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December 15, 2011

2011 Lessons

Before the year goes and I disappear for a week into the unknown, I wanted to jot down a few things I learned this year. It has, without a doubt, been an incredible year. I have learned more in the last 12 months than the rest of my life combined. Somehow, I hope I shared even the tip of that here. So let’s run through some of these.

1. Take Control

You are responsible for your destiny. You create your world. You are the first decision maker in your one man company, of which you are the CEO. If you cannot control your most basic decisions, you will never be the success you want. I am not saying you need to be a control freak. But take control of the major decisions and goals in your life and make the smart choices to get there.

2. Be Real

We spoke about this yesterday and it has come back to me time and time again this year. I have been humbled a few times this year, working in an environment where I am often on the back foot. By admitting this, instead of trying to fumble through processes, I got through the year relatively unscathed in what could have been a disaster year.

At times this year I skipped races, I dropped sessions when stress was up all around me and I was ok with this. I am not a machine, even through my aim is to be pretty close to one when it comes to consistency in my training.

3. Eat with Pride

You are what you eat. This is not new news. I try and eat in a way that gives me maximum flavour, maximum satisfaction and maximum health for recovery. In our house, this means no wheat, no sugar, little dairy and chocolate 2-3 nights a week.

I am proud of the way I eat – my body responds well to stimulus’ of stress + training, and I can attest this to the way I eat, which leaves me bouncy instead of flat.

4. Pick Your Battles

There are many fights to fight. Many causes to support and many charities to help out. We are never short on opportunity, conflict and discovery in this world.

Pick with care, as each of those things requires a bundle of energy from a limited supply source. Choose the battles which build you up, the ones you are prepared for and have the goods to complete. Avoid the people, the situations and the opportunities that are too draining. At some point, you need to make a call. Most people over invest in projects, ideas and people that just don’t give back what you put in. Learn to spot those early.

5. Have a Plan, & a Back-up Plan.

Without some sort of idea of where you are headed, you are never going to get there. Stumbling by pure chance is overrated and it’s far better, in my humble opinion, to have an idea of where I am going, but to leave the actual route up to the day. Make sure you have a way out if that route becomes blocked.

Make sure, the right people are there for both plans, as I have hardly ever successfully accomplished something without any interference by someone awesome along the way somewhere.

6. Work only with Geniuses

My boss, a man I admire aplenty, taught me this. There is a shortage of these geniuses, but they are around if you are willing to dig a little deeper. I work in an office full of them, for example. In 2011, I chose to work with some complete genius people. This website was rebuilt by a company of them, Obox Design. I was coached for a while by a genius and learned a lot about myself in the process. My bio, she is a genius, even if she has no idea. My chiro is a freaking genius – ask anyone who has been to him. The natural medicine guy I go to, he is another genius, for sure.

I feel blessed to have these people in my life and am always looking for more of them, so if you have your own list, feel free to share.

Mediocre sucks, average is for the average, so work with the best and give them your genius side in return.

7. Start Clean

No, this is not about others. It’s about you. We carry so much baggage with us over time. The white board which is the header for this post, its a symbol. At the end of last year I came back from Hawaii and gave everyone a clean chance in my life. This means I gave them a total clean slate and would not hold anything they did in the past against them. I treat people for who they are now, not who they once were.

It’s an incredible change. People seem to give me that same gift in return once I have given it to them, which is a breath of fresh air, every time. Having the opportunity to be real, start clean and just be with someone is the biggest gift, ever. But you have to be willing to give it first, as well.

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We are going to cut it there. 7 is enough. Now go play…

I am away for the next 8 days, without a blog post, but you can follow our progress on my twitter page at http://twitter.com/raouldejongh or the hashtag to search for all the guys’ updates is #EUT11

Thank you for being a part of my year. To the partners this year – I salute you. You`ll find the full list in the Sponsors tab on the home page of this website.

Hunt the Ellipsis…

Assume Nothing, Pursue Everything, Experience Now.

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