I am arriving at the age of 40. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, as an average Malaysian Chinese woman, my life expectancy is 79.9 years old. This means I have reached my mid-life.
Middle of my life. 40 years is a long time.
Despite all the many possible things that could have happened to shorten my time on earth, I am grateful to have lived these many years. Hopefully, with another, much less painful and wiser, 40 years to come.
Life hasn't been easy. Buddha says that the first of the four noble truths is that "life is suffering". Forty years has shown me joy and suffering, and along with it, lessons and perhaps some wisdom.
For my 40th birthday, I'll be sharing my 40 bits of unsolicited advice. Enjoy. 🥰
- Be selective of your friends. They could either support and save you or destroy and ruin you.
- First impressions aren't always accurate. But always trust your instincts.
- Money gives temporary happiness. Chasing it becomes an addiction.
- Procrastination is resistance. Tardiness is disrespectful.
- The destination does not matter. It is how and who you choose to journey with that matters.
- An adventure is a journey unplanned.
- Outgrowing can seem like quitting or letting go. Instead, it's a level-up.
- Don't waste time with people who don't listen to you.
- Live a simple life. A simple life gives space for all the drama that the universe throws at you.
- Do you.
- Maturity is coming to terms with your family.
- Creativity is in the selection and omission, not in the collection or acquisition. Thus, decision making is an expression of creativity.
- Follow your curiosity. Curiosity opens doors and reveals unconsidered paths.
- Passion is over-rated. Work on refining your craft instead.
- Do not believe in leaders, experts, gurus, or any person of authority. Until you have experienced and know for sure what is good, then adopt it. Drop the rest. (Based on Kalamata Sutta).
- Security is an illusion. There are infinite ways the universe can make you suffer. Don't let insecurity hold you back.
- If you don't take care of yourself, no one will take care of you.
- Never send an emotional email or text. Always call or talk in person.
- You cannot control other people's thoughts, feelings or happiness. You are not responsible for them.
- You cannot control the actions or reactions of others. You are only responsible for your own actions and reactions.
- It's never too early to write your will.
- Plan an exit strategy along with your long-term plans. Remain flexible to unforeseen circumstances.
- Prepare for emergencies. Keep handy emergency contacts, emergency first aid kit, emergency savings, emergency travel bag, emergency emotional kit.
- Everything seems better after a walk or a cup of tea.
- Save for your retirement as soon as you start earning money.
- Your current action shapes the future. Your past actions created the present. Focus on your present, and the future will take care of itself.
- You can't know your strengths, limits, likes, dislikes, desires or detestation if you don't self-reflect. Regularly schedule time for contemplation.
- It's hard to ask for help if you don't know what you want.
- People come and go. The more often this happens, the more you have grown.
- There are three ways to change your destiny; get educated, do charity or meditate.
- Take care of your health and happiness. The rest will fall into place.
- Violence is the imposition of one's will onto another.
- Don't follow crowds. They are too squashed up to each other to see the bigger picture.
- In making a difficult decision, flip a coin. We always know what side we want it to land on. ~ Babul in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
- To get what we desire, we need to let go of our comforts.
- What we most want is what we most fear.
- Power is based on the kind of relationships you have and your influence over them. So, have influential friends in diverse places.
- Don't trust the stories of your mind. The purpose of these stories is to protect and hide you from the truth.
- Only keep things that spark-joy, frequently and multi-functional. Most things can be borrowed or bought when needed.
- Buy less. Minimise waste. Reuse. Regift. Resell. Repurpose. Recycle. The earth needs every little help.
Note: This post is inspired by KK.