Bright Lights and Summer Nights

Picture credits to Pinterest and their respective sources

A place I miss immensely, and long to return to.

I can hardly believe it’s already been a year since I left London (and the UK) and returned to home-ground Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia —— yet another testament to how fast time goes by. Whenever I was there, especially during the entire first month post-university, I found myself playing around with the delicious idea of returning to the cosmopolitan capital one fine day, and my desire for it only grew stronger and stronger with each passing day. The very day I left London, I made a vow in the halls of Heathrow —— to return to this beautiful, vibrant, and exciting city which I’ve come to love so much in the future, and to be able to call it (my second, or third) home. No matter what it took. Because London was the very first city that opened my eyes up to the world around me, and the limitless possibilities that are abound.

I still hold this dream very close to my heart. And I plan to make it happen.

Reminiscent of summer nights in London,

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to spend the rest of the year focusing on my (informal) education. To develop and nurture myself in numerous aspects, from academia, to business, to creativity, to lifestyle, to relationships, amongst others, whilst working on my endeavours at the same time.

I’ve been doing a lot of self-discovery and reflection lately in the past year or so, albeit at a somewhat uncertain pace, but since I’m much clearer on things these days, I can now start placing emphasis on the parts I want to focus on that will help propel me further towards my goals. The first seven months of 2013 has been quite the trip, and in no way has it been the easiest year, what with all the non-Steve Aoki related turbulence that was and is present (glass half-full perspective: growth), but it’s definitely one which I’ve learnt immensely from —— the lessons I’ve embraced so far are invaluable and powerful enough to guide me through the rest of my life —— and might very well turn out to be the very best yet.

An article a close friend shared, which I found to be just what I needed to remind me of what’s ultimately important in such overwhelming times. While I don’t completely agree with some of what is written (although my issue lies more with the way it’s written), it holds a number of strong points and makes for some good reading,

15 Things Happy People Don’t Do
By Ashley Fern

Happiness: something everyone hopes to achieve in his or her lifetime. Such a simple concept, yet many have trouble realising how to obtain it. Sometimes we unintentionally create our own obstacles that prevent us from achieving this goal. It is ever so important to realise the ways we are limiting ourselves so we can fully reach happiness.

Happy people and unhappy people see the world through two completely opposing views. Let’s look at the ways happy people stay happy, while the unhappy remain miserable.

1. Gossip
The only people who gossip are people whose personal lives are not fulfilling enough. If you are happy and content with your life, why do you even care what is going on in someone else’s? There is no reason to engage in this petty behaviour —— all it does is make you look pathetic and jealous.

2. Concern Themselves with Other People’s Problems
People who are unable to mind their own business are most likely internally miserable. They seek to find faults within others just to make themselves feel better. They tend to lead boring lives and have no excitement in their own, so they act in this manner to create something out of nothing. They seek to fill the gap in their lives by discussing the lives of others and judging them harshly, so that they can feel better about their own miserable existences.

3. Think Negatively
There are the miserable people, who are always complaining about anything and everything, while on the other side, we have the optimistic people who always look at the glass half full and are constantly looking for more out of life. Thinking positively will directly affect your happiness since you are focusing on the good as opposed to the bad.

4. Act Jealous
There is no reason for a happy person to act jealous towards others. They recognise the good fortune they possess and relish in it. They do not compare themselves to others since they are more than likely content with themselves. Instead of acting jealous towards others, they take pleasure in their success and celebrate their accomplishments with them.

5. Seek Validation from Others
Happy people do not look to others to confirm their self-worth. They recognise their value on their own and don’t live up to anyone’s expectations. They do things for themselves that they believe will advance them in life. By not concerning themselves with the opinions of others, they can focus on personal growth.

6. Seek Revenge
There is no reason to actively seek revenge against another person. Leave that up to karma and just continue living your life accordingly. Instead of focusing on revenge, happy people try to make peace with the issue. The only way to stop revenge is to give up and to accept it. Replace the evil feelings with opposite thinking. This is the only way; rise above it and let it be.

7. Hold onto Resentment
By holding onto resentment, all you are doing is continuing and intensifying your own sadness. Learn to let things go, especially those which are unchangeable and that are in the past. This feeling will eat at you from the inside and cause stress. There is a unique sense of freedom once you let your anger go.

8. Argue for the Sake of Being Right
It’d be easy to voice my thoughts rationally, but quite as easy to do it condescendingly as well. Many people will have a belief and will hold onto it even when contrary facts are presented to them. If it is a topic that you know they won’t listen to with open ears, don’t open your mouth just so you can appear wiser in the eyes of those around you. You’re only boosting your ego. Do not force your opinions on others or think you know best, as everyone is coming from somewhere. State your point calmly and listen to others. At the very least, you can always agree to disagree.

9. Have Expectations
One of the biggest challenges we face in life is learning to accept people for who they truly are. Once you realise that your expectations cannot change people, the better off you will be. The problem will arise when the expectations do not materialise. Unrealistic expectations will, can, and most often do lead to disappointment. Do not expect things out of situations; just go into them with an open mind. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself without the pressure of living up to preconceived notions.

10. Avoid Personal Problems
When a problem arises, it is the unhappy people who tend to ignore it. This is an awful way to handle situations as the longer you let a problem linger, the greater it will become. You need to tackle issues head on and as soon as possible in hopes of rectifying the circumstances. The stress and anxiety of ignoring such things can and will make you miserable and consumed with worry.

11. Look for Happiness Externally
Your happiness is contingent upon your outlook and not the actual situation. You have the power to view things in certain ways, so it is crucial to try and remain positive. Look within yourself to create your own happiness. Do not look at others to fulfil you, you are more than capable on your own. No relationship or material possession can bring you true happiness until you are happy on your own, first and foremost. This is a fatal error far too many people make in their lives.

12. Over-Think Things
Over-thinking is what creates problems from nothing and is probably the leading cause for arguments between two people. Many people falsely believe that by over-thinking certain things, they can garner a better result. There are actually little to no benefits to overanalysing any given situation. All this will do is cause a person stress and anxiety. The more times a person analyses a decision, the more times this person makes themselves susceptible to negative thinking. Rational decisions can become clouded when a person lingers on them for too long. The motivation and drive behind the initial idea can and will start to obscure.

13. Live in the Past
The past is the past for a reason —— it has already happened. There is no reason to linger there since it cannot be changed. Happy people tend to make peace with their past and focus on the future. They actively seek out different opportunities in order the make the most out of their lives.

14. Follow the Crowd
Confidence is a crucial aspect of any happy person, just like this is a critical characteristic for a leader. Happy people tend to be secure in their values and beliefs and, as a result, have a propensity to be leaders as opposed to followers.

15. Take Things Personally
When you hear a comment that you think is directed at you, take a moment and think. Do not overanalyse the situation at hand, just let the other person speak freely. Listen completely to what this person is saying —— selective hearing is the cause of these misrepresentations. People tend to get caught up in petty drama, which typically occurs when one person takes something the wrong way. When it comes down to it, you’re in control of how you interpret things. Think of how much more you could achieve with a new perspective, one seen only through your eyes.

Most of it is easier said than done, but it’s the small shifts that bring about the big, significant changes over time. Happy August, everyone! Enjoy the pre-fall.

x

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