“Focus more on learning, than on succeeding…”- Michelle Obama
I became a mum at a very young age and growing up in my society, it was very important (and still is) to become successful, move out and show everyone what you had achieved. In my twenties, I focused so much on the importance of success. I placed the idea of becoming successful, at the forefront of almost everything I did. My main goal was to become successful and I assumed that with every bit of financial success I earned, happiness and all things positive will follow.
But as time gradually went by, I realised that success doesn’t bring internal joy…it brings happiness. One of my colleagues at work once said to me, that her mother always tells her and her brother that having joy in your life is far more pleasant than happiness. Because happiness can come from anything, but it can also fade away very quickly. And there is so much truth to that statement. Buying your favourite pair of designer shoes that you’ve been eyeing, can bring happiness…saving up for your dream car and finally driving it out of the showroom, can bring happiness…going out with your friends can bring happiness. But once you’ve worn those shoes to the ground, your happiness fades away…once there’s a new model of that dream car you longed for, your happiness can fade away and thats when the thirst to satisfy your happiness kicks in again…once you say goodbye to your friends and everyone jumps in their Uber back home, you’re left with memories as well as your own personal thoughts.
Happiness is temporary and if I could give advice to my younger self, I would tell her to seek joy from within that will last for eternity.
Mauritius is the tenth country I have visited. And the more and more I travel, the more keen I am to learn and experience other cultures, to educate myself on how others live around the world and to see what they classify as ‘normal.’ Sure there is an expense that comes with travelling (particularly around certain countries on the globe), but I’d rather invest sensibly into the travelling as it allows me to see, live and experience things, I most likely will never come across at home.
Another key piece of advice I’d give my 20-year-old self is to put yourself first and be unapologetic about it. Some weeks ago, I read an article perfectly composed by Lydia Elise Millen on her personal blog, where she talked about being “a proud difficult woman.” As I read through the post, I couldn’t help but nod my head at every word as there was so much truth to everything she said. I felt as if I could strongly relate to every point that she made. She talked about being a people pleaser and always having to apologise to others for practically being yourself. I find myself doing the same thing. If someone bumps into me on the street, I apologise…If I’m having a conversation with someone and I notice that they begin to feel uncomfortable, I apologise. The other day, I walked into a shop to buy something and I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Once I came across a sales advisor, I approached them politely and before asking for help, I said “I am so sorry to bother you…” before I proceeded with my query. When I left the shop I asked myself, why did I apologise to someone who was doing their job??.. And because of that mentality, I always find myself putting others needs/ wants before mine. It’s still early days of being a thirty year old however, I’ve realised that putting myself first and being who I am ensures peace of mind. It also puts me in a healthy space to do things for others or to be there for them if necessary. If I could advise my 20-year-old-self, I would tell her that being a people pleaser doesn’t bring joy and satisfaction, for there will always be someone out there who doesn’t appreciate or acknowledge what you do.