Godfrey’s musings: What I wish I knew when I was 25 (Part 5)

Now that I’ve worked for a few years, I realize that the world I know now is a lot different from that I thought I knew when I was 25.  When I finished school, I was so delighted.  I thought the future was so bright that I needed sunglasses.  Just take a look at the above picture!  How naïve of me!

The world is neither black nor white

As children, we often learn about “right” and “wrong.”  In the real world, there is often no clear boundary between right and wrong.  What is “right” might even be subjective, based on the person’s values.  Of course, there are clear rules what one can or cannot do (e.g. what is legal), but there are often grey areas.  Your belief that something is “right” might be “wrong” to others.  Our worldview is driven by our own value judgments and other people will often disagree.  The issue is how to deal with others who have different worldviews from you.

I was really privileged to have the opportunity

We often live in a bubble, surrounding ourselves with similar people.  But in the reality, there are many others who are less privileged (and of course, also many others who are much more privileged).  The real question is how you can use your skills and resources to make a difference in other people’s lives, no matter how small.  Helping others will invariably contribute to your own personal growth and create value to your own life.  If you can help one person, you would have changed the world – at least yours.

Everyone falls, but what matters is how to stand back up 

We all face problems at one point or another.  We might lose our jobs.  Have breakups.  Lose friends.  But those are all learning experiences.  Most of the time, we can’t prevent problems from happening.  But what we can do is to learn how to tackle and resolve them.  Every problem is an opportunity.  Lose your job?  Great, because you can now spend your time on looking for the right job for you.  You should also reflect on why you lost your job, so you won’t make the same mistakes again in the future.

Take nothing for granted, especially your health

We often take things for granted.  Family, relationship, career and health.  They are blessings.  But if we don’t cherish them, we will lose them.  When that happens, many people have a difficult time coping, because they never realized what they lost until it’s too late.  Don’t learn your lesson until after the fact.  Make priorities in life – what is more important than your loved ones and your health?  If you spend your entire youth on earning money, you will simply spend all your money trying to buy back your health later on in life.

The above are just a few life lessons I have learned in my few years of working.  There is still a lot to learn, but I think those are some important lessons for having a meaningful life.  What good is life if you can’t spend your time enjoying it?  Life is too short.  There are always people who say that they know money can’t buy happiness, but they’d rather cry in a Ferrari than on a bus.  Money can’t buy happiness, but it certainly can’t buy back your health once you lose it.  Why not manage your body first, so when you do drive that Ferrari, you won’t get a heart attack driving it.

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