11 Modest Lessons In Living From 2013

Today is the first contribution to the blog from my dear brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book (which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller in its very first week!), and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.

It’s our mission to deliver as much value as we possibly can to you in 2014. I couldn’t be more excited to have him on board writing articles here for you.

Be sure to give him all your love and a big warm welcome. I can’t wait to hear what you think in the comments!

Enter Steve

I wish I had kept more of a diary last year. Just as I wish I had every year before.

These were the first regrets that struck me when I thumbed through the two notebooks that comprised my hand-written output from 2013.

In the absence though of a chronicle of my hilarious life stories, I did manage to record many of my new favourite life lessons as I learnt them throughout the year. At the risk of dispensing half-baked aphorisms and pompous generalisations, I’ve listed the best ones here.

I really enjoyed this exercise and got a lot out of it. I urge you try it now, while you can still chart the events of 2013 clearly in your mind.

Scan your memory of the last year and dig out about 5-10 of the best lessons you learnt. Look at the successes, and more importantly, the mistakes.

You’ll be surprised with what you produce. No doubt the results will be highly subjective and specific to you – but that’s the point. Think of it as a modest exercise in self-understanding rather than the discovery of universal laws.

What’s more, it will be tapped from that ever-abundant source of hard won experience:

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” – C.S. Lewis

Many of my favourite lessons are highly personal, and may seem trivial to those who have ingrained them already. Others may strike you as the brilliant revelations they were to me.

Some lessons I think I knew on an intellectual level, but never internalised them because I hadn’t had the sting of experience to slap the moral deep into my precious face. Some aren’t even gleaned from my own experiences, but the experiences of people close to me.

Whomever the source, I assure you, like the best lessons, they were all learnt the hard way…

1. The measure of progress in life and love isn’t the absence of problems, but the presence of better quality problems

Just because things still feel difficult, doesn’t mean you haven’t come a long way. You might just have better quality problems now, e.g. One problem – I don’t know how to talk to people I’m attracted to. A better quality problem – I get lots of dates but he/she never calls back. An even better problem – I have good relationships but I want an extraordinary one.

If you have problems, ask yourself: Are these better quality problems than last year? If the answer is yes – relax, that’s progress.

2. Praise wears off quickly, so does criticism

Both are false motivators. Excessive seeking after praise leads us to do the wrong things in the hope of gaining approval, and excessive avoidance of criticism makes us play it safe to quell the opinions of those who don’t matter anyway.

3. If in doubt when it comes to old friends, be the one who re-initiates contact

Pride is overrated and life is short. Forget who last called whom and be the person to make contact. A quick catch up with an old friend who’s in town can be all it needs to maintain the relationship.

4. Networking is overrated; providing value is underrated

The oldest cliché about success is “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” – this leads to a belief that networking will cover up for a lack of value. It doesn’t. The best networking you can do is hard work on making yourself an irreplaceable commodity to others.

This also applies to our love lives. Although meeting lots of new people is an absolute must, it’s also not enough. Meeting people and networking will only yield results if we invest just as much time into increasing the value we bring to a relationship.

5. Handing in your homework on time is still the best lesson school ever taught me (or tried to teach me)

People need things done and they need them on time. You can get far in life just by delivering what’s required on schedule.

6. A question to reflect on for any friendship/family/relationship: How hard is it for me to get my needs met with this person?

Is it easy or excessively difficult? If it’s difficult, you can either (a) withdraw from that person, or (b) change your expectations of them. Both solutions are called for at different times.

7. Somebody else’s version of ‘good’ won’t be right for you

Conform to your own standards. Don’t become overly attached to a situation just because everyone tells you it’s a ‘good thing’, or because it’s something you ‘should’ want.

8. Your energy in any given day is finite; guard it like a precious jewel

(Credit to Matt and his many brotherly pep talks for this one).

9. Learning to cut out unnecessary drains on time is easier and more fulfilling than trying to cram more productivity in

Why try to do everything if it just makes you miserable doing it? It’s much more enjoyable to cut out those activities that don’t really fulfill you and spend more time on things that do.

