13 Lucky Lessons from 2020

Thirteen is said to be an unlucky number and I am pretty sure the number '2020' is the new thirteen. For a year that may have seemed like we collectively as a world walked under a ladder with the black cat on our shoulders while breaking every mirror ever to exist, I have to say it turned out to be one of the best years ever. I was lucky enough to have time for self-reflection deeper than ever before and came across some amazing people along the way that I would say are keepers. So I am sharing 13 Lucky Lessons the year 2020 gifted to me. This is about how 2020 allowed me the space for more growth and development than a decade. May some or all be of service to you in someway as well.


Jump ahead to whatever interests you or relax and enjoy the journey through these 13 Lucky Lessons from 2020...


#1 In uncertain times, decide what your story will be on the other side and make sure its worth being the most EPIC come back movie ever

#2 "Action Cures All" is simply true

#3 Fear is a compass that can lead to success and peak experiences

#4 Community turned out to be what I needed

#5 I am convinced the mind is an overprotective parent

#6 Compassion for others relieves stress on yourself

#7 Excuses are lies and all your reasons are excuses

#8 Embracing your authentic self is a super power that fuels your future self

#9 Who am I and who I will be in the years to come is a choice

#10 "Life" and the self-serving agendas of others is noise, I control the volume

#11 Slay your dragons, chop the wood and carry the water

#12 Know your personal value system

#13 'Reframing' is like a swiss army knife in your mental toolbox





#1 In uncertain times, decide what your story will be on the other side and make sure its worth being the most EPIC come back movie ever


After initial panic and shock to the start of lockdowns, protests and civil unrest world-wide, the most important questions I could ask myself came to me. Who do you want to be on the other side of this? In five years, what will you be telling people about how you responded to the chaos of 2020? What will your son and daughter be saying about how their mother reacted when the whole world seemed to be unhinged?


I spent several hours resting in the unease and discomfort of these questions. I wrestled with what I was feeling in the moment and what I started to form in my mind as the most epic come back story. Through journaling, I came around to directing my story, a story I was proud to have as part of my legacy. I played with different scenarios and potential outcomes. I gave myself time to process and reconcile everything I had always said I wanted with what I could actually take control of and start doing. I decided to rest in uncertainty with the assurance that I had the ability to create days worth waking up for. In time, everything began to change (a new future was set in motion) in ways I was not equipped yet to imagine.


So in uncertain times take inventory of your situation, who's with you, what resources you have. Start asking yourself how you would direct the most epic come back story from where you are. After that, its only actions that will get you to the other side of a self-fulfilling prophecy beyond your imagination.


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#2 "Action Cures All" is simply true


I have always been amazing planning anything. I will plan the ish out of what the most productive day ever could look like. I plan on all sorts things too: doing laundry, decluttering the back of that closet, spending a full hour uninterrupted reading one of the 5 books I am currently reading, taking those 3 online courses I paid for, uploading well thought out valuable content every single day...whew!


Not a thing I plan gets done without action. DOING is the only thing that transforms the things we plan into things that are done so we can move on to the next. If you are not seeing results and you are just plain stuck, take action. Whatever is ailing your personal life, professional career or business, I am positive action (the step after planning) is the cure.


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#3 Fear is a compass that can lead to success and peak experiences


In 2020, I had to acknowledge that I had a very real fear of water that I cannot see through the bottom of which includes, lakes, rivers, and the New Jersey shoreline. The thought of sitting on a lake in a row boat surrounded by water causes my heart to race with anxiety. I could manage to sit quietly as long as there is no movement. I realized this manifested in my life in other ways. In areas of my life that seem to be calm and neat, I don't want to make a mess and uncover what is going on underneath. The saying "if it ain't broke..." comes to mind. But I had to be honest that this was not the way to go forward in life and so my mantra was born to rock the boat.

Rock the boat is about getting super uncomfortable and facing the fear of what could be

below the surface. But being commited to changing my life meant I couldn't settle and stop there. Nope, that would just be surface level (sigh). I forced myself to face my two biggest fears in July, heights and water. I walked the Ben Franklin Bridge between Philadelphia and Camden, NJ (with the support of few great people in my life), and I went rafting down the Lehigh River. The results were interesting, and the experience was so necessary.


