Ben Yoskovitz has a group writing project under way over at the Instigator Blog asking the question, “What did you learn this year?”
Whew! Talk about a big question!
I mean I learned lots of things this year.
Some of them were relatively insignificant yet very practical. For example I learned that you shouldn’t put stop leak into the overflow reservoir of your 2001 Buick Century instead of into the radiator because it will gunk up the plastic reservoir tank, cause the sensor to turn on the “low coolant” light steady, and cost approximately $360 to get someone who actually knows about cars to fix. Oh, and it won’t stop the leak that way either.
Other lessons had a little bigger impact. I learned that doing the right thing for the wrong reason isn’t a good idea, especially if it involves a long term commitment. And sometimes you get to a point when you have to cut your losses and make a course correction to get where you really want to go.
I learned that you can’t change people who don’t want changing. And it’s not really your place to do that anyway.
I learned that unmet expectations can be painful sometimes.
I recently relearned the importance of backups, redundancies and contingency plans.
But I think the biggest, most significant lesson I learned this past year involves passion. Especially where it involves work. Working in something simply because it is what you are trained to do may very well leave you feeling empty inside over the long haul.
But if you invest the effort into figuring out what kinds of things really get you excited, what you get most passionate about, it can be a liberating experience.
Then, with a little time in serious thought, you can probably work out a way to earn some money working at those things.
And that, my friends, is a truly wonderful lesson indeed.
Because if you Work Where Your Passion is, it will feel a little less like work, and your motivation will be higher even when you are burning the midnight oil that is often required to achieve success.
So, as I wrap up my post on what I learned this past year let me leave you with a question that’s easy in the asking, but may take a bit of brain power on your part to answer.