10 Things 2017 Taught Me


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  1. A simple conversation can save a relationship.

I am a very observant person.  Throughout the year, I have watched as friendships have soured over some minute conflict.  It’s really unfortunate.  Especially being that everyone is an adult.  There are very few people who can earn the title of Friend or Family.  When you find someone that does, do all that you can to resolve whatever petty issue you may have.  The sooner we do that, the sooner we can begin creating amazing memories again.  Sadly, I’m guilty of not initiating these much needed simple conversations.  To those that have been affected by my lack of initiating I offer my sincere apology and promise that I will be the initiator going forward.

  1. You cannot teach principle without living principle.

Our actions speak far more loudly than our words.  With maturing we understand that the statement, “Do as I say and not as I do” is no longer a valid statement.  There are few things more powerful than when our actions and our words are on one accord.  The best teachers explain principle while simultaneous putting principle on display.

  1. It is hard to work under an unwilling leader.

A true leader desires to equip and train their team to be self-sufficient.  The goal is that in their absence, nothing within the current program falls apart.  A true leader delegates work, but doesn’t pawn their work off on their team.   They are both fully knowledgeable and functional in their role.  A true leader accepts responsibility for, as well as shares the accolades with their team.  Much like any other team, if one isn’t functioning in their area properly, it leads to frustration.   It leaves you with a disgruntle team and an uncomfortable environment.

  1. It is hard leading an unwilling worker.

A true leader invests their all into the development of the team members.  For a member to be on the team, the leader had to see something in that member.  It becomes extremely disheartening when the team member doesn’t reciprocate the effort presented to them.  Once a leader has exhausted all of their energy into the betterment of a team member to no avail, there is no more use for that member on the team.

  1. You can’t unlock your future without resolving the issues of your past.

In an effort to pursue personal passions in life, I often have to put my passions on a back burner.  I’ve made some unwise decisions in the past that I have ignored, tried to escape, wanted to run away from.  Despite all of my efforts, my past repeatedly chases me down.  You’d think I’d understood this principle the first time I experienced it.  But like most, I’m hard headed and at times I could easily be the picture beside the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over expecting different results).  I had to decide to stop running.  I had to stop avoiding.  Carrying burdens of the past is hard and heavy.  I refuse to do that through another year.  I (much like you) have so many gifts locked up inside of me.  But our gifts were never meant to be imprisoned.  My potential will not go to waste from the fear of dealing with the past.   You reach a point in life where not meeting your potential is far more fearful of anything you have to face from yesterday.  Resolve and move forward.

  1. Habits are everything.

Habits can be good, or they can be bad.  Habits can be beneficial, or they can be damaging.  Habits can be changed, or they can remain the same.  Though, no matter what the habit is, it is you that decides what it is.  We must constantly and honestly review our habits.  If they don’t bring an enhancement, it would be wise to replace them habits that will.

  1. Just because something is real doesn’t mean that everyone sees it.

This year has been plagued with controversy and division.  There are many issues in this world.  Race in particular has been a long lingering ugly issue in the United States.  But I’ve learn that just because an experience is real to one doesn’t make it real to another.  No matter how hard one tries to make another understand, if it’s not their desire to understand, they never will.  What I haven’t learned is how to respond to the one that desires not to understand.  That to me is the conundrum of our country.  We will have to find the solution, or implode, whichever comes first.

  1. Reading/knowledge is the key to freedom

One of my absolute favorite passages comes from the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  Douglass says, “From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom.”  You may say, “What’s so great about that quote?”  It’s not the quote itself that I love; it’s the moment that birthed the quote that has me mesmerized.

To paint the picture, Mrs. Auld, the wife of Mr. Douglass’ master was teaching him how to read.  When Mr. Auld became aware of what was going on, he was burning with anger.  To paraphrase Thomas Auld, “If you give him an opportunity, he will make the most of it.  It would forever unfit him to be a slave…It would make him discontented and unhappy.”  Again that’s a paraphrasing, a much nicer one.  These words generate thoughts too abundant for my purpose.

My point is, Knowledge Is Freedom.  Once you gain the information that is needed, nothing can stop you from accomplishing what you want to accomplish, with the exception of you.

  1. Your time is what you make it, get the most out of it.

There are not many things in life that are distributed equally.  In fact, there is really only one thing that comes to mind; time.  Not in the sense of the number of years, more in the number of hours in a day.  This is not principle, but it’s one that is worth learning and relearning over and over again.  One’s time management shows exactly what’s important to you.  Make the most of it.  It is perhaps the only thing that is fair.

  1. If God has called you to it, you can’t escape it.

Trying to escape your purpose is about as pointless as hiding a flame under a sheet of paper.  Who you are can’t be hidden.  The need of fulfilling your purpose will eat away at you daily.  Work towards purpose on purpose as fulfillment satisfies your soul.

Love you, be blessed – AWS 12.19.17


One thought on “10 Things 2017 Taught Me

  1. Fine sir, thank you for this fine writing and very wise words. Is it ok to share this on my FB? I am excited about your upcoming year and all the things you will accomplish. There is so much greatness in you! Your pen is amazing and the world needs to be exposed to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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