Three things I learned in 2016

15 December 2016

Guest post by Yong Hao

Never, ever, ever tell people our goals

I learnt a hard way that it is totally useless to tell people things like: “I am so going to do it”, “I have this and that goals”. Research has already proven that it’s not helpful at all to announce our goals. It tricks us in believing that we have achieved them and we are less motivated to do it. It is more practical to keep it to ourselves and find strength to do it. Being silent and alone are helpful in pulling us back to work.

If we can’t afford the shame of telling others our goals and end up not achieving it, then this is another compelling reason for us to really shut up. Heck, we might even disrupt people’s progress by bugging them and proudly announcing to them our goals. So be kind to others and try not to be a nuisance.

Keep our goals to ourselves and work towards it silently. It works.


Life moves on – they don’t give a shit.

In life, we’ll never know. We might care and get hurt by a lot of things. But life is ever transcending –  failures and achievements, despair and joy, none of these matters anymore later as life will be moving into the next big thing. Our realizations will not be enough to be brought forward even to the next moment – life hastens at this speed.

So, if we feel like enough is enough, maybe it is time to move on. When I view my life in retrospect, I realize that some of the things I once resented and resisted could be quite refreshing and enlightening. Equally, I could despise anything I once rejoiced and loved.

We are just a vehicle of our emotions, bodies, and experiences. This too shall pass.

Everything in life comes in progression

It is relieving to finally realize for myself that, in order for the things to work out, there will be a gradual climb. We can improve over time.

Great things that happened comes in a gradual slope on multitude of reasons: evolution, human flight, landing on the moon, and so much more. Rome was not built in a day. I found out that there is nothing out of blue that makes me who I am. Only gradual changes - a bunch of mistakes, a continuity of moments, a string of emotions and a series of mixed events.

We mess up when we rush. We overlook when we scramble. We lost our composure when we scurry. We have to educate and remind ourselves again and again, that things take time.

Once we understand that life is a progress, instead of yearning to reach our goals immediately, we are more ready for longer battles instead of short and fiery ones. We value deep grit, work hard, and keep ourselves in the heat. We are more ready to be consistent and go for the extra mile. Most importantly, we will rest and recharge along the way. There is a modern Chinese adage: “It is only faster to go slower” (慢慢來才比較快).

Slow and steady win the race.


So, what have you learnt in 2016?

Thank you for reading. To know me more, head to Medium (@jeevakanow) for my musings about life.


Thanks Yong Hao for sharing this post with us. From his words, 2016 seems like a fruitful year for his personal growth. I feel the same for my life too, I find this video useful to help me review my year. Dear reader, I hope you've had a wonderful year. Let's usher in 2017 with joy and hope!     - Eve

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