Happiness

Top 10 Most Important Lessons of 2012

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Life is an interesting journey.

One day you think you’ve finally got it all figured out and the next moment something unexpected happens, which completely shatters your reality.

Every year should be a year of growth and goals, but 2012 has taught me that life doesn’t always go according to plan, which in itself is one of the most powerful lessons we can learn.

I don’t know where your struggles or triumphs were this year, but for me, every area of my life was challenged.  Beginning with my personal and professional relationships and then moving into my health and business.

2012 was a relentless teacher, but like Friedrich Nietzsche said,

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Here are the top 10 things I learned from 2012.

 

 1. Balance Your Emotions

Never allow your emotions to run your life.  It’s ok to feel things, but don’t allow your feelings to take charge.  This is a powerful lesson I had to re-learn this year as I allowed my emotions to take control of a few areas of my life.  I like to remind myself how the best quarterbacks in the NFL play when they’re under pressure.  It doesn’t matter how great or terrible the game is going – they remain focused and move confidently towards the goal.

2. Fuel Your Body with Amazing Nutrition

Make no mistake – your body is a machine. If you want to be a high performing individual in sports, business and life, you need to feed your body the proper fuel.  I strongly recommend the documentary Food Matters, it will change the way you approach food by understanding how it shapes your body and mind.

3. Charge Your Life With Physical Power

Challenging your body with a workout program that works for you will help in so many areas of your life.  The same discipline and commitment it takes to finish a workout are the same skills needed to follow though with anything else you want in life.  CrossFit played a huge role in getting me through my hardest moments of 2012. Check out this article by Dan Martell on why CrossFit is the workout choice for entrepreneurs.

Committing yourself to being physically challenged is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.  But if you don’t think you can stay committed – get a coach.  Coaching is one the best ways to keep yourself motivated and experience growth.  I highly recommend reading and following anything by Bob Harper, Jamie EasonJohn Romaniello or Adam Bornstein to help whip you into shape.

4. Your Brand is Your Reputation – And Your Reputation Is Your Brand

An incredible website or catchy mission statement are no substitutes simply for an outstanding reputation.  Choosing to build a reputation on honesty, service and being a man or woman of your word, will build your brand faster and stronger than any social media tool or seminar.

No matter which direction your professional life goes, you’ll always take your reputation with you.  So ask yourself – what do I want to be known for?

5. Give, Give, Give

The great Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  I’ve noticed the more I give unconditionally to others, I’m somehow supplied with everything I need.  This doesn’t mean you should go around helping people with an expectation of getting something in return. Your spirit of giving should remain pure with “no strings attached.”  But don’t be surprised if unexpected blessing show up in your life.

6. Focus on Self Growth

It can be a scary thing to look deep inside yourself and face who you really are.  Most people look away or distract themselves by accumulating “toys”, chasing praise or pursuing pleasure.  But in order to grow you must first accept who you are and where you need to change.  2012 was a year of deep change for me, but it was much needed work that only I could do.  Everyone has fears, issues, and things that hold them back, but have the choice to face those fears or walk away.  I suggest making 2013 the year of facing your fears.

7. Invest in Yourself

Investing in healthy foods and coaches for both fitness and business will have a massive ROI.  We are products of what we consume, so pay close attention to the foods you eat, the books your read and people your hang around with.  Your goal should be to become the best version of yourself and it’s impossible to do that without investing in yourself.

8. Relationships Are Everything

Maintaining strong relationships is important, but you’ve got to be picky with the types of people you’re building a relationship with.  Are they holding you back or are they supportive of your efforts and pursuing their own growth as well?  The last thing you need in your life is someone who makes you feel like crap for trying to move your life forward.  So be honest with yourself and with others and let people know exactly what you need and what you are willing to give in any type of relationship.  Distance yourself from those that aren’t supporting you, and focus more on those that do.

9. Show Others You Care

Theodore Roosevelt said “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Here’s a secret – I’ve never been the smartest guy in the room.  I didn’t have best grades in high school, and it took me almost 7 years to graduate college.  But I learned very quickly that people care more about who YOU are, once the feel you care about who they are and what they want.

I’m happy to share my success with others and I do my best to demonstrate I truly care about the hopes and dreams of my audience.

Every human being has hopes, fears and struggles.  You might be surprised with some of the things I struggle with and I’m sure I’d be surprised with with some of your struggles too. So the way I see it – we’re in this together.

