Every year brings lessons – some good, some bad, and I wanted to share some of the main ones I’ve learned so far. I’m quite sure you’ve heard of some of these lessons, but sometimes you just need some one to remind you of certain things and hopefully I can do that here today.
It’s important to be grateful for each and every year that teaches you something new. Here are the 10 things I’ve learned in 2016…
1. You Have To Put In The Work
Nothing worth having comes easy and nothing will come without putting in the work. It’s really as simple as that. If you want something, you’re going to have to work for it. No excuses.
2. People Change
People will always come to your life to teach you something, but they may not always be there. People will surprise you with their capacity to change. People will surprise you with their capacity to change you. Just learn from them and let go, never feel attached. Sometimes, the best support system you can have is yourself and your ability to find strength from within.
3. Be Creative
I think it became clearer to me this year, that it’s a beautiful part of who we are to create in some way. We are created in God’s image and just look at His creation! Creating and making are built into us, it energizes and refreshes us. Something as simple as cooking can be so fulfilling. Find your thing. Try new things! Whether it’s music or designing. God delights in our creativity and gives us ideas when we exercise it.
4. Children Change Our Lives
When you have a baby you’re absolutely and wholly consumed by it. Starting the year as a new mum totally changed me. Now, I must think about my son before making any major decision. I’ve learnt what it really means to put a person’s needs above my own.
5. The Storm Will Pass
Sometimes, we get so consumed by the tough times we are facing, but just at the right time, God sends help our way. I’ve learnt in no little way this year that the darkest hour is just before the dawn.
6. The Little Things Matter
How much money you have, what you weigh, how many followers you have on Social Media… that’s not the real value of happiness. A simple hello, a warm smile, a family moment… that is truly priceless! What really matters is the number of hours in the day and what you choose do with those hours. You’ll always be able to find value in other things but the true value comes from making the most of all the things that you are, right now.
7. You Deserve To Be Proud Of Your Achievements
I think that’s one thing that I neglected to do. I was so busy on other things: Reviews, Festivals, Awards, Lists… I forgot the simple fact that I directed and produced a socially relevant movie that is touching lives around the world. People have watched my movies. They’re still watching my movies. That’s something. And no matter how good or bad it does, no one will ever take away the memories of working with my amazing team, or my husband hugging me, telling me how proud he is.
8. I Am A Speaker
This year, I’ve had several opportunities to speak in front of world leaders, governors, first ladies, social influencers, couples, youth, students and many more like never before. For years I’ve described myself as “a filmmaker who sometimes speaks.” I still see myself as a creative person first, but this year I’ve come to accept being a speaker doesn’t have to look just one way. It doesn’t have to mean I speak in stadiums to crowds of thousands and it doesn’t have to mean I have to be super polished. From speaking to small audiences to high profile international platforms, my voice has been amplified like never before.
9. Open Your Heart
The good and thing about living and loving with an open heart is that you’re open to receiving everything. You’re open and raw and vulnerable. But here’s the catch: you’re not open and raw and vulnerable so that people around you have power. You’re open and raw and vulnerable so that you can step into your own power.
10. Health Is Wealth
You’ve definitely heard this one before. The problem is, few of us act on this information. This year I have been proactive in taking care of my health. By simply improving on my diet and choosing healthier food, I’ve seen a significant improvement in my health. Compare that with spending thousands in hospital bills and it’s worth it! Feeling healthy is awesome, and it’s cheaper than being sick.
These are my lessons, I’d love to read yours. What important lessons have you learnt this year? Let’s reflect on 2016 and share our experiences.