I’ve noticed that life has slowed down. I’ve become much better at identifying, processing and applying information gathered from real-life experiences.
This is one skill that makes me a better person. It gives me the wisdom and understanding I need to be my best self daily.
2016 was no different. It was likely the most insightful year to date. I learned so much about the world. Things like relationship building, getting out of my own way and living a fulfilling life.
More than anything else, I learned more about myself and what matters to me at this particular stage in my life.
The Year of Execution
I started off 2016 calling it the year of execution. The last year of my 20s, and I wanted to get some big things done before I transition into a 30something.
I set 3 big goals for myself: visit Africa, start a podcast, and create a mentoring program. While I didn’t accomplish all these goals, I wouldn’t trade what I learned for anything.
My year of execution was about doing, getting things done.
I learned all about what to do and what not to do in the name of achievement. I thought that if I pushed myself and grinded hard that I would be able to get all these amazing things done.
I would be proud. I would be happier. Ultimately, be more fulfilled.
I learned two lessons that I’ll carry with me until the day I die.
First, do the best that you can do with what you have. This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s easy to over look all the little things it takes to be able to do your best work.
Good eating, exercising and sleeping habits are critical to your ability to do your best work. I adopted veganism, started exercising more and got more quality sleep. And let’s not forget about the importance of your environment either.
All these factors influence your attitude and outcomes.
Another key insight I learned was that it’s also important to do things the best way possible.
There’s good ways of doing things and great ways of doing things, but there is only one best way to do something. I’m guilty of doing things the way I think is best, which isn’t always the best way possible.
This was a huge revelation for me because I can be stubborn and headstrong. I’m determined by nature but realized this could be counterproductive if I wasn’t careful.
It’s an asset in certain situations and a liability in others. The truth of the matter is some outcomes need specific actions. More importantly, I must be willing to adapt to make it happen.
Factor all this together and you have the potential for missed marks.
Hindsight is 20/20 though.
Take Bold Actions
My trip to Africa taught me the value of saying “yes” and figuring out “how” later.
When I was invited, I jumped on it and quickly realized I would have to be resourceful if I was going to make it happen.
The trip required a considerable investment of time, energy and resources (read money). I weighed the opportunity cost and came to the conclusion that I couldn’t pass on it.
Life is full of distractions and that could be problematic because I’m up to some BIG things. So I told myself I needed discipline and bulletproof accountability to keep me honest.
I linked up with 3 other entrepreneurs and formed a mastermind group that meets once a week.
We give each other fearless feedback, support and anything else needed to push beyond our current limits.
I can’t begin to explain just how valuable accountability partners are to have. We’ve all made big strides in our respective areas in just a short amount of time.
It’s a testament to the power of relationships. Not just any relationships though; these are deep, genuine and mutual relationships.
Your level of success depends on your level of accountability. The more accountable you are the more successful you’ll be.
The clarity I’ve gained this year is the greatest take away.
I feel like things have clicked in a way they never have before. I now get what this life thing is REALLY about. So it’s time for me to get busy on another level.
I’m like, “Ok, got it.”
I have a greater sense of clarity around my purpose than ever before, and I’m laser focused on my one thing.
I can’t tell you exactly what’s in store for 2017, but I have BIG things planned. I’m committed to doing my best in the best way possible to make all my yearly goals become a reality.