As we all embark on a new year I always find it useful to take a few moments and reflect on the one that has just passed us by and realise what it has taught me. Our experience is what educates us better than anything and the realization of the lessons that life has served up over the previous 12 months helps me to create some solid building blocks for my future.
Not only that – sharing these lessons may help you to realise you are not alone, avoid a mistake for yourself or just gain a little extra insight into this little mind of mine…
Lesson 1 – Say no to the good to make room for the great
Taking inspiration from the famous quote from John C Maxmell I have had several reminders through the year that it is ok to let good of existing “good” situations. It can be so hard to say goodbye to clients, projects, revenue streams and securities for fear of the unknown.
The reality can be that we all live such full lives in the first instance that without sacrifice, risk or just “letting go” we leave no room to grow in to or for opportunity to leak into our lives. Things need room to grow and your future is one of those things. Be preparred to give up on existing situations that are “fine” to create the catalyst for a new level of awesome!
Lesson 2 – Life is far from “fair”
2016 was a year that was littered with examples that the planet we live on and the world in which we play is not on an even keel. From the tragic loss of life of a loved one through to the dozens of business transactions and relationships that failed to deliver on their promises I have had to cement the knowledge that fair is not a currency that we can trade in.
This lesson is far from doom and gloom though… It has taught me to cherish the good times, move on quickly and bear no grudges. It is an acceptance of the reality that allows me to keep a forward momentum.
Lesson 3 – Control your controllables
In my world I travel a lot! Travelling means that I bump into a abundance of strangers and find myself in dozens of conversations about mindless stuff with people I am highly unlikely to ever converse with ever again. The one common theme in the majority of these conversations is the massive energy that others invest in whining and moaning about something they have absolutely no control over.
Worse than that are the individuals who debate tirelessly about why their life is not the way they wish it was and yet are taking no responsibility to any of the positive personal activity they can produce to improve it. Our world is our world and you have the power to change a huge amount about how your life is right now. This will only ever happen by taking the confidence to effect and change your own reality and not waste energy on other peoples’ challenges.
Lesson 4 – Giving always feels better than receiving
2016 was the first year in my life where I had the chance to really take a giant step back, look up and around and see who I could provide some assistance to. I have always prospered in my business endeavors, but starting my work life young and being very wary of the pitfalls of complacency I have always kept busy, busy to keep the wolf from the door. This has resulted in having little time or surplus cash to give back to others without agenda.
This year that changed a little. I was blessed with the opportunity to support key members of my family, give back to loved ones who have supported me and create various actions that resulted in £thousands being generated for my chosen charities.
Not just this, but I dedicated some huge chunks of time to a handful of talented individuals that I knew I could significantly help and without charge made a promise to give them some time and advice to steer them towards their goals.
The personal satisfaction I received from making all this happen in 2016 is a tremendous gift and the lesson that joy is created from giving hit me hard between the eyes this last year.
Lesson 5 – Make decisions to own as opposed to be owned
Our modern world teases us tirelessly with options and choices to “buy now and pay later” with just about every commodity that one can imagine. Following the financial crash in 2008 and the direct impact it had on my personal circumstances I took the decision to always live within my means and work tirelessly towards a sustainable existence.
Through gradually humbling my lifestyle, being hardworking and patient I had reached the position this year, that before my 35th birthday I can happily announce that I am entirely debt free and own every possession without any liability and could sustain my current existence for many years to come.
It can be so easy to make decisions based on instant gratification, to learn to own your own life without needing to work for your bank, your landlord or car company is a liberating feeling.
Lesson 6 – I am in charge
A mistake I have made over and over throughout my life is to become caught in the current of a situation and find myself travelling in a direction that does not feed my soul or make my heart sing.
Several of these situations arose in 2016 and I finally have grown the maturity to take responsibility to myself and choose my life and business decisions with my own personal objectives in mind.
Historically it has been far to easy for a short term ego fix to fuel a long term decision into the wrong direction. 2016 taught me to know with certainty that I am the captain of my own destiny.
Lesson 7 – Always overdeliver
As your reputation and experience grows – as does the expectation that others place on you. This tear has seen me become stretched more than any other period of time and as a result of which many of the high standards I held myself to historically became challenged.
Put simply – I let myself down with a few things and have realized that doing something where the final result is anything other than “awesome” does not feel to great. Time for me to step up in 2017!
Lesson 8 – Love is all you need
Regardless of any success that is achieved if you do not have the people on the journey with you to share it with you then the magic can be instantly lost. I have learnt to work as hard on the relationships with my loved ones, family and friends as I have in my business to ensure that my company success or failure is supported with the correct company.
Lesson 9 – Money really helps
In direct contrast to the previous lesson comes this one. As much as we can all be certain that many of lives true gifts cannot be purchased the fact of the matter is that modern society requires a suitable level of funds to enjoy it.
When you are in control of your financial future then you sleep better, worry less and enjoy a lot less stress. It is not just that, it also provides you with so many more choices.
You can feel far more in control, become far more spontaneous and infinitely more generous. I am not saying that we should all look to be millionaires but learning about the comforts of having a little more than you need creates a very warming feeling.
Lesson 10 – Trust your gut
If it doesn’t feel right then it is probably not right…