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2023's lesson list

Every year I keep a running list in the Idea cabinet of the lessons or insights I have had shared with me or I've realized over the year. Here is the list for 2023


  1. Always pack books when you go on a trip. Take more than you think you can read. You can mix up what you read, share them with other readers. Got an old book you want to regift? Leave it on the hotel bookshelf.

  2. Selfcompassion.org - remember it - you'll find it helpful on your dark days

  3. Find a tool to help you unlock your own unconscious wisdom.

    1. Tarot

    2. I Ching

    3. Calm Clarity cards

    4. Oblique strategies

    5. The Serendipity Engine (I made this one myself!)

  4. Howwefeel.org: Put a name on your emotions!

  5. Go to the library every now and again, find the poetry section, chose a volume at random and read a few to yourself

  6. Travelling? Tag your checked bags with stickers, ribbons or some other unique identifier - and check the tag when you take the bag of the carousel!

  7. Volunteer in your community, even better, offer support to other volunteers (ever thought about who cheers the cheerleaders?)

  8. If family member, friend, colleague even a stranger looks nice (hair, clothes, smile) tell them - pay them a compliment

  9. Instead of asking "how are you?" ask "how's your heart" and see the difference in response

  10. Food is medicine. I am not a doctor, but I do know what I eat directly correlates to my mood and energy levels. Research that relationship, you'll be amazed

  11. Relating to the above. Whatever you eat, wait 2 hours and see how it makes you feel - energetic? Lethargic?

  12. Naps should come in 2 durations - up to 30 minutes or 90 minutes (there is science and sleep cycle data behind those two numbers) both will leave you feeling rested

  13. The best questions in the world count for nothing if you are not listening to the answer

  14. Try the Slow Radio BBC podcast (it's on Spotify) for the sounds of wind, water, birds, cityscapes and more. A wonderful selection of audio wallpaper to punctuate your work day!

  15. Take a day once or twice a year to be a tourist in your own city. Have breakfast in a fancy hotel, take a tour, go to the top of a big building or see the waterfall or visit the most popular gallery

  16. Build a habit in 5 days https://tinyhabits.com/

  17. When you read a book, reflect on what you read at the end of each chapter and take notes on what stands out for you. After that, look for ways to apply what you've read and (stretch goal) try and explain / teach / discuss what you've read with a colleague, friend.

  18. Block your calendar for the things you need to get done - personally and professionally. Each acts as a reminder and creates a space for you to get sh!t done

  19. Building on the above, invest in yourself. Take a class, build a product, grow a side hustle, but keep on learning

  20. Travelling? Carry photos of all your important documents (passport, driver's license, other ID, visa, vaccination certificates etc.) Bonus suggestion - take photos of your checked baggage too

  21. Learn a few quotes - choose the ones that resonate with you. They might be a line from a poet or sonnet, a lyric by your favorite artist or a pithy phrase from a thinker, philosopher, scientist or entertainer. Each can punctuate and enliven a presentation or discussion. And the more you remember the better you get

  22. Always listen attentively especially when you

    1. think you know the answer

    2. disagree with the point being made

    3. dislike the person speaking

    4. believe you know what the speaker is about to say

  23. In your email, purge your subscriptions regularly - paid and unpaid. It's immensely satisfying and saves you cognitive load - and money - in the long term

  24. You'll likely never go as fast as you expected on a project, but showing up every day gets you results

  25. Listening to someone is one of the greatest gifts you can offer them

  26. My inbox is not my to do list

  27. Regularly pause and look back at what you've been working on, you'll be amazed at the progress you've made

  28. Set a budget for self-development - it could be a financial commitment "X number of dollars for the year" or a time commitment "Y numbers of hours studying <insert subject>"

  29. Take 5 minutes once a week to write a thank you note / email to someone your interact with who deserves recognition for what they do

  30. Glimmers are the opposite of triggers. Start listing your glimmers and use them for a soft reset during your day should you need a boost

  31. Repair is a great concept to learn and embody See more here (hint it's NOT just about parenting) Becky Kennedy: The single most important parenting strategy

  32. Freeze a couple of dozen red or green grapes in your freezer. If you need to chill white wine that is too warm use 2-3 grapes instead of ice - avoiding diluting the time and leaving crunchy sweet snack at the bottom of every glass!

  33. Feeling down? Set a timer on your phone for 2 minutes. Open the photo album on your phone and scroll through your pictures and videos until the timer goes off. How do you feel now?

  34. Anytime you decide to use a free trial of an app or a website, you can cancel the trail immediately after signing up and still use the trial until the week / month / time period has ended!

  35. Start your journal entry first thing in the morning and keep it with you all day to provide you a spot to note the ideas, inspirations and insights that occur to you as the day progresses



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