Friday, December 13, 2013

What Appears To Be The End May Really Be A New Beginning

Happy Friday The 13th!! They say all good things come to an end and here we are, 2013 is about to end. I have mixed feelings today and I will be sharing with you my realizations of this year. Ups and downs were both part of my 2013 despite the fact that I had filled my mind with countless positive thoughts. As many of you would have already noticed, I enjoy writing and describing in words how I feel about every new experience. They say happiness comes in small packages and I truly believe in it and I was given the great opportunity to have witness it throughout this year. I don’t know if it’s right for me to say this but I feel like I got much more from life than I actually deserved. I am not trying to say that I wanted to suffer instead of having all these good things coming to me, I am just trying to say that it’s the first time in life that I felt like I have more than enough to live a good life and I really shouldn’t take for granted what I presently have.

This year was a beautiful one for me because my life wasn’t just about me; it was also about the people who were part of it. I can’t deny it but I did accomplish a lot of things this year because of the encouragement and the love I got from my family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. I felt like as if I was just a little princess and everyone around me had their best wishes for me so that I make my life as beautiful as I’ve always wanted. I was really surrounded by selfless people and I always wondered if I’ll ever be able to do for them as much as they did for me. If not, then I hope God takes care of it and gives them some more happiness. For now, I just have my best thoughts for them when I think about them.

One of the best things that happened to me this year was to have more than one person telling me that “Hard work is paying off”. I don’t know how many people in my life find me genuine as of today but I am grateful to those who were happy for the life I finally got because of all the hard work I did the past years. I was glad to be an example of “Hard work pays off” because sometimes I thought of myself as good for nothing and the only hope I had at those times was to give my best so that I get rewarded one day for my hard work. It makes me happy that I was or still am an inspiration to those who are younger than me. “Hard work pays off” is just not a myth that we hear. Almost everything I have as of today is because of my sacrifices and struggles.

One of the mistakes I often made in the past years was to hold on things and people who were once part of my life. I never thought my thinking would change about that but this year as I repeated over to myself that by letting go, there will be room for better things and better people to come in my life; I have witnessed all of that coming to me. It’s crazy, I am not even joking. I had to share this one with you because it does take a lot of courage to let go of things that guarantee you comfort and to let go of people you love and care for and that they loved you so much once upon a time. If we want to try out new things, we have to step out from our comfort zone. As for the people who come and go from our lives, I can only say that you can’t hold anybody even if it’s a friend who was so close to you for years. The wise lies in keeping his or her best memories with you and to move on. You can’t force anyone to make time for you or to have that enthusiasm he or she had once when he or she was part of your life.

Just about few months ago, there was this thought that hit me: Am I as great as I seem to be throughout my blog posts? The answer turned out to be “no” and I was glad that I was that much honest with myself. Today I decided to clear that out here because there is indeed a difference between the writer of this blog and the Priya I am in real life. Blogging was one of my best accomplishments this year because it helped me distance myself from the bad experiences I had earlier in my life and to avoid all the negative thoughts. All the positive quotes and sayings I was reading throughout the year inspired me to write my blog posts and to build some peace in my mind. And it really did make me feel better. When I had no motivation, I would read my own blog posts and cheer up myself and even that worked out.

As of today, I don’t have all solutions to overcome the struggles that come to me. I could be wrong but I do feel sometimes that I have too much on my shoulders than I can actually carry. I really don’t feel inferior to anyone for saying this because I recognize how much I can do and what I can’t do. My mother and my siblings have always been my priority and I think they are the only ones for whom I would cross oceans. As for the closest friends and family I have, I don’t think I have ever jumped a big puddle for them but if they are still with me today, it’s probably because of their big heart, their patience and their trust in me. It’s a big realization and I acknowledge that those who are with me today are my biggest blessings.

My blogging journey of 2013 ends here and I really thank all of you who’ve read my posts even if it was only one throughout the year. I took lot of time to write these and I tried my best to share as much positivity I could because this way I attracted a lot of good things to me this year. I value your time for reading about me and I was very happy for all the positive feedback I got as my efforts didn’t go to waste. For the upcoming year, I wish you lots of new experiences and a lot of peace. Ups and downs will be always there but learn to make peace with yourself. You can’t have all at the same time. Make resolutions because they will make you feel like you have a purpose in life. You may not accomplish all of them to the degree of satisfaction you will wish to have but, you will then realize that you achieved far more than what you didn’t make it to. Don’t over-think, just let go of what was, appreciate what you have today and believe in what will be. May 2014 be a better year than 2013!! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Your Success Only Comes Through Your Struggles And Sacrifices In Life

There are days when I wake up and I just wish I could start a completely new life. I don’t know if it’s because I want to escape things with which I am unhappy in my life or if it’s because I want to have more than what I have. When I have peace in mind, I accept the life I have and I feel better being myself. It’s not easy to do so but I tell myself that this is the way to go if I want to be happy. I've said this several times in my previous posts: nobody would be happy living a life made of a routine. If everything would be easy in life, we’d complain that there’s no challenge. If everything would be too hard to achieve, we’d give up and still complain about it. The same applies to life: you can’t appreciate the good things in life without the bad ones.

I am definitely not a great example of dealing with struggles because I did let my bad experiences define me for a long period of time in the past. However, I will confess one thing: I did face my struggles and sacrificed as much as I could just to achieve the success I believed in. Don’t misunderstand me here. I am not saying that I loved going through pain because I indeed went through my share of pain during my struggles. Sacrificing my short term wishes to achieve a long term goal was not painful. Dealing with life’s unexpected situations, usually the bad ones, always put my confidence down and I never saw a winner in myself. Thank goodness, things have changed today and I finally understand the lessons I was supposed to get out of my struggles.

There are numerous situations of struggles in life that affect us such as good friends turning into strangers, failing an important exam, dealing with unemployment, dealing with a physical disease, getting into depression, facing a death of someone dear to us. The latter affect us either mentally or emotionally or both ways. These are our real testing times. Whatever struggle you face, there are three possibilities ahead of you: run away from it, stand still and do nothing, or move on. From my personal observations, I think the real winners are those who are patient and who have more a peaceful mind. It’s the only way to let your brain think how to move forward from where you are. It’s a new approach for me as well and I must say that I am gradually learning to be patient, something that I've been constantly reminding myself over the years and hadn't worked up until recently.

It’s tough to fill your mind with positive thoughts when you are going through struggles but it’s probably the best way to push that entire negative environment away from you. Speaking of myself, I often reminded myself that I deserve a better life than the hard times I was going through. When I think about it today, I actually feel my thinking was right because sometimes, the bad days are there to remind you that you have good ones to look forward to. This logic didn't exist in my mind before but now that I try to make connections between my life’s events, it feels like I solved a puzzle! I don’t know the types of struggles you've all been through but I want to be the one reassuring you that struggles are there to make you realize how strong you are for dealing with them. You’re being tested on how you’ll overcome them.

