In 2013, I learned to…

lessonyearAppreciate the opportunities that have been made for me

I would not be where I am had it not been for the hard work and sacrifices of my ancestors and predecessors. I must take full advantage of these opportunities and not take them for granted because not everyone has them.

Appreciate people for who they are and what they can provide

No two people are the same. Therefore you cannot expect them to be capable of the same things. We all do not have the same capacity to give and receive trust, understanding, helpfulness, or love. You cannot expect a gallon of stuff from a person who can only hold a pint of it.

Not belittle anyone’s pain

A hurt is a hurt. No matter what it is or how it happened, it still hurts. We all may not have the same pain, but we all have pains. And our ability to bear various pains is different from person to person. We should never discount someone’s pain because it doesn’t look big to us. Small pains can grow into bigger pains; enough small pains can become a bigger pain; any pain can become worse if left untreated. Who are you to judge the painfulness of someone’s hurt?

Appreciate my strengths and limitations

I am a strong person, but I am not a super person. I can do a lot but I can’t do everything. I can’t be everything. I am only human. I must recognize and accept what I can and cannot do, what I should and should not do, and what I want and do not want; and not regret it!

Appreciate what I have and let go of expectations of what I should have

Why was the TV show character MacGyver so popular? Because he was able to solve the most complex problems with only the limited things he had on hand. He didn’t sit back and stay trapped because he didn’t have everything he thought he needed to escape. He made the best of the situation and used what he had to improve it. He let go of any expectation about how the situation should be and worked with what was. We should become the MacGyver of our own lives. Let go of all expectations of what our lives should be and use what we have to make it better.

And more…

One last thought

Our lives are a journey with many twists and turns, pauses and stops, obstacles and challenges, valleys and peaks. Because we cannot see the future, things will happen that we don’t expect and wrenches will be thrown into our plans. Life is not about living it out perfectly. It’s about overcoming the challenges, solving the problems, and being happy that you have another year, another day to enjoy the adventurous journey.