I can’t believe 2018 is over. This year has been like a speeding train for me. Sometimes I was riding it, and other times it was running over me. But I survived, and my life has changed, my mind has changed, and I’m definitely happier than when it started, which is the critical part.

2 years ago it was all about book quotes for me, some quotes I still like (you can check out my blog post here). Last year was shaped by my experience in the himalayas. This year is about lessons, (as I honestly didn’t read any book so far). I know I said I won’t be writing philosophy anymore, and I won’t! But still, you can’t completely wipe out the life geek out of me, I grew up believing myself a person with depth, and I still do, so, this takes me to lesson number 1.

“Depth is not for Everyone”

“Whatever is profound loves masks; what is most profound even hates image and parable..”

Friederich Nietzsche

Deep conversations and thinking are very precious to me. And, by publicly vomiting thought, I was removing the importance of this, and what’s more crucial, its value. Now I save it, and I share it with the ones I care about as something precious. Lesson learned! The opposite is also true: when things we value a lot start to lose their holiness, we tend to try and advertise it much more.

If your spirit is not up to it, Don’t Do it!

Weeks ago, I learned how to snowboard. It takes some time and practice to be able to control the board. It’s really a patience and thought exercise because you tend to do things to protect yourself that go against physics and you end up crashing harder. The problem is that after a crash, you tend to be more afraid and you enter a vicious circle which takes a lot of will power to overcome. I feel is the same for many situations in life, and the big lesson of the year is: Don’t do it if you’re not mentally and spiritually prepared to. You’re not doing yourself any favor.

If you’re Egalitarian, Own it!

In this human world of us, things that are performed mostly by women are not done by men not to be seen as “less masculine.” I started my year going to yoga classes, which immensely conflict already on my unintentionally conservative unconscious. Later in the year, I’ve been called names by some friends for getting into knitting. Activities are activities and same way as colors have nothing to do with the meaning society assigns to it. Activities have absolutely nothing to do with the meanings we assign to it.

On the flip side, I dated a person that once criticized me: “You’re saying that you’re egalitarian to avoid your duties as a man.” That statement gave me the shivers. I had to keep her accountable. To equality, there are neither manly or womanly duties. Only people caring for one another and having gesures, not obligations. The only responsibility we have is: hold each other accountable.

Observe, don’t despair, and Trust the Process!

I had countless instances of this lesson this year. Which I managed to synthesize thanks to my passion for yoga and knitting. Many times I find myself frustrated because I didn’t believe to be going in the direction I wanted to go. Or that things were not going to work out.

When knitting my socks; I felt confident I was doing the right thing and working really hard. Several times I would end up realizing I had dropped a stitch just for not looking at what I was doing, and it happened after several rounds. Everything in life can be fixed, so don’t despair!

As with any kind of meditation, the key is practice and looking at what you’re doing until you’re confident you’re doing it right. Keep looking anyway, and if you’re sure you’re right but it looks it’s not going to work out. Trust the process!

At the beginning of the year, I experienced a great example of this. We were on a trip that had a 12-hour layover in El Salvador. Our flight was at 7, and we were 30 km away from the airport. We started driving around 2 where a massive amount of traffic showed in our way. A couple of hours passed and we barely moved. It was not safe to cut through traffic and if we did and we were stopped by the police we would definitely miss our flight. At the end traffic cleared and by trusting the process, we managed to catch our flight. Barely!

There’s Bad Timing, but you can Make it Happen!

For many years I was very wary of doing things that would have a happy ending that I could foresee. Many regrets come to my mind caused by not taking ownership of what I wanted and making it happen. Even in adverse situations. Experience has taught me that if I did what I wanted to do and trusted the process, I would have made things happen and eventually worked out. So my lesson was, prioritize what you want over your rationale, trust the process, and make it happen!

Don’t Assume About Others. Ask!

This is a big one! Countless times I’ve behaved ridiculously with regards to others by incorrectly assuming on what they were thinking or how they were feeling. What people mean when they do what they do is essential. But if that hurts us, or affects us in any way, just say it! Be clear, and remove dramatization or exaggeration out of it. If you like, if you dislike, if it makes you comfortable, if it makes you uncomfortable, if you don’t understand. Just say it! Life is too short to be worried about silences when words and actions are essential. What is difficult and takes practice, is being precise with what you want to say. But that is only improved with practice.

One important consideration: There is always what you say and what you actually say. Think about this and make it match 🙂

Another crucial consideration, especially for people like me who are giving. I tend to be a giving person, more even when I care about someone. And here is a lesson. Don’t assume that someone will appreciate what you have to give just because you give it. People tend to ask for things they need or want. Offering without being asked for is a mistake and only causes you discomfort.

Money Gives you Comfort, Purpose makes you Happy.

Often times I wondered why people that have wealth beyond imagination keep working and are very dedicated to building more wealth. This year I understood it. Money is always the means to the end, which is survival. But is so important that many forget is the means and not the end. By making the exercise of asking myself the question “what if” money was not a problem. I ended up concluding that people sometimes need to make their money making a purpose, otherwise they wouldn’t have a purpose. To all of those who are looking into building a career, my advise is. Money making is important, but purposeless money making will turn you into a very wealthy but unhappy person. Aways find your purpose!

This concludes what I wanted to share! Happy holidays to all of you and make 2019 as awesome as 2018.