I spoke at George Brown last week and to say that I loved it is an understatement!
I divided my 1 hour ‘lecture’ into 3 sections; background on my agency BOOM!, information on my book Adversperience and then comments on figuring out life – aka “Notes to my younger self”.
The topic of today’s blog is ‘Notes to my younger self’ because that is what resonated most with the students. Based on their very motivating feedback I decided to post my content/thoughts here. Hope they are useful for all who read!
1. Write a plan and be prepared to edit along the way
I have always had a plan. At certain times it has been clearer than others but it has always existed. My point on having a plan is that you need to know where you are going. This gives focus and ensures that as choices are presented, the right decision is made. That said, I have certainly had a few curve balls and had to make adjustments. But the greater plan has guided the course correction.
2. Write your eulogy.
People always cringe when I say this. But if you actually identify what you want people to say when you are dead then it forces you to evaluate if you are living up to your own expectations. Our days accumulate to build a life. Our life and how people remember us is our legacy. We therefore ‘live our legacy’ everyday. So, live it against the values and legacy you want to be remembered for. My simplest example is that I know the key things I want my children to say/remember about me when I am gone and I work hard to deliver on those values everyday. This is what has guided me most in life.
3. Take risks and stand strong
Sometimes we teach that which we need to learn most and for me this 3rd ‘note’ is something that I am still working to be better at. Admitedly I stress when I take a risk. More often than not the risks I have taken have yielded my greatest learning and my greatest rewards – personally and professionally. They have also made me realize my strengths, my value and that I need to keep going inspite of the ‘fear’. The funny thing is that as we cross over fear’s threshold we actually seem to increase our risk tolerance. The ‘been there, done that’ actually pushes us to even greater heights and often greater risk and learning. Bottomline, embrace risk – it is critical to growth. It might not always be pretty but there will always be learning!
4. Love and Love yourself
When you enter my home, you can feel the love. Its by intent but it is also the feedback that all who cross the threshold quickly say. At the office my team actually says that a key differentiator is that there is love. I must admit I love a little too easily. People fascinate me and the world is full of magic and wonder – sounds contrived but those who know me know this to be true. Overall, being loving has served me well. In the process of loving though I have been trying to get better at loving myself – this is very much a work in progress. The air mask analogy rings in my head as I try to explain. That we are to put our own mask on before we help another challenges my very being. But the point is that we cannot help another if we are not physically, mentally or spiritually able to help. I am working every day to put the air mask on my own face first in so many areas of my life…I will let you know how I do!
I hope these ‘Notes’ have been useful to you and if nothing else that they have made you reflect on the amazingly beautiful and magical life you can create for yourself.