“Live fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” ~ Tony Robbins
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As 2015 draws to an end, and 2016 is on the horizon, it is a perfect time to reflect on the past year and the lessons I have learned. As a physician, you realize early on in your training that the process of learning never ends. Similarly, in life, we all require a certain amount of evolving curiosity and passion to stay energized. Someone once asked me if it is hard to think of things to write about every week on my blog. I quickly replied that I have never worried about that possibility because of the endless topics I can learn about, and in turn, talk about.
The lessons I have learned include lessons on life in general, lessons on specific subjects/topics, lessons pertaining to humanity and lessons that apply specifically to me. One inevitable, beneficial outcome of any lesson is growth. The process of learning isn’t linear, but rather a series of falls and getting back up; forgetting and remembering; progressing and regressing. In essence, learning is like practicing – no matter how good we get at something we have to continue to practice it to retain it. Yoga culture correctly describes the act of ‘doing yoga’ as ‘the practice of yoga’, no matter how advanced a yogi may be. As in life, we practice what we learn and learn from what we practice.
So with all that said, I would now like to share with you the top 10 lessons that I have learned over the past year.
1) It is okay to slow down and prioritize relaxation.
2) Gratitude is essential to happiness and fulfillment.
3) Engaging on Twitter as a physician translates to real-life connections.
4) My concept of wellness continues to expand and evolve.
5) Creativity is essential and accessible to everyone – blogging and writing continue to fuel mine.
6) Living mindfully helps me to relieve stress and allows me to accept the here and now.
7) Walking and yoga are very beneficial to my overall well-being.
8) My kids have a lot more figured out when it comes to the importance of self-awareness and self-love than I ever did as a teenager.
9) I can be married to my best friend, my life cheerleader and the man who loves me without conditions – and it just keeps getting better.
10) Being 40 something is better than my 20 something thought it ever would be.
The process of reflection in picking my top 10 lessons was both throughly enjoyable and enlightening. So, what do I hope to learn in 2016? I hope to build on and continue to practice many of the key elements to a fulfilling life that I have listed above. I also hope to continue to strive to be the most authentic, self-aware version of myself through kindness, compassion and love.
As you may or may not know by now, the following quote is one of my favourites of all time. I feel that it truly sums up a common goal we all share.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon
All the best in 2016.