The Big Four Eight (48)
Taking Stock: Birthdays are a great time to step-back from one’s hectic routine, and take stock of one’s current position vis-a-vis one’s personal goals. Usually, as I turn one year older, I ask myself many personal questions such as, “Did I ever imagined a few years ago that I would be doing what I am doing right now? Am I in a place now where I want to be? Do I need to change or remove certain elements in my life? Where do I see myself 5 or 10 years from now?” I ask these probing questions because I have a phobia of ignorantly heading in the wrong direction and not living my life to the fullest or not living-up to my fullest potential.
Furthermore, I see life like a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel: In the hands of a master craftsman, we can shape our lives into practically anything that we desire. On the other hand, to unskilled hands, the clay of life remains shapeless and carry no meaning whatsoever. Of course, we are not borne having the right skills, and it is up to every individual to acquire the required skills along the way.
So, expanding our mind through continuous learning is very important to enrich not only our lives but the lives of people within our sphere of influence. If you want to learn a new language – just do it! If you feel like reading a book – do it! Self-education will make us all a better person by empowering us with the knowledge and skills to improve our lives, our society and our nation. Ignorance, on the other hand, is a total waste of space which will take us down the slippery road to a state of confusion, conflict and despair.
Staying Grounded: Other important personal traits to which I try to firmly hold-on, throughout the years, is humility and dignity. No matter how successful we become, we should always remain humble, and we can never lose touch with reality. I have seen many friends and even statesmen who grew too big for their boots, and when these people forget their humble beginnings they become ungrateful, and consequently, their popularity will erode without them realising it.
The twin brother of humility is dignity. I find it’s best to conduct oneself in a dignified manner, at all times, because this will help us maintain a civilised society. Recently, I spoke to a successful tour operator who told me that she simply refuse to handle tourists from China because their behaviour is disrespectful and disgraceful; physically shoving each other instead of queuing-up in an orderly manner wherever they go. Behaving in a dignified manner will reflect well not only on ourselves, but also on our families, our company and nation.
Growing Wiser: The older I get, the more that the advise and writings of the great ancient philosophers make sense to me. Even our grandparents and the senior citizens gave us so many useful lessons in life. Unfortunately, we may have been to big-headed or too stubborn to learn from our wise elders.
I did remember one saying, though, “People will not remember what you said or do, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
What Next? Primarily, I think keeping fit and healthy will give me the strong foundation to build-upon my future hopes and dreams. Secondly, showing my loved ones that I still care, and nurturing great friendship will be the key to happiness & success in the days, months & years to come…Happy Birthday to Me!