My name is Sandra. I’m 23 years old and I come from a multicultural family here in the United States. My mother is a Chinese woman from Singapore and my father is an Italian man from New York City. I like to think of myself as a “Chitalian” (my slang for half Chinese, half Italian.)
Being from a multicultural family background, I have had many chances to move homes and travel all over the world. After I was born in Virginia USA, my father’s work brought our family back to my mother’s home country, Singapore. I spent the first seven years of my life in this country, surrounded by people from all types of backgrounds. It is here that I learned to appreciate different countries and their customs.
Fast forward to this year, I have travelled to over 10 countries outside of the United States–you can say traveling is one of my favorite hobbies. Five being in Southeast Asia, two being in Europe, another two in South America, Canada and a few Caribbean islands. Being able to have traveled this much has brought me much insight; it is a tremendous blessing from above. I owe everything to family and close friends who have helped and guided me along the way. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned while traveling, it’s that Life is precious–stay grateful.
“When you love what you have, then you have everything you need.” – Anonymous
THREE LIFE LESSONS
While traveling has enlightened me in many ways, it is also through experiences at home and through internships/work during college that I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve come to a clearer understanding of how I wish to lead my life and pursue my goals–personally and professionally. And in an effort to achieve these goals, I’ve come up with three life lessons to help guide me along the way; life lessons you might find helpful at some point too. Here they are:
“Grow through what you go through.” – Anonymous
Share your knowledge.
Sharing what you learn from books you read and experiences you have is a fantastic way to find common ground with others. If everyone would take the time to bring just a small piece of enlightenment and knowledge to those around them, I believe the world would become a little bit better. To showcase an example, I’ll share what I’ve learned within the past year. I started reading books on philosophy and psychology–both very fascinating topics.
From my philosophical readings, I’ve come to understand that every individual sees the world from a different point of view, and no one point of view is more valuable or righteous than another. It is because of our different points of views that we lead entirely different lives from our neighbors and even close friends and family. Before I came to this understanding, I believed there was only one “right” way to approach life and tackle its challenges–I was wrong. And, it was because of this realization that I began changing my views on people and their lives. I choose now not to cast judgement on others that lead different lives from me; I merely wish to understand their points of view.
As for psychology I’ve gained much insight in terms of our internal worlds–how our mindsets and thoughts influence our lives much more than we think. The mind(brain) is a muscle just like any other part of our body. If exercised the right way it is a helpful tool in navigating life. However, if we over exercise it and let it overwhelm us, it may inhibit us from living and enjoying life–the choice is ours. How we go about exercising it the right way is by (1) recognizing we alone control our thoughts and we are not our thoughts, (2) by controlling our thoughts, we control our mindsets and how we chose to react to circumstances, (3) having positive mindsets/thoughts will give us confidence to make positive choices, (4) all choices result in actions that have consequences(good and bad) and we are solely accountable for them, and (5) we must believe in ourselves first before anyone else ever will.
People matter–treat them well.
Whether it’s in business or on a personal level, people matter–so treat them well. Some of us like to think we can function solely on our own without any help from anyone, ever, but this simply is not the case. As social creatures, we naturally yearn for belonging, a home, someone to depend on, and because of this we form bonds and attachments to those around us. This gives plausibility to the belief that maintaining healthy relationships with friends and families is a vital component to human happiness. (Some things don’t need scientific explanation.)
I find this lesson highly important when it comes to the business realm as well. From experience, I’ve witnessed companies overlook their employees and their needs and it has only resulted in unhappy workers and lower productivity (duh). I might only be 23 years old but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that yes, financial goals must be met in order to run a business effectively, but to run it efficiently your employees and their needs need to be a priority. Simply put, this means providing workers with healthy work environments and investing in their wellbeing. (If you’re a business owner this must be one of your concerns, and if it is not, do not run businesses.)
If you neglect people, people will neglect you–and your business. People matter–treat them well.
Practice a “growth” mindset wherever you go.
I read about growth mindsets in 50 Psychology Classics by Tom Butler-Bowdon; the concept originally came from a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. In this book, Dweck talks about how “there are two fundamentally different ways of seeing intelligence: ability and success; people with a “growth” mindset see life in terms of fulfilling their potential; those with a “fixed” mindset are concerned with proving they are smart or talented.” This idea caught my attention.
I like to think that no matter how accomplished someone is or how much success they’ve seen, there will always be something new to learn, unchartered territories to conquer, and new potentials to grow into. Practicing a “growth” mindset encourages all three of these things and also emphasizes that by trying to solely prove yourself smart or talented, you gain no lasting knowledge or fulfillment. Rather, it is more advantageous to focus on self improvement when working towards personal and professional goals.
WHAT DO I DO?
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” – John C. Maxwell