List helps save time. Categorizing tasks into urgent and important, urgent but not important, etc, makes you more productive.
4. I have learned that forgiving yourself is the best way to love yourself. You made a mistake, fine. You acknowledge it, forgive yourself, and move on.
5. I have learned that ‘love starts from the heart but goes down to the stomach, and stays there.’ Men are endeared to women who know their way around the kitchen, who whip up ingredients into great-tasting dishes, who make meal plans, and who know the logic behind eating right. Oh, he’ll be amazed when you can actually tell the ingredients of a dish by just having a taste. And more so if you can copy it!
6. I have learned that listening enriches your being. As they say, we only have one mouth but two ears. We ought to be listening more than we are talking. And, never never to not let someone finish talking before you start talking.
7. I have learned that leadership is not about being up there. But being down there, where the people are. A servant-leader is the best kind . By serving your people, you become a more effective leader, you get consensus, you earn respect, you become unforgettable.
8. I have learned that your best friend was once a perfect stranger. Give a warm hello. A tight handshake. A genuine interest to know the person. An email, a call, or a text message after the meeting to say Thank You for the opportunity to know the person.
9. I have learned that gifts should be well-thought of. There is not a better way to show you want to please the receiver but by giving him what he can use. If he loves books, find out which ones he likes to read. Write a special note for each gift, never one message for all gifts.
10. I have learned that love can be in your heart when you empty it first with a past one. The vacuum cleaner is useless with a dust bag that’s full. Empty it to make full use of it. And the heart is capable of loving again.
There are many more things I have learned. Four-and-a-half decades should have given me countless of these.
Why don’t you start listing your own? Making 10 is a good start.
[Image is originally uploaded by Robert Fulghum’s website. By the way, it’s an interesting read.]