In order to gain something better, you must give up something. That’s a sacrifice. I think we, all the human beings, are always tempted in getting more but the real challenge is what are you ready to let go to achieve something new? You can achieve anything you want but you can’t have everything. You have to make sacrifices in life because this way you’ll appreciate what you've got more than feeling sad over what you've let go. As an example, I can share the one of sacrificing your short term desires to achieve a long term goal. You've probably heard of that one? How often your parents may have repeated this to you: if you want to make big purchase, start saving money and stop wasting on your little wishes. It’s a very typical example but you can probably relate to it. When you actually end up making your big purchase, how satisfied are you? And do you look back at what you've let go or do you enjoy the experience you get from achieving your goal? The same applies to different goals you set in life.

One of the things we all need to learn is to let go so that new opportunities come up. Each one of us aspires to get a better life if it’s easy but to allow new opportunities to knock on your door, you must be ready to start sacrificing. In my short lived life of 25 years, I was lucky to experience rewards after sacrificing many short term desires. However, I think the biggest sacrifice I had to make is to let go of the good people that were there once to make me smile. It’s all part of life and I can’t deny the fact that as I made sacrifices, things did get better for me with time. My message to you today is to keep in mind that what you have is with you for a relative time, nothing or nobody will stay with you forever so learn to detach yourself from all of that so that you truly feel the happiness from achieving new goals. Never be afraid to start over, it's a new chance to rebuild what you want.

Success is hard to define. Most of us might refer it to the outcome after having achieved our goals. That’s indeed what it means to me; however I relate success more to a feeling inside of me. When you set new goals for yourself, success is not always guaranteed to you. You could be dealing with failure too but as you know there are always lessons resulting from failures. Success is more about how you feel about yourself after having achieved your goals and how you behave with people around you. Getting successful usually results in bringing a positive change in your life and allows you to grow and believe more in yourself and set up new goals in the future. I’ll share a personal observation here. I've been setting a lot of goals for myself up until now in life. As I accomplish my goals, I realize that this journey of success doesn't stop here, I still need to keep going and aim a higher target. It’s strange but that’s really how I feel. I am definitely able to feel the excitement, the joy and the peace at the time I get what I want. But after some time, the thought of taking new chances hits me.

There’s one more thing I want to remind you about success. I believe none of you must be living completely alone, i.e. without family and/or friends. Apart from dealing with struggles and making sacrifices, don’t forget about your dear ones who were there to encourage you. Success is a happy thing, share it with your loved ones. Let them know that they had a hand in helping you grow in this journey and let them feel the pride of being part of your life. The reason why I am saying this is because beside how I feel about my success, I genuinely care about how my loved ones feel about me achieving my goals. Sometimes, my success is the reason for them to believe in hard work and hope for their best. Don’t take your success for granted. Share the experience with those who care for you as this will enrich your experience of success.

I hope by now I have convinced you that struggles are part of your life for a reason, making sacrifices is important to value the new life you get and your success will be the result of how you overcome your struggles and how much you’re ready to let go.  Don’t dishearten yourself when obstacles are on your way. Your bad times are there to point you toward something better and patience is what will take you there. Feel the emotions, know the difference between being sad for letting go of what you’re used to and being happy to get new opportunities. Believe that your present is the best you've got from life so far, and as the future unfolds, you will meet with unexpected success.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dreams, Goals and Hope... Enough To Live A Meaningful Life

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be. I am not sure if that’s your case but it is certainly my case and I still have a hard time dealing with that. Just recently I was going through that phase of life where I needed a break and I had to look back at my achievements of this year to keep moving forward in life. I asked myself what motivated me to start and achieve my goals and the first thought that came to my mind was dreams. Life’s circumstances have not always been how I thought they would be and I realize that I didn’t give up on life because deep inside of myself there was this hope that things will get better one day.

You need three things to give a purpose to your life: dreams, goals and hope. I think we all want to have the most beautiful life story and our attitude can make a huge difference. You may not get the best out of everything but if you give your best or make the best out of the situations in which you are, you are a winner. When life gets rough for you, try lifting up yourself with the fact that you’re dealing with all of that because you’re strong. I spent so many years complaining and trying to understand why couldn’t my life be an ordinary one and I realized that no matter how bad days I had, I didn’t give up as I didn’t want to be a loser at the end.

Dreaming is a process where we visualize how it would be and how it would feel to achieve those little or big desires we have in our heart. We don’t dream for nothing. Sometimes our subconscious mind is clearly telling us what’s in our heart and it just depends how we interpret the message delivered through our dreams. As you dream, you also give some peace to your mind. I know that I easily relieve myself from stress as I close my eyes and start imagining how happy I would be if I achieve this or that. It’s kind of a temporary satisfaction you get and once you connect back to your reality, you feel more peaceful. There’s also no limit when it comes to dreaming. You can almost imagine anything.

Setting goals is more like a next step after understanding your dreams. Be conscious and aware of your desires. You may have many dreams but now it’s time to make up your mind and work toward the goals you really want to achieve. Make some concrete goals. It’s always better to set a few goals and get them done than setting up too many goals and achieving nothing. Then, think about the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Start off with small steps in order to test yourself whether you’re ready for this or not. Don’t be afraid of trying new things even if you feel like you will get nowhere and always remember that slow progress is still progress. Patience is a big virtue you should possess when you’re working toward your goals because you just don’t know when or where you will reach them. When you’re working toward your goals, you’ll quickly realize that you have to work hard, you have to take a lot of risks and the way you deal with those risks will determine your outcome.

Hope is what will give you strength to keep moving forward in life. The journey of reaching your goals will not be as straightforward as you might have dreamed and that’s where hope will come in. I see hope as the transition from your dreams to your goals. A person who dreams will always have hope because after all hope is all about being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Obstacles will come on your way to your goals and hope is what will stop you from giving up. When everything around you falls apart, hope is what you don’t want to lose. Hope is also a gift you will get from those who believe in you. Speaking of myself, sometimes I reveal so little about myself to others and in the short time they spend with me, they give me so much hope that I start believing that I deserve good things coming to me.

I hope by now you were able to see a bit of connection between dreams, goals and hope. They are like three special ingredients to keep going in life. At least it is for me. There are many benefits for an individual who dreams and sets goals for himself. Having dreams and goals stimulate your mind along with increasing your confidence and building your strength. Your patience and your resistance not to give up are also put at test. Basically, you’re undergoing some better changes at that time. As you may be exposed to situations where things are not going as you wish, focusing your mental energy on one specific goal will not only relieve yourself from stress but also push bad situations and bad surroundings away from you. Isn’t it what you need for a healthy living after all? Dreams and goals really help you understand your true potential while hope makes you realize how much there is to believe in yourself.

