Just a few months ago, I turned a decade older. And according to my little cousins, I am now positively ancient. And so, when we recently met, two of the little rascals looked up at me and while unsuccessfully trying to stifle their mirth, asked me what my long tenure on earth had taught me. I had really never thought I was in any position to offer sound advice because God knows that I feel like a fraud most of the time. That I don’t know what I am doing half the time.
If a child walked up to you and asked you to give them the best wisdom to set their life on course, what would it be?
Here are the three I would offer:
1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one does. Having a little fun in your life won’t kill you. No matter how old you are, you have to make time for something that makes your heart squeal with joy. Life is already too serious with all the loans, responsibilities and ‘adulting’ you have to do. So indulge your inner child often, be silly, it makes life fun. My inner child likes blowing bubbles, jumping on the trampoline and playing hide and seek with my children. What does your inner child enjoy?
2. The world owes you nothing. I realised this when I saw a one-year-old child get diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a horrible childhood cancer. What did the child do to deserve it? Go figure. Life will take from you as much as it gives you. It is the cycle. So you can choose to wallow in the lows or roll with the punches. Truth is sometimes life will sucker punch you. Take a beat to sulk and catch a breath, then rise again like a champ. When life gives you, relish it and then march on. Attitude is everything, and the right one will make it all fine.
3. You aren’t special. Whatever you are going through, someone else has gone through it and triumphed or failed. Think about it. Just been fired? So have a million others. Your spouse unfaithful? Ask Beyonce’ or Hillary Clinton, or heck maybe even your mother, how they felt about it. Got needs and no money, welcome to the world of a billion others. So don’t lock yourself away from the world. There are solutions. Keeping it in could lead to bigger problems like alcoholism, depression and suicide.
So what has life taught you? I would love to know and learn from it. Email me at Sundaymagazine@standardmedia.co.ke