It’s that time of year again. The gift shopping, the holiday parties, the socializing, and the countdown to 2022! While this season might be marked with sparkles and glitter down 5th Avenue, J.R.R. Tolkien has reminded me that, “not all that glitters is gold.”
Instead, what you may find is spray painted gold metal or perhaps a piece of broken yellow glass. Although, I love Christmas, the build up to New Years Day is equally exciting. For as long as I can remember, it’s been about reflecting carefully on the past year and carrying lessons learned into the new year (and of course a little purging).
In addition to that adage, there are three lessons I’m taking away from 2021 and this passage by Yung Pueblo. The first is to “Say No Without Feeling Bad.” I’ve learned this lesson the hard way for many years by literally feeling guilty each time I said no. Recently a client came to me with an ask that was way below a reasonable budget. At first, I contemplated it. But then I remembered that this type of residential work isn’t part of my wheelhouse, and to make it work, it would cost me an extraordinary amount of time, because it was lean. Once I realized that I was compromising my own work ethic, it was easy to make the choice without guilt.
Out of the other 11 lessons that stood out to me was “Build your own idea of success.” I’m not going to lie and say I have never compared myself to anyone else. However, life experience has taught me that my idea of success is doing what I love and continuing to do more of it by producing creative quality work at a relaxed pace. It is also marching to my own beat without any FOMO.
The final part of that passage that resonated with me the most is to,“Build with people who are open to grow.” How many times have you been in a situation where the people you are surrounded by are in a victim-mentality, complaining about all that is wrong, gossiping, and unwilling to change? That’s why I seek relationships where people have good energy, and are constantly seeking to become a better version of themselves. It’s amazing what a difference this is already making. I never realized how many meaningless, one-sided conversation I was having with people who didn’t want to grow.
It’s been a hell of a year overall and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one saying that. Despite the personal losses, I’m grateful to have gained and rekindled friendships, gained new projects, and embarked on risks that are truly worth their weight in gold. 2022 let’s do more of this!