“Shadi” (marriage in Urdu), to me, is not a milestone. There is nothing wrong with marriage, though. It is beautiful and special too. But, it is not everything.
Have you guys ever looked at the search patterns and statistics of Pakistanis when they are online? It makes me sad. Believe me, it would make you too. Everything is related to shadi. And if not shadi, then branded clothes, makeup, and whatnot. So here goes a list which in my opinion can be considered as milestones to achieve in your life besides getting married or being a slave to consumerism.
Let’s begin. Shall we?
Becoming independent, emotionally.
That feeling, I can not explain it in words, is amazing when you are independent emotionally. It means that you are aware that happiness is an inside job and the world will not fall apart if one person will leave. Obviously, you will be hurt and sad, but you would know that it’s not the end of the world. Only then you will be able to enjoy that relationship to its core with all its beauty without being clingy and insecure. Here, I am not just talking about romantic relationships, friendships are also included.
Becoming independent, financially.
Being financially stable gives you a lot of freedom, confidence and self-esteem boost. You know that you can feed yourself and look after yourself. In fact, now you can help your family, friends, and others in need too which brings us to the next point…
Spending money on someone other than you.
You will never have enough money. And it hardly matters what you want. Because once you get it, you will start wishing for something more. Why not spend it on others than? The imprints you have on someone else’s life are a thousand times more satisfying than a new i Phone.
Taking risks and doing something that terrifies you deeply.
It could be as small as spending some time alone and it could be as big as taking a solo vacation to a far-off place. The important thing here to remember is, if it terrifies you, it is a big step.
Give yourself a chance to explore new places, gain new experiences and learn new things about yourself along the way.
Finding your passion.
This is truly a scary one. Finding your true calling and developing the courage to follow that path. It is a process and you can’t do overnight, but you can start working towards it today.
Spending quality time with your parents and appreciating their lifelong efforts.
Since you are a grown up now, you might have moved away from them or even if you are living with them, you never took the time to do something solely to appreciate their efforts. It could be as small as taking them out to dinner, buying them something they would love or just sitting down with them and having a heart to heart conversation.
Forgiving someone who has hurt you. Especially, if they are not sorry.
This is a huge leap towards your own mental peace and wellbeing. Forgiving doesn’t come easy and especially if the other person is not even sorry. Try reaching a point where you understand that your inner peace is way more important than keeping a grudge against anyone.
Reconnecting with an old friend.
Rewiring your connection with an old friend that you have lost touch with, not intentionally but yes, life happened. Try reaching out to them instead of wondering and waiting for them to get in touch with you.
Learning to say NO.
Be comfortable with saying “NO” every once in a while. You do not have to and you won’t end up feeling guilty about it. If you do not want to say yes, don’t.
Getting out of comfort zone.
Trying to get out of your comfort zone more often. This could be like you accepting a job offer that will pull you out of your comfort zone.
Appreciating values over appearances.
Learn to care about values and personality more than you care about appearances and looks. You might still care about the looks. But try giving more value to your character and the strength of your heart. Caring about appearances is not a bad thing but not valuing the characteristics certainly is.
Getting in shape.
You know how everyone says, exercise daily, it is good for your health? Try taking a step towards living healthy. Start losing some extra pounds and getting in shape. For yourself.
Eating clean and healthy.
You are what you eat. Is that correct?
Your emotions depend on your diet and eating patterns. Google it. Learning to start eating clean and healthy and actually enjoying it, could be a major milestone.
Gearing up the courage and taking decisions in life where you don’t seek approval of others and you solely do them for yourself. They could be as small as taking 5 mins out of your day to meditate or write in your journal.
Learning to love yourself.
Reaching a point in life where you are comfortable in your own skin and you can proudly admit that you love yourself despite being imperfect. It doesn’t happen that easily and you have to put in the real effort to start loving yourself truly.
Take some risks and make some mistakes. As they say, there are no mistakes only experiences, good or bad.
Committing to never stop learning.
Do you remember the quote from Socrates, which is called as Socratic Paradox?
“I know one thing; that I know nothing”. Developing an understanding that no matter how old you are and how far you have come there is still room to learn more and there will always be because you are not a know-it-all.
Quitting what no longer serves you.
Be it a perfectly good job, or anything else that no longer challenges you to grow.
Revisiting your past.
Be it your fears, regrets or disappointments, learn to look back at your past head on and forgive yourself for the shortcomings.
Leaving toxic people behind.
Coming to a point in life where you understand what and who has become toxic to you and choosing to let them go. Be it friends or a dear romantic relationship.
Learning to respect other’s opinions.
There comes a point in life when you develop open-mindedness that no one else’s beliefs threaten your existence and you are okay with having a difference of opinion.
Learning to be vulnerable.
Boy or a girl, man or a woman, no matter which gender you belong to, getting real and vulnerable takes a lot of courage. As Tyrion Lannister says, “Make your weakness your armor.”
Admitting when you are wrong,
Reach a point in life where admitting your mistakes in front of others is not a matter of ego for you.
Taking a couples retreat.
After becoming all responsible, you deserve a relaxing vacation with a significant other (if you have one yet). Imagine what that feeling would be like that it is paid by you for just the two of you. It is important to develop a connection with your significant other as well.
I hope this list will inspire you in setting up influential milestones for yourself.
Let’s all grow together.
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