What I learned from my one word: wisdom

December 18, 2018

At the beginning of each new year, I choose one word and allow it to be my guide for the whole year. It makes more sense for me to focus on an intention and integrate it into my life in different ways, rather than making a laundry list of resolutions that I know I won’t be able to keep! This method has really helped me make Purpose part of my daily life.

For example, one year, I chose refinement. Essentially, I wanted to figure out how to take some of the most fulfilling things that I did sometimes and turn them into habits that I practiced consistently. In a lot of ways, I felt my routines becoming more refined. I had a newfound motivation to dedicate myself to incorporating things like caring for my physical fitness into my everyday life. The beauty of the one word approach is that it can be applied to multiple and varied aspects of your life.

This  past year, for 2018, my word was wisdom.

I hoped to become wiser myself, to better appreciate the wisdom around me, to better recognize the wisdom that I have indeed gathered over the years, and to better practice and share that wisdom in how I live my life.

I think by nature of the word, wisdom requires time, and I sure hope I don’t stop growing in it after this year ends! However, I wanted to share some of the ways my one word has helped guide my 2018. Who knows, maybe this one word will help you see the huge ways you’ve grown this past year, or maybe it will give you ideas for how to add focus and intention to 2019!

Wisdom has helped me learn new things.

This year, I rejected the voice in my head that stopped me from accomplishing my goals with the simple words, “I don’t know anything about _____________.” Instead, I listened to my one word, wisdom, and viewed what I didn’t know as an opportunity to learn more. I love a good challenge, and tackling what I know nothing about sounded like a perfect one. Fueled by a desire for wisdom, I provided myself my own mini-education in 2018. For example, I didn’t know much about online marketing but had a feeling I should be using it more effectively to grow my business. Did I let that intimidate me? No way! Instead, I took an online class on Udemy. Same with career coaching, basic video production, web design, and simple coding. I downloaded books on Audible and bought regular old hardcover books. I felt like a sponge, soaking up all the knowledge I could about thinks I knew nothing about.

Wisdom led me to talk to people more intentionally.

When I chose this word, I knew that I wanted to tap into the wisdom of people I admired. My word motivated me to be more direct. Rather than just admiring people from afar, I reached out to people I wanted to learn from and asked if we could meet up and talk or jump on a call if they lived far away. For example, I had a really illuminating conversation with a woman about some of my biggest questions around social enterprise.  I am well versed in social enterprise, but she has a totally different perspective on the work.  When I got off the phone I felt like a large gap in my understanding was filled in because the knowledge she shared.   I did the same thing, asking my biggest questions to several super brilliant people throughout the year. It is remarkable what you can learn when you have the courage to ask. I have to admit, I feel wiser because of them, and I am SO grateful!

Wisdom convinced me to write a book!

As you know, in 2018, I wrote and published Purposeful Hustle. The process of making this book required me to not only take a moment to reflect on all I had learned over time, but also to collect my thoughts, lessons and insights and actually put them into words in a way that others could understand. Writing helped me learn a lot about myself, where I’ve been, and how I got there. Through the creation of Purposeful Hustle, I quickly realized that I have actually gained quite a bit of wisdom throughout this little life of mine, and it feels like the biggest honor in the world to get to share that with other changemakers.

It’s been a really fun year, and I feel so blessed with a sense of wisdom that will continue to guide how I live and the choices I make. At the end of the year, I like to take a few days to reflect and plan. I HIGHLY recommend using this time of year for the purpose of resetting, refocusing and re-envisioning. It’s the perfect time to think about if you had to pick one word to guide your 2019, what would it be?

I’d love to hear what your word is. If you end up wanting to think about how to incorporate your word into your annual plan I’ll be leading a workshop on this process at the Hudson Business Lounge in February. But either way, I challenge you to reflect, pick one word, and post it on social media to hold yourself accountable. If you do, tag me to let me know, and make sure to use #oneword2019!

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