If I were to share words of wisdom to the young people who are just about to step out into the real world, there are three words I would want them to ponder on. These are my three L’s that can help guide them as they traverse the roads of life.
At the beginning of every year when I was very young, I used to list down all the things I wanted to do or accomplish for the year. I would write as many as I can possibly think of because I believed then that 365 years is a pretty long time and I didn’t want to run out of things to do.
I don’t remember getting to finish in just one year every single thing that is on my list. As I got older, I became more realistic and the list got shorter… some entries being mere reruns from the previous year’s. Some proved difficult to do, others seemed pretty much out of this world. And yet ticking off even just an item or two gave me a sense of fulfilment somehow.
What do these crossed off items represent? Basically, they are reminders of the times that I lived life.
Whenever you set out a goal or a project for yourself, you determine which way you want your life to go. You give meaning to your existence because you give yourself purpose. You don’t just “go with the flow” or “let the tide bring you to wherever.”
When you have a goal or an objective, you determine the course you want to take. You take are in command and you take responsibility. You live your days. You don’t merely exist.
Parenthood changed me. More than just finding purpose for just Me, parenthood allowed me to extend myself to someone else. I am able to share Me with my family, my offspring.
Joy comes when you live a life of purpose. What more if you get to share a piece of yourself with others to make their lives worthwhile – whether they are your family, your friends or people in your community.
This is what love is about. Love is when you selflessly give a part of yourself to others. Love is when you take into consideration other people’s needs, emotions and happiness.
And as you give to them, you fill yourself, as well. When you know that you have made a difference in someone else’s life, you also realize your own value.
Learning does not happen when everything in life is full of rainbows and roses. Learning doesn’t happen when everything is going smoothly or when life is perfect.
We learn when we stumble or fall. We learn when we make mistakes or when people hurt us.
We learn when we try something new. We learn when we go out of our comfort zone and try something scary.
As we learn, we also grow. We don’t stagnate, we don’t regress. We move forward. We move closer to becoming the best that we can become.
Don’t be afraid to live life to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to love. Don’t be afraid to learn – from both the good and the bad. I believe this is how life is meant to be experienced.
And to add another L, laugh.
Learn to laugh more. Try not to laugh at other people, but laugh at yourself, at your mistakes. Laugh with your friends and loved ones. It is fun and it is free. Laughter brings people together. Sharing a good laugh with people reminds you that you are not all alone. Embrace the laughter, embrace the joy.