The previous Great NEWS post was on Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription Part 2 and as another year winds down today we share Life Lessons Learned in 2012. Hopefully your year was better than mine.  2012 unfolded with quite a roller coaster ride and many hard knocks which provided me the opportunity of many life lessons learned in 2012.  Many people have shared they also endured quite a bit of emotional strain and stress.  While there are still  a lot of questions and unknown about the predictions for 2012 and beyond it is safe to say that we are in for a lot of change, challenges and confusion in the near future.  Many people are concerned about where things are headed due to the economy and global shifts taking place.  This blog is designed to share 21 tough Life Lessons Learned in 2012 and help you benefit from these experiences in order to avoid much of the pain and suffering in the future and enjoy more pleasure in your future.

Consider the following suggestions:

1. Be careful of the identity you choose for yourself. It is easy to become so caught up in your identity that you allow it to block new choices, control your life and prevent you from growing. Review and revise your identity each year with the intention to be even more open to your higher self.  Determine what areas are working well and those that can benefits from modifications and focus on creating the best you possible.

2. Be careful of assumptions, situations and things you may take for granted believing they will last and work out. Life is constantly changing and things can turn upside down in a heartbeat. The past is a memory, the present is here and now and the future is unknown. Live each moment as if it may be your last one and understand that you are co-creating your own destiny and reality. Never say never because you may end up eating your words.  Be open to all the messages the universe sends your way.

3. Procrastination is like a slow poison that can rob you of your dignity and quality of life. Putting important things off until the last minute causes excess strain and stress. Use your desires and dreams to serve as leverage to get the important things done first. Them reward yourself for the determination, discipline and drive that empowers you with powerful progress by celebrating and enjoying yourself. Getting things done builds your self esteem and self worth.

4. Important life lessons, messages and warnings come in three’s. Be alert and aware when you feel, hear or see a common theme, aha moment or comments that happen three times close together. Tune into your gut feelings which show up as insights, instincts and intuition for guidance because your gut is considered your second brain and provides valuable guidance and wisdom.

5. It is only a matter of time before one of your hard drives in your camera, computer, smart phone or technology devices will crash and lose valuable data. Data recovery can be a very expensive, frustrating and time consuming process. Set up an automatic data back up system to replicate your data weekly and protect your valuable data and pictures.

6. A video camera is one of the very best investments a family can make. Use it to capture magic moments with family and friends to share with others. It is also a great tool to capture behavior and language patterns that you and others may not be aware of. Children and students can learn many valuable lessons and skills by using a video camera as a feedback and teaching tool. Be sure when you are filming or taking pictures of your children you are aware of the amount of time and number of times each child is photographed or videoed.  It may cause issues later on if one child is more prevalent and another one is obviously more absent from the family photo history.

7. Technology is great when used for making life easier and more efficient. Avoid becoming a slave to high tech devices, distractions and gadgets. Pay a young tech geek to help you with your computer, smart phone and video camera to save frustration and time. One of the most dangerous habits is talking for long periods while driving and texting and driving is very dangerous.  Hands free driving is preferred over holding a cell phone and the shorter the conversation the better and safer. Too many people have become a slave to technology and as a result have lost the personal contact and connection that is essential for quality relationships.

8. Many people talk about being worried about the economy and their job security.  Start training yourself for mental resiliency and new skills now.  Consider turning your hobby, passion, projects and purpose into a profitable part time business. A home based business offers the benefits of a great business tax deduction, supplemental income and write off for travel. Steady residual income is fantastic for creating wealth and peace of mind. Rather than sit back and worry begin creating a mastery action plan with multiple options to insure your financial security and peace of mind.  Find ways to stop spending money for stuff that your really do not need and start investing in your future and saving for your financial freedom.  Cutting credit card debt, frivolous luxuries and unnecessary expenditures are the first step towards peace of mind and reducing your cost of living.  Create a financial plan and track your progress each month.  Spend less than you earn after taxes and be sure to save for your future retirement as a top priority.  Many people are not even taking advantage of matching contributions to their retirement savings plan.  Read the Richest Man in Babylon for more insights.