Dreams and goals can also define you. I am not saying you should create tons of goals to stand out from the crowd but be someone people look up to. Share your exciting triumphs with your world because you don’t know who and when you’re inspiring someone to build his or her dreams. This way you will be spreading some hope and light in their lives. Frankly speaking, I wasn’t good at expressing my joy when it comes to my achievements but it’s something I am learning and the truth is that I am indeed very happy of my accomplishments because my goals helped me get the independent lifestyle I’ve been wanting and to present myself as a much more confident person to others than I was before. For me, taking care of myself without having anyone to look over me is one of my biggest priorities. I strongly dislike relying on others to enjoy life’s experiences. However my heart is big enough to let others take part in my life and to enrich their lives as much as I can. I also deal with my struggles in a very different way because I tend to sacrifice lots of desires of the moment for bigger rewards at the end.

Sometimes the paths we take are long and hard but those are always the ones that lead to the most beautiful views. In life, you’ll meet people that will lift you up and those who won’t. Your achievements may not be in the interest of everyone but if you come across people who have wise words for you, listen to their words and use them as encouragements to pursue your goals. Keep yourself headed in the direction that seems right to you. As for the other type of people, don’t let them decrease your self-esteem. Your journey will not make sense to many and that’s absolutely fine. As long as you have hope in your heart and you believe in your dreams, you’re good to achieve your goals and this will give a meaning to your life. Just don’t leave your dreams behind... 

Friday, September 13, 2013

With Age Comes Wisdom

It’s Friday the 13th. There’s going to be another one in exactly three months but guess what’s so special about today? It’s all about me! It’s my birthday! For the past 25 years, I grew up being excited about my birthday each year but today I feel different. I feel weird. I feel like I am in a dilemma about whether I should feel old or young. I seriously wasn’t expecting to be in this situation for my quarter century. I hope to find an answer to my question in the new chapter that has just opened in my life. Today’s topic will be all about me, so my dear readers, please bear with me until you can.

Before starting this blog, I used to read positive quotes once in a while and I’d be positive for a short time and then I’d get back to my confused thinking world. I don’t know for how long this had been going on with me but my thinking was just never straightforward. After I started this blog, a lot of confusion disappeared from my mind and I was finally able to see the bigger picture about my life. Things have definitely got better for me than where I was a decade ago or even a year ago. The word “magic” was never part of my dictionary but this year, I feel like some magic happened and since then, my life is getting back on track. I remember I used to complain a lot over little issues not only because I didn’t do much to change situations around me but rather because I grew up believing that it’s not right to keep anger inside of you. I’d only feel peaceful once I’d throw out my angry thoughts. However this year, I must say that I am proud of myself for not complaining that much. Everything will never be under my control so I realized that I should accept things that I cannot change and for the rest that can be changed; I should simply go ahead and do my best to change them.

Beside blogging, I’ve accomplished some great things which helped me discover the hidden strength I had inside of me. Nonetheless the true credit behind my little achievements goes to a lot of people who were and are part of my life this current year. In other words, I am talking about those who were with me on a daily basis. Without them, I wouldn’t have got this far. I learned this year that it’s not right to force people to make them stay in your life, so I happily let those who needed a break from me take their break. At the same time, I think I also needed that break so the equation is balanced. To my complete surprise, I reunited with some old acquaintances that I thought I would never get to see again. I was very happy to see them because they either made me change my way of looking at things for the better or they showed me a direction to start a new life. Apart from them, I even saw my coworkers, who are not just coworkers anymore but mean a lot more to me, bringing the best out of me by pushing me to new experiences whether it was a personal or professional one. I always enjoy being nice to others because I myself like to be treated nicely but here I feel like I was rewarded with more than I even gave.

There’s a wonderful saying by Lao Tzu that I want to share with you: “being deeply loved gives you strength; loving deeply gives you courage.” This is what I recently experienced and the feeling was indeed beautiful. When you meet people, you never know when you touch their heart and this was my case too. I didn’t know that I was special to many until they came to me with “There’s a better path waiting ahead of you.” I think I was so busy in my daily life and I had reached my comfort level that I just didn’t bother stepping out of my comfort zone until many pushed me to take time to think about myself. Only then I realized that just like I don’t always show my love to people, there are many who love me as well even if they don’t always show it. I’ll repeat this again but maybe I just never opened my eyes to see who truly cared about me and when I did, it felt like magic one more time. Back to the quote I shared with you, I think it’s because of people who love me and care for me that I was never able to give up on life, despite how negative things seemed in my life. It’s just amazing!  As for me, you could have guessed it by now, I get attached to my world and since people were made to be respected and cared, I don’t see why I wouldn’t love them. Furthermore, loving people has taught me that I have gathered a lot of courage to fight any struggle that may come on my way. They believe so much in me that even if I wanted to give up, I wouldn’t give up for their sake. Whoever said your worth increases with time was right and I am happy that I got to experience that at this stage of life.

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. It’s such a simple statement and yet it took me several years to understand it and believe in it. Nothing lasts forever. Everything is relative. People who were once so close to us turn into distanced friends and those who didn’t mean a lot to us in the past become a big part of our present. Maybe life was always like that and I just opened my eyes now but whatever it is, now I know everything happens for the better. It feels like I am seeing the calm after the storm. One single tragedy changed my life almost a decade ago and now that I look back at the many little good changes that happened as years passed by, I feel like I have reached the top of a mountain called “Happiness”. I am also happy that those who caused me grief are no longer part of my life and those who are with me today are the ones who really matter. To be honest, my success today would mean nothing if I couldn’t share the happiness I get from it with those who’ve given me hope or have supported me.

I am truly excited for the new chapter that has started for me and I am mostly happy that a lot of confusion has been cleared from my mind. In brief, “When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.” I kept saying that bad experiences define me but the truth deep down was that those experiences had been strengthening me. The picture is finally clear to me today and I think my new life starts from there...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Be Nice To Others... And Appreciate When Others Are Nice To You...

Recently, I’ve seen posts on social media which caught my attention as I did not agree with them. Then I decided to dedicate this month’s blog post to this topic. A few of them were about “Being nice to others makes you weaker”, and “To make others happy, you have to sacrifice your happiness”. These are not the exact words but the quotes were very similar to the ones I listed. I don’t know in which direction my post will go but I wanted to share with you why it is important to be nice to others according to me. Being nice to others doesn’t mean you have to think about others all the time and put yourself last. Instead, being nice to others can not only make them feel better but can also make you valuable and unique. Let’s admit one thing: we all have struggles in life which may put us down at times and this applies to the rest of the world too. We don’t know what others may be going through, so being nice to them doesn’t hurt and doesn’t cost anything. At least, this way, we will try to make some peace around the world. If you can’t do anything good, then just don’t do or say anything!

