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7 Life Lessons That Saved My Year

7 lessons that saved my year

As this year wraps up, I’ve been reflecting on some crucial lessons learned. Let me share them with you:

1. Remember Your ‘Why’:

When faced with challenging situations, like criticism at work, recalling why you’re there – career growth or supporting your family – can help you respond thoughtfully rather than impulsively. God’s word is the foundation of my ‘Why’.

Imagine a situation where your boss just ridiculed you in front of your entire team. You feel hurt, your ego is bruised and you want to give him or her a piece of your mind. Damn the consequences.

Remembering your why can guide your next action. Why are you on the job? Why are you in that relationship?

  • To fill space
  • I don’t even want to be here
  • To feed your family
  • To advance your career
  • To legally stay in the country (Japa people will understand)
  • Because God said so.

2. Embrace Positivity:

Getting caught in a negative spiral is easy, but focusing on the positives can be transformative. It is getting hard to find positive news. There’s so much negativity everywhere and our ‘lizard brain’, in trying to keep us from danger is quick to see the negatives. Focusing on the positives gives you hope. Hope helps you cope better, which creates the space you need to find solutions.

If you are struggling to see the positives right now, remember that Jesus loves you. This is the good news!

Vibe to this song, it will lift your spirit.

3. The Power of Sharing

Sharing your experiences with the right people reduces the weight of your challenges. The key here is the right people. They will encourage you, share their perspective, empathise with you, laugh it out, and importantly pray with you.

A special shout-out to my family, Debo, Segun, Sola, and many more who have patiently heard me out this year. One particular meeting I’d like to highlight was my lunch with Lucy Quist, former MD at Morgan Stanley UK. It was a turning point in my year. She said to me:

“Don’t let ‘I’m done’ happen to you. Design I’m done.”

4. Finding Humour In It

Not everything is funny, but if you look closely, you’ll see a funny side. This isn’t about trivialising your experience or the seriousness of the situation, no. It is about being joyful and having a positive outlook. Even if it takes time, find something to laugh about.

My laugh is infectious and I find every reason to laugh. I admit it can be annoying to others sometimes, but very quickly they join in the laugh too. A colleague sent me an email one time that reads:

‘your laugh makes me so happyyyyy !!!! :D’

5. Celebrate Past Wins

In tough times, remember your victories. Like David facing Goliath, remind yourself of your past triumphs. They’re proof you can overcome current challenges too. At the battleground with Goliath, everyone thought David was on a suicide mission. This giant will destroy this boy. None of them knew about David’s past victories, but he relived it. I killed a lion and a bear, and you, I will not spare.

As my doubts and that feeling of ‘you’re not good enough’ continued to grow, I brought people who knew of my past victories into my current situation. Hearing stories of past victories inspired me to never give up.

6. Kindness Counts

Doing good without expecting anything in return has its rewards. It’s about making kindness a habit, not just an occasional act. Be helpful because it is good. You don’t know who is watching or listening. This is not eye service. Make this your normal service. The good you do has a way of coming back when you least expect it.

7. Gratitude Matters

A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Being specific in your gratitude can also be a great way to keep a positive outlook. I want to also use this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who checked up on me this year. 

These lessons have been game-changers for me. What about you? What were your biggest takeaways this year?

Be Generous & Share

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