5 Important Lessons For Personal and Professional Success

Setting goals in the new year?  Here is some food for thought.

We all want to perform at our best. Often, improvements come when we learn important lessons and adapt new perspectives and habits. In this spirit, a post from Inc. Magazine resonated with me recently. The author distills 5 lessons that people often learn later in their lives. I couldn’t agree more with the value of these lessons, and also concur that the earlier these lessons are absorbed, the better. Here is a recap of the author’s recommendations:

  • Perception is reality.  This is so very true but so very hard to accept.  What people see and believe may be different than what is actually real to us. However, how we respond to perceptions can make all of the difference. We all know that it can be rewarding to be right, but it is important to accept that it is also ok to be wrong. It is how we behave and communicate in these circumstances that builds personal brands.
  • Everything is temporary. As a young person, time feels endless. As we age, time seems to speed up.  It is important to realize that all time and experiences are temporary.  Enjoy the happy and comfortable times and know that you can make it through the harder experiences. Do what you can to make the best of all of your experiences and walk away with new knowledge and resilience.
  • Be present. Human nature is a funny thing. We tend to either dwell on the past or plan for the future. Yet, we often hear that we should live in the “now.”  Easier said than done– but very worth the effort. Anxiety over what we don’t know is not productive, but it takes a conscious effort today to let it go. Balancing memories with future hopes is critical to living for the moment.
  • Do what you love, love what you do. Working is often the focal point of people’s lives. With that in mind, it seems so logical to work in an area you love. However, many people fall into careers because they “pay the bills” or make their lives easier. But, over the long haul, do we really want to spend 40+ hours a week doing things we would never choose to do otherwise? It may be hard to change your work path, but why not consider a shift? If that overwhelms you, how can you apply the concept to your personal life? Develop some new hobbies or volunteer your time for a cause that really speaks to your heart.
  • Being happy takes work. This is a big one. Happiness is a hard thing to pin down. Being happy doesn’t mean you are never sad, frustrated or overwhelmed. What it does mean is that you are making and achieving a series of personal goals that help you feel fulfilled. Being happy doesn’t just happen– and it’s not a “one and done” experience. It takes focus and self-love. But most importantly it takes practice.

I am sure there are many more important lessons that unlock the secrets to a successful and satisfying life, but these five points really help set the stage for 2020. Take time to self-reflect to identify how you may chip away at what makes you hum along. I hope you will find inspiration in these thoughts that will help you to secure your best path for the new decade.

Happy New Year!