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.


#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.


#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."