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A Year in Lessons from Intelligent Change

As 2022 comes to an end, now is an excellent time for reflection, especially on the lessons we’ve learned. Adopting a growth mentality means seeing the lesson and opportunity in whatever happens throughout the year. If we can find something to learn even in a perceived hardship, we develop mental resilience and are gifted with energy and a fresh take on life.

Here are 20 lessons about life and business we learned in 2022.

1. Accepting uncertainty is how you embrace change

We stress ourselves trying to find clarity. Having a plan is good, but if you find yourself continually overwhelmed by the need to control your future, find a way to let go. Viewing life as a continual test makes it more interesting. It puts challenge into the equation, so that when things do get tough, you can see it as an opportunity to develop patience, learn the lesson, and grow stronger. Understand that even the most organized people respond to feedback in real-time. Forget having clarity all the time for now. Instead, accept uncertainty. Embrace the change. Grow through your experiences.

2. Investing in yourself is the best investment

It’s easy to forget how crucial our bodies and minds, and their interconnection is in pursuing our goals. We focus on the external, often at the expense of our personal health and energy. But investing in ourselves should always be at the top of our priorities. What does vital self-investment look like?

  • Daily exercise or any sort of activity
  • Regular meditation or engaging in mindfulness practices
  • Eating quality food
  • Having memorable experiences
  • Regularly improving our skills in a specific area

3. Act in alignment with your values

You can work with mentors who have done what you want. You can get a coach who can steer you in a direction that works for you. But, ultimately, doing what you know in your gut is right is something you can tremendously benefit from tapping into. Trust your intuition, always. Define your values and act in alignment with them. Find your purpose and follow it through every decision you make.

4. Our minds work best when we focus on the good

We always have a choice. We can seek out and focus on what isn’t working, or we can notice the beauty of small, everyday moments and the things that work. Our minds become more effective when we’re not stressed by the perceived negativity in our lives. We can choose how much of that gets in. That’s why we are big advocates for gratitude, as it helps you shift the perspective on what’s good.

5. Stress cannot be felt without a stressful thought

Our thoughts create our emotional experience. Truly understanding this can have profound implications for our lives. We are free when we see that stress is built from our interpretation of what’s happening. The more we accept stressful thoughts that arise, the more stressed we will feel. The solution? Take full ownership of your mindset. Learn how to control stressful thoughts, and you will feel more at peace.

6. The simplest productivity system is to do one thing at a time with enjoyment

Many of us get stressed by the complex array of productivity hacks and systems out there. But when we slow down and get present, we see that all we need to do to be productive is one thing at a time. Small, smart steps. Anything can be enjoyed, believe it or not. When we find a way to enjoy the process, we excel at productivity. We find our flow. We get things done. We work smarter, not harder.

7. Focus on the long-term goals

Your mindset can change when you realize that your life is a marathon, not a sprint. Choose long-term goals, because with time you will discover that long-term focus with consistent daily steps is way better than the feeling you get from short-term pleasures. Choose sustainable, intentional growth.

8. Stop trying to be motivated all the time and focus on building momentum

Lately there’s a lot of emphasis on motivation because it appears as though we need to be in the mood to take action. But people who succeed rarely start things––or achieve their goals––by constantly being in a great mood. What they are great at is acting consistently. This creates momentum, which motivates you to keep going on.

9. A question that will transform your life is ‘How can I use this?’

The type of questions we ask ourselves can change the trajectory of our life. That isn’t an overstatement. People who often struggle––without even realizing it––sabotage themselves by asking questions like Why did this have to happen to me? This creates a victim mentality, also known as a fixed mindset that will hold you back. Those who make the most of life ask How can I use this? This approach takes any challenge and turns it into something that can create a positive change or add more value.

10. You can’t fail if you don’t quit

We love the idea that failure is only cemented when you stop entirely. You may need to evolve, pivot and adapt, but if you stay on course, continue to learn, and approach every situation with a growth mindset, you will find a way through. Persistence guarantees success, so stay with it.

11. Life gets easier when we stop expecting it to be easy

Why is this true? Because as soon as we let go of attachments and expectations, we’re no longer going to resist things when they don’t go how we want them to––we will embrace everything that comes our way. When we fully accept reality, we will, in a funny way, make life easy.

12. Everyone can be disciplined

We don’t need a disciplined personality to be disciplined. Many things require some discipline, but all it takes from you is a small, controlled, and consistent action. This will fuel you with confidence to do more. String easy actions together, and you become disciplined, just like that.

13. One of the most essential life skills is remaining calm when stressed

So much has been lost to those acting out their anger and stress when triggered. Adapting the core principles of a still mind and developing the skill of staying calm and patient will be life-changing for you.

14. Lift others to lift yourself

Sometimes, in all our worrying and self-analysis, we may end up feeling lost and sad. If you want to feel better and motivated, one of the best things you can do is to direct your attention to making others feel better. Send someone a note of gratitude, say a compliment, surprise someone with a small gift, for example, and see how this lifts your spirits.

15. The happiest people rarely think about happiness

Instead, they either get on with enjoying their lives or they focus on the systems they are building. What system are you building that creates the results you truly want? That’s all you need to do. Forget trying to be happy, and focus on creating something that works for you, that brings you joy.

16. Those willing to have uncomfortable conversations get far

When challenges arise in a family, relationship, or work situation involving other people, nine times out of ten the problem stems from a lack of communication. If we can take courage and say what needs to be said, even if it feels uncomfortable, we will move past resentment, build confidence, strengthen the relationship, and see tremendous progress.

17. Going vertical on a topic will do more than going horizontal on many

Whether building a personal brand or developing your knowledge and skills, you’ll likely be more effective by going deep on less. There’s no harm in being multi-skilled. In fact, it can benefit you greatly. Simply don’t lose sight of the power of accumulating awareness and experience in a narrow area. This is how you channel energy into raising your value.

18. Walks can solve most of your stuck points

Walking is a solution to many of life’s challenges and conundrums. When we walk, our minds become still and often solutions and insights pop into our heads without effort. So, get outside and out of your head.

19. The more you create, the more creative you become

Creativity is a muscle, not some obscure trait only a few lucky ones possess. If you feel you lack creative skill or drive, simply create something today, even if it’s not perfect. It’s not about the quality of the outcome that makes you creative. It’s the fact you were creative at all.

20. Our actions determine our identity

Many of us resist taking action and developing good habits because of the stories we tell ourselves about who we think we are. This limits us. But the only way to develop a positive self-image that continues to inspire healthy action is to take small actions. We are what we repeatedly do, so do what’s necessary to craft an identity that takes you far.

Here’s to a prosperous, peaceful and productive 2023!

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