Looking Forward: 5 Mantras for 2016

I want to do something different this year. Instead of reflecting on what has happened this past year, I want to look forward while warmly embracing the past. 

2015 was a year of #NoResolutions for me, and this sentiment will continue well beyond that. I am at a point in my life where I am quite honestly over making silly resolutions that I can’t keep - simply because I wasn’t too invested into them in the first place. It’s about time to shake things up. 

1. Think for yourself before others

This is especially difficult for someone of Chinese-descent like me. (In no way should this mantra be misunderstood as a call to be less compassionate). My family functions as a collective unit, striving for harmony and unity all under the same roof. But in Western society, especially in the corporate world and in business, this doesn’t necessarily translate into a strength or even merit. My voice has easily been overshadowed in the past, due to my unwillingness to cause disruption in the work culture. This led to the increasing frequency of which I gave in to the needs of others. After all, you can only be fully beneficial and contributing to society, when you are mentally sound and capable.

2. The obsession with being Well-liked.

Every time we cave into the approval of others, we are denying the opportunity to grow, the opportunity to be whole. It seems as though these days we’re aimlessly striving to be likable, so much so we’re willing to sacrifice who we really are in the process. We go through far extents wanting people to acknowledge us that we forget we are simply enough. Although this obsession is further amplified by social media, I highly encourage using existing social platforms to reach out to others in need, spread awareness and combat bullying in any shape or form. 

3. Emotional experiences over material highs

Yes, I do get proverbial orgasms when I nabbed myself the latest pairs of shoes from Rick Owens, Saint Laurent and the like, but the feeling never quite lasts and compares to a moment of emotional release - an emotional experience that’s brought upon by the joys of having intimate, quality time with family, friends and loved ones, the unforgettable taste of uni toast at brunch or the countdown towards my next arrival in a new destination. There are so many roads that leave to happiness - indulging in the occasional material purchase is a very minuscule part of that. 

4. Just ask for help, especially in times of need 

This is one of my biggest fears of all time - the act of asking questions or for help. I’ve always been kind of a lone wolf and somewhat distrusting of others. It stems from the fact that I don't want to appear to be vulnerable and for others to come through the walls I've surrounded myself with all my life. Slowly but surely, this has been lifting away. I’ve been more amendable to it over time, realizing that I can’t do it all. 

5. Establishing a better relationship with Yourself

Fairly certain that this is a very universal thing - we are our own harshest critics. Our minds have this great ability to nitpick everything that we do and do not do. Doubt, judgement and dissatisfaction all come the same place and it’s a chasm that only grows more substantially as we continue to adult. It’s only when we become self-aware that we can break this seemingly endless cycle.