Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Some Life Observations

For some reason, about a year ago or more, I started a list of "Life Observations" that I think I intended to pass on to my daughter someday.  But I've come to realize that one's parent is probably the least likely person many young people will ever take advise from.  Therefore, I won't offer these specifically to my daughter, but to whomever might find the points helpful (mainly myself whenever I forget these hard-won observations and fail to observe them myself).

This is by no means a complete list, but here goes:

1.  Fate can turn on a dime, for better or worse. 
2.  Be open to new experiences and learn from them. 
3.  Consistency is more important than intensity in creating success.  Do the good, healthy, wise things regularly and you'll eventually see a reward that you can achieve and can maintain.
4.  Your resume reflects a "career story" - make it one that you would like to later read and tell to others.  This doesn't mean that you can't make career changes, but realize that with each job change, you are writing a new chapter and each chapter should logically fall into an overall story that makes sense and is in line with your overall goals.
5.  Speaking of goals, if you don't know exactly what you want to do at any given time, that's okay, but don't make major investments, in either time OR money until you reach a point where you feel a fire in your belly to proceed.  Until you feel that inner compulsion to move forward, it's okay to try different things and be open to direction.  Someday you WILL find something you want to do and then will be ready to move forward.
6.  Many times the best career paths are found by building upon the natural strengths and talents and interests that you have.  If you're not sure what those are, ask friends and well-meaning mentors and they will help point the way.
7.  Times won't always be this hard (or this easy) and people ARE shaped by their times and the life events through which they've lived.
8.  To accomplish any major task, break the bigger goal down into small, everyday achieveable tasks.  Do those small things regularly and you will accomplish BIG things. 
9.  Get big things started.  Once you get started, it is easier to work on it consistently.  The first step is the hardest, so take it!
10.  Read books (both fiction and nonfiction).  Through reading, you have internal conversations with people from a wide circle of times, places and circumstances.  Reading deepens you and feeds your mind and soul.
11.  When making a major decision, gather all the information possible, but don't be overwhelmed.  Picture yourself doing each of the choices and listen to your gut as to which feels best for you.
12.  Choosing a mate or a business partner are two of your most important choices.
13.  Be willing to compromise and change.  Hold onto your integrity, but don't be afraid to give and take  . . . this is vital in strengthening relationships.  The person who thinks "It's my way or the highway" will be traveling alone  . . . .  and that way is a LONELY road.
14.  Don't be afraid to make mistakes.  Make them, learn from them, apologize and move on.
15.  Be willing to let go of life's "bad breaks."  Personal losses and failings will be amplified in your mind if you focus on them.
16.  Be grateful for your talents, your windfalls and natural advantages.
17.  Question your assumptions  . . . . all of them.
18.  Get up and start your day EARLY.  Planning your day the night before is amazingly powerful.  But those who start late often come up short.
19.  Let go/let God.  Especially when you most want to hold on and stay in control.  Let go/Let God.
20.  Be your own best cheerleader and harshest critic.
21.  Whenever you are trying to communicate a criticism to someone else, taking a "Like Best/Next Time" approach is often effective.  This means you tell them some aspect of what they did WELL before proceeding with suggested improvements.  Offering up more positive input than criticism builds self-confidence and makes the recipient more apt to listen to the suggestions.
22.  Find ways to have faith and renew it regularly.  Practice some form of prayer, meditation, or whatever method allows you to seek refreshment and wisdom from a higher power.
23.  Don't be afraid or put off by things that seem hard.  I've found that most of the "hard stuff" in life, once started, is what makes us stronger, better and happier than what comes easy.  The easier stuff is easier for a reason.  While it seems oh so tempting to take the easy route, the hard way most often leads to fulfillment.
24.  Always keep a sense of humor.  Don't take yourself, others or the world too seriously.
25.  Remember the 80/20 rule.  80% of your success will come from 20% of what you do.  20% of your friends will be your TRUE friends.  20% of your customers will be the loyal ones who will help you succeed.  Still you need to approach and do 100% until you recognize where that 20% lies. 
26.  Have real relationships and develop them.  It's easy  to get caught up with your career, with technology, with overall "busy-ness" but the time you invest in PEOPLE and interacting with those closest to you is what really matters in the end.
27.  You will always keep relationships with influential people inside you, in your inner life, whether they are "alive" or "gone" . .  . they are always with you and shape who you are.  You can turn to them whenever you need strength.
28.  There is a God force that guides you whenever you are open to being guided. 

No comments: