We are 9 days into the New Year of 2015 and I don’t know about you but I find myself asking; what did I accomplish last year, what did I learn, and “what have I gotten better at, as I’ve gotten older”? (Yikes!)
Having just celebrated my 45th birthday in the Cayman Islands, my friend and famed uni-cyclist, Michael Kalush and I were having this conversation on the latter question while we sat in the fading sun exchanging stories of how we had gotten better over the years when it came to relationships and business. It was a powerful conversation that kept me thinking afterwards. What have I gotten better at (as I’ve gotten older)? So I started making a list; I am sure there are many more but these were the first thoughts that came to my mind. Here they are in no particular order:
1. I’ve gotten better at letting go of relationships that do not serve me. You know the Negative Nelly’s, The Tammy Takers, Never Deposit Dan’s and the list goes on. They are draining; energy zappers and I’ve weaned them from VIP straight to the cheap seats. If you always get the voice mail you might need to step up your giving game!
2. I’ve gotten better at letting go of stuff! I am a sentimental person and I have a few items that have sentimental value however I cannot have an entire home of sentiments. In the end it all looks like clutter and junk. I have learned to let items go so that they may bless someone else or so that I can at least get a tax write-off.
3. I’ve gotten better at taking care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually with yoga, meditation, and scheduled “Sit Yo Ass Down Somewhere” (SYADS) days. When I worked for the government and traveled around the state of Georgia, my father would tell me to take care of myself, to get my rest, and to slow down. I have often heard his voice when I was trying to avoid the cycle of crash and burn. Today, I no longer wait to feel the crash and avoid the burn.
4. I’ve gotten better at asking for help! I’m not cured but this is an area in which I am still growing. There was a time when I felt like; I know how to do it all so I can. 20+ years later, I realize, I can’t do it all and I don’t want too. Finding the right help is a new struggle but one worth wrestling.
5. I’ve gotten better at understanding and accepting the limits of those closest to me. The people we want to support us do not always have the capacity to support us for whatever reason. I’ve learned to be open and receptive to the special people God sends into my life to give me what I need exactly when I need it. Instead of wasting time hoping that someone else will step up.
6. I’ve gotten better at using my voice when I choose to express my thoughts, feelings and anger even when it goes against the majority.
8. I’ve gotten better at designing my own plays, and following the path that is meant for me. Not measuring myself against what other people are doing. I am doing exactly what I need to be doing at that exact moment in my life and it feels amazing.
9. I’ve gotten better at not giving away the “kitchen sink” in business. This is a new one and I’m still growing in this lane too. I love what I do, but now I make sure I don’t give it all away and that folks are clear that what I do comes with a price.
10. I’ve gotten better at how to use the tone of my voice in a ways that will produce the best outcome! When I was in my 20’s I expressed my thoughts in a way that left some people feeling bruised and battered. It wasn’t always what I said but how I said it. I still have that trait but I’ve gotten better at how I use it. The tenacity of the tone!
11. I’ve gotten better at saying NO without explanation or guilt. Life is too short to spend doing things and spending time with people who do not ignite a fire in me.
12. I’ve gotten better at releasing the need for perfection; perfection in life and business. Some things are just out of my control and it’s OK. If there was a spectrum it would probably have Perfectionist on one end and “I don’t give a Crap” on the other. Moving more and more towards, I don’t give a crap every day.
13. Most importantly, I have gotten better at understanding who I am and who I am not.
There you have it, my short list of what no one told me about getting older and how those things would make me amazingly better! I would like to encourage you to make your own list to see how you have improved over the years in your business, career or life. The things that you discover about yourself, no one could have told you that those things would mold and shape you. If you aren’t pleased with your list, or you would like to improve more (remember these years are flipping by faster than ever), send me an email so we can get you on a journey to becoming a riot starter through one of our exciting opportunities.
Taunya A. Lowe, Ph.D. is the CEO of The Resurgent Group of Metro Atlanta, LLC, a human services and leadership development consulting firm located in Lawrenceville, GA. Dr. Lowe is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant, and professor. Trained by John Maxwell and his team, she is a skilled change agent with a focus on developing people and organizations. She enjoys combining her many talents with her photography and writing to motivate, inspire and lead people and organizations toward change. Learn more about Dr. Lowe, by visiting www.drtaunyalowe.com or email her firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office (855) 873-4445.