As a student of life, I am constantly learning and soaking up as much information as I can. I have memories of going to the library after school in the third grade and checking out books to read. I was the seeker of knowledge and wanted to learn something new every day. That’s why when Rosa invited me to contribute to this learning project, I jumped at the chance to share what I’ve learned so far this year. For me, 2006 has been a phenomenal year as far as learning goes. In sharing these ten things that I have learned, perhaps you’ll learn something new today as well. After all, that’s what we’re here for, to share our gifts with the world! This is what I have learned…
1) As we get older, we pay less attention to other people’s opinions of us and more attention to what makes us happy. What’s more important is your own opinion and thoughts about yourself. Do you have high self-esteem or low self-esteem? How you think about yourself determines how far you will get in life.
2) Life is about relationships, not material things. This goes for business relationships as well. If you don’t have good relationships with your suppliers, vendors, or customers, then your business will suffer. Many business people are so busy chasing money that they forget what’s most important.
3) Humans are little balls of energy in this huge galaxy. Can you imagine how small an atom is? That’s how small we are in relation to The Universe. In the big scheme of things, we’re just specks of dust on this planet we call Earth. Try taking yourself into outer space for a moment…Can you see what I see?
4) It’s nice to have a plan, but don’t forget to live in the moment . In my early 20’s I had my life all mapped out – be married by the time I’m 25, have 2 kids, and a home with a white picket fence. Uhhh….that didn’t happen. Now I realize that there’s a Bigger Plan, so now I just have “goals” instead. I write down my goals and look at them every day. Actually, to be quite honest, I’m still trying to grasp this whole “goals” and “plans” thing. You see, I’m still a kid at heart and love to just enjoy the moment with no worries about the future. Which brings me to #5….
5) The future doesn’t matter. What matters is NOW. This moment in time. Are you happy right now? If you’re happy right now, that’s all that matters. If you’re not happy right now, do something to make you happy RIGHT NOW. Even if it means you have to stop reading this post. Don’t worry – I won’t hold it against you ;) Just come back when you’re feeling happy!
6) Follow your own bliss – not someone else’s. For many years I tried to fit into everybody’s plans for me. I wanted to make them happy, however, I became unhappy in the process.
7) Whatever you give out you get back ten-fold. This goes for monetary giving as well as emotional and spiritual giving. If you don’t have that much money, well, you always have a smile! A smile goes a long way in terms of positive energy. Try smiling at everyone you come in contact with and watch how good you start to feel.
8) Customer service is the #1 key to success in business. At the time I was working at Nordstrom I wasn’t fully aware of this. However, since I started writing at Customers Are Always I’ve begun to realize that you can have a great product and a big marketing budget, but if you’re customer service isn’t up to par your business won’t last very long.
9) Your mind is powerful – more powerful than you think. Whatever you want to be or do, all you have to do is think it in your mind and it will happen for you – if you just believe in yourself and have faith. Recently I watched the movie, The Secret, and it was truly inspiring and motivating.
10) Be a leader, not a follower
. There’s a time and place to be a follower, but in order to get far in life, one needs to be a leader. I’ve learned that in order for things to get done, somebody needs to take action and that person to take the first step could be you. Why not?
"The history of the world is full of men who rose to leadership, by sheer force of self-confidence, bravery and tenacity." — Mahatma Gandhi
"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." — John F. Kennedy