Before I step over the line and move into a new year or a new chapter, I thought I would look back over the last 49 years and see what are the 6 best things pieces of wisdom I would take with me into 2019.
This was a powerful question I asked myself:”If I could only take 6 pieces of wisdom (or strategies) with me into 2019 what would they be?”
Tough question! But I will give it a shot.
Wisdom Piece Number 1: Don’t make decision when you have ants in your pants
What and earth do I mean by that?
If the formula goes something like this:
The choices we make determine the life we have and the destiny that unfolds.
Then we need to make better and great decisions. You know this is a point I often make. It is a game changer.
So don’t make a decision about something that is important (like what you will spend your precious time and energy on) if you are not in a good mental or emotional state to do so.
Don’t let people ‘force’ you to make a quick decision if you are not ready. Stand your ground. Don’t be coerced, cajoled, shamed, guilted, pushed, rushed, or manipulated by someone else’s agenda.
Decision making is important. Do it on YOUR terms. Do it when you don’t have ants in your pants, or someone breathing down your neck. Create space. Breathe. Look at the bigger picture. Tap into your head, heart and gut. Then you can make your decision.
And it is likely to be a better choice.
Better choices = better life.
Wisdom Piece Number 2: Take your foot off the accelerator
Who is the loonie that has done a good job of convincing us that life is a race?
And why are we buying into it way too often?Actually, here is my theory. It is called ‘hypnosis’. We actually receive so many subliminal messages, overt and covert, convincing us that we are not enough, or don’t have enough, but when we do have enough, then, and only then, will we be HAPPY. We are being silently coerced into believing (without our conscious knowledge) that going fast = success and happiness. WRONG ANSWER!!
We buy into the race. Or more accurately we step onto the hamster wheel in a trance-like state. Damn it!
Slow down. Make 2019 the year you pay attention to all the beauty around you. Where you place your attention is where you place your energy, and how you shape your life.Put downtime into your 2019 calendar. Take regular breaks. Spend time with people who matter to you. Spend time in nature. Watch how nature does things (mostly) with ease and grace.
Get enough sleep at night. Take a 3-day weekend once a month and spend it doing rejuvenating stuff. Stretch the timeline on your projects.
“Does this (X) absolutely positively unequivocally need to be done now (or this week, month or year)?”
I am not trying to create a generation of sloths, but then I don’t think anyone is likely to be calling you a sloth. On the other hand they might have the odd thought that you are rushing around like a crazy person a bit too much.
Would you benefit from going a little slower? Smelling the flowers. Breathing in deeply, fully and joyfully.
Wisdom Piece Number 3: Be honest
I mean it from this perspective…
Be honest to yourself and be honest with other people. Even if you think your being honest might upset them.
When we don’t speak the truth, there is an internal separation that occurs. We create internal disharmony. A part of us feels, and knows a truth, but we suppress it with a half-truth or lie. I believe this directly impacts our psyche and our mental stability and integration.
We might do this because we fear a tough conversation, or we don’t want to own our imperfections, or we fear stepping into the unknown, or we don’t want someone to not like us, or the truth hurts or we don’t want to look flawed.
But when we don’t speak the truth – as we know it – a little bit of magic is lost.
When we get really honest about where we are at (good, bad or otherwise), it gives us a solid platform to launch from. When we get really honest about what it is WE really want, the easier it is to come up with a plan to make it happen.
When we get really honest about what we do like and don’t like, it is easier to say ‘Hell Yeah’ or ‘NO!!’.
When we get really honest about who we want to spend our time with, and who we don’t, we can create a healthy environment.
Where in your life do you need to be more honest?
If I am being really honest now, as much as I love my work, my colleagues and my beautiful clients, I REALLY need a break from it all or I am going to go totally bonkers.
If you were being really honest, what do you have to say?
Wisdom Piece Number 4: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Two of my favourite sayings are:
1. We only know what we know.
2. We don’t know what we don’t know.
So in 2019, I want you (and me) to not hesitate to ask for help if we need it. I am about 47 times better at it now than I was 20 years ago.
I strongly encourage you not to try and do life alone. That is what I call ‘forcing your way through life’.
The alternative is to POWER your way through life with the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual support of the amazing people that you draw into your life or seek out in life.
If you need help, ask. Don’t try and figure it all out yourself.
At a practical level, I know I don’t have to have or learn every skill-set to succeed, or own all of the things I might need to get me from A to B. I ask for help. I borrow someone’s stuff, so I don’t have to own it. I travel lightly and call in the cavalry (my friends or professionals) when I need it.
What help do you need, or might you need in 2019?
Wisdom Piece Number 5: Rather than trying to find yourself…
I have a lot of people telling me they are on a journey to find themselves. To discover themselves. Maybe even to know themselves better.
That’s an interesting use of time. But if time is something you would like to be more conservative with, then here is another idea…
Decide what type of person you want to be, and then put your energy into being that person.
You have enough life experience to know what type of person you most admire and respect. Choose the 3-5 character traits that you most admire, and then start being more like that. Get practical. If tenacious is your thing, then how can you increase that? If courageous is what you want to be; where and how could you be more courageous? If easy-going is your jam, then how could you chillax a little more?
Here’s some traits to get you thinking: playful, discerning, sage-like, wise, open-minded, authentic, trustworthy, inspiring, enthusiastic, generous, grateful, joyful, loving, compassionate, quirky, bold, romantic, forgiving, light-hearted, giving, powerful, grounded, energetic, spontaneous, vibrant, etc.
Then how could you be even more (your trait) in 2019?
Who do you want to be?
Wisdom Piece Number 6: Choose real connection
The opposite of connected is disconnected, and one of the expressions of that is loneliness. Feeling alone.
I have read a couple of different research pieces over the years that compare the physiological impact of loneliness on the body, as the equivalent of suffering obesity or smoking cigarettes.
We are behaviorally conditioned to associate separation from the tribe as high potential for death. 1000’s of years ago if we were separated from the tribe, or thrown out by the tribe, our chances of survival was low. So we have evolved to seek connection and belonging, and we have a fundamental fear residing in our limbic brains of being alone (without support).
The alone I am talking about is where someone does not feel seen, heard, appreciated or connected, even when they are surrounded by 100 people. Because those people that surround them, are not their metaphorical tribe.
A singular point I want to make is that people, in this modern world, mistake connection via social media, as real connection. They invest a lot of time and energy to be ‘connected’ online, but not time and energy into having heart-felt connections with the people physically around them. Also with social media the ‘tribe’ can cast you out, with the click of a button…’unfriend you’…and suddenly you are alone. It is easy for them to do, since the connections are so superficial.
We need to cultivate, plus invest time and energy, into creating real connections, with real people, in a personal way. There is an energy exchange when we connect with someone at a heart level. When we empathize, or look them in the eyes, and let them feel that we care.
Therefore in 2019, be less interested in your online connections and spend more time on deepening your offline connections. The ones that matter. The ones that fill you up. Support you. And help you feel safe at a subconscious level. These are the connections that will make all the difference when life throws you inevitable curve balls.
One other practice, that builds a more resilient sense of connection, is spending time in nature. When you connect with nature, a deep sense of peace can be felt. Caveat: Obviously I recommend nature experiences that are grizzly bear free.
Connect with real people, in a deep and meaningful way.
Move into 2019 with intention.
Maybe select one or a few of the wisdom pieces I have suggested and see if you can integrate them into the next chapter for you.
Have a super fabulous festive season now, and into the start of the new year.
I will see you again in 2019.
Take care and much love.
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