9. Use the magic of compounding for accumulating wealth, wellness and wisdom. By investing a small amount of money and time each day towards these areas of your life you can create massive dividends and returns for your long term happiness, health and harmony. Compounding works with all the important things in life such as: attitude, compliments, fitness, gratitude, learning, love, money, nutrition, praise, reading, thank yous and work.  Even Albert Einstein refers to compounding as one of the most powerful forces in the universe.

10. The Law of Cause and Effect is a universal principle where everything we do or do not do puts a cause into motion which will then create various effects as a consequence. Rather than focusing on the effects of what happens once a cause is put into motion we receive the most benefits when we focus on the primary cause our actions set into motion. Said another way we should invest our energy, money and time to create the optimal causes that will drive the direction of our life rather than chasing and reacting to the effects put into motion. Focus on great causes and reap the rewards of better effects. When you stop blaming others for your situation and stop making excuses you can focus your energy and time to direct your actions.

11. The saying that “Leaders are readers” is so true. The more you learn from reading the quicker you will progress in life. Great books for students include: Think and Grow Rich, The Richest Man in Babylon, As a Man Thinketh, Dare to Win, The Aladdin Factor, Unlimited Power, Thinking Bigger, The Power of Focus, Ageless Body Timeless Mind, Seven Habits of Successful People, First Things First and The Power of Positive Thinking.  Parent who read to their children during conception and the early years of development set their children up to be super students and super stars in life.  A book read in a few hours can save you years of trial and error.  Why not leverage the genius of others and accelerate your personal development and self growth.

12. The Dance of Anger and The Five Love Languages are two of the most important books for teens and parents to read and then apply the principles in their family life.  The Dance of Anger discusses the unresolved hurts that eventually turn into anger and how to resolve many of the issues that evolve into major family problems.  It also discusses the importance of children s relationship with their parents and the impact they will have on their relationships with their partners and spouses.  The Five Love Languages discusses the different ways in which people feel appreciated, loved and validated.   This is important to learn early on for healthy relationships.

13. Health is Wealth. Investing in your health is one of the best ways to protect your wealth. Your health is the one thing that ultimately makes everything else in your life possible. Without your health you are dependent on others for your care and well being. The lack of health and resulting health care expenses for hospitals, medical care and medicines is responsible for more personal bankruptcy filings than any other reason. Remember the profound wisdom of Benjamin Franklin who is reported to have said “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man (person) healthy, wealthy and wise”. Most people give up their health in their quest for wealth and then spend all their wealth trying to recover their health.

14. In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) we learn that all influence is based on the quality of your communications. More specifically we learn that our communications have different degrees of content delivery, influence and meaning. NLP research indicates the following factors represent a specific percent of the impact delivered: words 7%, tone 38% and body language 55%. This helps explain why the words are helpful yet they have the least impact and the tone is what often influences people more significantly. How many times do you hear people challenge the tone you use at certain times? Overall body language is the most influential with more than half of the message is determined by the full body signals delivered with a verbal message. Children often remember how that specific look alone was enough to communicate a strong message without a single word being spoken. Therefore it is essential to continually learn and study communication skills and specifically NLP to enhance your awareness and skills regarding the most effective, efficient and influential communications possible.

15. Words send very powerful messages to the universe. Words become things. Words allow us to turn the invisible into the visible. Choosing our words carefully and thoughtfully is an important skill to develop. Conscious communications is an important discipline to learn and master in order to be consciously aware of the intent, meaning and words chosen in communicating with others and self. Unfortunately many people these days say things without a filter or forethought and often use words that have a very dis-empowering or even harmful impact. How many times do you hear people say things like: “That just kills me”, “You are killing me”, “I hate you”, “You are stupid”, “This food is to die for”, “Drop dead”, “He is such an idiot”, “I wish I was dead”, I wish you were dead”, “I’m losing my mind”, “I’m not good at learning, math, reading, science etc.”, “I love shopping”, “I’m not good with saving money”, I need this or that instead of I want this or that”, or Money is the root of all evil”. Take a moment to think of things you say that have a dis-empowering meaning. How can you learn to be more aware and conscious in all your communication with others and yourself?

