10 Things I Realized at 28

Perhaps there will be a point in one's life that one tries to reflect on his or her life, and attempts to make revisions thereafter to make goals realistic and attainable. At this time, that point is ongoing in my life. I remember at the age of 8, I already had an idea on how I am going to be in the future and what I will do to achieve it. After 20 years, how did I fair and was my previous plan the same still? Tough questions but this blogpost will enumerate my self-assessment, with the intention to inspire others to evaluate their own lives too.

1. Twenty years was not too long ago. In fact, I still have clear memories of my college days, which happened just ten years ago. This gives me the impression that 10 years from now, would I be able to realize most of my dreams at that time?

In the Filipino perspective, when one turns 40, everything should be stable enough. This is the time one thinks on how one would retire at 60. I am growing old faster I think with this mindset, and life seems to have already shifted to its downturn. The reality is I am just over a decade before that happens. I must somehow hurry up if I am not contented with my life today.

2. If I wanted not to worry about trying to fulfill my dreams in haste within ten years, then I should aim to live longer I guess.

The average life span for Filipinos now is at 69. But deduct several years from it when life seems only characterized by diseases, impairing my functioning. One can not travel or enjoy life at that state to the fullest if that happens I suppose. Eating right, reducing stress and going to gym is perhaps a necessity now, than just an option. That could help me live longer. I hope at 80, I still  do have the physical and mental capacity to travel to places and write books about anything that interests me.

3. Life is not just not work. Work is important but that should not consume so much time and energy.

Admittedly, I was a workaholic about five years ago. I almost never sleeps. Now, I do spend my time watching documentaries, reading books, learning a new language, going to gym and going out with family and friends. I see my life still unbalanced, but that is a significant progress fro, what it was before. If I could just utilize less effort to earn more, then that would be the most practical choice for me. After all, work only ensures one has something to do everyday, aside from fulfilling individual duties to one's self to be happy.

4. If I have to save first before I spend for travel and build my dream house, then it would somehow take me a decade of tightening my budget, before I could even begin realizing me dreams. Should I wait for that time?

The philosophy must change to doing the things that makes one happy, as soon as there is an opportunity. Why should man delay enjoying things to a period when he or she is physically exhausted and mentally drained? The perfect time is either now or as soon as possible.

5. The greatest responsibility I have is for myself. One could not solve other's problems. Concentrate on what you have, because ignoring your own problem by focusing on another's is a sort of betrayal to yourself.

One could help, but there is no point of contentment and fulfillment. It is will be a never-ending process. One's personal expense must be bigger in value that the amount used to help others. One is not born in this world to do things for another person, even those are your family members. You have a life to live, but never forget others, not live their lives for them.

6. I can never be morally-correct and socially-acceptable. We are unique and this uniqueness somehow deviates with social norms. It is either you change or be the person are you are supposed to be.

My thoughts of morality has perhaps changed. Morals are supposed to be dictated by ourselves, not by a religious sect or another person. We all strive to be better, but there is no way to objectively compare who is less moral than another. We do not have both the capacity and authority to judge. We are human beings. The moment we limit ourselves within a certain norm and social expectation, we become less rational worthy of becoming humans.

7. A person becomes hurt, because of his or her own perceptions and misconceptions. Another aspect of being human is being vulnerably emotional, but that does not provide a substantial reason to stay hurt, rather than being happy.

Maturity is characterized by emotional control, but not devoid of its expression. The key to one's  emotional control is expanding one's perspectives. This will aid in countering limited perceptions and misconceptions. No one could do this if one remains in his or her comfort zone. Learn from others and open both your eyes and mind.

8. Change is an integral part of life. One does not fight against it, but go through it. Change should not make one sad, because our duty in change is only to accept and deal with it.

Our habits have evolved for so many years. It is natural we do not want to change anything of it. We are comfortable and desire to continue with status quo. However, that is not suppose to hamper one living his or her life. Nothing to be afraid, because we feel we are indeed humans, when we feel our existence. The challenge of change confirms that we do exist.

9. You do not need to sacrifice to be happy. There is no requirement of happiness. You actually do not need money, education or experience to be happy.

Happiness is a state of mind and a decision to make everyday. It fluctuates from time to time, but it is not a goal to be achieved. Accept that today, you must be happy and keep doing the things that make you happy. No buts and ifs, just choose happiness.

10. We only live once. Make out of it. One has three-fold duties: to self, to the closest individuals and to the society. The balance is difficult to achieve, but unless one realize and take the previous 9 things on this list seriously, one does not any progress.

If I have to learn more, then I have to start now to be wise. If I desire to help more people, then I must take risk to earn more, without compromising my happiness. Earn more in the easiest possible right way. You do not have to toil and cry in darkness to make yourself rich. Doing something today would help you become nearer to what you want and need.

Lastly, being human is not just about ourselves, as others see it. We are humans, as we see our worth in the society. This worth is not measured by our achievement, experience or wealth, but on our contribution in making a legacy for ourselves and the greater society, such that when we die or become mentally-incapacitated, people remembers at least we did something significant in our lives, not particularly what it is.

Cheers to life!


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