10. Only do things to improve your love life that you would want to do anyway. Otherwise, you’ll resent doing them

This is one I learnt more from watching others. Whether it’s online dating, going to singles events, or even working out – only engage in improvement activities that you enjoy for their own sake, or else the resentment you feel for having to do them will make it impossible to keep up the habit.

11. One source of my procrastination = an excess of pride

Wrapping too much ego in the finished product, or not being humble enough to accept that the result might not be right the first time – both of these things make starting a task difficult. Reduce the ego, reduce the delay in starting.

Bonus lesson: No-one cares about your dreams (and that’s a good thing!)

Doing anything for approval, because you want to be envied, because you want to be noticed, or hoping that someone will constantly cheer on your dreams is a recipe for chronic dissatisfaction. YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR DREAMS.

That doesn’t mean that people won’t support you, or that anyone can make it alone, it just means that ultimately, people aren’t spending much time thinking about your quest for accomplishment.

Do it because you love it or don’t bother at all – everyone else is too busy thinking about their own lives to notice whether you make it or not. I find this extremely encouraging.

That’s all for today.

Happy January Everyone!

Here’s to the many mistakes others make, so we don’t have to.


Question Of The Day:

What are the three most important lessons you learnt last year? Good, bad and ridiculous, leave your best ones below.

*Photo Credit: Fabrizio Sciami

65 Responses to 11 Modest Lessons In Living From 2013

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  1. Emily says:

    I really love this post. That’s quite a whopping list of life lessons to have learned in a single year! 2, 7 and the bonus lesson are related and incredibly important when you’re trying to achieve goals, but hard to learn until that slap in the face happens. I think actually they present a good way to find out whether what you’re doing is REALLY important and really what you need to be doing. If you tell someone about your dream and their reaction makes you question it, then maybe your plan is something you’re doing for “face” or for someone else, or because you think society wants you to. But if you tell someone your dream, they react with mockery or discouragement or a dismissal, and you think **** you, I’m doing it anyway! then you and your dream stand a better chance of sticking by each other.

  2. kobbs says:

    Welcome Stephen! Good thoughts – thank you for the reminders!
    I learned a new life motto in 2013: Live Aware, Live Responsively, Live Responsibly. I hope to walk worthy of that.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Another Hussey to follow! Wonderful and insightful writing Stephen! Is it just the Hussey genes or is it that all British men are so introspective and intelligent?

  4. Stefanie says:

    Hello Stephen :) I truly enjoyed reading your article, looking forward for more.

    I feel like I can’t find lessons as profound as others, but I learned lots of stuff anyway. Sometimes the hard(est) way.

    Lesson #1 If someone treats you like shit, run for the hills! They won’t stop. And just because they’re nice for a second when they fear losing you doesn’t make them any better. They will act shitty again soon. So run! (This is about people who were kinda nice in the beginning and then they just stopped.)

    Lesson #2 There are people out there who will be there when you need someone. Even if you haven’t talked to them in a while. But you gotta call and ask for help! If you don’t, you’ll probably talk about what you went through later. And you’ll find out whom you should’ve called. Remember them. For next time. (And call them during the good times too, of course)

    Lesson #3 Workout several times a weak leads to an enormous level of satisfaction plus a great body plus cheerfulness. You feel better, you look better, you smile a hell of a lot more – which makes you so much more attractive to others. Just because of your pretty smile!

    And may I add another one?
    Lesson #4 You want it? Do it! If it’s something that can’t be done right now, work towards it. Now.

  5. Jessica Branham says:

    Steve’s writing is spectacular… it opens new perspectives in my head that very much needed opening. Even just the very first bit about how “The measure of progress in life and love isn’t the absence of problems, but the presence of better quality problems” spoke to me, like it was a key to a rusty and stubborn lock in my mind that I couldn’t get open. The different styles of both you brothers speak in different ways that make the message more effectively accepted and understood by the reader. Keep going, Matt and Steve, it is truly spectacular.

  6. Rachel says:

    I enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

    My 2013 lessons learned

    #1- Hurt and dissapontment bring growth. Learning to be thankful for the bad experiences helps move past it.