Nobody would want to live in a perfect world because life would be indeed boring. Similarly, nobody is born perfect. This means that being kind to others is something that requires a good heart and good thoughts in the mind. It’s not something easy to do. For instance, I happen to be in a bad mood sometimes. If I have to help someone in that situation and I have what I need to help that person, I usually do it but with no expressions on my face. That’s how I deal with the situation in real life and I avoid speaking more than I need to because I know that I might unintentionally be rude to someone for nothing. On the other hand, when I’m in a much happier mood, I tend to express myself more when helping someone. Regardless of your personal mood, what will matter at the end is that you’ve helped someone and you’ve made someone’s day.

We all say that no human is less than one another but your behavior towards others is really what determines whether you respect others as much as you respect yourself. I was able to come up with three categories of people when it comes to their attitude towards others. My perspective could be wrong but these are just some personal observations I’ve made so far.

The best people in your life should be your supporters (for the good steps you take in life, not the bad ones). Being a supporter isn’t easy as it’s never easy to deal with others and their limits. As of today, I still wonder how my supporters managed to stay by my side despite me having an unusual path of life from the majority of people in this world. What I noticed in them is that they are happy with what they have and when they helped others (including me), it’s because they were strong and wanted to grow stronger. They are confident in not only taking care of themselves but to give a hand to others when they need it. They believe in lifting others and they go much far in life because victory for them doesn’t mean to leave others behind them but to take them with them. In short, supporters are the real winners in the world. Of course, you can’t play the role of supporter in everyone’s life but being there in the times of need of a few people close to your heart is a big thing. Supporting others doesn’t mean to do things for them, it could mean to help them fight their struggles or even encourage them to pursue their small or big dreams.

The second interesting set of people are your sympathizers, those who share good thoughts about you to be successful. They may know very little about you and yet they will have good advice to share with you when you are struggling in life. Take a minute to think about this. How do you feel when someone who has barely known you in a short time shares a few wise words? Don’t you feel like you’ve just got more motivation to continue what you’re doing in life? Of course, you are the one to judge if those who spread good and soft words are indeed true to you or not. It’s also up to you to believe their words and feel better about yourself. Bringing my personal experiences here, I must say that I was very fortunate to meet people who’ve seen me dealing with my life’s issues on my own and they let me know that if ever I need anything, they would be there for me. What mattered to me in those times is that they weren’t even that close to my heart and yet they had a good heart to think good for me. The moral of this story is that sometimes you may just tell someone that you’re ready to help them anytime and just saying this can give so much strength to that someone.

I consider the third set of people are those who don’t know what it means to be nice to others and who feel pity over someone who’s going through a bad phase. I could be wrong or maybe people who say “I feel pity for this person” just don’t know the meaning of the word pity. When you feel pity for someone, it’s because you sort of need to feel superior about yourself over others especially the ones who are suffering. This is definitely not right because lifting yourself by belittling others doesn’t make you a winner at all. I personally feel that those who feel pity for others are the ones weaker from inside.  Think about it. The reason they don’t want to help others is because either they have no way to help or they are just not happy from inside but are pretending to be happy from the outside. Some people just have no compassion for others unfortunately. There’s really nothing we can do beside ignoring them and leaving them on their own. Fortunately, someone who goes through a lot of struggles doesn’t end up spending the rest of his or her life living unhappily. And I guess this is one way for people who feel pity to get a lesson. Nobody will stay happy for long if he or she feels superior by putting others down.

I don’t know how you will react to this post but if I was able to make you think, then I feel like I’ve done my job. I started by saying that it’s important to be nice to others and then I mentioned how we should feel about people being nice to us. I did this on purpose because I think human beings learn more by observation. When somebody is nice around you, try to appreciate and value that kindness. I think I am nice to people in real life because I know I feel very special when people are kind to me. Of course I doubted some people’s good attitude but I’ve met many real angels so it didn’t bother me for having met some that haven’t been genuine with me. After reading this, take the time to think about how you feel when others are nice and how you feel about yourself being nice to others. I also believe in you get what you give, therefore if you want good things to happen to you or have good people in your life, do good and be good. It’s really that simple!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Why Should We Have A Professional Life?

Many will say that we all need a job to earn money and satisfy our basic and personal needs. This is true at a certain extent but money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness. One shouldn’t think that he or she is richer because of money that he or she owns. Try looking at the picture. You are richer by the experiences you gain in life, by your ability to interact with others and by the person you grow day after day. In the following lines, I want to share with you why one must have a professional life. Believe it or not, when the clock hits 6 AM in the morning, I almost never want to get up from my bed because my sleep is priceless. However I then remind myself that I want my worth to increase with time so today is another opportunity for me to prove myself.

Education has allowed you to gain knowledge and skills and thus, the work environment you belong to is the place to apply them into practice. Knowledge is infinite, so you will always be exposed to new concepts. A good understanding of those concepts will keep you going on. The same goes with skills, i.e. you’ll develop either new skills or reinforce the skills you have for the better. With this, you’ll gain experience and this is how your value will increase in this world. If you can get the basic tasks done properly, you’ll get new responsibilities and the level of difficulty will increase with time. With new challenges, you get to combine many of your work related concepts and skills together and you’ll be surprised of the results at the end. Don’t ever underestimate how a combination of your basic knowledge and skills can solve something that seems like a big issue.

We need various experiences to enrich ourselves and as the world is constantly changing, let it be technology or anything else, we need to have an idea of how much we’re able to do and what is the next level of responsibility we can take. Another key point about having various experiences is that you’ll be quickly able to switch from one task to another and to pick up one from where you’ve left. Ask yourself whether you’d be happy with routine all the time? For many of you, I doubt the answer is yes. Therefore, the best way to escape routine is to be ready for new opportunities that knock on your door and at least give them a try. The outcome may be positive or negative but you’ll be the winner because you got a new experience. The more you accomplish, the more you will want to do and by exceeding people’s expectations, you will be assigned greater challenges.

A second interesting aspect of having a professional life is the ability to interact with others and share your knowledge and skills. I believe what makes a job fun is the people you have to work with. Team spirit is the key for a pleasant work environment unless you prefer working with nobody around, it’s indeed a personal choice. I personally have had and still have amazing coworkers and I see myself progressing in life thanks to them. Having the opportunity to work with coworkers allows you to exchange your knowledge and skills and as you get enriched, you also get to contribute in others’ career. I’ll give a simple personal example here: I enjoy every opportunity I get to make my colleagues understand something that may not be clear to them. No question is stupid whether it comes from a junior or a senior; my day is made when I solve a puzzle in someone’s mind. We are human beings, we’re not perfect and we all need time to understand, apply and grasp the concepts we’re taught. Sometimes, it’s just about saying the same thing in different words and we become so helpful to our colleagues.

