Words of Wisdom (Pt 2)

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Booking under: Nicole

As a regular reader of A Booking For Two, you would have noticed the blog format in October is slightly different from those in previous months. Instead of covering several commitments, we decided to focus on “examine true rules” and share what we practice to characterize our lives and shape our actions. Thanks Keith for this great idea!

Here are five true rules that I have learnt and live by to cultivate mindfulness. They provide structure and direction to my everyday life. Let’s check them out.

Take responsibility for yourself

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Also take responsibility for your pet if you have one. Keep it for life.

When planning for happiness and success, I believe taking full responsibility for my life is the first step. At every stage of life, there are often mentors telling us how we should do things. While their advice is appreciated, we are in charge of our lives and take sole accountability for every decision and action taken. No one else can live it for us. Before making a decision, we should know the consequences associated with the behavior and take ownership of it.

Taking responsibility for yourself also means aligning actions with words. When we don’t keep our words, our credibility and trustworthiness will be undermined. Our reputation and relationship with others is built on the foundation of doing what we say we will do, whether being on time to events or delivering what we promise at work. As such, my commitment is to always honor my commitments.

Put Family First

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Remember who taught you to walk your first steps and speak your first words.  Not Elsa, but your parents.

Another value that I take very seriously is family. While we are often busy with work and other activities with friends, we should know our priorities, and make ourselves available for the people we truly love and care about. That includes our parents, siblings, and significant other. They accept us for who we are and provide unconditional love and support no matter we are at the pinnacle of success or in difficult circumstances. Family imparts stability to our lives and home is always the best shelter.

Upon our arrival to this world, our parents are the first teachers who taught us how to cope up with the physical world. We should be thankful for what they have done and sacrificed for us. After we grow up and become independent, it is time for us to bear the responsibility of taking care of them. Nothing difficult here: be present, show your care, and spend time with them. The sad but true fact is that they won’t be around forever, so cherish the moment when we are still able to. Leading by example, this is a good opportunity to be role model for the next generation and pass on positive family values to them.

You are what you eat

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If life gives you lemons, make orange juice. Splendid.

When I was studying overseas, the famous Californian In-N-Out Burger was just a five-minute walk away from my apartment, and I’ve only had meals there less than a handful of time in 4 years. Burgers and fries are not my things as I find them too greasy and don’t do good to my body. Indeed, food contains combinations of nutrients and other substances that determine the composition of cells and hormones and also contribute to noticeable changes in body shape.

While it is important to be mindful of what is put on the plate, sometimes it is fine to let loose and enjoy one or two bites of luxury (ice-cream yay!). The idea here is to have a balanced and disciplined dietary intake, and maintain a healthy weight. If investing our money wisely can ensure financial stability, we should even be more eager to invest in our health for long term well-being so that we are less likely to suffer from diabetes or coronary diseases as we get older.

We are amazing organisms that need to be taken care of, and it’s really the best anyone of us can do for ourselves. As such, I will do future 60-year-old Nicole a favor, and continue to be aware of what goes into my mouth. By eating clean, I hope to promote a good inner being and outer fabric of my body.

Pride comes before the fall

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I will be proud of myself if I cam assemble a road bike. Can anyone teach me?

A little fun fact to share about my childhood: I wrote myself this saying in Chinese on an A4 paper and put it in front of my desk throughout my academic journey. From primary school to college, I am fortunate that my academic results have been satisfying. Because of that, I always remind myself to be humble and not to be boastful about achievements. Be confident, not arrogant.

We all enjoy being successful so it makes absolute sense to enjoy the moment and acknowledge ourselves. However, we ought to be mindful and not let success go to our head. Having a false sense of pride masks us from recognizing the big picture and prompts vulnerability. Success is temporary, so we need to keep growing instead of resting on our laurels. No one has answers to everything and there is so much more in life worth learning. It is only by having the courage to admit our shortfalls and keep learning that we stay grounded.

Save for a rainy day

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She looks all ready to dance in the rain! Anyone wanna join her?

This resembles an old Chinese saying that I’ve come across when I was little. How much will you spend if you earn $100? Would you spend it all out or save a portion of it? I prefer the latter. Saving allows us to implement plans (whether it’s for professional training, housing, or indulging in a little splurge) and expand options for decisions. But more importantly, saving serves significant purpose when unanticipated events arise in life.

I am not a prophet so I don’t have the ability to predict what is going to happen exactly in the future. Yet, it is a safe assumption that we will likely encounter some sort of emergency from time to time. In order not to starve off emergency, it is wise to be well-prepared and put aside some money so that we can stay calm and dip into the rainy day fund when needed. We have nothing to lose by saving and only a happier future to gain so it is definitely a habit worth getting into. Let’s save for a rainy day, stay dry, and enjoy the sunny days afterwards.

Summing Up

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As we approach the end of the year, I am happy to reflect and compile a list of life principles that I count on to live a happy and meaningful life. Some people may see rules as restrictions, but the way I see it is that life can’t be organized without rules, especially true rules. Just imagine the road traffic or a football game without rules, chaos will follow.

Do you also follow a couple of true rules in life? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I am sure you are as excited as me to see how Keith has been applying his true rules in life. Come back for his sharing next week!

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One thought on “Words of Wisdom (Pt 2)

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