The internet seems to be full of posts about what we have all achieved in the last decade. I’ve achieved a few things I’m proud of, but I think it’s more valuable to focus on my key lessons from the last decade- and often I’ve learnt the most when things have not gone according to plan.
1. In fact, that’s the first thing in my list. We do not know what the eventual outcome of pretty much anything will be, and the things we agonise about often turn out to be a blessing in disguise, or at the very least an opportunity to grow.
2. Ten years ago I was still relatively new to freelancing, and pretty worried about whether I could make enough income. That’s my excuse for why I used to take a laptop on holiday with me, rather than explain that I would be taking some time off. Obviously it needs to be handled professionally and with notice, but I have learnt that the world does not end if I am not constantly available. Or, rather, that I don’t need to bend over backwards in order not to be rejected. In fact, the opposite is often true.
3. I am stronger than I think. We all are. If and when bad things happen that definitely aren’t blessings in disguise, or where the blessing comes much later, I can cope, and it will pass. Nothing lasts forever, good or bad.
4. Meditation isn’t an optional extra, but an essential part of staying balanced and ‘awake’. And the busier I am, the more (not less) I need it.
5. Being organised and having systems may not feel very spontaneous and creative but it’s worth it because it actually helps you to have more free time and less stress in your life.
6. If I feel resentful about anything it means I need to look at whatever is triggering me and either take action, or accept the current situation. If I stay feeling resentful after that, I’m choosing it.
7. I am so grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life.
8. Allowing people to really see you and your vulnerabilities is sometimes very scary, but you can’t get close to anyone any other way.
9. If something terrifies you, it may well be the very thing that you need to be doing. There are exceptions to this. I am still never going to go sky diving.
10. It is OK to put yourself first sometimes. I was brought up to see unselfishness as the most important virtue. This may be true, but looking after yourself is not actually selfish. I used to do this, and just ended up feeling resentful (see point 6) and/or getting ill as the only acceptable way to get my needs met. Put your own oxygen mask on first.
What are your key lessons from the last decade?
What a fantastic list of 10, Rachael. I can relate to all of your points in particular 2, 6 and 10. This weekend I was moaning to my hubby why a member of our family has the time to go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon while I have been stuck indoors preparing stuff for the week ahead. She is contracted teacher in a school – I am freelance!!! I am resentful and I know I need to do something about it … your list has confirmed I need to do something about it.
Well spotted, Sheena!
Great list, Rachael, thanks for sharing. A key lesson that I would add, relating to Points 10 and 6, is to ensure I’m living the life I want. Looking after myself includes aligning my lifestyle to my values and beliefs, which, in addition to making me much happier, also helps to avoid the resentful feeling of living the life someone *else* wants. “Put your own oxygen mask on first” is a great mantra 🙂
Yes, great point, Helen. We need to take the time to work out what our values and beliefs are too!
Your posts are so insightful Rachel! I love reading them and I find myself nodding and murmuring uh huh so true! I like number 6 and would add that we can choose to put our own fires out. Sometimes we seem to enjoy the smouldering !