1. To Lead Is To Serve: Forget the shenanigans we call leadership in this turf. To lead is to really serve and in this you will learn humility, patience, tenacity and care. This year, I had the opportunity of assuming leadership in the Toastmasters club, a senior position to lead a young professionals network, and leadership role in two other networks and it has been a great learning experience in service.
2. Your Health is Priority: This was a profound lesson I learnt from one of my supervisors at work this year. The reality is that you need to be healthy to have dreams, to help others and to be good in your job. Your health should be a priority and it should never be at the mercy of anything. Look after yourself; that is the first law of wealth.
3. Stretch Your Capacity: There is much more we can all do but we will never know if we don’t try. They say you begin to grow at the end of your comfort zone, and nothing can be truer. In life, in business and at work, don’t be shy to take on new challenges. It helps your capacity in the long run.
4. Follow God’s Guidance Quickly: In the things of God it will be futility to try and fully comprehend it with the human senses. First you must hone your spiritual senses to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit and when he gives you an instruction, don’t over process it, just do it. This year, I gave God when I didn’t plan to and he led me to makes decisions I didn’t anticipate. It will all make sense at the end.
5. Genuinely Care: As I grew in leadership this year I understood that people do not care how much you know if they can’t see that you care. People will give you their best when they see that you genuinely care beyond lip service, and this was one of my salient lessons this year.
6. The Power Of Journaling: Write your thoughts, your memory is unreliable. It is amazing how writing my goals across some broad headings at the beginning of the year helped me towards their attainment during the year. Always carry a note pad, and cultivate the art of journaling. It makes you far more effective and will come in handy in the future.
7. Listen More: A study say that 80% of us listen with the intent to respond or find holes in what is being said. This year, I learnt the art of just listening with the purpose of understanding and appreciating what is being said. I have always maintained that one doesn’t always have to hold an opinion on everything. At times, it’s just fine to listen to others.
8. It Is What It Is: They say if you live very long enough in life you will know that moving on, is the greatest gift. I moved on quickly this year from many things (good and not so good). My friend will say you either win or you learn. If you failed an exam, move on. If you lost a loved one, move on. If you won the most prestigious award in life, move on. Don’t fight what is gone and don’t lament over what you cannot change. At times, just realize that it is what it is and cue the next step.
9. The Concept of Sparring Partner: It was TD Jakes who once preached a sermon titled ‘Sparring Partner’ and I learnt a lot from it. In life, there are battles God leave you to wrestle with. This sparring partner is not there to defeat you, but it’s there to keep you humble, to help you depend on him always and stop you from being carried away.
10. You Will Make Bad Decisions: There is no two ways about it. You will make mistakes and bad choices in the course of life. The wisdom is to make ‘more’ better decisions than you will make the bad ones. It is on this fine line that success and failure is determined.
11. A Strong Support System: We all need shoulders to lean on. This year more than ever before I learnt of the importance of having a strong support system. This could be family, friends that stick more than family, mentors, pastors etc. Identify who yours are and feed that relationship for when you will require it (for you sure will at some point).
12. Seek Better Ways: This year, I once read somewhere that continuous improvement is an unending search to find better ways. And this can be in the little things. In your everyday life, seek better ways and always strive to add additional value to anything you are involved in. This is what it means to be different.
13. Don’t Take Anything To Heart: You will only hurt yourself and stay depressed if you take things to heart. This year, I learnt to simply give people the benefit of the doubt and move on. There are many things I have simply learnt to laugh off. Forgive people where you can and move away from un-necessary drama as much as you can.
14. Social Media Is A Stress Relaxant: Boy oh boy! This year, I discovered social media in a whole new light. After a long day’s work, I simply get home, do what needs to be done and spend some time on social media (Instagram and Facebook especially). There are so many hilarious skits and funny handles to crack you up. I can’t even begin to name them. Trust me, it is a bloody stress relaxant.
15. Pursue Excellence: It was Martin Luther King Jnr who said that ‘If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well’. Nothing further to add here.
16. People Are Watching: You by the way you are living your life are impacting the people around you. Be measured, be contrite, be open to new ideas and don’t be ashamed to be vulnerable. You never know who you are helping to go through life just by the way you are living your life.
17. Don’t Waste Time; Be Deliberate: Those close to me must have heard me lament about the paucity of time. The damn thing is just in short supply each day *smiles*. It is for this reason that we must be deliberate about where and what we spend our time on. This year I learnt that this is the big difference between successful and average people.
Those are my life lessons from 2017. Will like to hear your thoughts too. Kindly drop a comment below.