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5 Things 2014 Taught Me Plus 1

I honestly said I was through with doing any major posts, blogs or articles about making changes in the New Year. It’s not that I don’t think they help, I feel they have a place if the person reading it is ready to do the work. As the year began to wind down, I started seeing the posts on social media and instantly I thought; this has gotten so passé. Everyone has their five steps, seven steps or three steps to a better year. And I get it. We all share out of our own unique set of experiences.

So here we are in the first couple of weeks of a brand new year and while reading, a passage in the book sparked me to write a list of personal lessons that I can look back on last year and be thankful I learned. As I wrote them down, I realized I had to share it! Just like those other periodicals that hit the internet over the last three weeks, I too will add my own personal spin. I’m hopeful it will be from a fresh perspective because last year brought with it some serious growing pains. I didn’t always respond properly, made a ton of mistakes and I embrace every aspect of it.

Here we go: Five Things 2014 Taught Me

• You can’t fake or duplicate real synergy. This was a big one for me. Often we see opportunity and potential with certain people and hope to work with them. Only to find out that there is no real spark between you. The worse thing is to try and manufacture an experience. It should happen organically. Last year taught me to trust my gut and go where I am inspired.

• When people are jerks, it’s their problem so don’t make it yours. I get roped into a bunch of things. The real deal is some of it is a self-inflected wound. I allow someone else’s actions to sucker me into a place where I am not myself. People will like you or hate you and most of it will have little to do with you.

• If you’re looking for something positive, you will find it every time. Life isn’t as hard as we’d like to think it is. Most of the crap is our own doing. When you wake up in the morning, I learned you and you alone have the choice of whether it will be miserable or motivating. Last year I had some days where I had to remind myself throughout the day, it’s my choice.

• Talk is way too cheap! There are talkers and then there are doers. The livelihood of your business and even relationships depends on how quickly you discern the two. Nothing’s worse than being tied to someone on a project while all they do is talk about what needs to be done. All while you do it. I met some incredible doers last year, but I also encountered some talkers.

• Persistence eats talent for breakfast. Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.” Last year my persistence got me places talent wouldn’t. And to think that all my life I focused on this illusion of perfection when I should have been developing a heart filled with the courage to keep trying until I win.

• BONUS LESSON: Even rejection has its purpose. No one likes to hear the word NO. From being a toddler, that word is synonymous with denial and restrictions. We think no limits where we can live, how we can feel and what we can dream for. But it doesn’t. No is one person’s opinion. When rejection is processed healthily it can be a great guidepost for improvement. What if from now on you view rejection simply as feedback? What if you didn’t take it personal and used it to your advantage? I promise life will shift and you will see things from a fresh perspective.

There were a few other things I pondered that would speak to a lesson. But things seemed to keep coming back to these five things, plus one more. What good is going through growing pains if you can’t share the life lessons? I think we are far wiser and further along because people are being more authentic and opening up about their journeys. Here’s to another year of learning.

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