I have learned many lessons, painful and joyful, this year. Today, I want to share some of them with you.
1. Take the time to find out what really matters to you. The disconnect between our values and our lives can be both startling AND instructional. Take some time to really look at whether your life is evidence of what you say is important.
2. It is never too late – never. I graduated from seminary at 53 years old and started my first business at 54. I cannot wait to see what 55 looks like! There are so many exciting things planned for the coming year.
3. Be vulnerable and willing to step out. We need to share our stories so that others can see that our lives are just as imperfect as theirs are. There is great comfort in knowing that those you admire struggle often and have overcome significant adversity to be where they are.
4. Be worth following. Dr. Jennifer Bennett, Social Media Specialist for iBloom (www.ibloom.com) reminds us often that this is a very important lens through which to view our interactions online and IRL (in real life). And if you think people aren't paying attention, think again. What kind of example are you setting?
5. Don’t wait for others to move forward with your goals. I created my website on my own after a friend who told me she would help with it didn’t. My first attempt was clunky and not elegant, but it was up, it was mine, and I met my personal deadline to get it done. (It’s time for an overhaul which will happen soon…)
6. Give up searching for perfection. There is much joy and innovation to be found in making mistakes. Maintain quality and strive for excellence, but waiting until everything is perfect is really just a stall tactic.
7. Keep going. Don’t listen to the naysayers, the saboteurs. There will always be people who will say that something can’t be done. Keep going.
8. Be resilient. There is a Japanese proverb that says “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Adjust, limp, bend, but don’t break. Find a way to recover from setbacks - there is almost always a way.
That’s the list of the big lessons learned this past year. I am ready for this next year, with the joys and trials it will bring. I have discovered strength and grace beyond measure this past year, let’s see what happens. Stay tuned.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end--
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.”
– Isaiah 43:2