    #2. Catering to someone else’s hurt and tip toeing around insecurities doesn’t help them heal or get more confident. I’ve realised it just makes them dwell on it more. A problems not a problem until you treat it like a problem.

    #3. If you don’t take time for yourself to “refuel” you don’t have anything to give. It’s not selfish to do something for yourself even daily. People around you benefit when your happier and energised.

  7. E says:

    Thanks, enjoyed that! It was fun and sort of interesting to read something from you. I really liked the one about the different versions of good. So so true!!

    I’m 25, and 2013 was a year of transition, with both personal and professional challenges for me. Here’s what I’ve gleaned:

    -the moments when you feel down, and reality feels heavy, and your blueprint seems impossible, and your dreams seem silly and out of reach…

    Is really not reality. It’s a mental cold. And that’s when it’s hardest to see it for that- because you are down. But it’s just a cold, and must’nt buy into it, and you must’nt let it fester. Seek to remedy as soon as possible, lest it burrow too deeply in your brain.

    -keep the big picture (the person you wish to become) in mind in all situations- act in the way the best version of you would act. Because: This too shall pass, and you’ll still have to live with you.

    -things change, make friends with freedom and uncertainty

    -life won’t go as planned… But that isn’t a bad thing. You didn’t know what you should’ve been counting on when you came up with that plan way back then.

    -you’ll get out of it what you put into it


  8. LLT says:

    As for my top 3 lessons:

    1. Your life can turn upside down any moment. Security is only an illusion. It’s important to value every moment in your life and give your best to yourself, the ones you love, and the people you encounter.

    I realized this when (it sounds cliche) – I was almost killed on the highway when my car due to a freak incident, I was going to lose my job due to an announcement in layoffs, and my ex-boyfriend dumped me a few days before going off on a romantic getaway he had planned for us. This happened all within 24 hours. Talk about a scene from a movie clip hhaha

    2. When it comes to dating, rules and expectations of how men (and people in general) should act only limit you from truly getting to know them. Go by your principles, and you will have a better time of filtering out the people wrong for you.

    3. Confidence is just as important as competence. My employers know I’m extremely competent at what I do…but I’m always evaluating my performance and come across as unsure. I got feedback from others and have worked on my confidence…now I’m thriving at work and my employers like me even more when I am confident in showing what I do…mostly because it makes them look great lol

    That was a great exercise…ahhhhh! I especially loved #4, #8, and your bonus lesson. Thanks Steve! Looking forward to more of your posts :)

  9. Jasmine Che says:

    I love how you’ve made this a topic for the public in general, but quite personal also, so that we can see snippets of who you are as a person, whether it be disciplined or a life lover.
    I hope you’re here to stay, and I really liked your article. :)
    Thank you xxx

  10. Angela K says:

    Hello Stephen,

    I really enjoyed your first article on here, a great start to your career on here ! I’m definitely going to put your advice into practice as it makes so much sense.
    I’m guessing that you are young, early twenties ? You are very blessed to have such great insight and knowledge of life. I didn’t get that until I was 30 (three years ago).
    I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of my time and life concerned with what others think of me and what they think I should be doing….but no more! Look forward to your next article,

    Angela K

  11. Melanie says:

    Loved reading them, it’s always nice to have reminders just as you need them, a little bit cosmic too! For me, I don’t think it’s a lesson but it’s my thing; Having a laugh. I think that’s why I love Matthews videos, if he was just talking I’d have droned off ages ago. I think it’s a great spiritual practice too, they say Eckhart Tolle loves a good joke!

  12. Kathryn Green says:

    Hi Stephen,
    Really good article.
    To be on time, not late, and thereby value other peoples and my time.
    To think before I open my mouth and try to add value, not be thoughtless or insensitive.
    To not just support someone in their dreams and ambitions, goals but to actually do something productive showing tangible support.
    Lovely to have you AND your brother helping us through life.
    Kathryn : )

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Glad to be here – These suggestions are very cool Kathryn. I like your second one about thinking before you say things. I’ve heard of a great challenge where you try and go 30 days without saying anything negative about others or yourself. Could be cool. x

  13. Alyssis says:

    Three most important lessons I learnt last year:

    1.Life is not about getting to a destination or an event that we define as success, it is about enjoying, to the best of our ability, the only moment we will ever have. Now (Bashar)

    2. It is important to identify my strengths and weaknesses, so I can improve on and focus playing to my strengths, while neutralising my weaknesses. (Marcus Buckingham)

    3. If you have the courage and strength to endure and go through the pain you are in, you will get through it, and once you do you will never hurt that way again.

