“May the lessons of your past always be part of who you are but may they never limit who you have yet to become.”
This has been my toast or wish to countless friends going through the ups and downs of life whether personal or business. All of life’s experiences give us lessons. Lessons are funny things. They can create fear, hope, despair, joy, action, inaction… it seems lessons can drive almost any outcome depending on what we do with them. Many businesses and people live by the motto “Once bitten, twice shy” so their lessons tend to leave a negative impression and limit what they can do next. To propel your business, career or life to a new level of success and happiness you must allow the lessons leave a positive impression. This is much easier said than done. Here are some ways I’ve made this work which I hope you find helpful and will share your ideas as well.
Always dream big dreams. Be curious, leverage life’s lessons and be fearless. Note that fearless does not mean reckless. Fearless is informed courage based on the lessons life has gifted to you. By always dreaming big dreams you get to put these lessons in motion to more impactful results.
Failure is not an option, but occasionally you have to redefine success – is a motto to live by. Nix “once bitten, twice shy” from your thinking forever. Did your new product, big personal goal or something else not go as planned? Well you have a choice. You can wallow in the coulda-shoulda-woulda and retreat from opportunity or you can find value in the lessons this experience brought you so you can do better next time. The only failure is a failure to learn so redefine your success to leverage the lessons. Looking at things this way lets you see objectively what the experience is trying to tell you and avoid falling into a pity party of unproductive thinking.
Mt. Everest, like life, has a lot of base camps. Everyone and every business must pause, take stock and regroup from time to time. Build base camps in to your business or your career plan to restock, take note of the climate and tweak your plans as needed. No one climbs Everest in one day and few business endeavors go that way either. Base camps are not a sign of weakness, they are the source of strength to win because they let you leverage the lessons.
Practice IF to IS. Learning what questions to ask so you can take in the lessons in front of you is one of the most valuable skills one can have. This is a muscle that helps you over and over. The more you practice this the easier and better it gets.
The ideas above may seem simple and hopeful but do not under estimate the power that lies in simplicity wrapped in hope. So my toast to all of you who choose to embrace life’s lessons… May the lessons of your past always be part of who you are but may they never limit who you have yet to become. Good luck!