What did 2022 Teach You?

There is no year that I have looked forward to the most, than 2023. Mostly, because 2022 was a really intense year and if I am being very honest, I was burnt out before I made it to Q3 2022. For the past two months, I have been on a strategic silence,not so silent obviously as I have had quite a significant number of professional engagements. However, I decided to take time off formal employment to allow my mind to be still. I was more overwhelmed than exhausted and as I left New York to explore a different journey, I felt that I needed clarity that only time away from regular programming could give.

In these two months, I slept 8-12 hours on most nights, re-connected with family and friends, consulted friends, experts and mentors, sat in silence alone more times than I have in my adult life. Whether it was at the beach, or in my bedroom, having to sit there with nothing but my thoughts helped me understand and learn from the year that was. 

Building community has always been and is my biggest motivation for the work I do, and I want to keep doing that, in as many ways I can. Here are some of the lessons from 2022:

Your body, heart and mind are your most powerful vessels. None more important than the other so build your physical, mental, emotional and intellectual power to carry you through the different days of your life. 

The world needs you NOW as YOU ARE, not the version of yourself you aspire to be, not the washed down version, or the past version of you that you think was better. Sure, we can always be and do better, but right here right now, what is most important is that you SHOW UP.

Being true to yourself and values will cost you so much. Yet, the freedom we so work towards calls us to do so. Know that it is okay if you are not ready for a scary move,decision, opportunity, there are no expectations that should matter other than the ones you set for yourself. 

Inexperienced does not make you Worthless and Rejection does not make you Incompetent. Understand this soon enough so you don’t take your Ls personally. 

Not all your ideas are great, however, some of the ideas you have had that were rejected or talked down upon are great, they just got the wrong audience.

Cultivate a reputation that precedes you.

Build relationships with people by taking a genuine interest in them and their lives. Play the long term game with the people in your life. It’s a long journey and the connection you make today may pay out in 10 years, but only if you start now.

Don’t compare yourself with others. I know, I know, it’s like a broken record hearing this, but hey, you don’t have enough information about others to inform your comparative opinion and besides, we learn, grow and bloom differently.

The journey is long, with no real destination. Think about going on a long road trip to a place you have never heard before. You have to rely on maps, vibes and InshaAllah to get there. What would make it memorable? A great car, a good friend or two to talk to on the way, a fire playlist, a couple of stops on the way to eat, fuel your car, take a bathroom break. As in that road trip so is the journey of life. I cannot say this enough…Take enough breaks, in your everyday activities and in life. Pause. You won’t know how far you have gone if you don’t stop to look back. You won’t know if you’re headed in the right direction if you don’t pause to check your map.

Document and proudly own your work. This is your life’s work, the fruit of your efforts and the reference for your existence centuries down the line when we will be dead and forgotten. 

Start before you’re ready. Start today. Learning as you go is the most sustainable way of working on your goals. Acknowledge that there is no mastery without practice. And practice has falls and fails. So fail…

Most importantly, remember to have fun. Having fun doesn’t come easy or cheap. You’ll always have work to do, places to be at, meetings to attend to, there is always money you could be making instead of dancing on Tiktok or going on a picnic with friends. Still, do these things, because that’s ultimately why we exist. Days are long, but years are short and before you know it, 2024 will be here. Live joyously.

Do you have any lessons to add? Let me know in the comments section



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