This post is in response to Anna "Banana" Kruchten and Carol Williams August 2023 Challenge: Embracing Life's Lessons. Our challenge is to share life lessons we may have picked up so far, both in terms of our business and personal lives. So here are a few of the lessons I've learned.
Lesson: Life is short. Live it
I've shared this here before, but at 15 I learned a big lesson that is still with me today. My sister Maureen passed away from a complication from measles. It was called measles encephalitis and within a week she went from healthy and laughing to dead. I learned that none of us are guaranteed more than this very moment. If a teenager could pass away, so could any of us. And since that day, my mother and father and mother-in-law and father-in-law have all moved on to the great beyond. So while it's an amazing thing to have plans for the future, we should be truly living in the now because that's all we're sure to have.
Lesson: Fear is not your friend. Eliminate it.
This is another one I've shared previously, but I was incredibly shy as a child and young adult. And I was definitely afraid to speak in public and/or in front of even just a few people. When I joined the workforce, things did not get better until I realized my fear was messing up any chance I had of having a successful career. So I addressed it. I volunteered to speak in front of people, I took public speaking classes, joined a debate class and put myself in situations where I was forced to speak. And not only did I overcome my fear, just the action of addressing it significantly improved my confidence and self-esteem. Fear is not your friend. If it's getting in the way of forward movement, it must be addressed. And the only way to address it is to do it. Hard but totally worth the effort.
Lesson: Not all people will stay in your life. Move on.
We meet people all along the path of life for all sorts of purposes. I have learned there is nothing wrong with letting a person go, and if a person lets US go, there's nothing wrong with that either. It's all a part of the journey. It doesn't mean it won't hurt, or we won't wonder what went wrong, but it's all going to be fine.
Lesson: Learning never ends. Keep doing it.
I am always learning something about something. Whether it's through a class at the community college, or something I read or listen to, expanding my knowledge base is a must for me. I do not want to become stagnant. Even now as an adult I am always looking for new knowledge. And as with everyone else, I will always actually know less than all the stuff I don't know. I would love to even those ratios a bit.
So how does this relate to my business and personal life?
Business: In my business life, the above lessons resulted in my starting at a telecommunications company as an entry level clerk many years ago. Because I learned to speak up for myself, and I wanted more knowledge, I moved from an entry level clerk to a higher level clerk to a secretary to management to a director. And when I felt I had learned all I could at that company, and had done all I could, I did some investigating into other possible careers. And then I took the leap into running my own real estate business which could not been more different than corporate life. It was so exciting to make that big switch. So all life's lessons have been incorporated in my business life. And continue to be.
Personal: And the same goes for my personal life. I have made some difficult decisions in the past to move on from people who weren't right for me. I've eliminated or at least significantly reduced interactions with negative people in my life. I've taken classes in gardening and turned that into an actual garden that actually grows stuff (who knew?). I've experimented with various cooking styles and have taken classes about that also. I've tried all sorts of outdoor activities that I hadn't done before. I've learned how to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. I have learned how to use all sorts of tools and vehicles that have been very useful at my current home. I've volunteered my time and efforts to help the community because I'm not afraid to try new things or speak to new people. So the lessons I've learned so far have helped shape my personal life as well.
So what kind of lessons are still waiting to be learned?
Who knows? As long as I am still above the ground, I will continue to learn and experience. Isn't that what life is all about?
Thank you for reading my entry into this month's challenge!