To be Assertive
I have always considered myself to be an assertive person. But this year has been a time to learn how to be more straightforward, how not to hold back and more importantly how to deal with passive-aggressive behavior.
The lesson I can pass on is to be on your toes to spot any passive-aggressive behavior that might manipulate you. This might come from people who you didn't suspect, nevertheless, it is a harmful atmosphere to be around. When someone says something that you know instantly doesn't sound quite right, listen to your instincts, because they are the very first unedited output your brain provides you with. However, if you didn't spot it right then and there and only came to think of it, later on, it is never too late to take action.
Addressing these with people who are accountable is the next step. You can be pleasant and assertive and it is within your rights to say how you felt, what you liked and disliked. In my experience, it benefits you and the society to be straightforward. It clears out your headspace for more important things than to hold anger or sadness over someone else's behavior and you are respectful of yourself, first and foremost.
Society and cultural norms can play a significant role in all of our lives and to some extent or another we are shaped by what is considered "normality" around us. However, if this structural "normality" doesn't sit well with you or crosses the line as far as you are concerned, then be fearless to hold your ground and speak your mind. It might be a challenge the first few times you do it, the thought might cross you whether you are risking a certain friendship/relationship. But at the end of the day, each and everyone of us is deserved to be treated with respect and who better is to start it with than yourself?
So be your own boss to decide what is acceptable and not for yourself.
To Live in the Moment
In my whole life, as far as I can remember I have been that person who plans and organizes everything. To me, planning and organizing is a brain smoothing activity and I think one of the reasons why I loved working as a Project Manager so much.
However, one key lesson I learned this year is to is to appreciate the present moment. Planning is good, in fact, it will make you have an efficient tomorrow, but what about today? What about right now?
I think this hit home while I was holidaying in Maldives this summer. I remember I planned this holiday(with my husband) and when we finally went there I started putting together a work plan for the next month, i.e drawing up a work timetable. It was actually my husband who pointed it out to me that, I haven't had a break in a long time and I looked forward this holiday so much, so I am there, why not just live that moment. I immediately had this moment of realization. He was right. I needed a good holiday and I had one right there. So I closed my laptop, switched off my phone for the rest of the holiday and I think I had the best time I have ever had on a holiday.
Even though it meant that when I came back to work, it took me a few days to get things sorted, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I think for the very first time I loved in the present moment and appreciated everything around me. And since then, I have made a conscious effort to be present at the moment and I can tell you that nothing has given me more joy!
To Be Little More patient
This was the toughest of all lessons yet the most important for my own peace of mind and tranquility.
Whether it is waiting for a production line to be made at our studio or waiting for a project to go through or even holding my breath until I can get my morning coffee has always been challenging for me. Anything slow is an irritation and I seem to view anything that slows me down in general as an obstacle. I think the workaholic in me is so determined to use every second of the day to its maximum output and is not ready to accept the fact that I need to rather allow some of the slowness in life.
Over time, it has been pointed out to me by multiple people that I need to have a bit more patient. But I never understood why. Why do I need to tolerate this unproductive manner that is clearly disadvantageous for everyone? But now, I think I do know why. It is for my own sanity, for my own wellness, to save me a moment of irritation and stress.
A fact about being a "Go Go Go" person is that most of the time I am not satisfied with the pace at which things take place. So I push people around me including myself to their limits and this creates stress. Then at the end of the day, to think whether all that stress was worth the few minutes I saved? Perhaps not. Of course, there are times, every microsecond counts, but if I am honest those days are in minority. In most days, I can allow myself and people around me a bit more time and it will serve all of us better.
So I do try to keep myself in check. I ask myself every time "is this really need to be rushed right now?" and if the answer is no, I let the irritation go and replace it with patience. It is so much easier to say/write than actually implementing it. Yet, it is a lesson I value so much and will keep learning into 2018 as well!