Interacting with others makes the work environment more lively rather than boring and dead. A smile on your face and a positive attitude that shows you’re willing to cooperate can totally make a difference in someone’s day. From my personal experience, I’ve seen some of my coworkers getting stressed out in situations where a mistake has happened and they weren’t able to think of an efficient solution to solve it. I then proposed a very simple solution that would come to my mind and their anxiety disappeared in less than two minutes. This type of scenario makes me and would also make you feel valuable and you would be helping someone and release him or her from any extra useless stress.

The third and biggest advantage of having a professional life is to discover more about yourself and this definitely makes you feel that you’re growing. When you’re at work, you surely feel some kind of pressure in order to show that you are strong and competent in the tasks you’re assigned to. If you’re able to complete well a task under stressful situations, it’s a good sign. From those circumstances, you get to learn more about how you can handle difficulties and this is always a work-in-progress task. Sometimes you may think that you’re not good enough for a task but as you get the opportunity, you’ll get to prove yourself wrong and that’s in fact amazing. At the end, you’ll just find out more about your strengths and weaknesses.

Besides the above, you also get to find out more about your likes and dislikes. Be realistic. You don’t need to like every task that’s assigned to you. It takes some courage to admit it but if you know you don’t like it, half of the work is done, i.e. you will be more productive on tasks that you like. There are always tons of opportunities around, so try the ones that come to you as you never know if they may open new doors to your career. As they often say, it’s just a matter of stepping out of your comfort zone and that’s when the fun begins.

Apart from the three main ideas I discussed, pay attention to how your coworkers respond to the efforts you put in. They may also play a huge role in bringing out the best traits in you. Don’t ignore their words. If they see a lot of potential in you, then believe in them. Take the time to think about how you can go beyond the expectations you’ve set for yourself. I personally believe that hard work cannot kill anybody but you can die of boredom. Sure, I haven’t died yet of boredom but I’ve sometimes felt that I was working beyond my capacities but as soon as I’d get recognized by my peers, I was more motivated to exceed the expectations set for me and I felt like I was stronger than I thought I was. Thus, don’t be afraid of working hard, and as they say "If you ever feel like giving up, remember that there’s someone out there that looks up to you. Do it for them. "

Having a professional life can be interesting if you know what you’re looking for. I am not saying money is not important but you’ll be much happier if you look beyond your pay. It’s really up to you to make the best out of your job. We all have a right for respect so no job is smaller than the other. The points I shared with you are how I myself look at my professional life. Of course that doesn’t mean that I am happy every day at work but I know I’ve given my best at the end of the day. Finally, I think my professional life has taught me what it means to be happy and that’s something I gradually learned to apply in my personal life. There were so many things about myself that I wasn’t aware of and I am still discovering them. So be optimistic and keep in mind that a positive attitude is definitely the starting key to an interesting journey.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Change... A New Vision Of Who You Can Grow To Be

We live in a world where change is the only constant. Your vision plays a crucial role in how you see changes. Things change, people also change and sometimes we just don’t take the time to realize all the changes that have occurred around us or even in ourselves. Life would be indeed boring if we were to stay at the same point and not have the chance to explore the different things life has to offer us. Thus, change is another interesting thing that is very subjective and it all depends on how you define it.

Ever since we are born in this world, we have all changed. Beside our physical appearance, our mentality has also evolved and a strong proof of that is that we all have let our childish habits go at one point whether it was asking our parents to tie our shoe laces or have them buy us all the cool toys just because our friends had them. Simple and silly examples, right? Well, did you really take the time back then to acknowledge that you weren’t childish but rather getting matured? I don’t think so. I know at least for myself when I was young, I didn’t really distinguish between being childish or behaving mature. I was just a child in my own world. Similarly as we grow up, we get busy with all our commitments and responsibilities, we don’t really take the time to acknowledge the changes that have occurred. The sad part about this is that sometimes we think that nothing around us has changed or that we are still the same when it’s actually not true at all.

We all need changes in our lives so that we feel like we are evolving from one point to another. I remember when I was younger; I was told that things will get better as I grow up. That seemed so far away and as time passed, I got impatient and thought it wasn’t true. To my surprise, I started appreciating my life but I wasn’t fully conscious about all the changes that had happened or were happening. There were times where I would be extremely happy and I really didn’t want anything more from life and other times where I was not happy at all. Everything was a mystery back in the days. Now that I think about it and I am sharing it with you here, I will admit that as you grow up, there are more doors that open for you which then translate to many more opportunities to explore life.

Life is not a competition with how far the world has come ahead, so live life at the pace it’s moving for you. Don’t rush because you’ll miss out on what the present has to offer you. Let me bring an example here. Nowadays, we often see girls of age 12 dressing up and wearing make-up as women of age 25. I personally feel bad for them because they are missing out on what it means to be carefree and not having to worry about their looks. They will have the rest of their lives to be and look like a woman once they become adults. I don’t think they realize it now but once they reach their twenties, they will feel like there’s nothing exciting left in their lives as they will be done experiencing too much at a young age. What they also need to understand is that it’s easy to act like a woman but it’s much harder to learn how to become one. This latter applies to guys also; looking like a man from outside when your inner thoughts don’t reflect that maturity will not take you far in life.

Changes are needed in life and some that make people happy could be listed as follows: travelling around the world, buying their own house or car, being in a relationship, getting a new job after every once in a while, completing a school degree,  following the latest fashion, doing any simple fun activity, etc. There’s no one better than you who knows what type of change is needed in your life, so find out more about your likes and dislikes. You absolutely don’t need anybody around you to tell you that this type of change would be good for you. You know what your limits are and your budget (if the change involves financial resources), so make your own decisions wisely. Now you may wonder if the changes I listed previously are the only changes that can make one happy. My answer is “No”.

Things change around us very quickly and constantly but the biggest change would be to change the thoughts in your mind. As I stated in my welcome post, growing as a better person never stops. There is no one who is perfect in this world. We all have strengths and weaknesses. The key element in changing yourself is to be aware of your weaknesses and finding ways to turn them into strengths. It’s not easy, sometimes it takes several years to understand and express in words what your weak points are. I’ve been through this and I was confused for so many years with my weaknesses. I was really unaware of some traits that were obstacles with the good human being I wanted to be. As soon as I found out what I didn’t like in myself, it was much easier for me to work on them. We need to change so that we can accommodate new things that happen in our lives. When we change, we find better or different ways to handle situations and this is crucial to be successful in life. Therefore, self-realizations are probably the best discoveries in life because they allow you to feel the changes in your mind and they truly make you feel good about yourself.