10. Be Grateful

There’s no such thing as too much gratitude.  We should never underestimate the power of gratitude in our lives, nor should we stop finding things to be grateful for.  Every luxury, comfort and freedom you enjoy today is a result of someone else’s courage and innovation in the past.

Continue to focus on being happy for the things you have and stop paying attention to the selfish voices in your head that point out the places you lack.

As I mentioned earlier, your goal should be to create the best version of yourself, so don’t go chasing anyone else’s dreams and don’t allow yourself to be controlled by your own fears and emotions.

We’re in this together. Let’s crush 2013.

##

What’s your big fear you want to overcome and the big goal you want to accomplish in 2013?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below and lets make in an amazing year! 

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42 comments
Cris V
Cris V

Wow! I really identify with your lessons because it’s what I’m learning in 2013. I know I have a long way to go and it’s only the beginning, but I want to see what will happen next. Thank you for sharing your lessons! Enjoy life :)

Isola
Isola

Thank you :)

cjmccoach
cjmccoach

Great simple list.  I wouldn't change anything.

 

I would suggest that everyone starts with gratitude and here's why.

 

Gratitude shapes your perspective and this is the lens through which you see the world.

 

A grateful and abundant mindset leads to a clear and calm mind. This helps you make better decisions which is the foundation upon all success.

 

ChefKatelyn
ChefKatelyn

Awesome. I 100% approve of CrossFit, and firmly believe that, YES, it is the workout of choice for entrepreneurs. My take on it: It teaches you self-discipline, and combines the best ways possible to work your body -- and everyone knows that body and mind are connected.

 

Great recap, and great lessons. Here's to an incredible 2013!

Michal Lusk
Michal Lusk

Thanks for the practical wisdom on moving forward. As my brother said, "2012 was a bitch!" Looking for personal growth and positive change in 2013!

katlessin
katlessin

Lewis I loved your raw honesty and vulnerability in this post.  2012 was the year of overcoming my own fears as well. In December I hired a business/wealth coach (overcoming my hang ups and fear around money and wealth) and we are rockin it in the short time we have been working together.  

 

This year is the year of relentless focus.  I am only focusing on 2 goals until they are achieved this year.  My 2 goals are 1) to keep improving my health journey (making more progress in addition to that of last year.) 2) Add 12 new coaching clients this year. No joke right after I typed this a prospect called me...the power of intention never ceases to amaze me!

ScottBrit
ScottBrit

Great post Lewis. I particularly really enjoyed your point on "relationships are everything" and how important it is to to embrace those that care about you.

 

My big fear of 2013 I'd like to overcome is the fear of focusing on the wrong things. I hope to accomplish this by being a more diligent and intentional planner instead of being so reactionary.

jhcorcoran
jhcorcoran

Hey Lewis -- first of all, happy new year. I just got done writing my own annual review for my blog and one of the key points I harped on was your point of "Give, give, give." I agree that if you give, you will get back. People want to support others who are generous. 

CarolRosenbergGiambri
CarolRosenbergGiambri

Great post.  Reading "Fuel Your Body with Amazing Nutrition" I always believed you can be the most successful business person in the world, but once you lose one of the greatest gifts--your health--you can be robbed fast of all you saved or strived for.  Also a healthy mindset can help propel you to "fuel" up. I find many don't understand what amazing nutrition really means so time for me to educate them. Even my senior dog needs amazing nutrition, gets that from me and probably eats better than most humans. She is a strong "voice" in my living--seeing her healthy, even through her challenges,  and happy!

livingabstracts
livingabstracts

How lovely of you to share this and I hope that 2013 is a much better year than 2012 for you.  I'd love to have 10,000 subscribers to my new newsletter (there are precisely zero now), which may be impossible, but if you think big it's amazing how much you can achieve. I get scared all the time and think it's a natural part of being human. It just doesn't stop me doing what I want to do. 

AndreeaAyers
AndreeaAyers

What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing this and I totally agree about taking care of your body first. If you don't have that, you don't have anything!

Mynders Glover
Mynders Glover

Lewis, I love how everything on your top 10 Lessons have the theme of  "Come from within, so you can extend yourself better outwardly into the world." Sounds like you had quite a year!...Mynders

ChristineHarrisTherapy
ChristineHarrisTherapy

I love that your #1 Lesson is about Balancing Your Emotions + making 5/10 mins. everyday to quiet oneself thru deep breathing &/ meditation & you'll be flyin' it!

 

ReneeBauerHeigel
ReneeBauerHeigel

I had a similar experience with my year and I really resonated with this post. Thank you Lewis for sharing yourself. Cheers to an increduble 2013!

