Lessons Learned in 06
1.Do what feels good… I think it’s too easy to complicate life with rules we always think we need to follow. Who made all these rules anyway? How many crazy rules do you have for yourself? In 06 I saw more and more the benefits of filling your days with moments of joy. As difficult as that sounds (and as horrible as it sounds that living with joy is something that can be difficult and require work), it truly is the way to living a fulfilled life. Instead of trying to figure out what’s right, what you’re supposed to do (supposedly), go with your gut, go with what feels best to you truly and I promise you that the results will amaze you. I’m only starting to understand this, but I can see the profound impact it can have on life.
2.Honesty works best I’m still working on this one. No I’m not a constant liar, but I have found that to avoid conflict, especially with people I care about (weird, huh?), I will bend the truth to prevent them from being hurt or upset with me. I can assure you, this is not a good strategy, and ultimately it makes everything blow up in my face. So next time you are tempted to hide behind a “white lie,” resist and try the truth. You’ll feel empowered, lighter, and closer with the other person.
3.Yes and…(applying improv to life). I really enjoyed my improv classes this year, and wouldn’t mind exposing myself to that again this year as it provides a wealth of life knowledge. One of the fundamental rules of improv is the “Yes AND,” rule, which requires you to always respond to something someone else said (or did) with “yes, and.” It’s really amazing how hard this is to do. I was so accustomed to just saying, why, or but, or ok, and especially no. But you realize that these are all endings, things that stop the momentum of the moment, and prevent further progress. The next time a challenge pops up in front of you, try taking the “yes, and,” approach and watch where it takes you. You’ll see that by realizing a no is merely an opportunity to improvise, the world is full of opportunities. Yes…and
4.Just do it At the risk of being sued by Nike, I had to lay that out as one of my lessons from 06. It’s way too easy (for me at least) to get so wrapped up in the whys and hows of doing something that I never get around to doing it. No more. The best time to move forward with your goals, your dreams, your lessons, is now. A quote from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Explore. Dream. Discover.”–Mark Twain
5. Attitude is everything (I’ve written about this before) If you know me well, you know that I obsessively pour over autobiographies of successful athletes, entrepreneurs, scientist etc. I love reading the stories of these people who create so much from nothing, and do it with a smile on their face. If you go looking for exact answers or techniques as to how these people do what they do, you won’t find it. If you go looking for exact childhood experiences as to how these people get to where they are, you won’t find it. The only theme that runs throughout these stories (and those I haven’t read) is positive mindset. All of these people had unbelievable confidence in their ability to do what they wanted to do, never let no stop them (yes, and), and never lost sight of their life purpose. Feel good about who you are, where you are, and believe you can do anything and you’ll never go wrong.
5.5 Live in the moment as much as possible I realize that so much of what I talk about above, seems to require constant work on your thoughts and perspective. It does, but it’s equally important to take time daily to really absorb the moment you are in. Whether you’re walking through a park, settling into a cozy bed, talking on the friend with a loved one, sharing dinner with someone special, whatever…just empty your thoughts for a moment, and completely soak in the good feeling you’re in. Life is more about the little moments, than the big events…you should enjoy both. inspired by Ryan Allis…