16. Money is Time and Time is Money. Are you investing your time wisely? Are you trading your time for money working at an hourly rate? Do you do the things that are worth your energy, skills and time and pay others to do the things that are worth less than your time to do them? If you are busy doing something like raking the leaves that a student will gladly do for $7.00 per hour you are not using your time wisely and for the best Return On Investment (ROI). Smart investors always want to get the best ROI possible with their investment.  Determine what your time is really worth and outsource the menial talks that you do not like doing and someone else can do more efficiently for less.  Life is too short to do things you dislike or hate when you could be more profitable and productive.

17. Forgiveness is an important step to healing and reducing stress in the body. Holding on to anger or resentment hurts the person who has that feeling more than the person they are upset with. Most people hear about the need for forgiveness and are not ready to let go of the negative feelings they hold towards another person who did something hurtful. Forgiveness is actually a gift you give to your self to free you from the negative attachment and resentment you may feel like holding on to. You are not doing it for the person who did something wrong to you because it is about letting go so you are truly free from the past and releasing whatever power it might still have over you. Anger and resentment are like a poison that slowly eats away at your body, mind and spirit and robs you of the freedom to choose to forgive and move on.

18. Do you create a written blue print, game plan or action plan with specific goals and outcomes for the important areas of your life? Most people need a written plan to accomplish the smart goals that are the highest priorities. Think of a written mastery action plan as the Google map or GPS system to get you where you want to go in the least amount of time. Know your outcomes for each day, week, month, quarter, year, vacation, trip, holiday, event, school year and other activities and watch the quality of your accomplishments and life soar to new heights.

19. Being present and listening are two of the greatest gifts you can others and yourself. Adults and children alike know when you are really paying attention to them and feel appreciated and important when you do so. By giving these gifts to others they are more likely to do the same for you which will help you feel acknowledged, appreciated and valued.

20. Accidents, bug bites, injuries and other health risks can happen at any time so be prepared with a well stocked first aid kit. When you least expect it that is when an accident or injury can ruin your day, your trip or your life.  The Pareto Principle is also known as the 80/20 rule.  My experience has shown that 80% of accidents, injuries and problems are preventable with prior proper planning and attention to details and safety.  One careless accidental fall caused me massive pain and could have resulted in a broken back.  How many times have you done something stupid that later results in a painful life lesson.  Safety is one of the most important habits to develop and may be one of the least taught life skills.  Being safe is smart and protects your most valuable assets which is your ability to stay healthy, think and work.

21. Human touch is one of the most important senses for emotional, mental and physical health and long term well being. Learning basic massage and reflexology will greatly enhance your enjoyment, health and immune system. Energy psychology is well know for offering great emotional healing and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is one of the most established variations to easily use acupressure and caring words to help others and yourself deal with harmful negative emotions. Can you image the powerful benefits of tapping before you eat and also before going to bed to release negative emotions and enjoy life more.  Hugs are one of the greatest gits you can share with family and friends.  Maybe there should be a minimum daily requirement for hugs to insure your happiness and health.  If no one is around to hug, go find a dog or tree to hug and see how you feel.

This Great NEWS blog post on Life Lessons Learned in 2012 is a collection of my own valuable lessons and those of numerous family, fans, friends and fellow humans traveling on their life journey.  The ups and downs in 2012 have put many people in a  tail spin, caused many whiplashes and pulled the rug out from under people.    While there are still a lot of unanswered questions and unknowns about the predictions regarding 2012 and beyond it is safe to say that we are in for a lot of change, challenges and confusion in the near future.  Many people are concerned about where things are headed due to the economy and global shifts taking place.  This blog is designed to share 21 tough Life Lessons Learned in 2012 and deliver insights to help you benefit from these experiences in order to avoid much of the pain and suffering in the present and enjoy more pleasure in your future.

What is your current Gap?

What are you doing that is causing most of the great challenges in your life?

Mastery Action Plan (MAP)

Create a checklist of the actions and behaviors you know you must implement to create a peak performance body, mind and spirit. Set up a reward system that inspires and motivates you to be even more outstanding in each area of your life.

Call to Action

What comments, commitments or questions do you have regarding Life Lesson Learned?

Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:

Happy New Year – Happy New You