In light of recent tragic events and those that occurred throughout the course of the year, I thought this to be a good time to stop and reflect on what I’ve learned and re-enforced over the past twelve months.  Assuming you read this post, I would love for you to share some of what you’ve learned this year.  We’re all teachers if we choose to be, some of course more heroic for obvious reasons.

Live in the now
While it’s nice to reflect on the past and it’s important to plan for the future, I try not to live in either place (not for long at least). Now more than ever, I understand the senselessness and potential danger of wasting precious time and energy on things over which I have zero control. It is an ongoing challenge to learn to love the now, to be in the moment and to have a greater level of realization, awareness and gratitude for what I have and where I am in this very moment. Some people are so stressed about, and preoccupied with, the future – and angry and bitter about the past – that they never allow themselves to appreciate or enjoy the now.

Things have the meaning you give them

It’s true; we create our own reality. My reality being what happens in that place between my ears or turban. While the good, bad and ugly will continue to happen to me and around me, I will continue to choose how I interpret, how I process and how I react to the various situations, circumstances, happenings and events of my world (My daughter does this far more eloquently on her blog – cheap plug: and mind you, she is only 10). For the most part hard or easy, problem or opportunity, catastrophe or challenge, major drama or life-changing lesson is about how we as a society interpret the events of our world (the meaning we give them) and our subsequent choices and behavior.

We’re all flawed… and that’s okay
Perfection obsession is destructive, painful and largely commercially driven. But then perhaps I say that because I’m so flawed (ask my wife).  While we are always asking questions, learning new things, setting goals and exploring our potential, we should be intensely aware of our overall level of dysfunction. It is called being human. I know how many of you think I am perfect – cough cough, so I’m sorry to disappoint. Aiming for improvement is healthy. Aiming for perfection is destructive because for one it’s unachievable and two, it leads to frustration, desperation and poor(er) self-esteem. The sooner we stop idolizing the affluent, the surgically enhanced and the famous, the better. Now before you inundate me with hate mail… no, not all surgically-enhanced, rich, famous people are miserable. But then, I don’t really know. And yes, it’s possible to be simultaneously flawed and outwardly happy and content. That, I do know.

Life is to be treasured
I know we shouldn’t need to re-learn this lesson but the tragic shooting that just happened at Sandy Hook Elementary few days ago gives you no option but to re-learn it once again. When we step away from the day-to-day distractions, minor problems and fluff, we have so much to celebrate, yet the good stuff (life, health, family, friends) so often gets over-looked, if not, forgotten completely. Reach out and hug someone today already will ya!

Accept people, places, things, and life as a whole
When you accept yourself, other people, things, places and situations as they are—not as you’d wish them to be—life is much easier. It’s only when you’re trying to change people or situations that tend to upset us. This year, I found that once I stopped trying to change others, they felt free to be themselves around me, and I could see the beauty in their being. When I accepted life as it is, I stop resisting and use my energies on those things that actually benefit from my input. So much more gratifying!

So there it is: an “Instagram” of what life has taught me in 2012. I would love to hear some of the lessons you’ll take away from 2012. Let’s inspire, uplift and encourage.

Type away, “What I have learned in 2012 is……..”

What's your opinion?