As of tomorrow at 5:55 am, I will have held down a spot on this planet for 34 years. The way my family tells it, I came into this world in a rush, kicking and screaming. My Army Dad thought he would be able to finish his morning command run before I was born.
He was wrong. I wasn’t waiting around.
I think that runs in the family, honestly. Both of my grandmothers were fierce, fiery women who both rank pretty high on my hero list. They didn’t have much by way of money or spousal support, but they had a very high figure-it-out factor. It’s probably the most essential inheritance I have; I use it every single day.
They never waited for anyone to hand them a thing, and my Mom is one obvious example of how that lesson manifested in their children. As one of the only women at work (the Army), she had a big chip on her shoulder and everything to prove. She used to tell me “standards are standards” when I would point out that the situp or pushup count for women was lower than their male counterparts. She used to beat both the men and women on the PT test, by the way. Give her a drink, and she’ll tell you that herself.
As I’ve hit the milestones they have already survived, I find that each year gives me a little more perspective and a new view on the “truth.” I write a new set of rules for my new life. I’ve learned, over and over again, that it’s you vs. you in this world. You should win that war.
Buried in the chaos of that war are a lot of lessons – battles and exercises in patience, failure, and listening to my intuition. I spent yesterday writing some down. I hesitated to share them here. I mean, it’s no “5 tips for a job post.” But these are words that have changed my life and how I think over the last year. Lessons I think we all need at times.
- Don’t move the finish line when you win. It’s not good for your brain to never enjoy success.
- Energy is not endless. Don’t waste it on what you can’t control.
- It will always get better. Rock bottom is usually a few feet down from where you start to panic.
- Anxiety is a mask for big feelings. Listen to it.
- Don’t worry about chances; worry about opportunities. You’ll get far fewer opportunities in this life.
- Put your mask on first. You can’t save anyone if you can’t save yourself.
- Rest is not a weakness. It’s mandatory.
I’m going to share a few more of these lessons, a really embarrassing photo from 7th grade, and a gift with people who get my weekly letter tomorrow. Make sure you get all of that below. Yes, this is what I want for my birthday. You to sign up and “listen” to me ramble via email from time to time about life and Three Ears Media training.
But before I sign off to go celebrate, here’s one more lesson I’ll share now.
Don’t wait. Great rewards come from great risk. Don’t you dare let fear steal your future.