Interestingly, I always go overseas for Christmas holidays and do something different each year. For most people, there is probably a tendency around Christmas holidays to fall into the groove of repeating the same activities every single year just because that is the usual way they have always done as a tradition. Sometimes family traditions like Christmas lunch can be stressful, especially if you really dislike that particular aunt who has to join the Christmas lunch.

  • As a sentimental person, I like good traditions.

A great tradition sprinkled here & there is great. However, repeating the same activities each year even when it’s not fun any longer only makes me feel slightly trapped.

For example, I don’t really enjoy attending Christmas parties because I love travelling by myself and see the world. I simply decided not to participate in Christmas parties in my hometown anymore. My rationale is very simple: If I run around trying to please everybody, I may end up disappointing myself.

Whatever your traditions are in your family, you may pause and ask yourself whether you still enjoy those traditions. And it’s okay to say that you no longer enjoy them. I give you the permission to be honest with yourself.

Do you go to your mother-in-law’s apartment for lunch because you like it or because you don’t want to offend her?

Do you join your sister’s Christmas party because you enjoy it or because you do that every single year?

If you like your family traditions, that’s great – just keep doing those. However, if you dislike those traditions, it’s okay to break them.

Well, you might disappoint somebody in your life. Nevertheless, if you attend their gathering but you are not fully present, you will become resentful and they will feel that vibe.

Because I honor what actually feels good and true, I only keep family traditions that actually nourish my soul, e.g. talking to my family each day on Skype, taking my parents overseas for holiday once a year, etc.

My personal tradition is not to follow a specific routine because I just visit a new city during Christmas holidays every year. And my trip to France is the most memorable one.

  • How to not worry about my critics:

It’s not easy to be attractive when I’m worried about what others think of me. My focus would be divided and rather than being charismatic, I would censor myself and become boring so I can fit in.

That’s why I have learned how to stop worrying about my critics!

Truthfully, stepping into the light means I am a visible target for people to aim at. Each time I do something different, I open myself up to criticism, resentment and mockery. People might laugh at me when I do something new. A close friend may tell me I look weird. It turns out that success and criticism go hand-in-hand. I put my work out there & other people tell me it’s not good enough.

To avoid criticism, many people choose to hide in the background and do nothing / say nothing / be nothing.

Since I’m unwilling to follow that route, I know the only way to move forward is to handle criticism correctly, even though it’s hard.

Now I’m certain & very comfortable in my own skin; I don’t stifle myself due to what others will say.

I hired a business coach when I started my freelance business a while ago. That business coach asked me to stop being in denial about my faults.

My faults are not surprising to me. I’m honest with myself about my shortcomings and other people can’t trip me up simply by mentioning my shortcomings. I know how imperfect I am, so I’m not worried about criticism.

Whenever someone criticizes me, I simply agree and laugh along with that person. I own my weaknesses and make my weaknesses a part of who I really am.

A critic is not a hater. A critic is simply someone who wants to give me some feedback, even though I did it in a rude way. Therefore, I don’t avoid an opportunity to learn something from feedback. I’m grateful for the lesson they offer me.

During my trip to France, I met many relaxed, laid-back people. The way they approach things was eye-opening. Suddenly, I realized that my job isn’t to avoid criticism.

As I stop seeing criticism as something bad, it has lost its power in my life.

Whenever I do something new, some people will think I’m doing it wrong. That’s unavoidable. Criticism is a by-product of innovation.

Besides, I focus on the big picture rather than small details. Growth-driven people do not even have time for little things such as “feeling offended” or worrying about what others might think about their decisions. These successful people’s eyes are always set on the big picture. They have a vision. Being committed to the vision makes them strong and invincible.

That is to say, maybe we do not have to change the world today, yet we need a commitment to a bigger purpose which matters so much more than the desire to avoid criticism at all cost.

  • Travelling feeds my soul.

Without having a good rest and healthy food, I wouldn’t have the energy to nourish my soul. I would argue that self-care is not a luxury. It’s actually a necessity.

I go to a different country each year because looking after my own needs is the top of my to-do list.

Travel fills my cup. My trip to France was a cup filler. As food is to my body, travel is to my spirit.

Almost everything feels a bit better after I’ve had a wonderful trip. Every time when I come back from a trip, I always sleep like a baby!

When I’m travelling, I switch off my phone. I have good reasons for that:

Firstly, looking at my phone all the time causes anxiety. When we hunch forward, the lung capacity is decreased and the breathing becomes shallower. This causes anxiety. Sadly, many people use checking their phones to soothe themselves, but it’s actually a vicious cycle.

Secondly, it’s impossible to multi-task. Doing multiple things at a time significantly decreases my ability to do anything well.

Thirdly, smartphones emit electromagnetic fields as well as radiation that could be dangerous. Since smartphones haven’t been around for a long time, nobody really knows how harmful they really are.

Lastly, I can’t be present with individuals in real life and look at my phone at the same time. So, I choose to put down my smartphone and give full attention to people I talk to.

I don’t want to miss something when I’m travelling. I can miss something on the Web. Texts will stay on my smartphone until I have time to read them. I didn’t want to miss out on intelligent conversations with high-quality people that I met during my trip to France.

Good memories come from shared experiences with great people.”