Thursday, 26 June 2014

Valuable Life Lessons – June 2014

Benjamin Franklin famously said “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, though words to that effect were first expressed by author Daniel Defoe in his work The Political History of the Devil. As a tax accountant, I disagree that taxes are a given and my viewpoint can be supported by a recent article by economic journalist Peter Martin published in The Sydney Morning Herald in May. According to this article, the latest tax statistics show 75 super-high earning Australians paid no tax in the 2011-12 financial year, despite each earning more than $1 million from investments and /or wages. Yep, you read right – ZERO tax and no Medicare levy or Medicare surcharge! And it’s not just the mega-rich not paying any tax but also those who sought out quality tax advice. That said, for me there’s only one certainty in life and that is, death. 

One year ago, my beautiful friend was tragically killed in a freak accident. Dealing with the loss of a loved one, in any case, is an emotionally difficult experience. Having to also comprehend an unexpected tragedy as well as accept an untimely death makes it all the more challenging because a sudden ending leaves you completely unprepared; you’re unable to say goodbye and tell them all the things you want them to know, or provide words of comfort. This unfortunate incident has definitely been life changing for me so, this month I would like to share with you what I have learnt from the unforseen passing of my fun-loving friend.
I truly understand the value of each moment.

Life is made up of a series of moments and is lived one minute at a time. Utilise every moment wisely because once that moment passes it is gone forever. This doesn’t mean you have to perform great deeds or be doing something incredible every minute of the day, just make the most of every moment. How? Forget the past and future and be present this instant – right NOW as this exact moment is beautiful and is all that exists. Be happy and unconditionally grateful for everything you have now so more good things will come to you. Laugh as much as you can, live each day fully and passionately and enjoy every minute.
Don’t wait for a time other than right now to act. Act with urgency to do what needs doing and say what needs saying; admit to your mistakes, be quick to apologise and quicker to forgive. Be patient, learn to compromise. Overpower your fears and doubts and immediately seize opportunities when they appear. Surrender to the person your heart adores, let them see and feel your vulnerability – no pretending, holding back or playing games. Spend time with family and keep close to your heart only those who encourage, support, cherish and genuinely care for you or else as they say, “you might wake up one day and realise that you've lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones.
Love is what matters most because it’s the only thing we take with us and give to others so it’s important to share our feelings in that moment. Express your love, affection and appreciation to those you love and truly love you. Even when your loved ones are behaving in an unloving way, be soft and sweet with them. I’ve learnt that’s when they require my softness and sweetness the most.

Make your heart, not your mind, your guide. Take time to listen to what your heart truly wants and how it feels. When I listen to and follow my heart, not only am I really happy but amazing occurrences flow readily and easily to me from doing so.
Always remain flexible, open-minded and receptive when your desires appear differently to how you imagined. Realise the universe has brought them to you in the most organic way, which benefits all involved so open your heart to receiving and just go with it. Remember, the end result is to have what you want. Direct your stubbornness for good; constantly challenge and prevail over your ego with your heart. Make the decision to act the instant an opportunity arises then let go of how things should unfold, and allow yourself to be carried along and be pleasantly surprised by the magic that materialises.
Don’t let your dreams just be dreams. Make them happen – nothing happens without action and effort. Do all the things you want to do. Know what it is you want, set goals then break them down into practical, realistic plans of action and work diligently towards their achievement.

Treat every experience as a singular event, even similar experiences with the same person. Each experience is just that - an experience and nothing more. We need experiences to grow, a lesson to be better than we are. Understand the person’s true essence - their goodness and gentleness remains unchanged, that they are reacting this way because they are hurting, scared or have otherwise been deliberately misinformed, so don't let your pride keep you feeling offended and hostile. Learn the lesson and release feelings of hurt by filling your heart with love, forgiveness and tenderness.   
Be careful how you say things and phrase your feelings. Choose your responses thoughtfully. Most issues arise from simple misunderstandings and the involvement of others. You know the truth about people by the way you feel about them in your heart and how they act when they are with you so, don’t ever take another’s words about someone at face value and jump to conclusions. Find out the truth for yourself. 

Accept and love yourself sincerely, exactly as you are and let the real you shine through.
Self-confidence, a smile and a healthy figure are the best ensemble - wear them proudly.

Don’t save your nice clothes for special occasions only, wear them often and always look your best.
Show kindness and compassion to everyone as you don’t know what they’re going through or what’s happened in their life. It is your behaviour towards others and whose heart you touched that will be remembered.
If others mistreat you (it happens!), refrain from feeling angry and bitter for you’ll only lock yourself in a vicious cycle of negative energy which will be detrimental to your health and produce setbacks in your life - no one else’s. Instead, be loving and remain calm (so hard to do, I know) and with a breath that’s ever so kind blow these people away then let the universe sort them out. Keep your focus on what your heart wants.
Be curious - there is so much to learn, explore and experience.
We’re so busy we forget that life is unpredictable, fragile and limited which is why every moment is precious. Death is final and makes you understand what is really important in life. Whilst each of us has our own lessons to learn, remember that each day is a chance to start anew and create wonderful, meaningful experiences to lead a more fulfilling life.

"Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely." ~ Buddha