Most birthdays, I take time to reflect on the previous year — jot down a few takeaways — the laughs and the lessons that give me the oomph — to embrace the next chapter. Call it wisdom, or some other indicator of age, but, from now on, I will be investing the majority of my time into looking forward. I do not want to dismiss reflecting; I will still do it often. I just have so much to look forward to — this next volume has to be dedicated to destinations only. I do however, still have a few hand selected gems accompanying me for the ride that I wanted to share. I hope you will find a few in the mix and add them to your collection. Here are 40 jewels I’ve acquired, treasure, and will lean on moving forward to make this new decade, extra sweet:

  1. Who are you and what are you doing here? You need an answer to this question. It may be circumstantial or purely based on where you are in life, but have an answer. It is my #1 takeaway from business school (#foreverDuke).
  2. Talk to God; do not hold anything back. If you can not answer the question above, a spiritual practice is the only suggestion that I have. I don’t care if you sit around and eat lollipops to take you there; establish a spiritual practice. You cannot co-create the life you were intended to live without one.
  3. There is no limit on how many times you can try again.
  4. Own your feelings; they are yours. No one MADE you feel that way. Your feelings are the result of the way you mentally process things that happen to you. These processes were conditioned over time for whatever reason; you have the power to change them. When you really get this; I promise, it will change your life.
  5. If you have a tremendous amount of responsibility, wake up at whatever time of day allows you to absorb an ample amount of stillness. I recommend at least 1 hour. It sounds impossible, but you can do it. Everyone in your life will thank you.
  6. Integrity is in short supply; hang on to yours. It will keep your soul on fire.
  7. When you find yourself wanting to hang onto the grains of time; sit in that moment. For me, it feels like sand seeping through my fingers. It is bittersweet but man — that is living.
  8. Your parents did everything they knew how to do, with the tools that they were given. Honor that, thank God for them, and know that it was exactly what you needed to be great. Go be great.
  9. Love is a verb, don’t let anyone tell you any different.
  10. If you wished people knew you better, let them.
  11. There’s a delicate balance to strike between massive action and patience. If you keep getting it wrong, you’re on the right path.
  12. As a woman, there’s nothing I love more than aging. I don’t care what the world thinks about it.
  13. Talk less; do more.
  14. Know your value; it is inherent and has nothing to do with your net-worth.
  15. There are no timelines or boxes to check. Define happiness on your own terms; get creative.
  16. Buy the good champagne.
  17. Keep your car clean, inside and out.
  18. Family should be a source of love and support; it has nothing to do with names. If you don’t have that, build it. Start with you.
  19. Home should be a place of peace and restoration; it has nothing to do with size. If you don’t have that, build it. Start with you.
  20. De-clutter, purge, say goodbye to things, often.
  21. People cannot destroy you , but they will try — especially when they do not know the answer to #1.
  22. Go somewhere you’ve never been before.
  23. Eat the bread but sweat a little.
  24. Life will affirm when you are on the right path.
  25. Faith often feels like fear mobilized.
  26. You can radically change your life for better or worse; choose wisely.
  27. Read an actual book, you have time.
  28. Do nothing, occasionally.
  29. Knowledge is power, but do not confuse it with information. Knowledge comes from information at work, over time.
  30. Wisdom will save you the time — hang out with the wise.
  31. Some people are so poor, all they have is money; know what makes one rich.
  32. Find ways to help someone in need, regularly.
  33. Prioritize your health. I’m still learning this one. I have a love/hate relationship with traditional medicine…but sometimes, it is necessary.
  34. Always have an audacious goal, several if you fancy.
  35. Friendships are the common threads of life; hold them tight.
  36. There will be times when you need someone but no one is around; you are enough.
  37. Study yourself. You are magnificent and hand-crafted by the God of all things. There has never — will never — be another you. You deserve to know yourself. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes some getting use to. Know thyself.
  38. People are inherently good, but maybe life never gave them permission. Give them permission.
  39. Progress over perfection, most of the time.
  40. Every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around. Own your role in the reality of your life, and then get on with living the life you truly desire!

Cheers to everything new, new, new!

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