The Big Lessons – What I’ve learned from 550 Lessons Learned (so far)

Around previous New Year’s Days, I have promised to write a summary of what I’ve learned from a whole year of Lessons.  I haven’t done it yet (see Big Lesson 2.)  And that’s just as well, because after many years and more than 550 lessons, there are only a few themes and I’m going to let you in on them right now!


Big Lesson 1: ASK!

Over and over, the lesson is to ask for what you want, what you need, what you don’t know but need to know. Ask for help, ask your family, ask your friends, ask your boss, ask a stranger, ask Jeeves, ask the universe!

So many of these lessons come down to that that I have thought about creating a “category” called “Ask” and marking every ask-related lesson with this – but I never did (see Big Lesson 2,)  Even without marking them, most lessons I learn make me think “Oh! There it is again! It’s all about asking!”

Big Lesson 2: “Don’t let the perfect drive out the good”

This one comes to use from Voltaire and/or Steve.  Whatever the source, the lesson is profound.  One year ago, almost to the minute, I posted this same lesson relative to this blog – I vowed to fuss less and post more.  But it didn’t stick.  I still got held up with wanting to phrase it right, categorize it right, and ended up with a pile of profound lessons on post-its and scraps of paper, doing us all no good. 


This qualifies as a Big Lesson because it extends way beyond the blog.  It’s so easy to not do something because I can’t do it all the way.  Sometimes just doing it is what matters.  I was shocked to learn, long ago, that procrastination can be caused by perfectionism, because the former sounds so slacker-like and the latter the opposite, but without this lesson, it’s easy to put off what can’t be done just right. Then we get nothing.

 Back to the good-enough blog, I have learned some tricks about HOW to blog more easily but I haven’t yet done it. So now I start again, which brings us to:

Big Lesson 3: Start Again

I have a very popular category here for Lessons Learned Again and Again.  This experience has taught me that some lessons take more than one pass. Or two. Or more.  So what?  All we can do is keep learning.


What do you think are the Big Lessons?  Post a comment or send me a message and I’ll give you your own day!

Also – are you subscribed to get these lessons via email?  If not, I am asking you to sign up!  It’s easy!  Start by typing your email into the box in the top right corner and take it from there!

3 thoughts on “The Big Lessons – What I’ve learned from 550 Lessons Learned (so far)”

  1. Here are some big lessons of 2012!
    1) You’ll never regret hanging out with friends and family, whether you’re walking around NYC, watching a movie, or getting a meal together.
    2) It’s ok to NOT do something every second of the weekend. Spending time on the couch in your PJs watching bad TV is a perfectly legitimate use of time.
    3.) Every work problem that is ever worried about gets resolved somehow, even if it seems monumentally bad at first.
    4.) Worry less, enjoy life more.

  2. Is it too meta to say “Call your mother?” Because I learned that hardcore this year. And your father, and your sister, and your grandmother – don’t put off a call or a gesture of kindness today, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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