21 Lessons from 2021

As I count down to my birthday on the 21st, here are 21 lessons I learned in 2021:

  1. Growing expertise, learning, taking care of myself, setting boundaries… These things make me a better person and set me up for a better quality of life
  2. Settling is hard. Walking away is hard. But one type of hard makes way for a better quality of life. Choose your hard
  3. It is possible, so I should do it The only things I absolutely cannot achieve are the things I do not try
  4. Standing up for one’s self isn’t such a bad thing. The potential problems lie in how, and when we do it. In the end humans are precious and must be treated as such, even when we disagree, or need to push back on misbehaviour
  5. Boundaries hold me accountable to myself. For a boundary to work, it goes beyond what other people must not do/what I will not take, to what I will allow, and to what I must also not do. Respecting a boundary is a two-way thing, and people would typically only honour the boundaries you yourself honour
  6. Boundaries feel like walls to the wrong person. It feels like a reasonable safeguard to those who genuinely care, regardless of whether the boundary puts a gap between you or not
  7. Safe does not always lead to significance. Not unless you have been brainwashed into the pathway to what a significant life looks like for you, that anything outside of it feels threatening & upsetting. What’s safe for you may be significant for someone else & vice versa
  8. You gain access based on what you are capable of. You maintain access by growing into the demands of the role/access granted
  9. I am not an imposter. I am an evolution. I am no longer who I used to be. I will honour who I now am, and step into places I now have the skills and capacity to operate in
  10. First you own an idea. Then, the idea owns you. Allow it
  11. Exposure does not equal specialized knowledge. We think it does, which is why we underestimate the work behind a trained expert’s opinion, and despise their charges for the work they do
  12. Assumption is a very poor form of knowledge, but a good start. Assumptions, if examined properly, introspected on, and put to the test of data, can birth exposure, & lay a firm foundation for the curiosity that drives research and acquisition of specialized knowledge
  13. Possibility doesn’t immediately translate to ability. Dreams are not always snap-of-finger realizable. A little hard work, a little trial and error, some practice and improvement, a dash of courage & splash of tweaking… You get the picture. Oh – plus God’s grace & support
  14. Temporary defeat does not equal permanent failure. It takes persistence (even more than consistency) to win. Keep pivoting until it works
  15. When we speak, we speak our experiences. When others speak, we hear our biases. It makes for the gap between what is said and what is heard, and causes the majority of communication problems
  16. Comparison blinds you to where you are doing well, where you need work, and where you need help. You are a different entity from every single human that walks the face of the earth
  17. Acquiring knowledge costs you something. Not always money, but it costs something (time, service, value exchange etc.). It should never be allowed to cost you your peace though
  18. Your friend’s network is not yours. Social capital takes a lot of time, intentionality and commitment to build, and is usually not easily transferred. Invest in building your own
  19. Humans would rather judge, label, blame and slander, all to avoid acknowledging and confronting their own discomfort Confront your discomfort. It’s a huge step towards learning to be kind, truly listening, and treating others with grace
  20. There is no answer …because you have not asked. Answers open up when you adopt a culture of seeking. There’s little sense in assuming. It pays to find out for sure
  21. I want to be wealthy enough to solve irritating problems (for myself and for others) at the snap of fingers But more importantly, I want to matter I want to matter to those who matter to me

2021 was quite the year, but I pulled through and that makes me glad. If you’d like to read more insights into basic principles like these, or get regular tips and tools that would boost your growth and productivity, you should consider signing up for my newsletter

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Author: Jane Oluwadare
Jane solves hard problems so you don't stay stuck Jane (Hadassah) OLUWADARE is an autistic, dyslexic multi-dimensional woman who uses her different dimensions to amplify one another, and is committed to showing other neurodivergent people how to replicate working wisdom in their respective contexts. In the PKH Network, she brings her various facets, strengths and skills to work together in viable business models, creating solutions for other visionaries, and providing platforms for young people to grow into their own strengths, develop experience and expertise As a data analyst, strategist and business development consultant in PKH Consulting, she sits with business structures to help them identify the gaps in their processes, build the blueprints, strategy, process flows and structures that will get them from where they are to where they want to be. As a productivity and execution coach in PHRONESIS Lighthouse, she works with neurodivergent people to get more productive, and do more with less effort, with particular attention to autistic people and people with ADHD. As a fashion consultant in HSFH, she styles, illustrates, and brings 15+ years of sewing experience to bear as she works to produce and sell stylish clothing that meets sensory, functional and fashionable needs. She teaches creative and trade skills in CriArt Skill Academy, working with neurodivergent children (with particular attention to autism, dyslexia and ADHD) to show them how their natural talents and tendencies can be an advantage inside and outside of the classroom and school curriculum. Utilising games and play as tools, as well as drawing from her own personal experience as a designer, chef and writer she helps them transfer the skills from the creative arts into school subjects and real life. She writes extensively, sharing her thoughts in books, articles and through her various enterprises as creative stories and non-fiction think-pieces available in Books By Hadassah. An International Youth Council member and former Global Youth Ambassador, she sits on the boards of several youth-led organisations in an advisory capacity; and continues to work with others to help develop children and young adults to create a life of impact. At the very core of her being, Hadassah keeps chasing after The One who keeps her balanced and finds the ultimate fulfilment in her fellowship with the Holy Spirit. She quips that He is the real super power that keeps her functioning as an autistic, dyslexic person with ADHD, and often shares the insights He teaches her on Personal Development, Business Development and mindset reorientation according to the Word with Deborah's Court (her ministry expression)

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