101 Lessons I’ve Learned Living the Y.O.L.O Life

Munatsi Shambare | 22 Nov , 2014  

This it phrase of popular and/or rap culture, has never been truer!

On this side of eternity, the life that you live now is the one that truly counts. So, I’m not writing here about getting wasted and letting loose, but I’m talking about taking the hard things and using them as lessons and wisdom to live an enjoyable life rather than wallowing in misery.

Here’s a few realities, and in the spirit of being up-front there’s only 4 lessons here (if you enjoy counting numbers, sins and what have you…)

  1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone or everyone, simply because Anyone or Everyone is not your name (apologies to anyone called Anyone or Everyone)

I could literally end this point here but I will flesh it out so you understand.

Comparison is such a difficult monster to deal with because at the heart of it, it challenges existential questions, like “who are you and why you are here?”

The comparison I am talking about here is the kind that can really break you and enforce confidence bashing lies about your worth.

None of us are immune to comparison, but I think more often than not we need to be reminded of our individuality and the gifts that we bring to the table, and even if we were lacking in giftedness it would be helpful to know that that it doesn’t make us any less valuable.

Even without Facebook to remind us of how well everyone is doing, the struggle against envy would not be non- existent. We would still in our social setting, ask ourselves why our salaries aren’t better, why we aren’t married, why we haven’t met anyone, why we don’t have children, why we don’t have MBA’s, why we aren’t superstars and the list of whys grows exponentially.

But if we can look beyond the superficial and keep our eyes on the prize which is God-given passion, actually it’s Christ, then perhaps we can spend more time pursuing Him, rather than pursuing one-upmanship.

  1. Gain some perspective and be a big picture thinker

Being detail-orientated is awesome, it means that you never miss a thing, you have your finger on the pulse of every task you do and finally you have magnificent follow-through, but it can also be terribly debilitating when perfectionism, which is what we really mean (sometimes) when we say detail orientated, starts to steal our joy.

We can’t force things to be the way we want them to be but we can change our outlook about the negative things, by understanding how both the positive and the negative can contribute good things to the big picture.

Big picture thinking and detail orientation are not at odds, in fact they work together to enhance the outcome. I say this because sometimes we act like these two qualities are personalities at war and that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

Just know that in the whole scope of things our personal journey is made not made out of bullet points or one sentence, it’s actually a story with an “epic” plot.

  1. Do the work

I love ‘vegging out’ like everybody else , sipping cocktails, fat chats with my girls about love, life and Jesus, lying in bed and reading a good book and of course shopping, but thank God, we must do some big girl/boy stuff and assume responsibility for our lives.

The truth is work is not always party (doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable), it’s serious and often the decisions we make affect the profitability and sustainability of a business more than we sometimes care to admit.

Knowing that we are essential to an entity regardless of our role within that setup is powerful motivation to do the work, and stay focused about it.

It’s also important to remember that as we work we are developing insights, leadership and professional skills, discovering our areas of strength and gaining opportunities to impart our knowledge to others.

Also you’re getting paid for it so, that pretty much says it all.

  1. Pursue your other Passions, because time is of the essence.

I used to be a go to work, come back and sleep kind of person, then do nothing but sleep on the weekends. But I reached a point in my life, as it always happens with these things and realised I was existing for work.

I wasn’t building any new relationships or exploring my passions and abilities, basically I just wasn’t stretching myself. Soon I realised that my life was just work. Like those awkward moments when you are asked to share about what’s in your bubble at cell and all you can talk about for 15 minutes is work, or you get together with friends and all you can talk about is how much you want to sleep. (Not okay)

It’s then that I decided there was more to life and actively started to do the things that I loved. Yes it meant making time to do the things I love, and ditching excuses about being too tired – because if truth were told I was probably going to be too tired forever.

In closing and in the interest of truth, I wanted to fill this post with 101 Lessons I’ve learnt while living the Y.O.L.O Life, but I think 4 is more than enough, for now. I’m coming to appreciate more and more that God’s teaching moments aren’t only in the pulpit, in quiet time or during prayer, they come anytime and anywhere, even in the most unlikely situations.


Cover picture by Vivek Jena. Picture used under Creative Commons licence.

Munatsi Shambare blogs at ArtyBlah! She reads a lot and writes some and is all about discovering order in a chaotic world. She’s passionate about changing the status quo and exceeding limits. Above all she lives by Grace and loves to laugh.