This month’s ezine theme (on dragons in fashion design) is coming up round the corner — for now, here’s a website anniversary post featuring 22 life lessons.
Website Anniversary: Dragonsinn.net turns 22!
I can’t remember the exact date that I first uploaded this website onto the web…but I do remember it was in June 1999.
I thought it’d be fun to publish a website anniversary post in the spirit of a celebratory reflection. It’s not something I’ve done on this site before. It might be a new site tradition every year from now.
Wisdom, Success, Etc.
Since the dragon is a symbol of wisdom and success (in Eastern culture), I thought I’d reflect on some of the ways I’ve grown in those areas.
Life is full of ups and downs. The important thing is to stay focused on what brings meaning to your life.
These 22 life lessons I’ve learned since 1999 help me to nurture a happier and healthier mindset. I know that there are more things to learn and I am ready to show up for them.
Emojis were added to the subheadings after Point 10 to add a bit of visual flair.
P.S. I’ve included some links throughout this post to episodes on the Optimal Living Daily network where I work as a content specialist. Check out the different shows to optimize your life in multiple ways.
22 Life Lessons I’ve Learned Since 1999
I’ve been an astrology enthusiast for a long time and have always been interested in past lives or karmic ties. The basic concept of karma is that “what you do comes back to you.”
P.S. Is anyone reading this a Pisces Moon or Venus Scorpio?
This is the Japanese concept of improving by 1% on a daily basis. Those small steps add up over time.
This is true whether you’re working on personal growth, learning about interesting subjects like dragons, or practicing a new skill.
3. Be Thoughtful About A Career Path
I spent way too much time in my early twenties stressing about trying to choose and define a perfect career. Ideally, you’d want to aim for something that you’re good at, that you enjoy, and that pays your desired salary.
This article on finding your ikigai is a solid read.
4. Get Educated about Personal Finance
I would say that a turning point in my life happened during my late twenties when I dedicated more time to learning about personal finance. Seriously, I wish I’d gotten started on this a decade earlier because how you manage your money impacts how you live your life.
P.S. Check out Optimal Finance Daily to improve your personal finance knowledge!
5. Move on from Past Regrets
As the great Oscar Wilde said:
“Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.”
Learning from these mistakes is the key thing. Dwelling on “what could have been” is a surefire way to stay miserable.
Know the difference between reflection vs. rumination.
6. Have a Strong Sense of Self-Worth
There may be difficult and demanding people in your life who affect how you feel about yourself.
Remind yourself daily of your good qualities, because how you view yourself is the thing that matters at the end of the day.
I’ve slowly learned that there’s only one version of myself in this current lifetime, so I might as well be my true self and do things that are aligned with my values.
7. “Failure Is A Stepping Stone to Success”
I grew up in Singapore, and I remember my secondary school principal (Sr. Cecily Pavri) once sharing this phrase with us.
8. Learn How to Say ‘No’
Time is finite. Sometimes, you have to say ‘no’ to people or things so that you can say ‘yes’ to what you truly want to spend time on.
Listen to Episode 1971 of Optimal Living Daily on how to say ‘no’ for your sanity and self-preservation.
This episode by Brian Tracy is a good one too that shares tips on time management.
9. Pursue Your Passions
Do what you love, and remember that a hobby doesn’t NEED to be a side hustle.
10. Nurture Your Support System
Whether it’s through friends, family, or a like-minded community, these connections are important as they’re part of your support system. It’s a great feeling to know that there’s someone (or a group of people) who’ll always have your back and vice versa.
11. Focus on The Important Things in a Relationship 💕
Some level of physical chemistry or compatibility is important.
But don’t forget about some basic fundamental traits: Is your partner reliable? Do you both like each other’s company and enjoy making each other’s lives better? Do you have similar long-term life goals?
Be aware of you and your partner’s deal breakers and whether you can work things out as a team during tough times.
12. Protect the Environment 🌳
We have pretty much entered the sixth mass extinction. We should all be doing whatever we can to help support this planet that humans have caused so much destruction to.
Here are some ways to help the planet.
13. Love Your Pet(s) 🦄
I have a grey cat and two betta fish that improve my quality of life on a daily basis.
Here’s a post I wrote some time ago about life lessons you can learn from your cat.
14. Limit Social Media Usage If It’s Getting You Down 📱
Curate your feed so that you only see material that you want to see, or that doesn’t negatively affect your mental health.
Here’s a list of all the things you can catch up on when you limit your social media usage.
15. Read and Learn Whenever You Can 📖
Many of my best days involve a good deal of reading and writing. As an INFJ (bordering on INTJ occasionally), I enjoy learning new things (non-fiction) and exploring new worlds or perspectives (fiction).
Visit 16Personalities to learn more about your type and self-discovery journey.
16. Keep A Clean House 🧹
A clean and tidy home has better ‘flow’ both physically and mentally.
17. Nourish Your Soul / Creative Side ✨
Art is a great way to explore different perspectives. Nourishing my creative side through quality books, films, and music makes me feel more alive and it’s something I’d never give up.
18. Get Help If You’re Anxious, Depressed, or Stressed 🙌
Whether it’s through therapy, or journaling, or listening to a helpful podcast, get some help if you feel like your mental health is suffering.
Try to approach it from a holistic sense (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual). Taking the time to heal from painful feelings helps you move into your future with more grace and less baggage.
19. Yoga Does Wonders 🧘
“Yoga Strong” is my mantra on bad days. It reminds me to keep going and that I can handle things.
Doing the Yoga Strong challenge at Yogi Approved helps a lot!
20. Have a Consistent Skincare Routine 💆♀️
The most important step of a consistent skincare routine is probably a good sunscreen (and removing it effectively if you’re prone to clogged pores and breakouts).
I learned that letting go of stress, jealousy, rage, and tension can be part of a skincare routine, as Michelle Dominique Leigh states in the introduction to her book Inner Peace, Outer Beauty. It’s a unique book on natural Japanese healthy and beauty secrets.
21. Stop Seeking Approval or External Validation 🗣️
I became more anxious as I made my way through adulthood. I noticed that my anxiety levels became much more manageable when I made a conscious effort to seek less approval from others on my lifestyle choices and personal goals.
22. Be Clear About Your Goals 📝
Having clear goals is a big part of your journey towards achieving them.
I have goals and to-do lists for everything (it’s something Virgos enjoy doing!). If you poke around my desktop, you’ll find digital or handwritten notes for this website, my combined writing website, my reading schedule, so on and so forth.
Thanks for checking out this website anniversary post. It’s a bit surreal to think that this humble website has been around for so many years.
Feel free to reach out any time if you have questions, something to contribute, or would like to share your own life lessons 🙂
Jess Chua has been webmistress of Dragonsinn since 1999.
She works in the online writing/editing field. She enjoys yoga, reading, and sketching.
Her debut poetry chapbook was published in 2023. Her writing website is jesschua.com