This summer marked the start to a new year in my life and I’ve been reflecting on how to shape the coming months. I’ve been very fortunate to have some fantastic experiences and opportunities. But it hasn’t been all “kittens n’ sunshine” though with the life lessons. Some of these lessons have been harder than others (way harder) and I’ve persevered because I’ve been surrounded by people who have believed in me, hustled on my behalf, and paved the way by sharing their own enlightened experiences. So in the spirit of paying it forward, here are my Top 6 Smarten-Up Lessons on Work, Life & Play:
#NoHustleWasted. The shortcut to success takes years to create. There’s no copy & paste formula and along the way you’ll fail. Good. Failure is an outcome not a brand. If we don’t fail, we can’t grow and we remain stuck in the fallacy that more of the same means progress. It doesn’t. You’ll screw up, own it and show up again.
Owning mistakes is not easy. It means being courageous and humble, and leading outside our comfort zone, which also happens to be where the magic happens. If you find yourself with a fresh blank canvas – fill it with ideas and don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines, perfection is the enemy.
“If you’re not giving back, you’re taking too much.” ~ Robin Sharma
I got something like 120 Happy Birthday messages on my personal Facebook page this year. Unheard of for me – I was overwhelmed and extremely grateful, and I responded to each one of them, individually. My personal messages were a way for me to say, “I see you, I hear you, I value you and I care.” Keep it real and give thanks, regularly.
Chances are designed to be given, taken. We can all identify a time when someone took a big risk to invest in our potential. Now gift it to someone else – pay it forward. And if an opportunity comes your way, don’t let fear be a barrier. Be swift in evaluating the fit for personal values, culture and future aspirations and decide, quickly. Be audacious when your gut says so and smart when you know it’s not a win-win. Be curious – lead with this.
Serve and Protect – Being generous with your knowledge is a form of service and community building. In authentic relationships, where the level of social and emotional intelligence is high, this occurs with a spirit of reciprocity. Find these connections and cultivate them. There are also those who seek to climb to success on the backs of others and we can’t avoid them entirely. So listen more and be selective in what you share that you haven’t already published. It’s a form of brand and intellectual property protection.
Say Hell No to Status Quo – Unless you’re dead set on building a brand that says “I’m the cookie cutter of the corporate world”, don’t be afraid to be different. Take roles that are interesting, volunteer where you can grow your knowledge, network and connections, and take on off-the-beaten path projects. Disrupt — I dare you.
Here’s the thing, we’re in this together, all of us. And since there is no instruction manual for life, the only way to Raise the Game is if we elevate our potential and stick together.
What are some of your best lessons learned in the past year? Share them below in the comments.