Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lessons Learned at a Quarter of a Century Old

I read a letter from my past-self here when I turned 21 years old and also here when I turned 24 years old last year. I acknowledge how powerful it is to reflect, write and revisit it in the future - so here is another letter I'm penning down today to my future-self.

This year I turned 25 years old - a quarter of a century old. What could have happened in a mere year? My first response is to exclaim "A lot happened!"Then again, as I'm writing this down, reflecting concurrently at the top of my mind - the past year doesn't seem that big of a deal anymore.

However, there were lessons learned. There were in fact, many lessons learned through the good, the bad and the ugly times. The year passed by very quickly yet, it felt very long in between.

To my future self, remember this - 

Remember there will always be tough times ahead, firefighting is part of the equation called life. We operate in a world driven by people and people are the most complicated beings. We complicate things - we complicate our words, our actions and our intentions.

There will be people who seemingly show that they care about what you do but in actual fact, they are only interested in what you do that benefits them. There will be people who have multiple different meanings behind one mere word they say. Do not avoid these people, they are part and parcels of life.

There are people who have no self-reflection in how their actions impact others - remember, always reflect on your own actions. Even if you are seemingly right, question yourself once more if you could have done better. If you are accused, think twice if there were some truth behind the accusation. Should there be no truth in the accusations then perhaps think about why you were accused.

Could you have said something that gave someone an opportunity to accuse you? Could you have given the wrong impressions at the wrong time? Or could you have said something that is easily taken out of context?

Unfortunately, we do not have control over other people - they can play their games. We can only change ourselves - better ourselves. So, Amy, remember - it doesn't matter if someone else is in denial, look in the mirror and remind yourself of the type of person you do not want to be.

Everyone is entitled to their own ways of living their life. The weak, pulls you down for they fear you are stronger than them. The shallow, speak of unkind words for they fear your voice drowns theirs out. The ignorant, speak of greatness when they are not and speak of faults which they are not.

Be the opposite

If you are weak - work on yourself, build your strengths. Your weakness does not define you nor does someone else's strength makes yours less impressive. If you are shallow, read and enrich your knowledge. Read and read a lot, your voice is developed within, the more you equip yourself the more volume your voice will have. If you are ignorant, reflect and reflect again - work smart and achieve greatness out of real capabilities. Take credit where credit is due, admit your faults when it is your own doing - for the person who is afraid of admitting to mistakes will never learn, never grow.

Lastly Amy, remember this valuable career advice - be patient.

As always, I am grateful for the people I have in my life. And as usual, I will mention their names and thank them for being a part of my story:

(I skip family and Tee Wei Lim - everyone knows they come first in my life - there's no need to make the obvious known)

Ee Lyn - more than a friend, she's my muse. She inspires me to better. I look to her strengths as my motivation to improve myself. When I'm happy I seek comfort in her presence. When I'm down I seek refuge in her words.

Sophia Teng - a blessing in life, a true genuine friend. She inspires me to be authentic. She is pure with her words, kind with her actions. When I want to judge, she reminds me to be objective. When I want to give up, she reminds me to be strong. 

Richard Moh - a mentor, an inspiration. He still inspires me to have resilience in life. To chase after my goals and ambitions. To not be afraid to fail and suffer hardships. Someone who will be very successful in life - for he is matured well beyond his years. 

Amanda Woo - my mentee, my bias. She have overflowing talent and charisma. Her words have strength, her presence have impact. She is unafraid to strive. She is innocent yet strong. Someone I will always want to see grow and succeed in life.

Tush Naidu - I love her to bits. So real, so unafraid to speak her mind. To be true to herself. I love her for being herself. She is one of a kind and she will go far in life - just by simply being her.

David Nge - still the same passionate guy. Unbiased in his views, neutral in his judgement. Someone who will constantly remind me to focus on judging myself - less of others. Someone who is working on his worth and not comparing with the next person.

Sharon Lee - a strong and independent woman. She is a strong woman who despite her struggles will always rise beyond them. Someone who reminds me of my past. She also reminds me of how important it is to empower one another. 

James Soo - the one person who truly opened my eyes to what true passion looks like. He has grown so much from where he was before. He is unafraid to chase his passion and to continuously work on being better at what his heart enjoys doing. His passion is overwhelming, his confidence is inspiring.

My mentors - Alex Lim, Ee Sung and Damon. 

My friends close & distant - Yuet Ting, Imran, Kavidha, Alex, Carmen, Raymond, Elicia, Wan Sin, Alia, Wai Yee, Marcus, Xing Yi, Jovian, Jayson, Suang Fu, Kent Kam, Sean, Sze Li, Sue Ching, Mad, Ruel, Jian Xin, Charmaine, Su Lin and whoever have played a part in small ways or big the past year.

And also, to the people who inspired me, they taught me who I want to be and who I do not want to be in future. 

To the future Amy, I will say this again just as I have said back then, "This is you right now, you have not learned all that you have to learn. Keep moving forward and may you learn more there is to life in the days to come and more".

Amy Lim (25 years old, 24 July 2018) 

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