2015: The Year Of Lessons

Welcome to the Bennett Writes blog through WordPress. This will be the arena that I use in 2016 to blog about various topics that concern me.

Today is officially the last day 0f 2015 and what a year it has been. Many great things took place in my life and the life of my family. However, this year has also been brutal in terms of learning the lessons of life. Today I want to share with you 5 lessons I’ve learned in 2015 that will prepare me for a greater year ahead. I share these lessons because this year has really taught me and as a result I’m wiser, more mature and better than I was when 2015 started. Here are the 5 lessons I’ve learned.

  1. Remain humble no matter what. To me, humility is about having the right view of yourself and remaining open to learning. As we climb the ladder of success, it is easy to have the mindset that you’ve got it all together and that you don’t need to be taught anything else. As I moved forward with my life this year, I started to realize through some circumstances that there is A LOT that I still have to learn. I admit, I’m very knowledgeable and that knowledge can sometimes lead to a mindset of arrogance. In spite of the “knowledge” that I have, I’ve had to come to grips with the reality that I do not know it all and that I must maintain a mindset of curiosity. I should never get to a place where I think I’ve got it all together and no one can tell me anything. No matter how far you’ve gotten in life, remember that humility is the key to maintaining that success. Have an appropriate view of yourself while also remembering that without God none of this success would even be possible.
  2. Being a leader requires being a great steward of what you’re leading. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been blessed with many leadership opportunities. At the same time, 2015 made me realize that I haven’t been the best steward of the leadership opportunities God has blessed me with. With leadership comes responsibility. Leadership is not so much about being a boss and dictator. It is about guiding whatever group you’re leading to be its best. If I’m a husband and father, leading my home is a responsibility I have. As a result, I must be a good steward of what I’ve been entrusted responsibility with. That means at times we must make decisions that some may not like. That also means we must do the mature thing (I’ll discuss more about maturity in just a moment), which means we may have to wait on some of the least important things to do what matters. In 2016, I promise to God that I will take better care of what God has blessed me to be responsible for.
  3. Maturity is absolutely necessary in order to survive adulthood. Over the years I’ve been considered a person that acts older than my age. However, 2015 taught me that I have a LONG way to go on the path of maturity. Maturity is about doing the right thing even when it’s personally inconvenient. Maturity is about making decisions for the long-term rather than the short-term. Maturity is also about being the bigger person in every situation you face. It’s easy to do things the immature way, but that does nothing but make the situation worse. In 2016, I plan on becoming a more mature person in every facet of my life. Childhood is over and now I must fully embrace the responsibilities, maturity and reality needed to be an adult. Remember that every decision you make may not be one that others are happy with, but if you’re trying to do things the mature way, making the right decisions is crucial.
  4. Failure can be a beautiful thing if seen from the right perspective. I’ll admit it first: 2015 was a year of failure for me. I failed in so many areas this year that every now and then I will begin recounting the failures in my head over and over again. As I struggled with moving forward from the failures I experienced, I began to read a couple of books and various articles. One thing that I concluded from reading those books and articles was that MOST people who have had any level of success failed at first. Sometimes, these people failed multiple times. I was encouraged by that because when you experience huge failure for the first time (or what feels like the first time) in your life, you feel like the only person going through it. Yet, as I read different things and talked with several people, I realized that I wasn’t alone and just going through what most people eventually have to go through. Hart Ramsey says that “when you fail, it’s important to classify it properly. Failure doesn’t end you, it opens you. It teaches you. It awakens you.” I can definitely say that the failures of this year has taught me and reignited a passion to do it right and move forward. In 2016, I’m going to use every lesson I learned from 2015 and allow it to make me a better man and leader.
  5. Consistency is the tool that brings success. This is the last lesson I’ll share. One of my biggest weaknesses as a person is consistency. I’ve been the type of person that will start something and not finish it. I do not remember who said it, but someone said that consistency is showing people that you believe in whatever you’re doing. In other words, if I fully believe in whatever I’m doing, I’ll be consistent with it. Consistency allows you to have small victories that lead to the bigger victories. It doesn’t send a good message if I start something and then don’t have the diligence to see that it is finished. Consistency also allows us to have stability with others. When people see consistency in you, it allows them to trust you. The last thing people want to deal with is folk who are up and down and all over the place. As it stands, people do not like change. While some things must change, consistency says that we’re staying the course to do what needs to be done.  Therefore, one of my themes for 2016 is consistency.

I hope a lesson that I’ve shared with you today will inspire and challenge you to make 2016 one of the best years of your life. Remember that we’re all on the same team. Happy 2016 to you and your family! I wish you nothing but the best!