Lesson 48: 10 important lessons I learnt in 2021!

Dear Readers,

how are you this morning? Did you all enjoy a festive season?

As much as I tried to avoid it – I was also drawn into Christmas drama. I hope you’re Xmas’s were a little less dramatic than mine.

We are slowly coming towards the end of another tumultuous year (dominated by everyone’s favourite virus), and I am using the post-xmas time to reflect on the past year.

When I say 2021 I am mainly going to be focusing on the 2nd half of 2021. My life took a dramatic turn in May 2021 when I decided to end my current relationship. I then joined a book club, tried my hand at Stand up comedy, handed in my notice at my company, ended a 2nd relationship and finally sent all the forms to found my own company.

Reading back on this I have to say…wow. I still can’t really believe it myself but it’s all actually happening.

During the intense 6 months I have definitely learnt a lot of lessons and so please allow me to share these with you.

  1. How to read non-fiction

I have always shied away from non-fiction books. I always felt that reading should be a relaxing past-time and that I could only chill out when I was lost in my imagination.

In June 2021 I joined a book club “Book lovers in Basel” and the first book was “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. This was one of the first non-fiction books I have read and I absolutely loved it.

I generally read my books on a kindle (due to lack of space in my apartment) and I started reading this book on the kindle cloud app. This allows me to easily highlight passages which I found interesting.

During the discussion I learnt about an app called “Readwise” – an app which collects passages you’ve highlighted and allows you to review them each day. You can then save these passages onto your phone and share them on social media feeds.

Since reading “Atomic Habits” I have read other non-fiction books such as “Understanding Hand Safety” by Joe Geng, “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle and “ReWork” by Jason Fried.

The combination of a desktop reader and a highlight collector definitely allows me to keep my focus.

2. It’s not the goal but it’s the journey.

I know – I sound so self-righteous here – however this is definitely a phrase I am living by right now.

As you might know, I recently lost a lot of weight by following a (very unhealthy) diet. One of my main problems caused by this diet was a fear of food. I was afraid to eat anything with sugar or carbs – due to the potential of the “yo yo” effect – where you gain more weight than what you originally lost.

I decided however that I wanted to be a healthy, fit person (not necessarily thin!) and so I have started smaller habits to contribute this final image of myself.

These include: going to the gym ( I don’t go religiously – but I go!), cooking at home using a lot of local vegetables and doing a skin routine every night. I also intermittant fast – but unintentionally…as my body doesn’t tell me it’s hungry. I also try and drink 3L of water a day – I don’t always succeed but I do always drink a glass of water in the morning as it has been ingrained into my personal routine that I need to have a glass of water next to my bed.

So I am now eating carbs and sugar (not all the time) yet my body has not changed. I am a lot more relaxed about food and I generally feel good!

3) Surround yourself with people who benefit your life.

I am quite introverted and hanging out with people often drains me. However I have discovered that I become energised when I hang out with like-minded people, or people with whom I can have a deep conversation with. After these meetings I am motivated and inspired.

The book club is a prime example as well as the comedy scene. I really enjoy spending my time with these people, as I feel I can learn from them!

4) Follow people who inspire you.

Linking onto my previous lesson – this has definitely helped me. On Instagram I recently did a “following purge” and unfollowed accounts which I felt were either negative or didn’t bring anything beneficial to my life. These were mainly celebrity accounts, or accounts telling me how to lose weight fast.

I mainly kept my friends and acquaintences (although there are a few who I am tempted to delete due to ther conspirational nature…)

I have started following people who inspire me. Business owners and philosophy students. I love the positive impact this is having on my life.

5) How to touch my toes

This was something I was quite embaressed about. I couldn’t touch my toes. I am not flexible but I want to become more and more flexible – so I have started incorporating morning stretches into my routine.

One day – I did it. I managed to touch my toes! The pride that went through me was amazing!

6) Expressing gratitude

This was a recent lesson which I am still learning. I do admit that it is quite difficult to write in the app everyday but I will peservere – as history has shown me that repeated actions are needed to create a habit!

I do feel the positive effects when I take a quick moment to become mindful of my sitution and express gratitude about it.

7) A mantra does help.

So handing in my notice in order to start my own company is definitely something that many people have called “brave”. Honestly I am terrified of not having a regular income from March. Sometimes this fear makes me tempted to throw the project out and beg for my job back – however when this fear shows up I repeat to myself

You’re young, you have no kids, you don’t own a house – you only need to look after yourelf. If it fails – it fails but you learn a lesson and then you can find a job somewhere else. You’re not stupid and you will regret it if you don’t do it”.

I then feel my fear melt away.

8) “The ONE” is a toxic idea.

I recently stumbled accross a Youtube video by Alain de Botton called “Alain de Botton on Romanticism” and it really opened my eyes to how I used to behave because I was always in search of “The one”. My partner.

I didn’t want to be an unmarried old spinster who would become lonely and die alone. Because society has conditioned me to think that this is what will happen if I remain single.

I enjoy spending time with other people, I enjoy flirting and yes I enjoy other pleasures – however I am no longer going to fixate on the idea of “falling in love”.

I do believe that I could find a romantic partner with whom I would be content to wake up next to every day but I also have loving relationships with some very good friends. Friends who I don’t think will abandon me when I get older.

9) I definitely still don’t want kids.

I was on a plane, there wsa a kid. It was screaming the entire time. Nope – no kids for me.

10) Look at yourself in the mirror.

This is quite a difficult one to write but I do feel that I may in fact be quite a toxic person. I have often accused some ex-boyfriends and ex-friends of treating me bad or being energy vampires – but maybe I am the one causing the problem?

It could be that I am quite narcisstic? Ok – this isn’t a lesson which I have yet learned but I am learning to analyse myself a lot more – understand my own behaviours. Why do I act the way I do? Do my actions cause harm to other people?

Wow that was a long post!

As always, thanks for reading!

Laura xoxoxoxo

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