Wednesday, 30 December 2015

So long 2015, thanks for the talk

At the end of every year I like to reflect on the what's happened in the last 12 months and look forward to what the future might hold.  I think 2015 was the year in which I experienced the most personal growth.  In an effort to become a little wiser, here are the top 5 life lessons I'll be taking with me into 2016. They sound so simple, but of course I had to learn them for myself... the hard way. 

Until this year I don't think I fully understood the power of my own will and how believing that I could change something meant that it could change.  Believing in yourself gives you strength to accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to. I guess that little engine was onto something all along.  But the trick is belief alone won't take you anywhere unless you're willing to put in the work. 

Some days are better than others.  We know this.  And the bad days are what make the good days feel great.  We know this too, but some days it's hard to see through the storm cloud to sunny skies.  Trust me, it's there waiting for you.  I spent 6 months on the injured list and doing little more than going to work; I felt like a bag of crap, but I got back in the gym, started to get out and enjoy my city and finally hopped on a plane to Africa.  I did that for ME.  

Walk Away
And then there are times when you know in your gut you're headed nowhere fast, but the route is exciting, or pretty, or comfortable.  Learn your lesson and move on.  If it's not leaving you fulfilled or leading you to fulfillment, it's probably not worth it.  Walking away is not giving up, it's finding a new path. 

Meditate and Reflect
I thought I knew what I wanted, because it was always the way I imagined it would be.  Then I was faced with the same BIG question twice in one year, in two very different circumstances and had to sit and really think about it.  Long bus rides through the Namib desert helped in this whole - make time to think this thing through- situation possible.

On a smaller scale, every day I try to think of one thing that I'm thankful for and one thing that sucked and had to be dealt with or gotten over.  Here, even the littlest things count.  

Be Kind
A few weeks ago, I found the words, "wake up.  kill it.  be kind" scribbled somewhere and loved it so much, I've put it up in my room.  It's always the way I've tried to live and there's power in writing it down and then reading it every day.  Before the Christmas break, I had a number of colleagues tell me that they appreciated my hard work and positive outlook and energy.  That's probably the biggest compliment I could ever ask for and the best motivation to keep moving forward.  

So thanks for sticking with me for another year: reading, adventuring and learning.  I wish you all the best for 2016 and if you have any life lessons I could learn the easy way, I'd love to hear 'em.  I'll be writing out another card this year and it's not too late for me to change my mind on colour ;)