The First Year Is The Hardest.

Today’s Lesson: Happy anniversary! This post marks one year of daily lessons! If I can do it…

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This is my 365th “Lesson of the Day”, marking a full year of lessons I have shared every day!

When I started this experiment, I tentatively set one year as my goal, having no idea if I would be able to reach it, considering the boundaries I also set. Each lesson had to stand on its own. A lesson could not be a fact I read and simply repeated (like a daily science fact or something similar). I had to be able to apply each lesson to more than one area in life, not just something specific like car mechanics (unless I could turn that into a life lesson). Finally, each lesson had to be something I learned (or was reminded of) within the last 24-48 hours of living.

I did make one or two exceptions for a “theme” week where I broke one really big lesson down into five bite-size pieces but, mostly, I followed the format I created.

I am tossing around ideas on what I will do next with the blog but, for now, I will continue posting a lesson I have learned each day.

Here is a 3-for-1 to celebrate. Three lessons I have learned from writing 365 lessons:

1. The biggest lesson I learned from post 365 is straightforward: …you can do it. It is a cliché, but true, nonetheless. If you set your mind to it (and if you really want to do it), you can accomplish things you think you can’t.

There were definitely days where I had to struggle to find the lesson, replaying the entire day in my mind, trying to find one useful nugget. There were other days where I could not remember all the lessons learned that day! I wonder how many good ones were lost to the wind? Somehow, some way, I made the time almost every day (there were a few I wrote ahead due to scheduling conflicts) and did what I set out to do. Often, posts were being written between meetings or while standing in line at the grocery store, typing furiously on my phone.

2. Maybe the best skill I have gained from doing this, so far, is learning to listen for the lesson in each day. I see every day as a learning opportunity now, and I feel like fewer days speed by without offering value. When I go to bed each night, I know I contributed something new to myself that day. It is a good feeling, but when you think about it, there is another lesson hidden in there. How different do you think you would be as a person if you added 365 new insights to your life? I might look and sound similar but there is no way, after 365 lessons, I am the same person I was a year ago.

3. I have learned the power of consistency. Doing something every day, even when some days are not your best work, ensures one thing: you did something every day. It is unlikely my skills at learning, writing, and editing (quickly) have not improved from consistent practice and commitment each day. Also, no matter how poorly the rest of the day might have gone, I know I produced at least one thing that added value to the world.

Incidentally, we are at about the half-way point of the year (when I first posted this). What is the rest of your year going to look like? Is there something you have been shy about committing to each day but you know will ultimately help you be the person you want to become?

All I can tell you is, learning or doing something to make yourself or your world better every day (even if it is just typing a few words) is more powerful than watching the world and thinking somebody should do something someday. 

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Michael Salamey

People are made of many things, but only a few things define a person. For me, those things are Philosophy, Leadership, and Health. I help independently owned and ethically run businesses break through communication obstacles and challenge conventional thinking. Sometimes that means delivering insightful marketing content; sometimes it means having tough but compassionate conversations. All the time, it means communicating and building relationships with honesty and integrity. I am a vegan, an individualist, and occasionally a man willing to risk everything to reach a goal. I am known for being uncompromising in my values, and for being someone who dares to own his own life.