Thank you 2018

2018 was to me one of those years i wish would go by in a hurry.  While as an entrepreneur my life has been dotted with many ups and downs, i have to say 2018 taught me many painful lessons. Painful in the literal sense too!

2018 also showed me very clearly that for every dark cloud there is a silver lining, and there cannot be light without darkness, and you cannot enjoy the rainbow without some rain. So i must say that some of these lessons in 2018 helped spark radical changes in my life that have yielded great positive outcomes. As Rumi once said, ‘the wound is the place where the light enters you’. 

In this post we take a look at the top 13 lessons i learnt this year. I am penning this down in hopes that you benefit from me and don’t have to learn them the hard way like I did.

‘the wound is the place where the light enters you’ – Rumi

Top 13 lessons from 2018

1. You have one body, one life.
Nothing should take precedence over your health. Regardless of how much wealth you have, when you experience the severe pains of ill health, you will wish you could give it all away to make it stop.
One of the radical changes i made in 2018 thanks to severely painful health scare was to live a much healthier lifestyle. I don’t believe in internet fad diets and instead became more aware of what my body needed in terms of food, and most importantly i started exercising regularly. No, not regularly, daily. Not only do i look so much better, i feel great!. Take care of your body, its the only one you have.

2. Nothing is worth your peace of mind.
The mind is so powerful, not only does it take you to where you want to go, but without constant care it can take you into a dark abyss from which you may never find your way out. I watched close people around me fall into this abyss and during the most trying times of 2018, i struggled to stay aware of the direction i was heading. While i may have averted a plummet, i do believe i have sunk to a certain level that is visible to those around me. While i can write about it, coming back up from this cavern is really a challenge. The mind is something that no doctor can “fix”, no medication can cure, its the power of thought that comes from within, and changing a mind is the greatest challenge one can ever face. Take care of what goes in.

3. Don’t take relationships for granted.
Especially with your family, other half and friends. Big lesson for me in 2018 was taught by a very important relationship in my life that collapsed mid year. While there may be many reasons for its failure, i do believe that we took it for granted and did not give it our best effort to make it work. Make the effort for meaningful time together for your family, other half, and friends. Better yet, schedule it because what gets scheduled becomes real.

4. Your inner circle is key.
Be observant and pay close attention to who are your real friends. Many are willing to ride the limo with you, take note of those who will ride the aircondless public bus with you when the limo breaks down. (Thank you, you know who you are!). Critical in life are those that support you and are always there for you during times of need. While fair weather friends are great for quantity and for laughs, take note and appreciate those who make the effort to be in your life, especially those who make you a priority and afford you care and attention when you need it.

Many are willing to ride the limo with you, take note of those who will ride the aircondless public bus with you when the limo breaks down

5. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t have a clear detailed written destination.
Without a clear port to sail to, you are just reactive to the weather and coast aimlessly. Where are you heading? Only by knowing where you are going will you be able to plan how you are gonna get there, and most importantly set a date for when you are going to make port. You can’t stay adrift forever.

6. Knowledge is everything.
You will never be paid more if you’re not growing. Allocate time and money for books, courses, seminars, networking events and conferences every year. In fact, set a number to it. The number of knowledge enhancement courses you will attend each year and the amount of money you can allocate to your self enrichment.

You will never be paid more if you’re not growing

7. Not everyone who starts with you will be with you at the end.
People come and go, and that’s ok. Who is at the end with you is who you need to take notice of. Especially at work, you definitely don’t want a non-performer with you throughout the entire journey. An organisation can only grow as much as its people are growing. Most of the time the person who was right for the job yesterday may not be right for the job today. Does not mean that the person is bad at their job, it merely is changing times warrant different skillsets at different junctures in the organisations lifecycle. Recognise this and let go.

8. Change is the only constant.
In business, you must embrace change and you change constantly. Gain an insight today, change the organisation today. A policy implemented yesterday slows you down today, change it. Then change it again tomorrow if you need to. As a person embrace and enhance your ability to change, to accept constant and frequent disruption to the ways you are used to and welcome it and change with it. Today the world moves so fast. If you are doing what you were doing and operating the same way you did last year, you are already dead. You just don’t know it yet.

embrace change and you change constantly

9. Stop worrying about the 2% naysayers.
No two people are alike, period. For everything that you do, there will be those who disagree with you and will happily give you their unsolicited negative opinions. Before allowing such negativity into your life, stop for a moment and look around at how many others are giving you praises. If there’s more positives than negatives, fuck the naysayers. Nod and smile, and politely say thank you. Then at the back of your mind, tell them to piss off and take their insignificant opinions with them cause the majority agrees with you.

10. There is no delete button
You will never be able to retract what is said in anger or when you are not in a positive emotional state. You will regret it for a very long time. Trust me on this one everyone. The emotional state you are in determines how you react to every situation, conversation, action, and thought. Always keep your emotional state in check, ensuring that you’re in a positive joyful emotional state before speaking or responding.
Stop, think, change your emotional state, think again and then speak.

11. Communication is everything.
Appreciate and acknowledge that nobody is good at communicating. We are all great judges of others and superb lawyers of ourselves. We never stop to reflect on ourselves and ask ‘what did I do to make it better?’. Even when it doesn’t go your way or you’re not getting the response you want, rather than blaming the other party and saying ‘why is she behaving that way?’ ask yourself instead ‘How can i make my message better and clearer?’, ‘what can i do to make it better?’ and ‘what can i do to improve my communication?’ Quit the blame game, have you really done your best?

Appreciate and acknowledge that nobody is good at communicating
We are all great judges of others and superb lawyers of ourselves

12. Do what is right, not what is easy.
The path with least resistance is usually never the right path. It is natural for the 98% to always choose the easy way. It is always easy to take kickbacks instead of thinking of the big picture, it is always easier to to sit at home and watch a Netflix series instead of planning and going on a fun date with your other half, it is easier to blame others before taking a good look at yourself, it is always easier to dip into the cookie jar instead of discussing for better compensation, and this list could go on forever. Always ask yourself if you are doing the right thing, because there will always be consequences. Visible or not, now or later, you will pay a price.

Always ask yourself if you are doing the right thing, because there will always be consequences

13. Complaining and gossip never gets you anything
Complaining about things, bitching and gossiping about people bring absolutely zero value to you or the other person. Any negative thought and every second I indulged in a negative conversation about someone was wasted time and crippled my mind.

Here’s a bonus lesson.

14. You are responsible for everything
The minute you decide to blame someone for anything, you have given up your power and given your life to the other person. Anything that has happened is solely a result of your own doing. Failing to communicate clearly, failing to put in the effort, failing to uphold the trust bestowed upon you, failing to exercise, failing to watch your diet, failing to think positively, failing to plan, failing to act, failing to question…

So that is me sharing the lessons i’ve learnt throughout 2018 in hopes that you don’t have to go through it. I wish only the best for you and may you have with you all that makes you happy. Thank you 2018.

jwan heah


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