10 Things I Learned Last Year
It is surreal that the first week of 2018 has already happened. Before too much more of the new year slides by, I wanted to share a little self-reflection of the last year.
2017 was complicated, confusing, and amazing all at the same time. During my review of the past 12 months, I compiled a small collection of the things that I learned last year.
- I know nothing
As Plato said in his account of Socrates, “The only thing I know, is that I know nothing”
Ego is such an interesting companion. Serves a purpose when kept in check but when allowed to take the wheel of life it can be a very different story. Beware when you are at a point where you feel you know everything. This is completely ego driven idea. When we truly know ourselves and our limits we can say “The only thing I know, is that I know nothing”. Then and only then can we keep our minds and hearts open to other ideas and experiences.
- I don’t need to please everyone
This simple truth took me 45 years to realize. I learned that it is ok not to have the approval of everyone. It is okay not to be loved by everyone. Most importantly my self-worth is not measured by how many people I please.
- Learning to say “no” is a requirement for growth
Saying no is a difficult thing to do when you live with the belief that you have to please everyone. Over the last couple of years, I also learned that saying yes is sometimes our way of filling our time in order to avoid what we should really be focusing on. This past year I worked very diligently on being more focused on my own goals and needs and I said no to relationships, associations and opportunities that were not right for me or my growth. A liberating realization!!!
- The need to constantly assess
We have to take our lives off of autopilot. In order for us to be successful in any area of our life, we have to take an accounting of things. Where we have been, what we have done, the progress we have made, where we currently are, and what is the trajection of our current path. We have to evaluate what is working and make necessary changes along the way if we are serious about achieving our goals.
- Realize that nothing or no one is an overnight success
The more we surround ourselves with successful people the more we hear the stories of “they built start-up company and just sold it for millions”. Or “they wrote a book and it hit the Best Seller list in the first week”. All too often we only see the outcome or the finished product and subsequent reward. To gain realistic insight we have to dig deeper. I can guarantee that none of these rags to riches stories are overnight success stories. Thousands of hours of dedication were necessary to make it happen. My takeaway ….. I too can have equal success with equal dedication.
- Action is essential
It is imperative to have a desire that motivates us and a destination to shoot for, but all the dreaming and planning in the world isn’t going to deliver the goods without action. If we really want something we are going to have to take action to get it.
- Don’t let success or failure, control your present or your future.
It’s really as simple as it sounds. When things are going well, never let success go to your head. Stay humble. When things are rocky, never let doubt settle in. Stay positive.
- Live for something other than yourself
Starting my nonprofit foundation The Bridge of Compassion Foundation, INC, has taught me that we all need to find something that inspires us to live with a greater purpose.
- Embrace uncertainty
This was a VERY hard concept for the girl with a plan to grasp. I still have a plan but it isn’t nearly as black and white as in the past. I also now understand that the universe may have greater plans and I have to have trust.
- Choose people who choose you.
You can’t force relationships. This goes for relationships of ALL kinds. Your circle should be comprised of people who support you and want the best for you and people who you support and want the best for. Healthy relationships are a give and take, a two-way street. Never one-sided. I realized that it is okay to set people free. I also realized that it isn’t selfish to want to be at the top of people’s priority list. I find time for the people that I care about and I value myself enough to expect the same. I choose people who choose me. <3