10 Personal Lessons learned from 2013.

The halls are decked at Brains on Fire.

I love this time of year. I love giving gifts and sharing time with friends and family. And I love lots of twinkling lights and candles and laughter.

Don’t you?

Every year about this time, I also reflect about the things the year has taught me.

So here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Patience. Sometimes things that feel like BIG problems simply work themselves out with a little space and time. This lessons’s also known as: Stimulus. Pause. Respond.

2. Take time to communicate in person. It’s easy work to send a text or an email or like something on Facebook. This year on my birthday, while I was in the shower, I heard my phone ring. It was someone I haven’t spoken to in quite a while. Wishing me happy birthday. I’m sure she saw on Facebook it was my birthday but rather than add another message on my “wall”, she called and left a bright, cheery personal message. It was a nice reminder that relationships are the stuff that make our lives worth living.

Speaking of relationships…

3. The only way to grow a business is by developing strong and meaningful relationships. I’ve come to learn that relationships are the best tool for creating new business and new opportunities.

4. Stay open and flexible. Stay balanced. You never know when the world’s going to toss for you a loop, so work hard at remaining stable and steady in good times so when the world takes you for a spin, you can remain calm and helpful to yourself and the people who will need you most.

5. You toss a little energy out into the world and it comes back to you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at my desk and someone crosses my mind. Then within a day or so that person calls or emails. It’s freaky. And so apparent. So toss your energy out very wisely.

6. Stay grateful. Life is amazing and we should appreciate all of it.  I start every morning of my life running through a list of all that I’m grateful for. I’m not sure how this works, but helps me start the day with a smile and I believe it makes the world a better place for everyone. The best part? It’s free. And anyone can do it. 

7. Keep asking BIG questions. We’re really lucky to have been on The National Center for Families Learning team for the last three years. Wonderopolis has taught me the power, the magic actually, of asking really BIG questions. Like: Can you see sound? How do mirrors work? Can you feel a color? When you’re given a new project or meet someone new for that matter, start with a child like perspective.  See what changes when you ask BIG questions.

8. We’re all in grad school. Keep learning new things. Keep learning new things. Keep learning new things. Every night ask yourself, what did I learn today? Yup! This one makes my list every single year.

9. It’s amazing how much progress you can make if you do something every day. This year we wrote our second book, The Passion Conversation. Here’s what I learned for certain during that experience. Want to write a book or take on any large task? Do something every single day that moves you a little bit closer to your goal. Trust me. It is the only thing that works. I heard this line from Jay Baer at WOMMA this year: “Don’t stop believing unless your dream is stupid.” Believing you can is  half the battle towards making make real progress in your life.

10. Stay open to new dreams and new passions. Collide with all life has to offer. I read somewhere that Steve Job’s dream was not to make a computer that would change the world. He was simply open to all that was placed in front of him. So keep your heart and your eyes wide open. Let your freak flag fly. Sing a little louder. Smile at the next ten people you see. YOU NEVER, EVER KNOW WHAT’S WAITING FOR YOU.

Have the best holiday season EVER!

P.S. What have you learned from this past year? I’m listening. Come on. Share.



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