The Lessons I learned in 2010

Through the first six months of 2010, this is the last post that I thought I would be writing for what I learned in 2010. The fact is that in the first 6 months of 2010, I was just coasting along, with weekends in between work, and really not a whole lot more. It wasn’t due to lack of interest in sharing some important lessons, but more a lack of lessons learn up to this mid point of 2010.

In some ways maybe you could call July a kind of awakening for me, I stepped out of the sleepiness of coasting through life, going through the motions, and into taking notice and seeing what was going on and where I needed to focus some attention. In reality when, where and how I learned the lessons is of much less importance then what the lessons actually are. All five of these lessons are things that I am sure I have learned before, however that I just needed a push through learning them again for the lesson to stick.

Lesson 1: Forcing Change is not always in your best interest

There are some areas of your life where change is something you may like to initiate while there are other areas where change needs to happen in it’s own time. The trouble here is finding the line that to differentiate. For example if you want a relationship with a person and you are unsure of the other persons feeling, there is not a lot of use in trying to force the relationship to happen, just because you want a relationship. Because you will get what you want, but the other person may not get what they want. This is not limited to Relationships, but I see it in many area’s of career, financial affairs, family and other areas of life.

Lesson 2: Relationships of any sort should be a two way street

When it comes to relationships, be it, business, friends, romantic or any other type of interpersonal relationship, there needs to be a give and take. The worst way that a relationship can be built is by one person making the effort and the other person following. For example if you are in a friendship with someone else, however you find that the friendship is only maintained because you are the one organizing things to happen, or activities to do, or calling to talk. Then it is not really a friendship. If you stopped arranging things to do or calling this person would you still see this person or do anything with them. If the answer is no then you will realize how i come to learn this lesson. Consider this against all your relationships and you may see who is really a good match and who isn’t.

Lesson 3: Everything is 100% dependent upon your attitude

The outcome of just about everything that you do is so dependent upon the attitude that you take into what ever you do. It is only in the past week or so that I finally saw just how important your attitude towards a situation can be. Having a positive attitude in relation to something like your career, can drastically change the environment, the stresses you encounter and your ability to deal with it on a daily basis.

For me this has focused around work in the last three weeks. Three months ago, I was struggling to complete an 8 hour shift at work without feeling completely worn out, and drained. However over the last three weeks I have average 12 hour shifts, and some shifts up to 14 hours. Yet by the end of these extraordinary long shifts, I feel just as ready to go as when I started. It all comes down to the renewed perspective and attitude which I have taken.

Lesson 4: Physical Possessions are no match for experiences

The more that I seem to think about all the different things that I could go and spend money on the more that I realize physical possessions are not the answer to what I want. I would much prefer to spend $2000 on going and experiencing a new place and seeing and doing new things while there, then spending that same money on a big flat screen TV.

Spending money to experience new things, and visit new places, is something that I feel brings me a much more joyous experience then the short lived pleasure of a new thing. Of course there are some exceptions which for me is a laptop and a Camera, however both of these are things that enable me to better remember these fantastic experiences.

Lesson 5: Do Not Wait

This is the last lesson for today, and for me in 2010, however I believe it is the most important of all. That is just simply Do Not Wait. So many people wait to do something, when they have met some arbitrary goal, save money, when they have a better job, when they are in a better relationship, when they *fill in whatever excuse you use*. But at the end of the day, it often is a lot easier to do things now then you might think.

If you want to start a business, don’t wait until you have saved $XXXX and can quit your job to start the business. Do what you can now to either find out what you need to know or start small. If you want to be in a relationship, then go out and be in places where you will meet people you would like a relationship with. Sitting at home waiting for it to happen is unrealistic. Don’t wait until you have saved what you think a holiday will cost you, go and find out what it will really cost, it may be more affordable then you think.

I put off travelling overseas for a long time because I thought it would be expensive and that it would not be worth the money I would spend going. This was a completely wrong expectation, the travel was not as expensive as I thought. I always thought of it in terms that it was expensive for one ticket, (eg Brisbane to Europe is around $2000 return), Yeah there is a lot there you can do, but that is only one stop. Where as I found out for only a little more (About $3300) I could visit Vancouver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Toronto, London, and Hong Kong. Not only was it less money then I expected, it was also a lot easier. (You can read more about this trip at www.joelbrown.com.au)

What did you learn in 2010?

Share you lessons in the comments below, we all need to learn a lesson to two each year, and the key to these lessons to not forget why you learned them.

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Comments

Good lessons. =) Inspires me to reflect on the same. I’ve already brainstormed about 2011 but haven’t reflected about 2010…

Oh man, I’m impressed about the attitude shift that was successful in helping you survive intense work hours. I’ve attempted similar mental shifts for Big Hard Things like that and been unsuccessful; i.e., having to move on or continue to suffer. I wonder why that worked for you and not me.

I’ve had attitude shift work in many other situations (e.g. relationships), but not with Big Work Drains.

Thanks for the reply Alex. Brainstorming for 2011 is going to be my next step. I already have some rough ideas regarding travel, however I need to focus this a lot more and get a bit more clear on how to support the travel ideas.

I think potentially the one thing that has made it easier for me to apply the attitude shift in regards to work hours comes from one part I did not mention above. I actually have resigned from my job and no longer will be working full time as of the 7th January 2011. This does make it a lot easier to have a change of attitude. However I also believe that while it might be slightly more difficult it is possible to make such mental attitude changes even when you are not leaving a specific situation. It will require a bit of a thinking change but it is possible, I am still to figure out how, and since I am not in any other situation I can apply it to.

Great stuff Joel! #3 & #5 for me are the key points. When I finally ‘got’ these my life really started moving in the right direction.

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