2013 Lessons Learned (Often the Hard Way)

Two years ago, I began spending the days before New Years reflecting on the lessons I learned that year. It’s a comforting way to recognize how I’ve grown, and it makes me feel hopeful about the year to come.

Here’s are my hard-earned lessons from 2013. As my Grandma says, education is never free.

1. Acknowledging and accepting full responsibilities for mistakes removes their power over you and grants you the ability to move forward.

2. Listening deeply builds good relationships fast. (I am committed to talking less in 2014.)

3. Life can end in an instant. Be safe.

4. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine your life differently than it is. But if you open yourself to change, share your desires, and surround yourself with people who have access to opportunity, big things can happen.

5. YouTube has piano tutorials for most every good song. Spotify is packed with great piano covers.

6. Consistently helping others builds large networks that grow in power over time. And it feels really good, too.

7. I am better at recognizing unhelpful habits, but realize that this is not always enough to change them. (I need to exercise 3-days a week in 2014, even if that means injury requires new ways of exercising.)

8. Injured? Don’t procrastinate about seeing a doctor.

9. Live in the moment. Communication tools are a modern miracle – and a curse if they chip away at quality time with others.

10. I learned the qualities I value most in a relationship are warmth, optimism, easy forgiveness, intelligence, openness, and a love of engaging the world.

Wishing each of you a year full of health, growth, joy and beauty,