2011 Lessons Learned:
1. Be your own competition. I believe this is one of the most valuable lessons that I've learned this year. Each day is about beating my own personal best, not someone else's perceived best. The truth of the matter is that we are created individually unique. Once we discover our purpose we become even more unique because we then understand the reason for our existence. Purpose is uniquely assigned...no one can do what you have been created to do like you can do it. So there's no need to compete. There is a time when competition is appropriate, but I suggest one not institute this in the realm or true friendships or relationships. It will suck the life out of them every time.
2. Travel one-way towards purpose/vision. Once your purpose has been revealed and you are clear on it. Lock in and go! ONE-WAY. Let nothing and no one stand in your way. Become unyielding and relentless about achieving your goals. Remove all distractions, people or situations that do not contribute to the direction of which you are traveling.
3. Remove toxic people expeditiously. This is a tricky one...life is tricky, mostly because it involves people. I believe that difficult people were placed on the Earth to build our patience. However, one needs to know when enough is enough. This year I learned that when you are clear about your life and moving in a positive direction, such can be intimidating to others. So much so that they try to do one of two things...duplicate it or destroy it. Unfortunately, neither is effective unless you allow them to be. So, cut your losses early, get rid of them and move on.
4. Beware of small-thinkers and dream killers. Oh how important is the company we keep! When folks start sulking and giving the "woe is me" speech about everything in life that they are fully capable to achieve, but making no effort to do so, I get annoyed. Nothing has began to bother me more than able-bodied folks, with all the potential to achieve greatness, yet they sit back and do nothing. AND, as a result, they seek to discourage your dream by trying to convince you that you should do the same. NOT SO, learn the art of ignoring people...it's necessary at times.
5. Let love in. This year birthed many surprises concerning love. Love can reveal itself in the most peculiar places. In fact, sometimes love can look differently than what we expected. True love comes in a form that provides much of what you need, a little of what your want and sometimes even a couple of things you don't want. Sometimes, it's best to let love in and just go with it, even when your are afraid. It's okay to let people love you...it really is.
6. Check emotions appropriately. There is a difference between emotion and discernment. I find that people often confuse the two. Sometimes that feeling in your gut is emotion and not discernment or intuition. Making decisions based on emotion is dangerous. Emotions often derive from circumstances or mood, thus meaning that they can be fickle and unstable. However, discernment is the ability to judge well. In my opinion, discernment comes with wisdom and relationship (in particularly with God). When emotion is high in decision making, I've learned that silence is best until discernment takes precedence.
7. I have my own permission to rest and relax. A life of purpose is power-packed and often crazy. It's organized chaos, especially in the early stages. Rest and downtime is essential to sanity and success. As such, I reserve the right to turn off my phone (or ignore calls), not answer my door, save emails until later and just relax whenever I feel it is necessary. It's okay if the timing of my rest is not convenient for others.
8. Make time for those who are important. When reflecting back on numbers 3 and 4, I began to realize how some of those people were taking up precious time that is due to the ones who really care about me and my future. My support system is key. They consist of those who are not competing against me, nagging me, trying to make me feel guilty for achieving or jealous. They are those that are confidently secure in who they are; therefore, they are comfortable in supporting me. They deserve my time.
9. Only believe. There is little room for doubt and would've-should've-maybes in success. Believe that great and wonderful things can happen. See yourself achieving the unthinkable. Make this your conscious reality, not the negative self-talk that often comes naturally.
10. Trust God in all things. It's easy to travel to a place that you have not visited or even seen if the person escorting your knows exactly where you are going.
I hope this New Year brings each of you a life filled to the rim with purpose and joy.
'Til next time...être bien!