This past week, I was blessed enough to be in a room with 400 amazing souls at the Best Year Ever [Blueprint] Live event. There we laughed (a lot), we cried, we danced, we created music together, we took to the streets and brought joy through random acts of kindness, we truly connected with each other, and we learned from each other. Here is a list of my top 10 takeaways from the weekend.
- The most profound insight doesn't always come from the stage. Yes, the people on stage have earned a right to be up there and are there to teach, but someone sitting next to you may have just the insight you needed to hear. When we are open, we can learn from anyone and any situation.
- Chase excellence and money will follow. This lesson came from the billionaire founder of Priceline.com, Jeff Hoffman. He is a guy who knows a thing or two about building great businesses that make a lot of money, but more importantly he builds businesses with a culture of caring which makes his employees never want to leave. When we strive for excellence over anything else there is no way to fail.
- Just in time Learning. Pat Flynn, from Smart Passive Income, shared a business tip he uses called just in time learning. He only learns the skills he needs to accomplish the next step in his business. This way he's not spending precious time learning something he might not need right away and have time to forget it. Learn only what you need right now and file everything else away for later use. This can be helpful in parenting too. What a toddler needs is not the same as what a teenager needs. As a business grows, the owner needs new skills and has to keep learning. Similarly, as our kids grow we need different skills to parent effectively and must always be studying our kids.
- It's ok to say Nope :). The lovely ladies from ImprovHQ Besty and Zoe, shared a fun exercise with us to help us find our authentic voice. Our group would offer suggestions to us and we could either act that out or say, "nope." I often have trouble with this word so it was a good exercise for me.
SLOW DOWN. This is a tough pill to swallow this time of year when everyone and everything feels like it's moving at the speed of light, but it was echoed by a few people including health coach Megan Lyons and Hal Elrod himself on video from his hospital bed. Hal's message was to take the time to rest and rejuvenate. To slow down and get present to the beauty of the moment. To look inward and question, "what's most important?"
Life is different in the Front Row. As part of the Best Year Ever [Blueprint] event was a celebration and fundraiser for the Front Row Foundation. The organization creates amazing experiences for kids and adults battling life-threatening conditions to give them hope for the future, help them live in the moment, and celebrate life. The founder, Jon Vroman, says, "You can't always choose your seat in life, but you can always choose to live in the front row." To live in the front row is a mindset and we are in control of that.
All you need to create a magic moment is a rubber shrimp. Magician Jeff Kaylor shared with us some fun tricks to help break human patterns and help to bring joy and playfulness into everyday interactions. One way he does this is with a rubber shrimp. At a restaurant, after the server brings his food he will take the shrimp off his plate and ask, "Is this supposed to come with shrimp?" The waitstaff is usually very apologetic. After he reveals it's a joke then everyone gets to shares a laugh. I know at Christmastime, in particular, I put so much pressure on myself to create magic moments with my kids when really all they want me to do is be present and playful with them.
"You don't know the importance of a moment until it becomes a memory." - Dr. Suess. This quote was shared twice during the event and to me is about reflection. Sometimes we don't realize how profound a moment is while we are living in it, so it's important to go back and reflect on our lives. I'm grateful for this blog post and that I'm taking the time to absorb the lessons I learned last week and all the special memories I made.
Break down your goals. Goals are great. Written goals are better. When you can break big yearly goals down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks that's when you can accomplish anything. Also, put them somewhere you can see them all in the same place- like a whiteboard, so they aren't tucked away somewhere.
The importance of play. Playing is so underrated in our culture, but it is so essential to our health and happiness. It's something we did so naturally as children, but many have lost as adults. Luckily, I am not one of those adults. Here's a video of us scaring our friend to create a magic moment for everyone and one of my amazing husband sharing his insights on play and presence at Best Year Ever [Blueprint].
I am grateful to Hal, Jon B and Jon V for putting this event together and for all the people on stage and off that made it a success. I'm grateful for the lessons I took away and the relationships that were started or strengthened while I was there. I'm grateful for technology so Hal could see the whole event live while getting his treatments. I'd love to hear from you! Please comment below or better yet, join the conversation with like-hearted parents in our Facebook Community.