Sunday, January 1, 2017

What I learned in 2016

This new year is just like any other. Nothing is particularly special about it. It could go good or bad. It will be through our own actions and those actions alone that determine if we move along our chosen path and bask in the admiration of others OR sit in the dark mean mugging and feeling like the world has somehow cheated us. The choice is ours.

Now, at this metaphorical beginning point, let's stop and take stock of ourselves. Are you happy with your personal status quo? Have you taken a look at who you are? And not in the superficial way we always do, that I myself am guilty of as well, we but a real in-depth look at who we are, where we are in our life, and why we do those things we do. One those introspective deep dives where you ask yourself THE WHY. Why are we not chasing our dreams? Or why are we still chasing those dreams? Most of us don't do this for various reasons, partially because we're afraid of the answer. But I think most of us should ask ourselves the hard questions at least once a year.   

We hope and pray that the coming of the new year will bring new opportunities and new direction to our lives. In reality the numbering of the year will make no difference if the circumstances we have placed ourselves in do not change. And I say placed ourselves in because I subscribe to the notion that one is usually responsible for their circumstances - well, at least 95% of the time. Some things we can't control - Earthquakes, hurricanes, corporate merger, illness, etc. But those things we can change that we choose not to we are still responsible for. I am of the belief that those circumstances that hold us back that we can change, we should change.

Change. It's a funny idea. In a world where now everything is instant, change came first. Things change in an instant all the time. And yet that same change can take what seems like forever. And both kinds of change  can be both painful or exhilarating. And both kinds happen all the time. I'm guess what I'm just suggesting that by asking the hard questions, we prepare ourselves for change. And that we can be ready for change to happen to us, AND to change those things we can on our schedule.  

I'm not ashamed to admit that last year I was off and on with the struggle to change my own circumstances. Some were successful, some weren't, and some are still in progress. I'm human. I had some up days and down days. But I kept moving. And I think you should too. Maybe your moving is different than mine, in fact, I'm almost certain it is. But being ready, not just going through the motions of life is key.  Because change is coming. So we need to take stock of ourselves, ask the hard questions and figure out how to put the change we control on our schedule where we can.

As part of my process, I gather up those things I've learned, those lessons that I've learned from my previous year. I hope to internalize them. To make myself better. I put the change on my schedule.

What I learned in 2016

I have spent years wondering the answers to questions that I never even asked.

Only being finished is being finished. There is no almost finished.

Good people to have in your life are harder to find than you think. Not because good people are hard to find, it's because everyone has a life.

Extensive preparation doesn't always make you ready. Sometimes you gotta change what you do to make an impact.

I have a tendency to get comfortable with what I have, and that's bad, because I'm capable of so much more.

The theory of nobility is much harder than the practice. 

I may be too nice and have too much patience, if that's possible.

Falling down isn't the end. Not getting back up is.

Bacon just is.

Plan. Then get started. You may not follow the plan after the first few steps but plan. It gets you started and lets you know where the end lies.

Figure out what gets your day started, what gets you rolling and do that everyday. Even weekends.

I don't like calling people if it's not for business reasons. I feel like I'm bothering them.

Exercise your imagination. Daydream, pretend in the mirror, whatever. Because when we stop dreaming we stop trying.

If you're going to love someone, then love them all you can. People you will really love with your soul aren't easy to find. And they need to know you care.

Baking is God teaching you to take your time.

Learn to cultivate yourself. It's impossible for you not to reap what you have sown.

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