The year 2015 shall forever go down in history as one of the grandest and most stretching years of my life. I’m not going to say all I’ve learned, because some of it is embarrassing, some of it is irrelevant, and some of you don’t have time to read through “The 3 Billion Life-Lessons Katie Learned in 2015.”
Here’s a smattering of thoughts.
1. The Sooner You Surrender the Better
If you don’t learn your lesson the first time, it’s going to keep coming around. (I have proven that to be true.) I must have taken the: “Surrender is Better” course about 3,200,865 times this year and failed 3,200, 864 times. Praise Jesus I think I’m finally learning. (Watch, now he’s going to test me.)
Fighting God, authority placed in your life, circumstances . . . it’s a waste of time, people. Submit.
2. Health is Wealth
You’ve heard this one before? So have I. Problem is, few of us act on this information. This year I have been proactive in taking care of my health.
I did my research and took $1,000 worth of supplements, for a dynamic, active, health-filled year. Compare that with 2014’s $5,000 in doctor bills, hundreds of pills, losing half my hair, and stress out the wazoo. Feeling healthy is awesome, AND it’s cheaper than being sick. Win win.
3. Just Say “No”
When you were 2 years old, it helped you develop when people told you “no.” Now, dear adult, it’s one of the best things you can tell yourself.
We only have so much time to devote to friendships, work, hobbies, and quality of life. I’m with you chronic “I-can-make-time-for-that” overcomitters, but it’s NOT best. Saying “no” actually gives you more opportunity! Let’s make the most of what we have instead of constantly dropping the ball.
Give a few things that matter your full effort instead of giving the world your minimal wasted attempts.
4. Failure is a Part of Life
So, we fail. At least I do. Honestly though, I don’t really care. The failures I made this year truly were lessons, and the takeaways I gained were invaluable. Deals fall through, relationships end, I say the wrong thing . . . guess what. So does everybody else. A million and a half cliche failure quotes are coming to mind right now, but I’ll leave you with my own:
Ok. Here it is.
Often, our biggest moments of growth, come from our biggest moments of failure.
So, I thought I made that up, but apparently it’s a paraphrase from some random dude on Google. #Fail
5. Be Careful Who You Let Influence You
I can find at least one person on this planet who will agree with me. My stupid ideas, my bright ideas–trust me, there’s someone out there. This year I discovered there are many well-meaning people out there who, like me, have an opinion about how life should be lived.
But before you take their advice (even if you love them to death) take a look at their life. Do you want to have their financial situation, their love-life, their relationship with Jesus, or whatever it may be in ten years?
No? Then maybe you should find someone else to listen to. At least, that’s what I needed to do this year.
6. Be Humble, Grateful and Flexible
This has become my mantra the last 6 months.
It’s way harder than it looks.
I guarantee we all can improve from a little more humility.
(because really, who we are is mainly the product of what we have been given. Yes, God is the one that gave you your good looks and big brains. Your parents are the ones that gave you the opportunity to take voice lessons. Your friends were patient as you discovered how to use your EQ . . . ).
An interesting exercise is to think about who I/you would be if we were born into a lower social class, if we didn’t have the opportunities or positive input we’ve had, if we had a more difficult upbringing, etc. It’s sure to make us more grateful!
Flexibility is a big one too. Life isn’t a straight line from A to B. Our success in life is largely based on how we adapt and change and stretch to circumstances that are thrown at us.
7. Buy Shoes on Sale
It’s way cheaper.
8. If You’re the Child of an Entrepreneur, Good Luck Ever Being Satisfied With A Regular Job
If you’re born into a life of hard-work and time freedom, you’re addicted whether you know it yet or not. Even if you get a “regular” job, you will be one of those employees that thinks like an owner and measures monetary success on value provided not time served.
9. Social Media is A Silent Killer
It kills relationships. Creativity. Time. Happiness.
I’m a believer in having my cake and eating it too, but this online beast is difficult to control. Don’t let it control you.
10. Read Physical Books
Social media gave me the feeling I was reading—after all, I was skipping from irrelevant blog post to irrelevant news—but it was not the reading that cleanses, that purifies, that edifies.
Pause from the blogs and high-paced internet sites for a minute and take time to read a physical book. There’s something about reading without the distraction of notifications, ads, and pop-ups that soothes the soul.
11. There’s More to Cooking Than Meets the Eye
Take away: Go thank your mom right now.
12. Have A Philippians Four Focus!
Focusing on what is true, and good, and right, makes life so much better! I don’t know how I feel about never growing up, but Peter Pan had something right: think on happy thoughts and you’ll fly! Let’s not be weighed down by negativity.
There is no benefit. Seriously.
13. Being In Love Is The Best Feeling Ever
You may have learned this decades ago, or you still might be waiting for your true love. Whatever the case, here’s my amateur advice: Do what it takes to stay in love. I mean, why not? It’s a pretty darn good place to be.
This. Is. Beautiful.
Looking back on the life lessons, emotional highs, and end-of-the-world lows, of my past years is an amazing journey. Meditate on God’s faithfulness. Laugh at yourself. And remember what life is all about. You’ll be surprised at all the moments you’ll think, “oh, I forgot about that!” as you go back.
15. Push Yourself
If we don’t push ourselves, how are we going to grow? And if we do the same thing every day how are we going to push ourselves?
I have pushed. And pushed. And pushed myself out of my comfort zone this year. (Often friends and family members did it for me.)
As a result I get to look back at 2015 and say, I did grow, I did change, I did mature.
What you learned this year?