Exactly one year ago, I was sat watching the Tony Robins documentary “I am not your guru”. Little did I know that that day’s Netflix selection would kick off a year long blog challenge and personal development journey.
I was so inspired by the people in it; their desire to challenge themselves to learn and grow and take responsibility for their own lives. I cried quite a lot.
I thought. I want to do that. To push through my limitations and fears to carve a life I want and be the person I aspire to. Watching the documentary made me think that maybe I could actually do it.
A favourite personal development author and podcaster of mine, James Altucher writes about how if you improve 1% a day at something then the results over a year will be exponential (I’m too addled to do the maths but it’s a lot).
These two thoughts inspired me to start this personal development blog series. Initially the idea was that I would set some sort of weekly personal development goal -I had visions of being CEO of the world by the end of it – but the tone (and title!) change as the series went on.
I wrestled with moving the series to another platform because ultimately this blog, my website and my business is about crochet. But crochet has such a huge impact on wellbeing, and has led me on a journey. So I decided that sharing these posts here added depth to that picture and made real the person behind the lightbulb!
Over the year, the posts became more biographical thought pieces, documenting challenges I faced and how I reacted to them,or how I wish I had reacted to them. I wrote about what had effected me that week, aspirational posts about how I wanted to be better (and what I was going to do about that) or new ways I had found to accept myself.
The list of topics, and an link to each article is tagged below so you can see how the series developed and get an understanding of the kind of stuff I thought, talked and wrote about – and have endeavoured to incorporate in my daily life.
I can’t quite believe that I have made it to week 52 without missing a single post. But here we are! A year ago I might have shrugged off my success in meeting this commitment, but I am kinda proud that I stuck to it and I’m okay saying that out loud!
I am so grateful for all the lovely comments, and messages you have sent me throughout this serie. Whether I wrote something that resonated, or encouraged you to look at a situation differently or simply gave you food for thought, I am so grateful to you for joining me on this journey!
So what did I learn over that year?
Do I have all the answers now?
Have I found the secret to a happy, fulfilled life?
Well no… there are no simple answers or secret ingredients that apply to everyone. We all have our own path to walk.
But I did learn a lot about what works for me… maybe it will work for you too.
Here’s my year abridged…
52 weeks – the lessons I learned
Go for it, don’t overthink or over complicate it. Jfdi.
Know that everything is temporary, good and bad. So ride out the rough times and enjoy pleasures where and when you find them. Be present.
Own the truthful imperfect version of you. Let go of the you you think instagram (or anyone else) says you should be. Delete the word should from your vocabulary. You don’t need it.
Do what makes true-you the sort of happy you felt when you were young and the world was new. Try things.
Give fewer fucks about what other people think – you are not responsible for their emotions, only for your own. But don’t be a dick about it.
Embrace and support other people who are striving to be their true them.
Be nice to yourself, every bit of you. Make the time.
Don’t ever loose your sense of humour and the ability to laugh at yourself.
Drink more water.
Difference is good. So is failure – be brave and learn from them both.
Mistakes are your friends.
There is no rule that life is fair. It’s not. If you don’t like something, try to change it or change your attitude.
Life is hard but it’s also short. Be grateful for every lesson.
Be kind, work hard, do what you love – that one I learned from my Dad. I miss his unique wisdom and embarrassing Buddy Holly impressions. Don’t take the people you love for granted.
Find good people to love, understand and learn from and hold onto them. Don’t keep people in your life who don’t reciprocate.
Shut up and listen more. Really listen, don’t just wait for your turn to speak.
If it’s not kind or helpful then also shut up.
If your brain is telling you lies at 3am, aknowledge it, tell it to shut up, then ignore it.
Don’t just mindlessly follow the crowd. Think for yourself. Ask why, what, where, when and who.
Control the controllables. Accept the rest and let go.
Thank you and goodnight!
There we have it – my year crammed into a few paragraphs. It may not be the meaning of life revealed but it’s my mini-manifesto. It is also subject to amendments at any time because the one thing I didn’t include was to keep learning. That is lesson number 52 – You are never finished.
Stay curious folks.
PS – if you want to know the real meaning of life… Monty Python can help you out
My 52 Weeks of Life Lessons
10. The art of slow
14. Keep it simple
17. Find your people
19. How to Pivot
20. Play more
32. Don’t force it
34. Make the effort
39. Give thanks
40. Be more you
46. Find the joy
48. Find your Flow
52. In Conclusion: Keep Learning