The joy of life
I am chuffed that members read my ramblings and seem to enjoy them – particularly as I’m someone who, in my first year in Oz, was traumatised when a teacher asked me to summarise a passage and I didn’t know how to!
The same teacher also asked me, “What do you think?”, which surprised me, as I came from a country where we were told what to think. Now, thanks to my teacher, I’m full of opinions – although I do realise that any opinion falls somewhere between fact and ignorance.
As members know of my personal challenges, I’m often asked how I cope with them while still appearing to be happy and positive. The truth is that I am the happiest and saddest person, and everything in between.
It simply comes down to choice.
I can choose to feel sorry for myself and allow these challenges to tear me apart, or I can decide to revel in the joy of life while still carrying my pain. Since this is the only life I will ever have, I have chosen to make the most of it in every way I can. I’m not oblivious to the tragedies I’ve experienced and there are times when I find the pain unbearable. In these moments, I break down and cry, which to me is a release of the pain. Then I do a lot of self-talking to remind myself of the amazing things in my life.
I have come to realise that although I’m in pain, I don’t have to keep hurting myself.
Survival is an instinct but how we survive is a choice. It’s helpful if you’re a positive person by nature – but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop a more positive attitude and outlook through discipline, persistence and resilience.
The choice is easy, the road to success is arduous, but the joy of success is sweet.
The festive season is here again and that usually means family get togethers, which can be interesting… For those you love and connect with, take every opportunity to let them know that you appreciate them. And for those who are more challenging? I tend to avoid them or minimise my interactions with them.
When it comes to interactions that annoy or anger me, I do not to react but instead wait for my irritation to subside before I respond. As Roman philosopher Lucius Seneca wisely put it, “The greatest remedy for anger is delay”. When I do reply, it’s usually a few days later, when I’ve had the chance to formulate a considered response – and I work on ensuring my words do not attack or offend.
One of the key life principles I pursue is harmony, which involves connection and communication with people. I have learned that words matter, that the words you use can cause havoc or create harmony.
For example, I no longer say “I disagree” as it can be interpreted as me saying “You are wrong”. I prefer to use words that could lead to a discussion rather than an argument, so I usually respond with “I see it differently” and then provide my reasoning to continue the discussion.
At the very least, if you can’t be nice or neutral with your words, don’t be nasty.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all staff and members for their support of our little community at Elixr. This journey has been rewarding and challenging, and I am so grateful to be living my dream and passion.
Have a wonderful festive season, be wise and be safe.
The last time I was in lockdown was in 1969, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, because racial riots broke out...