Reflecting Backward and Looking Forward – New Year 2018

2017 was a year full of surprises and transformation. It is only fitting that we reflect on all the things that we are thankful for, and wish did not change in 2018.

1. Family: We should all be thankful to our family,  and say it out loud once in a while. I am deeply grateful to my Mom, Dad and Brother for all that they have done. Only when you are in an environment where you experience equality do you realize the opportunities you have been missing so far. It is not easy to send your child thousands of miles away to a strange environment, and not every parent do that.

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2. Friends: It’s pleasantly surprising how you can form bonds quickly, especially when you didn’t expect to. Grad school, among a melange of things, taught me that it’s possible to do that. It’s not enough just to find people with whom you click, it’s important that they all are motivated and passionate about something. Surrounding yourself with such people enhances your lifestyle. I am also thankful towards all those from undergrad who made the worst of days bearable. The juniors who constantly provided energy and support. The teachers and professors who anchored my conviction to study further. The people around the world who inspired me so much in ways that can’t be explained.

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3. Books: We don’t realize this often, but we owe a lot to the books we read, and the authors who took time to craft them. It’s been long since I sat down to read a novel, and finally I got the chance to do it in the holidays. A few pages made me realize why I miss it and why it’s crucial for everyone to read. It takes you into a world of solidarity where all that you’re aware of are the author’s thoughts and his/her message that registers in your head. One of the best lessons that I learnt this year came from a book. When you’re faced with a problem, think of the worst-case scenario. If the domino fell at all the wrong times in all the odd places, what would be the result? Now learn to accept this result. Have you accepted it? Good. Now that the weight of fear is off your shoulders, come up with ways to mitigate the repercussions.

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4. Every single failure: When I applied for Universities in my final year of undergrad, I had a very different dream of where I’d end up for my post-grad. Of course, things did not go my way and I had a period of utter demotivation and ego-stripping. And I’m sure a lot of people would go through the same stint. Quoting a very smart guy who you must know, ‘You cannot connect the dots by looking forward, but when you look backward, they would already be connected to form a beautiful picture.’ There were countless minor failures too. Things that you ruin your mood, wipe off your smile for a few hours and make you wish when the next day would arrive. I don’t wish for happy days, and neither do I wish for sad ones. I wish for mundane days when I get to go through a routine, with a coherent shift of emotions guiding me throughout the day.

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2017 was also a wonderful year on a grand scale. This article outlines 99 events that make it a year worth remembering: https://medium.com/future-crunch/99-reasons-2017-was-a-good-year-d119d0c32d19

I want to start 2018 by keeping a checklist of things that I wish I did – first one being either skydiving or scuba diving. I do believe in resolutions but not in the conventional way. I find it impossible to shred yourself off of the old habits and inculcate new ones in a span of 24 hours. My resolution is to change one simple habit every month that would help me in the long run.

As the holidays slowly come to a close, it is time to again kick-start another semester filled with hectic schedules, monumental learning and hopefully lot more memories. Holidays help you not just to take a break and relax. They also show you why you love the high of working productively. Wishing everyone an amazing New Year!

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Cheers! 🙂

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