2011 seems like it lasted forever AND flew by… It moved fast because ambition and energy can’t wait… It was slow because emotion and appreciation take time… But whatever the speed, my 2011 was driven by purpose, passion, and PEOPLE… And for that I’m truly grateful. I’ve never learned as much in my entire life. Thank you all for being my teachers and tour guides, mentors and messengers…
Last year was all about exploration for me… discovery and recovery… life-changing experiences sewn and spliced with simple, stirring conversations…
Here are 12 secrets I learned along the way.
1. Sometimes we chase the wrong dreams. We search in the wrong bushes. We set fire to the wrong fields… We get mesmerized by the mirage and hypnotized by the hype… and when we’re up close, and personal, they lose their mystique… lose their Magic… But when we find ourselves face to face with faux pas, we can’t waste time regretting the run… Every Moment is precious. We just have to spin around, salute our mistake, and hit the road again… Harder. Everyday is an evolution.
2. There’s nothing as contagious as the energy of those around you. Energy is invisible, but packed with power. The power to propel you towards your dreams, or the power to anchor you to your defeats. The company you keep will dictate many of your choices and shape much of your circumstance. I’ve learned this over and over again… There are only two types of people in the world: those that lift you up, and those that bring you down. Go ALL IN with the first group.
3. YOU are your own worst enemy. There are only two things holding you back right now. And both live inside you… Fear and Insecurity. I promise you, they are the cause of nearly all of your problems. They’ve definitely been the cause of mine… They prevent us from living the life we want to live. Their talk is potent and poisonous… and they are relentless. They tell us we can never make it… that it’ll never happen… that we’re not good enough… They’re wrong… Learn to confront those two demons head on. Understand them. Empathize with them. Then beat the sh*t out of them. You are stronger than them both.
4. The hardest person to be honest with is yourself. We can disguise our feelings, hide behind fake smiles or false eyes… We can mislead strangers and fool friends. We can cheat loved ones. We can deceive ourselves… Live a life of lies for years… Lying to others is easy. Lying to ourselves is safe… We cover up the truth with excuses and explanations and justifications. We point fingers and place blame. Because it’s less painful than facing ourselves and telling it like it is – honest, sincere, real… with no bullshit. The truth is not always easy to look at. It’s not always pretty. But the truth is bigger than our anger and insecurity and fear and embarrassment and shame… The truth is huge. See it, speak it, be it
5. It takes more courage to close old doors than to open new ones. Walking away is often the bravest thing we can do.
6. The Universe talks… and listens… and remembers. Life has a sneaky way of making some decisions for us… of opening up the floodgates or throwing down the roadblocks, pushing us forward or shutting us down. No detour is accidental… No barrier misplaced… Even nothing is something. Every situation speaks if we listen to it… When we’re open to the signs and receptive to the signals, the Universe conspires to keep us on the right path. Live right. Stay positive. Do good…. And the Universe remembers.
7. Surround yourself with people that are better than you. People that are smarter and faster. Stronger… Compete against the best. Set the bar high, and just when it gets within arms reach… push it higher.We can’t improve if we’re winning all the time. Sometimes we gotta get our ass kicked.
8. Some people don’t make the cut in their own eyes. They end a relationship before it begins because they’re afraid they don’t measure up.. They don’t think they’re good enough… they feel unworthy… They’re paralyzed by Fear and handcuffed by Insecurity… So they abort… hit eject.. set fire to promise and put a match to possibility… burn all the evidence… They’d rather control failure than chance success… They’re so scared you won’t love them, because they don’t love themselves. And no amount of reassurance or reiteration can alter their stance or affect their view… Because their fight is internal, their deficiencies self-created… So they cast you off before you can cast them aside.. Even if it means losing something, someone, great… it’s tragic, but true… and those times, really.. Really… it’s not you… it’s them.
9. Happiness is a choice. You decide.
10. You are hungry. Don’t settle for scraps… in any relationship, personal or professional. It’s your hunt. You deserve the whole feast… the entire kill… You are NOT a hyena. And you damn sure ain’t a vulture… You’re a f*cking Lion.
11. Love is worth it. There is no fair market value. No opportunity cost or compound interest. You can’t buy low and sell high. IPOs rarely come when we expect them. Emotion is never sold at list price. There are no guarantees… Hopefully it works out. But even if it doesn’t, if it was real, it was worth it. That’s all… Go for it.
12. Letting go will set you free. We are too often prisoners of the Past. We’re held captive by our mistakes and failures, imprisoned by guilt and regret. Caged by what we can’t change… Letting go is one of the hardest but most empowering things we can do… This has been one of the most difficult things for me to learn and act on… Especially when it involves other people or relationships… I used to think that the act of ‘letting go’ was a moment in time. Like one day you just decide to do it, and it’s done… But I’m learning that letting go is an ongoing process. a daily ritual even… and, eventually, it becomes a way of life. Keeping the good, finding the positive, embracing the truth… and letting go of the rest. The past has handcuffed you to the floor long enough. It’s time to take the chains off…
Life is short. Our dreams are Big. And the clock is ticking… 2012. Let’s go.