As we are exposed to different environments, we meet new people among which some affect us a lot. In other words, some people in this world really have the potential to change other people’s lives. They’re not only positive about themselves but they also recognize the good in others and they’re not afraid to help others evolve towards the better. There’s a saying by Michel P. Watson that I want you to always remember: “Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up.”, so whenever you come across someone who tries to put you down, that person is probably not strong enough.  It may be hard to believe (even I have a hard time believing in this) but there are still people who are selfless and are willing to help us by pointing out the best things in us. They are able to make us see that we have more strengths than weaknesses. It’s strange but when I least expected anything from people around me, they were always the ones who made me see the best in me. On the other hand, those from whom I expected a little support were the ones who made me face the “weak me” that I didn’t want to see. People in our lives are full of mystery. I personally wish that you are all surrounded by good and well-wisher people so that you can let go of those who are constantly looking in pointing out your weaknesses to you. You don’t want to develop self-esteem issues so keep a distance from selfish and heartless people. Some people will never change from the inside no matter how much things change in their lives, so just be cautious!

To sum up everything I just shared with you, change should be seen as something that makes you move forward in life and it must be for the better. Nothing is impossible and if you have a new vision of someone you want to be, then make the necessary efforts and become the new person you wish to be. Bring some changes to your life that will make you feel better and let the happy, strong and positive people take part in your journey as they will definitely add something valuable to your life.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Inner Beauty Outweighs Outer Beauty Of Women

Why are girls always under more pressure? I often asked this question to myself as I feel like I did put unnecessary pressure on myself just because I was a girl. There are many factors behind it but today I want to emphasize on how the world seems to put more pressure on girls to look beautiful in terms of appearance. Media plays a big role in showing that the ideal woman is one who possesses a set of criteria such as specific height and weight, slim body, loose and long hair, etc. Unfortunately, these ideas make a lot of girls feel insecure of how they look and this can have a major negative impact especially when these thoughts hit during teenage years.

Speaking of myself and I know there are many girls in this world who can relate to this or who have been through this, I will admit I was unhappy of how I looked during my teenage years and I was even afraid at that time that I’d never be able to look beautiful for the rest of my life. As this was something I was not comfortable sharing with anyone, I had to deal with it on my own and I remember convincing myself that time should make everything alright. I surely wasted time wondering why I can’t look pretty as the average girls around me but these insecurities eventually pushed me to change my thoughts on what beautiful means.

Media has a certain way of presenting women and when it comes to selling a product, women are often used as inappropriate avatars. The reality is also that such campaigns where women are shown sexy are made on purpose in order to attract as many customers as possible. We all know that this is a marketing strategy which allows many business to make profit. Good for them but what about the decrease in girls and women’s self-esteem? The effects of such ads could be either direct or indirect and nonetheless, girls and women are affected. To add more, publicities regarding women clothing are also worse according to me. The mannequins are usually shown tall, slim, posing in a suggestive manner, revealing their best curves but that’s really not how most women are in real life. Women have better things to do than just look sexy and seductive. As a result, a lot of females feel like they’re not good looking enough. To add a real life example, there was always one female in my environment until today who felt insecure of her overall appearance and I strongly feel that none of them deserved to feel like that; they all had the prettiest hearts.

On the other hand, I support companies like Dove who come up with ads to increase women’s self-esteem. They project the idea that if you take care of yourself, then you should feel beautiful as opposed to look beautiful. And this is how I learned the difference between feeling and looking beautiful. Don’t deny it but when you look good from the outside, you indeed feel good in the inside, right? But that’s easy to do. Shouldn't you feel good inside first and then make that reflect outside? This sounds tough and I completely agree with you. Believe it or not but this is something I took a lot of time to understand and apply in real life. It’s in fact a work-in-progress task for me and I see it as a challenge because just looking beautiful from the outside doesn't make me entirely happy.

As the famous line says, “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”. What may be beautiful to you won’t be necessarily beautiful to others. I think many people limit the definition of beautiful to an outer appearance of a human being. Unfortunately, such people are narrow-minded and they are missing out on the beautiful attributes of a person’s inner self. It’s their loss and you shouldn't fall in the trap. Outer good looks don’t last forever because we all age and grow old. This means that if you feel good inside of you only because of how attractive you dress up, you won’t be a happy person for too long. Either you’ll develop some serious confidence issues or you will fake to be happy when deep inside of yourself, you’re not happy anymore because you've lost your physical charm. You may go to a far extreme to achieve an artificial beauty, and therefore feel the need to spend excessively in order to get that appearance. On the contrary, the inner beauty of a person will always last. People with an inner beauty might not have the looks of a fashion model but the way they smile, the way they express themselves and how they treat others are attributes which make it up for the lack of their external beauty. It’s important to have an inner beauty because that’s something we can have control over for the rest of our lives. Nobody can take that away from us and no age can kill that. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that outer beauty is what makes you look interesting but inner beauty is what keeps you interesting.

Another important point I wanted to mention is that we should learn to live with our imperfections. We are human beings with flaws, so don’t focus on the attractive physical traits that you don’t have just because the whole world believes that an average woman should have some particular physical traits. Instead, get to know your best physical features and lift yourself up for them. Women have tons of ways of looking appealing such as: styling their hair, putting make-up on their face, getting their nails done, wearing perfumes to smell good, wearing stockings to make their legs look shinier, putting on high heels to make their legs look longer, and the list goes on. All of these feminine things take time, so ladies, by the time you do all of this, you can use some of that time to work toward an attractive personality and it will be more worth it because your efforts won’t be wasted on the long term. Sure, you can apply some of the above ways to enhance your looks but don’t over do it. Learn to love yourself from the inside out and don’t be afraid of your physical flaws. You don’t need to reveal them to anyone anyway. Don’t try to seek the wrong attention by presenting yourself all dolled-up, hiding all your flaws and/or revealing too much skin to achieve the looks the medias are imposing on women, but rather present yourself to earn respect because this world needs more women of the latter case. This should then bring much more peace in a lot of girls and women’s minds who are around us.

To sum up, it is up to you to figure out what are the best traits in your personality, feel confident about them. If you are being true to yourself, then you will feel beautiful from the inside and look beautiful from the outside. Some are naturally attractive and I believe they are lucky to be blessed with that feature. However, those who don’t think they are attractive shouldn't lose hope because this is something one can think about and work on. Nothing is impossible. Sometimes the insecurities we had or have are there for a reason; they encourage and influence us to take some action so that we try to overcome them and eventually feel better on the inside.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

When Cultural Beliefs Become Obstacles On Your Way...