These two experiences now serve as a reference point of what is possible when I face my fears. River rafting turned out the be the most fun I've had in the last decade. I cannot wait to go again and take my kids with me. I learned that sometimes when you face you fears you find immense joy on the other side and freedom that cannot be experienced sitting still on the water. Walking the bridge on the other hand was extremely uncomfortable. I got through the experience with wobbly legs still holding onto the sensations caused by my fear. I was excited to say I did it, but I am still very much fearful of heights. The experience taught me that sometimes on the other side of fear you are still fearful, but you find confidence and trust for yourself. When I walked the bridge, I strengthened the relationship with my future self to say, even though I am afraid I will show up and do what I need to do. I found confidence, trust and greater strength that day.


Think of the things that you are fearful of: speaking in front of people, dancing in public, sharing an innovative thought in a meeting, starting a community, or showing people who you are and what you are capable of. Often what you find scary is the very thing you need to face head on. I have a quote on my desk, I don't remember who said it or where I got it from, but it says, "everything you want is on the other side of fear."


When I think back to my experience with rafting and walking the bridge I have agree. On the other side of my two fears I found freedom to live my best life with joy and I found the strength and confidence to trust myself to do the hard things. What I fear now, I move towards and so far, it's not steering me wrong, but it is leading me to new experiences, new relationships and connections I was not going to find unless I rocked the boat.


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#4 Community turned out to be what I needed


I was sitting at home reading High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard when I got to a section where he talked about being the average of the 5 people or ideas you spend the most time with. This was not my first time hearing this idea, but it was really uncomfortable to sit with when I considered who and what ideas I allowed to surround me. Too many people were complaining, unhappy, settling, in debt and doing anything truly exciting. It wasn't what I really wanted for myself or my kids.


Enter Impact Theory University and their Facebook community. Coming into this space has been key to the growth and changes I have made this year. I will promote joining the "right" community for you till the end of time. Although I initially felt like the imposter amongst the most awesome people, my accountability group gave me insights, thoughts, ideas and everything I needed to go to work on myself and start dreaming again. Through this community I found what I valued most: positive energy, inspiration and encouragement.


I have been able to formulate what I most value and filter all other things through, and I know that if I am the average of the 5 people and ideas I spend the most time with that the co-elevation from the community I am apart of will take me higher and further so we can all impact the world we live in for the better.


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#5 I am convinced the mind is an overprotective parent


Parents want to love, protect, and support their children. Overprotective parents want to protect their children excessively from experiencing any version of life that ends with a scrape or a tear falling from their child's eye.


It turns out that while our bodies are miraculous creations, I believe God made perfectly, our minds seem to be getting the best of us to play small or not at all. Our minds seem to be playing the role of the overprotective parent to our detriment if you are not aware or closely monitoring what is going on.


Often times our minds search for what is familiar and comforting, the path of least resistance. I touched on this a bit earlier, but fearfulness is one of those things. If you fear being exposed or vulnerable because the infamous "they" will find out or think x, y and z, your overprotective mind will make sure you avoid exposure at all costs. It makes it feel near impossible for some people to speak up or speak out in situations, or even show up. Your mind left to its own will keep you idle and comfortable even in spaces or conditions that are not ideal. For some people, it is easier to stay in the dysfunction of a bad relationship than to walk away for fear of the unknown.


I have learned that you have to follow the clues of what you see in your everyday situation and how you are really feeling about the common experiences you are having to unlock how your mind is "protecting" you. David Goggins explained in his interview on Impact Theory, "the mind has a tactical advantage over you at all times [...] it knows your insecurities, it knows your deep dark lies. It pushes you towards comfort." That is the overprotective parent that is keeping your ego in tact and making sure you are in no emotional or physical distress.


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#6 Compassion for others relieves stress on yourself


I have never identified as an angry person, but I have to admit to being judgemental and irritated with questionable behaviors. Being on lockdown has caused me to look at people and their behaviors more thoughtfully, and its turned my attention from their behaviors to what triggers me or why I judge the actions, thoughts and feelings of others the way I do.


I learned that everyone I have judgement for is going through the same things in different ways. Our battles are all similar but the demons we face and the resources we have on the battlefield vary widely. As I began to