2017: Really?

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Whenever we’re put in a state of reflection, positivity isn’t what we immediately go for. It’s easy to get lost in the disappointments and regrets. But if we only took a quick moment to see the possibilities instead of roadblocks, we’d accomplish so much more.

It’s hard to not look back and see the many plot twists 2017 threw my way. Each one a little more painful than the one before.

So here I am. In my own state of reflection. Yet, despite a year filled with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. I can’t help but feel truly grateful. Not only for life but also for the many experiences that unlocked even great creative possibilities.

My theme for 2017 was “The Diplomat”. A theme that in hindsight was well used. Never before have I had to push through so many uncomfortable situations and be the adult even though I was the youngest there.

The Lessons

In the process of a year that taught me that it’s okay to say no and stand up for myself more, I learned a few other things.

  • If you don’t care for yourself or believe in yourself, chances are others won’t either. It’s easy to think that we’re entitled to the attention of others. Thing is this, life owes us nothing BUT will give you everything if you’re humble and provide value each step of the way. Many of us will never be great. Simply because we’re too busy fighting against ourselves and our talents.
  • Stop trying to please everyone. Some people are simply impossible to please. The more you live your life for others is the less you’ll truly be living. Everyone has advice they’d love to give but very few are willing to help you understand how to implement it. Believe in yourself and put in the work to create that good you keep seeing in those visions. The rest WILL follow. Stop trying to live your life by someone else’s North Star. What’s right for them may be completely wrong for your growth.
  • Stop taking advice from people who aren’t working on their dreams or are giving things a half-hearted effort. Here’s the thing about bubblegum advice. Much like actual bubblegum, it’ll eventually lose flavor. Think carefully on what you choose to chew on. Not everyone who gives advice is worth taking advice from. Know your worth, stand behind your dreams, and go all in with passion and purpose. Stop worrying about the opinions of people who haven’t put in the work towards their dreams. Find what makes you zing. Put the time in now to find out what you’re good at. Then go all in on that thing. Stop falling in the love with the thought of being motivated. Embrace the opportunities that each an every moment gives you to work on that thing. Your thing.
  • Real always recognizes real. Real always recognizes real. Doesn’t matter where.  So stop faking it and just be you. The real, empathy practicing, self awareness having, you. Stay true to what’s noble and you. An eagle can fly at heights crows can’t reach. Don’t worry about the crows aka the doubters. To insure your success, put in the work. Keep things real with yourself and you’ll be able to keep things real with others. Stop doubting yourself. Stop seeking permission to be. Go out and create the good the world needs to feel. If only you could see the impact you have on the world each time you create more good, you’d spend less time worrying about what you can’t do.
  • The things we often fear, may be smaller than we think. Stop giving room to fear and procrastination. The more you do is the more you’ll end up regretting in the end. Sure, it may seem scary now but give it time. Roll up those sleeves and get the dirt of experience underneath your fingers. Stop living a life you know you’ll regret later if you keep procrastinating now. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s a part of the process. It’s what gives you the perspective you truly need to win. The less you focus on the can’t and more on what could be is the more momentum you put behind yourself. The more momentum you have from going all in on what you’re good at is the more likely you’ll end up lucky.
  • Give value. Give more value. Give even more value. Give a ton of value. Bury them with value.  Flood them with value. See a pattern? That’s how you win. Giving value gives you massive leverage because it connects on an emotional level. When your personal brand is about that providing value life, people will take notice and join in on the journey of all you have to offer.
  • Go all in on you. Time is too short to really care about the opinions of others. When you have the power to create good but choose to hide behind excuses you’re no better than those out in these streets doing evil. Invest in being better than you were. Take the time to focus in on your strengths. You’ll be glad you did. Some dream of greatness while others stay awake to live it. Which will you be? How will you ever know what you’re truly good at and what you’re passionate about, if you never leave the comfort zone?

I can probably go on for days with this post. Listing in excruciating detail every up and down experienced. At the end of things, all I can say to 2017 is, really?! and move on.

As I go into 2018 I’m weirdly optimistic and excited. I’ve been blessed with an amazing family, community, and set of skills. Instead of focusing on what didn’t happen, I’m choosing to embrace both the good and bad of 2017 and use that as momentum towards achieving massive success in the upcoming year!

So I guess my theme for 2018 is Creative Intensity. We’ll see where this theme goes!

May you have a blessed and super amazing 2018 and thanks for the support over the past year!

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