It’s been ten years my father passed away and today I just want to share my thoughts about how this journey was so far. Back on the day of my father’s funeral, I remember how there were many people, of which the majority were Patels (as there are so many Patels in Montreal), who showed up out of respect and sympathy. Family and relatives were all crying in pain while I remember my focus being on my little brother as he was just a baby. Looking out for him was more important to me than to think about my father not being in this world anymore. I really couldn’t trust anyone, not even my own mother, to take care of him. Rainy days passed by as my family and I completed all the rituals related to my father’s death and cloudy days started. Everything seemed to have fallen apart. At the age of 14, I got very discouraged and I wondered how and when would I fix the mess around. I seriously didn’t know where to start, but at the same time, this was not the life I wanted to live, so something had to be done.

With the Indian culture having principles such as “A family without a man is considered less than an ordinary family”, it wasn’t easy for my family and me to embrace the good changes that were coming on our way. As a strong example to support my say, I will disclose an important fact about my own culture and this is something that has been carried over the years. When happy events are on the corner, it is better to keep “unlucky” families like mine away from some of the rituals because those families are not considered auspicious for good and new beginnings. With time, my family and I accepted that we were outcasts from this community but is this culture really being fair to families that are already struggling on their own to find way to happiness? I believe the answer is “No” and what I realized afterwards was that when a tragedy falls on an Indian family, the pain has to get deeper whether one puts years of hard work to make good days come and the community around is always there to remind them what they’ve lost. On the other hand, if the same family has reasons to celebrate, extended families and relatives start cutting off their relationships. From experience, I can comment on this one and this has resulted with me cutting off the family members I was once close to, living in my own city, and I have no regrets. Life in fact taught me that I made it without them and I shouldn’t keep people in my life who are not willing to create happy memories with me or who don’t want to cherish the good things that happen to me.

As my journey continued, I also met some new friends with different cultures who were in the same boat as me. These girls were just like me living only with their mother and didn’t have their father in their lives. Little did I know but those girls too had more restrictions because of the fact that there was no man as the head of the family. As my friends and I shared how we felt about it and we realized that those restrictions mainly come from the idea that if we do anything wrong, then our respective community would start gossiping and get the opportunity to say that our mothers failed raising us. And sadly, our mothers being in so much pressure by the community have eventually chosen to obey those rules than giving us the freedom that we have a right to have. Isn’t it pathetic how the various communities first reject us and then expect us to have restrictions on top of cultural limits? This is not fair at all and it creates a barrier for us to become independent and to move forward in life. It’s as if our respective community wanted us to live life miserably and that we should always behave as if we can’t do anything on our own. I believe whether there’s a man as the head of a family or not, the society should seriously let the women do as much as they can and stop making them feel inferior to men.

All this was surely not easy for me, especially when I was a teenager, but as I noticed many things around me including people’s behavior, I was always aware of what didn’t seem right. As for the Indian culture, I will admit that I grew up with a lot of good values from it but this idea of women being weaker than men always irritated me and was a big obstacle on my way. Sometimes, cultures have such principles that make it so hard to evolve toward a better future. When I asked what is there to benefit for women to be considered less than men, the only answer I would get was “This is how it’s been in this culture for ages” and the discussion had to end there. Nevertheless, actions always speak louder and I decided that I will remain quiet until I prove that women can surely move forward on their own. Speaking of myself, I tried my best to bring my family to the same height as to where my father would have brought if he’d be here and I must say that I feel more peaceful that my efforts didn’t go in waste. I wasn’t able to take my father’s place in the family and I would never want to because he is irreplaceable but I tell myself that the good thing is that I didn’t accept defeat just because I was a girl. Yes, I did fall several times and the fear of failure haunted me so many times but today, I see how much things have changed in the past ten years and that’s what matters.

I know it will be always hard to deal with cultural beliefs but at times, it is important to get yourself heard instead of just going against these principles because the latter doesn’t solve anything. I did my attempts, I expressed what I felt was wrong in my culture and I moved forward with my beliefs. I knew walking away from the house would never make anything better, so instead my hard work and my confidence on how my intentions were clear and right helped me to make things around me the way I wanted and also for my family to feel that good days are finally coming to us. People get attached to their native country’s culture but there is no point in carrying values that may only benefit those who have everything and that will disadvantage more those who’ve already lost a lot in life. A culture never defines anybody and I strongly believe that nobody should reduce a value of anybody to his or her culture as this really makes it hard for people to move forward in life. It should be really up to each one of us to decide what we want to carry from our culture and what can help us grow toward a better person. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Is There To Gain From An Education?

Education is a powerful word for me but what is it exactly? We might refer this term to the idea of going to school, doing homework, studying for exams and getting a degree but the real definition is much more complex and beyond the ideas I’ve just stated. I think that when things are easily accessible to us, we never seem to appreciate them. Living in Canada is living with comfort, so why ignore the usefulness of our educational system?

Back in the days in India, guys always had more chances than girls to pursue studies and this was due to the fact that girls were expected to help at home with house chores such as washing clothes, cooking and cleaning the house. The society had this idea in mind that sending the boys to school was a better investment than sending girls because girls were eventually made to become housewives for the rest of their lives. As of today, things have definitely changed in India but it’s not the case in every region. For example, if we look at the poor areas of India, I strongly feel that guys might still have more chances than girls to pursue their studies.

By now, you can surely imagine my pride of being a Canadian. I honestly don’t know if I’d even have a chance to get through post-secondary studies if I were in India. Therefore the education I have got here in Canada is something I really value. I’ve had nightmares about my exams and I’ve been through a lot of stress to give my best in my solo assignments, group projects and tests but I eventually realized that these struggles were so little compared to what I have achieved at the end.

Starting from our days in elementary school, we learn the very basic principles of counting and speaking in a common language in the nation we belong. In high school, we are exposed to additional subjects just so that we get an introduction to different fields. The “cool” part starts when we reach post-secondary studies because this is the time where we have a chance to explore the field of our interest in more depth. I am aware that this is not easy for many because cegep and university studies require a lot of time and a strong concentration. Post-secondary studies allow us to learn about the specific concepts in our field, to understand the different meanings associated with them and to familiarize ourselves with the terms used in the outside world.

Education is not just about attending your classes and writing exams but it’s rather about the knowledge you get and the skills you develop to apply in the real world. These are the two key elements we gain from education and it’s really up to us to use them wisely outside of school. 

As you’ve probably heard, “Knowledge is power”, believe it or not but the more you know about where to get information, the more power you’ll have. It’s not important to remember every little information you learn through your courses because the material you learn may become obsolete over the years but what matters is that you know where your references are. Some of the concepts your learn at school are the preliminary basics from which you can come up with bigger and new ideas and the rest are just concepts put together from basic theories.

Information can be easily manipulated but if you know where you got this information, you will get more credible because you will know how to prove what you are sharing. By experience, I can say that knowledge has made of me a stronger person. I am still learning and growing but when I am exposed to situations where I have to stand up for myself, I don’t feel any fear and I communicate my knowledge with confidence. Whether I win or not at the end, I feel satisfied for having tried with how much I knew than simply not trying. In addition, knowledge has also helped me become more credible as an individual. Having people come to me to either validate information or for me to give them more details on it are what I appreciate a lot because what can be better than having an opportunity to share your knowledge to others?

