What a trip around the sun! I recently celebrated my birthday and a truly record-breaking year of experiences and achievements. But when I was asked my famous birthday question “Best experience of last year, best of next” – I just couldn’t pick one. Here for you are the top key life lessons learned from my remarkable 2022/23 birthday year:
Life Lesson #1: Celebrating Love is Infectious
This year I married the love of my life of 8 years on our favourite Tofino beach among 26 people I call family. Throughout this year so many people sent me messages sharing how our continual acts of love have inspired them to embrace their own love stories. #lovetrain
Everyday be grateful and honour the love you receive and give. Find thoughtful and impactful ways to remind yourself and others that they are adored. Wake up and before you reach for your phone and get sucked into life, acknowledge three reasons you love the people you do. Then share the love. Go big, be creative. Text “I adore you”, greet them at the door at the end of the day, surprise them with a love note, do one of their chores, find simple ways you can surprise and delight them to show them your love.
Life Lesson #2: Mindfully Create New Stories
How old are your stories? This year my stories range from kayaking happy hour with hundreds of jellyfishes, sisters’ shenanigans, live music date nights, family celebrations, learjet and float planes, painting class, and so many more. Creating new memories and moments for yourself and others is invigorating!
Squeeze what you can out of life by planning and receiving new experiences. Your stories will be fresh, fun, and memorable. Cook a new dish, get your friends together to do something new, explore a new place, play a new game, learn a new skill, drive a different way home from work, push your adrenaline button, say yes to invitations, and stretch your comfort zone. Relationships get stronger the more we experience things together.
Life Lesson #3: Stand Up for Yourself
One of my difficulties this year was my biggest lesson. Bullying disrespectful behaviour is shocking but it’s how you react to it that matters. You need to stand up for yourself, especially when others don’t. Ensure your values are aligned with others in your personal and professional life. Bullies are just unhappy people, and you can’t change them.
Harvard business professor, John Kotter studied the most important challenge for businesses trying to compete in a turbulent world – “The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems – the core of the matter is always about changing the behaviour of people.”
Life Lesson #4: Relish Curiosity and Creativity
This year I read over 60 books and published my own book! My book, Emotional Magnetism was born from my insatiable curiosity and has now evolved into a bestseller, recipient of 20+ awards, and is available in three languages. I still can’t believe this remarkable journey!
Always be learning about yourself and others. Be curious, ask questions, read how things came to be, journal your thoughts, create what you think is not possible. As Friedrich Froebel, the originator of kindergarten says, “Man by nature is an active and dynamic being, not a passive and silent observer of events. Man wants to do something and must create.”
Life Lesson #5: Challenge Yourself to Grow & Follow Your Passion
Even though I successfully delivered three keynote speeches in three different industries this year, I was driven to super charge my speaking skills. Connecting through my words with audiences has been a passion of mine since I rocked my Marilyn Monroe speech in grade 8! This year I really challenged myself by completing Term 1 of the famous Heroic Public Speaking program. While working full time, I spent over 160 hours learning, researching, writing, editing, and rehearsing my updated keynote speech. It was very hard work but so valuable.
So, what are you learning and doing to grow? What fires you up?
As HPS founder, Michael Port says, “We need to be willing to be comfortable with discomfort in order to grow.”
Life Lesson #6: Make Connection and Impact Through Contribution
Hands down, I’m most proud of the connections and contributions I made this year. The process of giving my time through friendship, mentorship, facilitating events, launching successful charitable campaigns (providing relief from natural disasters and meals to over 161,000 families) and being a team leader for DryFeb was so fulfilling. Thankfully early in my entrepreneurial journey, I received precious time, advice, and a humbling lesson from the incredible Peter Legge, the epitome of servant leadership.
With contribution and connection as my purpose, I’m currently embarking on my next adventure – delivering keynote speeches, consulting, and facilitating “Never Forget It” events that grow connection and acceptance in our personal and professional relationships. People more than ever need connection. Pete Bombaci, my colleague and founder of the GenWell Project – the Human Connection Movement says, “Human connection is at the heart of happy and healthy people and successful business.”
So how can you make connections and contribute more? Start by asking more questions, plan a social get together, request an office charity campaign, join a community group, mentor young people in your field, etc. There are so many ways you can give your time, skills, or money to benefit others. When you shift to a giving mindset, we all benefit.