Life is an ever-evolving and changing thing, but there’s one thing I know for sure – months, years and decades seem to pass by in the blink of an eye. I’m in my fifties now, and it seems like yesterday when I was still a teenager. I have been blessed with so many varied and wondrous experiences, as well as others that have been challenging or devastating. Regardless of whether they have been negative or positive, they have all been gifts to me. Here are 10 of the greatest I’ve had to date:
I’m eternally grateful for my parents instilling good manners in me: that is, being courteous, showing respect and treating others the same way I wish to be treated. In business, behaving with proper etiquette says a lot about how highly you regard decorum, whereas as a private person, manners are a reflection of true essence and good character. What’s more is that they help you strengthen relationships and make a positive impact on people’s lives.
2. Child-like Energy
Just because you grow up, it doesn’t mean you don't remember how to play and be playful. Throughout the course of our lives, we become burdened with what seem like ever-increasing commitments, but we should never forget to have fun. Doing so is healthy and reduces our stress levels. So by all means embrace your true nature - play, laugh, dance, sing and be silly. Keep yourself feeling young by making the world your playground.
While it appears that we don’t decide the family we’re born into, have you ever considered the possibility that we might actually choose them before we arrive into this world? Regardless of whether we do or don’t, our family members are always there for us - through thick and thin - and the life lessons we learn from them are invaluable. We benefit from their patience, tolerance, commitment and unconditional love. Whether we always see eye to eye with them or not, they are a gift. At least that’s the way I feel about mine.
4. Finding My Soul Family
Although this might seem far-fetched to you, I resolutely believe that in life we also have a 'soul family' in addition to our birth family. I was lucky enough to meet these people very recently – it was a beautiful gathering of like-minded souls and kindred spirits, allowing my heart and soul to heal and regenerate.
Finding true inner peace is one of the most beautiful things you can experience in life. For me, it was meditation that changed everything. The sense of clarity that it gives me has opened up my world like never before. Try meditation, or other things that will help you find your inner peace.
6. Setbacks and Challenges
When we’re faced with difficulty and hardship in our lives, we’re prone to despairing about why we’re going through whatever it is we’re going through. In such situations, there are two choices – the first is let the hardship defeat us, and the second is to see our striving as a happy opportunity for growth. After all, they do say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Each hardship you come out of is a testament to the strength of your soul.
Our self-worth and self-belief is crucial for us to live a vital, vibrant life. We should never let society negatively define us because of our age. In fact, the older we get, the more experienced we become, and thus the more valuable information we have, which we offer to those that are younger. On a personal level, my self-belief has allowed me to connect with the most amazing people around the world and live as fully as I possibly can.
Even losing someone we really love can be a kind of benefit. Because it makes us wake up and realize the brevity of life, driving us to just go and live it. It also makes us grasp that life can change in a heartbeat, and then we learn to love it for all it is. Last but not least, the memories of the ones we love most stay with us forever – long after they depart from us for the last time.
In addition to life itself, love is undoubtedly the greatest gift we receive. Know how precious the love is which you receive from your partner, children, friends and cherished pets.
10. A New Day
As each night falls, so many people are denied the gift of a new day. And every time the sun dawns upon the world anew, it represents your new chance to live a better, more fulfilling life.