The 5 Best Things I Learned in the Last 12 Months

Learning-New-Things-150x150Here are the 5 best things I learned in the last year, all of which will colour and inform my next 12 months:

1.  To Be Peaceful

After resisting it all my adult life, I’ve finally created a mindfulness habit. I don’t think of myself as having cracked meditation, not at all, but even the 200+ hours I have invested so far in being peaceful have reaped rewards. What’s the best thing showing up in my life as a return on that investment of time? The ability to be able to choose how to respond to something/anything, rather than appearing to have no choice but to react. There’s a sense of spaciousness and I am phased less, if at all, by occurrences. This is a resource which I treasure.

2.  To Control What I Think

Continuing studies have brought me to understand that the ability to choose how to respond also extends to being able to choose what I think and thus control my thoughts. Thoughts are just there all the time, they come and go, come and go, come and go. But I don’t have to get hooked on any of them, except the good ones. And that’s my choice. How does this help? It makes life one helluva lot more cheerful for starters! TUT has been telling us for ages that Thoughts Become Things and reminding us to pick the good ones. Now I know how to do that in a really useful way, not just intellectually.

3.  To Put Into Practice What I’ve Learned

My personal development journey began more than twenty years ago. I wish I had kept a list of all the topics I’ve studied, it would look like a bejeweled thing of beauty and infinite variety. For the longest time, although I was being internally affected by what I learned, nothing very much appeared to change on the outside. A friend suggested to me that I was more evolved than she when it came to such things as forgiveness. I don’t think that’s true but if it is, to some small extent, then its because I appreciate the value of putting into practice what I learned in all those hours of self-development reading, study and workshops.

Friends, colleagues and clients say they are struggling with X or Y or Z. Often they’ve been on the same weekend workshop with me studying the very solution to the problem under review and we both have the tools to ease our own pain and that of others. I gently remind them they already know how to fix this problem but my experience is that some human beings seem to prefer to go on complaining/struggling than use the fix we already own. We can heal ourselves if we are self-knowing and disciplined enough only to pick any one of the tools which we already know work and apply them until the outcome becomes our new way of being.

4.  To Become Even More Open-Minded And Flexible

The risk as we age is exactly the opposite, becoming more rigid in our beliefs and set in our ways. But things change… and lots of things even improve; we need to be prepared to move with the times or risk stagnation. Learning new things is a way of keeping the brain in good condition for later life. Being prepared to change one’s mind about anything and everything is flexibility in action. These are deliberate choices we must be at pains to go looking for as they will never find us if we get just lazier and more complacent, allowing life to happen to us. Choose to be proactive and examine everything for the real truth.

5.  To Master My Emotions

I am not my emotions or my thoughts. As I learn to choose my thoughts, it becomes easier to master my emotions which means I am calm under pressure, less volatile or anxious and fewer things wake me up in the night. I can intellectually observe a problem but it doesn’t get to own me, it’s just a challenge to be sorted through in business hours.

We all have this capacity to notice our habitual patterns which can be unlearned and replaced with better ones.

What are the five best things you learned in the last year? Have you put them into practice yet and, if so, how’s that improved your business and your life?

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