In no particular order, some of the most important life lessons I learned from 2011.
- Relationships and communities, like stages of life, are seasonal. Some may be lifelong friends and partners, while others only for a time. That’s ok. We each have our own journeys, and our paths may cross for a certain time. Savor the time, and leave the other person better off than when they met you.
- It takes a village to raise you. Though we each may have “best friends,” it’s important that a single person is not the sole source of community, wisdom, and companionship. That’s an unfair and unrealistic burden to place on another. Seek guidance, wisdom, and advice from a community of people.
- Failure is not fatal. It is also not an excuse to not try. Failure can easily be transformed into Plan B. There is no shame in failing at attempting something great, but there is shame in sitting back and doing nothing.
- You can’t expect a job, position, relationship, or material possession to bring meaning and significance to your life. Significance comes from the one source that created you and defines who you are. Out of that, you bring significance into all other areas of your life.
- You influence other people not by creating value for yourself, but by adding value to others. Hear their stories, seek their best interests, maximize their strengths, and create environments for them grow and flourish.
- Lasting impact doesn’t come from doing things out of obligation or duty. Do what you love. Then figure out how to help others by doing it.
- Don’t wait for the optimal time for pursuing your passions. Whatever excuse you have, whether it’s not having enough time, not having enough money, not having the skills or experience – those obstacles will always be there. You spend your entire life preparing, only to find out you wasted your entire life preparing. Pursue your dreams now, and be creative with what you do have and what you do know.
Well, that’s all I got.