CarmeliaRay
CarmeliaRay

Hi Lewis, I love what you've shared here. It's inspired me to write my own 2012 lessons which include many highs and lows. It's remarkable and amazing to me, how reading so many of YOUR lessons are like reading some of my own for 2012. Somehow we all have this notion that we're in it "alone." You feel like others can't relate; yet I'm reminded every day how my struggles are shared by many, and are far less traumatic and challenging than we believe compared to others. My big fear I wish to overcome is to not get overwhelmed with the many goals I've set for myself, as I work towards what people call "financial freedom." I have been guilty of taking on too much at once trying to conquer the world. Note to self "Slay one dragon at a time." Knowing me however, I'll still pick a few fights with others. Lol. My big goal for 2013 is to achieve the ultimate health and fitness goal that I've been "talking" about, and not pushing myself over and above once I've hit a certain level. Why? Because of others saying, "You don't NEED to. You look fine." Allowing the praise of others, dictate my fitness goals has only caused my own disappointment in the past, for not getting to where I wanted to be. I'm with you on making 2013 an amazing year!! Day 1 was already more than I could have dreamed for. #crush2013

RalphKooi
RalphKooi

Great list to take into 2013.Loving the content in the creativeLife course.. so so awesome!  Wish you all the success for 2013!  

paulpallesen
paulpallesen

Great insights Lewis, thanks for sharing from the heart.   One of my biggest fears is not living up to my own expectations and not having the confidence to do what is necessary to make my business succeed.  But I do believe this year, 2013, is going to be the best year yet in all areas of my life.  Thanks for the inspiration Lewis, you seem like a truly genuine guy. 

conradfly
conradfly

Love this post - I agree with everything. This is great advice for all.

LisaZaccaria
LisaZaccaria

I loved your post Lewis! I feel very connected to everything you wrote ... simple yet powerful lessons. Keep inspiring! 

Tami Davis
Tami Davis

What a great article Lewis. You are truly an inspiration for others and a great coach to help motivate others to reach & realize their own potential. Here's to great success in 2013!

deniseoberry
deniseoberry

Lots of heart in this post Lewis. That seems to be what I have observed about you for quite some time as I've watched you around the web -- a few years actually. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Eli Call
Eli Call

Love it bro!!! Thanks for sharing those precious words

Joshua Sprague
Joshua Sprague

Great stuff Lewis. I love the idea of making 2013 the year of overcoming your fears. Bring it!

Anna Eggleston
Anna Eggleston

however as you know for everyone it is different yet crucial for growth. food for thought.

Nancy Leyes Myrland
Nancy Leyes Myrland

Nice job, Lewis! Showing what you've gone through helps the rest of the human world know they (we) are, indeed, human!

Lewis Howes
Lewis Howes

Anna I talked about self growth... for me that includes Spirituality :)

Elizabeth Hooper
Elizabeth Hooper

Love this. I think the idea of staying focused on the goal and committing to the things that keep you healthy and focused, regardless of what's coming up on a day to day basis, is spot on. It's the difference between looking back on a great year, and looking back on a year filled with distractions.

Michael Cole
Michael Cole

I have been taking more vitamins and eating less fatty west indian foods that make me fall asleep when I get home and get no work done.

Anna Eggleston
Anna Eggleston

really good stuff lewis. did i miss the spiritual piece though?

ChrisMcKenzie
ChrisMcKenzie

" Every luxury, comfort and freedom you enjoy today is a result of someone else’s courage and innovation in the past." --awesome, Lewis. Right now my biggest fear is not having enough time to meet all my 2013 Goals, and my biggest goal is to Crush my 2013 Goals...all of em! I'm so grateful to have met you and your trusted team in Seattle! Thank You man!

Aymee Corzo Buckhannon
Aymee Corzo Buckhannon

Really great article Lewis. The first one I've read in 2013. Interesting mention on crossfit for entrepreneurs. I'll have to read more about that. Happy New Year!

LewisHowes
LewisHowes moderator

 @CarmeliaRay my good friend Carl White would say to finish one bridge at a time instead of having a ton of half built bridges you can never walk across.

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  1. [...] improving. I ran into an article by a  recent creativeLIVE instructor, Lewis Howes. He posted a list of the top 10 things he learned in 2012, many of which are in line with my goals and feelings [...]

  2. [...] Childrens “Wellness” Visits My Feed“Social Media Today” “The New Social Media” “Social Media News Today”Looking backwards and looking forwards, what did we learn from 2012 and what do we need to learn? I [...]

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