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Another Year Wiser? (Or Just Older?)

Another year of your precious, precious life just went by. Three hundred and sixty five days you will never have again. Before you get too far into another year, take a minute and reflect. What did you learn this year?

Professionally I’ve learned that I can’t be perfect. But if I give everything I’ve got, things will work out wonderfully. I’ve also learned that my business is all about people – the wonderful people who believe in me enough to hire me and the terrific people in my audiences. Everyday I give thanks for them.

What did you learn about your work? Are you being too hard on yourself? (I find that most people hold themselves up to impossible standards.) Do you love your work? If not, are you going to waste ANOTHER year doing something you don’t love? I’ve also learned that other people are beyond my control. There are those I love who do not love me, and I can’t change that; I can‘t make them love me. I just have to let them go and seek out new people who will love me. The only person I can change is me. I know that I have a long way to go, that I don’t have all the answers, and that it is darn hard to be enlightened. But I’m getting closer every year – I know more about how to deal with bad times and how to savor the joy in all times.

What did you learn this year? Are you in a relationship that brings you more pain than joy? Why? Are you taking time to grow – reading books, taking classes, actually thinking? Most of us don’t take any time to THINK – to actually process all the information we are cramming into our heads. If you don’t take the time to think, to process, you won’t grow. And you won’t reach your full potential.

Think back on all the books you read (or didn‘t read), movies you saw (or didn‘t see), conversations you had (or didn’t have) last year. Did they enrich your life? Did you speak from the heart? Did you use your time wisely or waste it? Did you tell people your truth or what you thought they wanted to hear? Did anyone really listen to you? Did you laugh enough? Did you cry too much? And if any of those answers were not what you’d like them to be, what will you do differently next year? Nothing will get better if you don’t take action.

Another thing I have learned is that suffering is optional. We have control over our lives, we can leave bad situations. We can choose to wallow in self-pity or we can take action and pull ourselves out. It’s not easy, and it can hurt like hell at the time, but in the long run, you’ll find joy. And best of all, you’ll find you.

How old will you be this year? I’m probably past the midpoint of my life. I’m still discovering who I am and what truly makes me happy. Step back for a second and look at your life. What accomplishments/activities have brought you the most joy? What truly motivates you? There is no right or wrong answer – the key lies in finding the answer for you and maximizing your happiness.

I learned that freedom motivates me more than anything and when I try to deny this, I always become unhappy. I am still learning how to be truly free in a world that often values conformity. Every year I get braver, stronger, and more free. Take time to think about the past year and make sure you are wiser for it.

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