1. I’ve learnt that the more we know about ourselves, the more power we have to behave better. We each have an infinite capacity for self-deception – in countless unconscious ways we protect ourselves from pain, uncertainty, and responsibility – often at the expense of others and ourselves. Deepening self-awareness is essential to freeing ourselves from our reactive, habitual behaviours.
2. I’ve learnt to notice the good. We each carry an evolutionary predisposition to dwell on what’s wrong in our lives. The antidote is to deliberately take time out each day to notice what’s going right, and to feel grateful for what you’ve got. It’s probably a lot.
3. I’ve learnt to let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.
4. I’ve learnt to never seek my value at the expense of someone else’s. When we’re feeling devalued, our reactive instinct is to do anything to restore what we’ve lost. Devaluing the person who made you feel bad will only prompt more of the same in return.
5. I’ve learnt to do the most important thing first in the morning and you’ll never have an unproductive day. By focusing for a designated period of time, without interruption, on the highest value, it’s possible to get an extraordinary amount of work accomplished in a short time.
6. I’ve learnt to it’s possible to be excellent at anything, but nothing valuable comes easy and discomfort is part of growth. Getting better at something depends far less on inborn talent than it does the willingness to practice the activity over and over, and to seek out regular feedback, the more precise the better.
7. I’ve learnt that the feeling of having enough is magical. It rarely depends on how much you’ve got. More is rarely better. Too much of anything eventually becomes toxic.
8. I’ve learnt to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, and don’t expect anything in return. Your values are one of the only possessions you have that no one can take away from you. Doing the right thing may not always get you what you think you want in the moment, but it will almost always leave you feeling better about yourself in the long run. When in doubt, default to calm and kind.
9. I’ve learnt to add more value to the world. Life’s primary challenge is to put more back into the world than we take out.
10. I’ve learnt to savour every moment, even the difficult ones. It all goes so fast.
About the author:
Chantel Levey is a team leader in our Engineering Recruitment division. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org