I Am A Constant Student

With the first month of 2017 coming to a close and life finally getting back to normal (was anyone else still receiving out of office emails during the last week of January? How are people still on vacation?), it’s time to look at the New Year with fresh, no longer holiday-foggy, eyes. Or rather, it’s time to look back at last year to see how we can make sure this one is even better.

All too often your day-to-day routine becomes just that, a routine. You wake up in the morning, go to work, wait for the weekend so you can finally have a little time to relax, only to do it all again the next week. We get bogged down with deadlines and projects and errands and, well, life, to the point that when you finally take a moment to look up it’s December and exactly where did the year go? I am not one to tout spiritual awakenings—whether they be learning more about your personal energy via Chakras, transcending the Buddhist concept of “I,” or achieving the Hindu goal of Moksha—but they often have something in common: a sense of reflection. From learning more about yourself to attempting to realize your place in the world, no matter what belief system you follow, those concepts make sense. It’s all about trying to evolve as a human being.

Me, studying life. (Ok, not really)

I am a firm believer in the concept of learning something new every day. I am a constant student. A student of books, technology, life, everything—and if you’ve ever taken my Krav Maga class you know would know this, as each class I ask my students to tell me what they learned that day—so I am always searching for the next piece of information that will make my life better (or, at the very least, teach me something interesting).

So today I ask that you become a student yourself and do a little reflection. No, you don’t need to meditate or talk to a higher power, rather I want you to take a moment and look back at the year 2016. How did it go? Did you succeed? Is there something you are proud of? Something you regret? What would you like to do different? Do better? And of course, what did you learn?


“What Lessons Did You Learn in 2016?”

HomeTown News, Stephanie Davis

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. You should never be afraid to be direct and actually ask for what you want. Your clients don’t know you’re sitting there, hoping they are going to offer to buy an ad in your newspaper (or whatever your situation is). It is up to you to ask them, and, most of the time, you’ll end up happy with the result. Just put it into the universe; you might be surprised by what you get back.


Jeff Blair Fitness, Jeff Blair

Don’t get distracted. It’s all too easy to get caught up with “shiny object syndrome.” You know, the one where something attractive distracts you from the main path and by the time you look up, you’re lost? Sometimes too good to be true is, so don’t allow yourself to stray too far from your purpose.

I learned this year to continue focusing on the basics and to always build from the ground up. Do that and you’ll start to see results. Keep working to enhance your basic services, put in the work, time, and effort, and reach for the goal of improving by 1% each week. That approach works the best for me.


LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, Christina Davis

Never underestimate the power of good planning. Sure, it seems easier to shoot from the hip, but taking the time to devise a plan not only makes life easier, but it helps you navigate through your business plans. Set time aside when things are slowing down (like the holidays) to lay out a structure for the weeks, months, and years ahead. I promise you’ll thank yourself when times get crazy again!


LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, Judith Ciancimino

I learned that I’m a morning person! Or rather, I learned to better manage my time. It isn’t necessary to work the same ol’ structured 9-to-5 schedule anymore, so don’t do it if you aren’t your best. I find being in the office before the phones start ringing can be very productive, and, on the flip side, I know that Kirby enjoys the silence of the office once everyone has gone home for the day, so it really is all about personal preference. Find what works, and keep it up.


Systems Training Center, Brittney Larkin

Communication comes first. I know that sounds basic, but sometimes it’s the basics that get lost when life gets a little hectic. Be clear, concise, and transparent with those around you, both in a personal and professional sense. Nobody likes to feel as if they’re being led around by the nose, or being kept in the dark, and taking a moment to properly communicate can often alleviate most of your problems.

Sometime this simple can also help with office morale and loyalty; if you want someone to invest in something, they need to understand it. So, explain it to them.

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