Five Life Lessons I Am Taking into the New Year

Patience Salami

As the new year rolled in, I began to reflect on the learnings and growth curves from the previous year. I did not imagine the year before would take the twists and turns that it did. Above all, I learnt several lessons that made me resilient and a better version of myself. I present five of the most valuable life lessons I learnt in 2022 that I am taking into 2023.

1. Progress over Perfection:

Better to make meaningful and sustainable progress than waste time trying to attain perfection. This aligns with the agile principle which has been adopted by most tech-driven and forward-thinking organisations. There is a considerable difference between perfection and excellence. While perfection is elusive, excellence is progressive. I learnt that my ideas, vision, dreams, and work do not have to be perfect. There should be a level of excellence with the initial rollout, which can be refined and improved progressively. Don’t beat yourself up waiting for perfect timing. Step out in faith with the little in your hand and watch it multiply. What seems ideal today may be obsolete tomorrow, with evolving technology and new models constantly released.

2. Pain can birth Purpose:

Purpose I believe, is living life with a mission, to understand why you are here and what you should do with the time you have and the people you serve. I learnt how to birth purpose from painful experiences. The deepest emotional pains occur from a breach of trust from close associates, the loss of a loved one and when leaders you had confidence in did nothing about a situation. It reminds me of the account in the Holy Bible when King David was silent after his heir, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. When David heard what Amnon did, he was furious, but that was all he did. He didn’t take any further action to address or resolve the situation. The pain from his inaction led to Absalom’s rebellion and death. During a pain period, you naturally want to be left alone to grieve and process the events. It is important to do this with a guide or a counsellor who can help you see a bird’s eye view and ignite a spark of hope.

3. Give people flowers while they can smell them:

The past year taught me a timeless lesson that I’ll take into the new year – value your loved ones and close friends while they are alive. Allow them to soak in the love, memories, and affection you can provide. In May 2022, I lost my dad. It was unprecedented, and I did not expect to receive such news at the time I did. The week my dad passed on, I quit my job and planned to travel to visit my dad and make some memorable moments with him, little did I know he would pass on the same week. This sad event taught me to do the needful always. No job, work schedule, or anything else should prevent us from being there for our loved ones and making the most of the time we have with them. Social media doesn’t make things easier. We live in an era where people now build superficial relationships with strangers online while they ignore the loved ones they can see physically. Sometimes, you should drop your smartphone and take a break from social media to connect with your loved ones, family and friends.

4. Favour is better than labour:

2022 taught me that the wealthiest men are not always the most hardworking; the best in class is not always the first in life. God’s favour upon the life of a man can make a huge difference. While there is dignity in labour, there is wisdom in seeking God’s favour. I saw men go from grace to grass; some from zero to heroes. The biblical allusion to life being a race is very applicable. Time and chance are deciding factors in life’s journey. 

5. Relationships are assets

Life’s greatest assets are people. I learnt this important life lesson I’m bringing into 2023. Building quality relationships, with the right people, at all levels, could influence your life positively. Emotional intelligence is a valuable skill required to cultivate positive social networks with the people that matter. Life itself is all about people. Be intentional about investing in social capital and improving your network. 

*Salami is a Global Marketing and Communications Professional with extensive experience in International Development, Non-Governmental Oganisations, telecommunications, FMCG and Financial Institutions. She holds a postgraduate degree from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, and a professional degree and membership at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom.

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