Mini Retirement Project

This has got to be the first time I’ve typed out those digits. Where has all the time gone? It will definitely take me awhile to get used to that number. In the spirit of turning a new full digit older, I’ll attempt to write down those little bit of wisdom I have learned along the way in the short time I’ve been here.

“Before you start a new journey, stop, reflect and learn from your past.”

In no particular order..

#1 Learn to let go — This is something I’ve struggled with the most. What i tell myself these days is that life is short and very much imperfect in a lot of ways. But, that’s what makes it exciting as well. When things don’t go the way we planned, we need to learn to let go and move on. Don’t get stuck in the past or on an idea, recognise that you have tried your best and MOVE ON!

#2 Love thyself — Love and respect yourself. Regardless of whether you have a family, partner or friends, you need to be your own biggest fan. Once you start to love yourself for who you are, you will gain self-confidence which is a powerful weapon to help you succeed in all your endeavours. And if by any chance you are not proud of who you are right now, then you owe it to yourself to change and start steering your life towards the direction the person that you want to be.

#3 Be grateful — When the world is not quite as hunkydory as it should be, it’s the little things in life that keep us going strong. Mom’s homecook meals, supportive friends, someone to cuddle and play with, beautiful sunset and the list goes on. Be grateful for something everyday and you’d be surprised how much good you’ll start to see in your life no matter how bleak it is right now.

#4 Embrace your individuality — I’m weird, i’m different, i’m odd. I’m a 30 year old gal who doesn’t quite meet the society’s expectation of how a woman my age should think and behave. But who cares? I have my flaws and i have accepted them. But i have also learned to recognise my strengths and use them to better myself. Don’t be afraid to accept (and love!) your idiosyncrasies, as they are the little things that make you unique and define who you are.

“Being normal is boring, being average is overrated and being ordinary is scary.”

#5 Step into the unknowns — I love this one. It’s scary at first, but in my experience thus far, the destination at the end of the tunnel has always been worth it. I know everyone have their commitments and priorities that keep them anchored, however when you are still young, you have no excuse not to try something new and step out of your comfort zone. Your youth is the time of your life for you to explore and take risks. If you fail, so what? Just laugh it off and start again. Someone wise once told me,

“You’ll never regret things that you do, only things you didn’t do”

#6 Take action — You can plan all you want, if you don’t lift a finger, nothing will ever happen. If something doesn’t feel right or if you are not happy then acknowledge that fact and take action to change your circumstances. Don’t worry about the how, small actions everyday leads to massive change. The most important thing is taking the first step.

#7 Never stop learning — Learning doesn’t stop after school and not all learning are academic. Continue to read books, articles, and blogs that help you grow as a person. Learn from your experiences, hardships and most importantly mistakes. Success comes from learning from your failures.

“Ever tried. Ever fail. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”

#8 Set goals for the future — If you don’t have an aim, then you don’t have a path. You’ve had all the fun you can in your twenties, so when you eventually hit 30, it’s time to plan a bit for your future (it’s time to grow up a little after all). Set a big goal, and aim to achieve it. Devote your time and effort to achieving it, and if you missed it by just a little, then at least you are still very far ahead compared to when you had no goals whatsoever.

#9 Make effort to keep in touch — Don’t forget your family back home. As you grow up, your folks will grow older as well. Always make the effort to spend time with them. Call them once in awhile, tell them how much you love them or if you are like me, go on family trips. Don’t live to regret these times we have them only when they are gone one day.

#10 Continue to make new friends — I find my group of friends slowly shrinking as I grow older. My circle of friends has just stagnated after university and i know for a fact the same it is the case for most working adults. So be more open to new friendships, and you’ll be surprised to discover a new side of yourself that you didn’t know existed and possibly learn something new from the people that you meet as well. On a similar note, let go of ‘friends’ that are no longer in the same frequency as you. Don’t surround yourself with people that bring you down.

So there you go, just my two cents of valuable nuggets I’ve picked up along my tumultuous twenties. I’m excited about this new phase in life, and even more excited about my next big adventure this year. 😉

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Debbie Lim

Born and bred in Penang, Malaysia, Debbie has spent the last decade in her second home Brisbane, Australia as an engineer. Her professional experiences have taught her how to plan efficiently and manage effectively in the various aspects of her travels. She is an experienced minimalist traveler who believes in keeping it simple yet fun. You will not find a fixed itinerary sheet on her and definitely no alarm clocks or wake up calls when she travels. After spending most of her adulthood in a highly analytical and tightly regulated environment, she currently revels in a a good adventure and spontaneity when least expected.

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