As for getting skills from education, we don’t really realize it but as we are learning new concepts or solving problems, we are developing new ways to find solutions. If our first attempt fails, it just means that we need to try a second approach and this goes on and on until we get to the results we actually want. Skills allow you to learn more quickly, to take more initiative and to organize your ideas. Speaking of myself, I have used many of the skills I acquired at school to solve my personal and professional matters and it was great to see how my little attempts could make a difference to create a better atmosphere around me or to even facilitate people’s lives around me. If you want to make a difference in the world, you have to start first with people around you.

Don’t underestimate the purpose of education in your life. Knowledge and skills are the two things you get but you don’t get to see them while attending your classes. It’s when you earn your degree and enter the workforce that you truly realize what you have gained from education. Therefore, it’s better to invest as much time as you can for school work and be aware of your capacities. If I look around, some students do well at school while having a part-time job and that’s a good motivation. On the other hand, there are those who gradually lose their focus on school over the temptation to do more work hours and only they know what they accomplish from it. If you want to succeed at school, you need a good concentration level and you should know how to stay away from any source of distraction. It’s very hard to do, I’ve been by this road and it’s only at the end that I realized what I lost, what I gained and what my capacities were. 

Education has always played a big role in my life and as you probably realized, I had set up a challenge for myself which was to prove that girls can indeed go far in their studies. Unlike how girls in India have been raised and taught that their primary role is to do all the housework, I felt like here I had the opportunity to pick which lifestyle I wanted to have and I did. I had full faith in getting an education as this would open not all but several doors for me to explore the world. Education also taught me how to make concrete decisions based on the different information I may get from various sources. I don’t think I would have ever learned everything I learned at school through either family members or people around me. Education was an investment of my time and although I may have forgotten more than half of what I studied in life, the knowledge and the skills I got make me a “rich” person today. These are the two keys that define me rather than the degree I have because anyone can get a degree nowadays but how many are aware of what education has brought to their lives?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Real Friends Make Life Worth Living...

After family, friends are the ones who care for us. The definition of friends is very subjective from one individual to the next. As we go through the different states of life, we are exposed to various environments and we meet new people. It’s very important to keep good terms with them because having a strong social network helps us grow in life but mind you, the quantity of people you meet will never beat the quality of people you really get to know. Sometimes, we meet people that put us down while others contribute to our well-being. With time, we learn which ones don’t deserve our time and energy and which ones deserve us at our best. In between, we learn to categorize people we meet throughout our life. Let’s have a look at how my world looks like to me.

Having close friends to my heart has always been important to me because they are the ones who believe in me when I cease to believe in myself. Those friends are my “eternal friends” because they accept me for who I am and how I am, which includes my weaknesses and my insecurities. I am not a perfect human being but they see a perfect friend in me despite my flaws. In fact, they are the ones who encourage me to be a good human being and to live life with my beliefs. They also appreciate every little thing I achieve in life and whether it’s a small or big accomplishment, they make me feel as if I’ve conquered the world. They make me appreciate who I have become and make me realize how stronger I am getting at every step I take in life. When they see something negative in me that is being an obstacle in my growth, they make me understand wisely what I need to change in myself and how I can do that without putting me down. My close friends also share their good and bad experiences with me because  we didn’t necessarily have the same journey in life. The good things in their lives have inspired me to believe that good things indeed happen in life and from their bad moments, I learned how I should deal if ever I am put in that situation in the future. At last but not the least, they are friends who make time for me and let me speak my heart and my mind. They are the ones with whom I cherish the little things life has to offer because no matter what are my restrictions in life, they manage to spend quality time with me. So this was my set of “eternal friends”, i.e. friends that are hard to find and as my wise friend once told me “I can count the number of friends on my hand’s fingers”, this surely applies to me also.

My second set of friends are my “well-wisher friends”, slightly larger than the set of my “eternal friends” in terms of quantity. These friends are the ones with whom I got or get to spend limited time because they were or are with me just for a short amount of time in life, for example: school buddies, coworkers, and friends of friends. They have made a positive impact on my life which has helped me look at my future in a brighter way. Some have been there to make me laugh and smile (Yes, I needed and still need friends for this silly reason) and others have impacted me with their wise words or good advices to move forward in life. If things were under my control, I’d have kept these friends in my present but just like how I had to move on to build my future, I had to let them walk on their journey. Nevertheless, my heart’s doors are always open for them and they know who they are. It always makes me happy to bump them anywhere after so many years and I always get the same happy reaction from their side too. So what impact have I made in their lives? That’s tough to answer because I know what they mean to me and only they could answer you about what I mean to them. For now, I think I really made them feel that they are beyond ordinary people. I often encountered people that weren’t aware of some of their abilities and whenever I had the opportunity and time, I didn’t hesitate to share my thoughts on them and I somehow lifted their self-pride. Thus, the bottom line is that my “well-wisher friends” have appreciated me for who I am and for the little things I did to make a difference in their lives.

The last set is the well-known set of just “acquaintances”. I think more than half of people I’ve met fall in that category. It’s not a bad thing and this is in fact a reality of our days: we can’t connect with everyone that we meet in life. Therefore, my acquaintances are just people with which conversations are very limited to “Hi, how are you?” when I happen to see them unexpectedly. Just like I couldn’t contribute anyhow in their road of life, they haven’t either. In other words, nothing much “clicked” between me and them probably because our thoughts differed or we just didn’t have much in common to get closer. As much as I didn’t take the time to know them better, they didn’t either. Basically, it is not in my nature to force people to become a part of my life because I don’t believe in changing others so that they please me as I myself wouldn’t put a fake act to please them temporarily. I think we all have a set of acquaintances. Sometimes we think that they are the “bad” people because it didn’t work out for us with them but they are not the bad people. In fact, they are just people who are not compatible with our personalities and it’s one of the things life teaches us: we can’t always have the best out of everything, so we meet these acquaintances just to learn more about ourselves and truly acknowledge who are our real friends.

In today’s generation, there is a lot of emphasis on socializing and chilling because it’s indeed important to connect with people but I think what’s even more important is that each one of you should have some lifetime friends. When things may not go fine in your life, many will walk away because people around are often attracted only by the happy person you portray to be. Hence, only those who know your real value will stay by your side. When you have real friends around you, it will make it easy for you to remain who you want to be because the biggest challenge in life is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else. The day you feel like the world is not by your side, all that will matter is the friends who cared enough to stay in your life and are with you in the present. With the right friends, you can reach new heights in life and never underestimate what the good friends can bring to you.

Wishing you all a beautiful Happy Valentine’s Day!