Have you ever had a moment where you’re conversing with someone and you simultaneously think about what it is you are doing or how you sound while speaking to that person?
Perhaps you started to increase your voice or started to sound emotional. You’re still speaking, you’re still wavering your hands in the air. Your facial expressions are mildly exaggerated and you look like you may lose it soon.
But you don’t. Because you caught yourself. In the quickest of moments, you readjust yourself so as to not go overboard. You take a deep breath. You tell yourself to remain calm throughout the conversation.
I still remember the young girl I was at the start of the decade. I was 18 and just finishing my pre-university course in 2010 and beginning the first year of university. It was a year of struggle and separation as my friends and I said our goodbyes and went off to various different universities. It was also a year of fond memories and meaningful encounters as I transitioned from one phase of life into another.
I remember how I looked like and how I felt distinctly. But interestingly, that young girl feels so far and so distant to the person I am today. I guess you could say, she is a girl of the past.
This year has been meaningful in many more ways than I could have imagined. I tapped into my intuition more, reflected on my innermost deepest thoughts, forced myself out of a cocoon of self-deprecation, and put more faith in God. As a result I felt a tidal wave of doubt pass by. It was one of the best personal feats I have experienced to date.
As usual, a list of self reflections is in order. I contemplated on whether to just write about one main thing I learned, but it seems I had a lot more to divulge haha.
12 things I learned in 2019
1. Gratitude multiplies with every thought
Perhaps the most common application of gratitude is that people only want to feel it when something good happens. But even with no new developments, you can still be thankful for your present life. The more I felt gratitude, the more I realised there’s a lot to be thankful for.
2. When you choose to open your heart, you will achieve greater understanding
A lot of times people say they want the best for someone but they say it from their head, not their heart. When you do that, the thoughts don’t translate to action, resulting in behaviour that is not truly accepting. If you want to better understand them, do it from the heart and you’ll find that there’s a lot of space for that there.
I have been at the daily grind of a business news room for a while now. Every day is different yet somehow all quite the same. Regardless, as journalists plough through the complexities of each changing day, there are some cardinal rules that holds their ground. The key questions to ask no matter the assignment, the event, the news. The principles to guide our judgement.
One day as I was rushing a story, I was running through these questions in my head. Sometimes you do it without even realising. But somewhere along pondering this it dawned upon me how relevant they were to everyday life. They are questions I can ask in my general behaviour, that can reflect in better decision making no matter what I am doing at that time.
In particular however, I realised these are questions we should ask when we’re talking to people, or rather, talking about people.