Last week I wrote about how to Capture Your Year, and give yourself the gift of seeing how much you have accomplished and progressed without registering it. As part of that exercise, I suggested you share some of your Lessons Learned with others, and I’m here to take my own advice and share my Lessons Learned with you!
So, sit back and get comfy as we travel back over the year together and I share the first installment of my Top Lessons Learned in 2021:
Lesson 1: Keep the faith – This is a big one I learned in lots of different ways this year. Two of my biggest life goals came true this year, one of which was to become a published author. For years and years and years and YEARS I wrote to my heart’s content – sometimes sharing my writing, other times keeping it to myself – always knowing I wanted to do more, and craft a life full of putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard. I didn’t know how I would find a publisher, or how I would reach more readers, I just knew that I wanted it and that I would keep going until “it” happened.
And after seven years of consistently writing (and lots of other things too!), all the pieces started to come together. I met people. I pitched myself. I found agents to represent me. And then I got my first big paid writing gig. And then I got a book deal from a major publisher. It didn’t happen by wishing for it. And it took years for it to happen. But all along I never stopped knowing it would happen as long as I didn’t give up. As long as I showed up and did the work. (And guess what? My book is now available for pre-order!)
So don’t let the unpredictability of how long things might take scare you from doing. If you want something badly, keep the faith, keep working, keep experimenting, and keep trying. Or, as one of my favorite quotes puts it so perfectly: “Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
Lesson 2: Think (even) bigger – This lesson is somewhat related to #1, but whatever your goals and dreams and aspirations, it can NEVER hurt to think even bigger (my friend Richard Brown said this perfectly in an article he wrote a few months ago where he talked about 3x-ing his income goal for this year and then making it happen in a few short-but-full-of-hard-work months!).
There is no extra “cost” to thinking bigger, so don’t sell yourself short and keep yourself small. When I was thinking about the audiences I wanted to speak in front of, I didn’t limit myself to what I knew was possible or what I had already done. I imagined packed stadiums, and large arenas, and big corporate gatherings. And guess what, that’s what I am doing. It’s not to say “small” is in any way inferior or unworthy, it’s just that being bolder about our ambitions and visions means we start busting through self-imposed limitations and prove to ourselves that anything is possible. Yes, even for us. It’s that thing about shooting for the stars. Even if you “fail”, you’ll still land on the moon.
So start seeing where you can think bigger and start surrounding yourself with people who think bigger too. We are so powerfully, if subtly, influenced by the people around us and the thoughts we let in.
I’ve got more of my Lessons Learned coming your way in the weeks ahead, but till then, please take some time to let these first two sink in. Where can you keep the faith and keep going? And where can you think bigger?
I’d love to hear about it.