First off, I want to apologize for not writing the last two months… Although I have been very busy, that’s never stopped me before and the only logical reason I have this time is that the experiences I’ve had over the last several months have left me to ponder a lot of things. So much so, I’ve had time to reflect and come to many purposeful conclusions that I’d love to share with you in my Lessons of 2012.
Many of you know, I had the opportunity to travel to Dubai at the end of November for the launch of PTA Global in the Middle East, and the Master Trainer Program, which resulted in the debut of PTA Global into many new regions of the world. Being the Training & Education Coordinator for PTA Global only since May, this was pretty much my first shot at the big leagues, and I needed to prove that I had what it takes to lead a world-class program (created by THE BEST in the industry) globally, and run with it. This trip was, what I call, the trip of my life both personally & professionally. Personally, I uncovered things about myself that I didn’t know existed, and I found the faith to let my true self be seen. Professionally, I realized that the potential that WE ALL HAVE, can only be uncovered when we are surrounded by those who BELIEVE we can, and who provide a support system for us to safely fail and successfully get back up.
Did I prove myself? Honestly… I can’t be the judge of that, but I believe the actions that come from others afterwards can. Which leads me to lesson #1.
1. Leaders are SILENT.
At the end of day 2 of the Mentorship in Dubai, we asked the students if their expectations were met. Getting half way around the room, we came to a very confident, outspoken, and very loveable guy, who interjects with a “Yes, my expectations were met. But I just want to say, that Hayley, your reputation precedes you, and you went above and beyond, and I am thoroughly impressed with you.” (Maybe not exact words, but similar message). To which was supplemented by a round of applause from the entire room. This may seem silly, but I was very uncomfortable, and then found myself wanting to cry out of overwhelming gratitude. I was uncomfortable, for many reasons, the first of which I was standing next to my mentor, Scott Hopson who I look up to and believe is one of the best presenters in the industry and should be getting the round of applause. Second, in all the mentorships I had attended in the last three years, I don’t recall anyone (all of the co-founders) getting a round of applause. I wanted to cry, because in that moment I realized that those who led me to where I was standing and getting that round of applause were SILENT leaders, and what they taught me and what I was able to do at that Mentorship was to lead SILENTLY through action. The round of applause was for all those who came before me.
Those that lead, are silent while taking action. Without dictating or pointing fingers, in order to start a movement and lead others we must first take action for ourselves, and hope that the mission and vision we have will be met by others with the same lens along the way. So, did I prove myself? Only the actions of those who I taught in Dubai will tell. Actions occur when we are inspired to overcome some of the greatest obstacles all because we are deeply passionate about something. Which leads me to Lesson #2.
2. The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.
One of my favorite quotes is by Theodore Rosevelt, called “Dare Greatly”, it reads:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
The person who is willing to get ‘a little dirty’ in life, walks away experiencing some of the greatest things that life has to offer. Your heart will tell you what you are passionate about, it is when you are inspired to take action that you will encounter a little dust, sweat, and blood along the way. And to reiterate the importance of passion, Steve Jobs boldly states that, “You have to have a lot of passion for what you do, because any rational person would just give up.”
Passion to me, is innate, and driven by our subconscious desires… or following your heart.
This year I’ve traveled thousands and thousands of miles, I’ve taught hundreds and hundreds of students, I’ve trained countless client hours, and I’ve written more than I ever have in my life. Most would think that I’m just another insane workaholic; I would argue that what you see is an expression of my passion, any rational person would just give up if they walked in my shoes. I can confidently say, I have been in the arena, I have ‘dared greatly’, and I have whole-heartedly experienced the shortcomings and triumphs this life has to offer. And I know that if I wasn’t willing to do all of that, Lesson #1 would never have been learned or experienced in Dubai. When we dive in with our utmost passion, our heart, that is when we lead SILENTLY. Which leads me to Lesson #3.
3. Busy doesn’t mean Important… Busy just means busy!
Yep, I’m busy. No surprise! I used to think that being busy meant that I was needed, wanted, liked, and most importantly… important. What I didn’t realize is that busy just means busy sometimes. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned this year, in averaging 80-90 hour work weeks, is that I can do what I’m passionate about, but if I can’t come home at the end of the day and share it with those I love, then what’s the point?
Yeah, I just said that, and I feel completely vulnerable (which is part of Lesson #4). So, I’ll keep this one as straight forward as it is. Although we may have passion for what we do, its important that we find purposeful actions to exhibit our passion. If we are going to be in the arena, we might also need to take some time to recover from the battles we’ve just fought, that is if we want to keep winning.
4. Vulnerability is powerful.
Accepting that we are human is probably the hardest thing we do on this earth. Yep, saying that we are destructable, capable of letting others down, and that things hurt us, is an internal battle we all deal with. We are programmed to survive, to extend our life as long as we can. So things that can potentially hurt us, we arm up against. Mistakenly, in our battle to survive, we often allow those things which we shield to be emotions. We try to avoid feeling sad, angry, hurt, jealous, and even love because they can potentially hurt us.
What we neglect to realize is that those who are willing to hurt and those who are willing to love we have the the utmost empathy for. They have allowed themselves to be vulnerable, and from an outsiders perspective that is perceived as strong and powerful. They are willing to be beat, and there is nothing more courageous than that.
So in your attempt to take action, while following your heart, and only selecting those things which are purposeful, be willing to be ‘present’ in each moment, and accept all the emotions that come with it. When we are vulnerable we are living!
To all my friends, colleagues, and family… thank you for being a part of my journey in 2012. You are all people I can LIVE, LAUGH, & most importantly LOVE with. Here’s to 2013!