  14. Jess says:

    “Here’s to the many mistakes that others make so we don’t have too”

    This was a great read.! Thank you for sharing Steve.. I love all of the comments below.

    My three lessons:

    1. Self worth is greater than net worth

    2. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean it’s meant to be

    3. Socializing, working, working out , having fun, learning, mourning, time with family, worshiping, relaxing…. There is a balance for all of the things in our lives- too much of some things can be a bad thing . Find your balance.19

    Short but sweet..

    Now that we have covered the past, how about goals for the future??

    Cheers to an amazing 2014.

    <3 Jess

  15. Marie says:

    Thank you for an inspiring article! I suppose the things i learnt are more personal to me than many of the others here, but I want to share them regardless.

    1. There is virtually no point in fighting with your parents. Treat them niceley and they’ll give you more freedom as they learn that you’ve become more responsible. (I’m 17)

    2. Try to the best of your ability not to let bad things that happen ruin your mood. There will always come unexpected negative things and by being sad and upset about them (even if it is our fault) does not result in anything productive. Saying that ‘this won’t matter in a year (or x amount of time)’and reminding yourself that you’ll learn from this experience also helps

    3. I’m beautiful. Okay, that might sound weird, but I have learnt to really love myself. By not loving yourself you’re setting limitations to what you can do and achieve in life. Because, let’s face it, your body is not stopping you from going to the beach, you are. Missing out on life because you’re not happy with yourself is such a waste.

  16. angela says:

    Hi Stephen!
    It was quite an input what you wrote….especially about the BONUS.
    1. If I am not for myself, who will be for me?! and if not NOW…then WHEN?!

    2. It is not age that makes people wiser, but the activ searching to grow.
    Matthew is an inspiration in this….maybe also you…will see:-)

    In any case my compliment and respect for the ”get the guy” project, which is much more than find your love…but more to find your life.

    thank you!

  17. Barbara says:

    I really have improved pretty much .. I suppose there are a few lessons.. but I don’t know exactly when I’ve learned them. It’s a steady progress

    1. Nobody whom you don’t know cares about what you do. At all.
    Doing crazy stuff makes you comfortable doing stuff.
    “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” is to be learned through that.

    2. You can be content and happy with anything.
    Happiness is not a state, it is nothing any material can give you. It is a mindset.

    3. The subconscious mind effects you greatly.
    You train yourself to rest in certain places/events, to work in certain places, to enjoy certain places/events and to dislike certain places/events.
    However, (especially in terms of place)you can also train yourself to do something different. To feel different. Do something incredibly fun where you usually don’t and the whole place will feel different, you’ll feel more comfortable, too.

    And I’ve already learned a few things in the new year for myself.

    Most important would be that motivation is (usually) not a starter, motivation emerges when you actually do something

    Keep up the good work.
    I love how you inspire people to think for themselves about this stuff. I’ve come to view new year goals quite differently, for example.


    • Stephen Hussey says:

      “motivation is (usually) not a starter, motivation emerges when you actually do something” – Love that! That’s really interesting and insightful Barbara, thanks for sharing. x

  18. Ruthie says:

    Hey Stephen!

    I think that all of these lessons mentioned above are absolutely incredible!

    I have a question regarding striking up conversations with strangers. How to do it in a society where people are incredibly reserved, closed and really not friendly.

    I personally am rather talkative, enthusiastic, emotional, passionate, curious of life and I love striking conversations anywhere, but how to actually do it without being shot down immediately ?

    I have tried to start conversations on the bus or in the library…Well the situation can be easily illustrated by that GIF… A moment you start a conversation with a stranger during a daytime when they’re not under the influence of an alcohol: http://imgur.com/7r4Ay0D

    I don’t drink and don’t like going to bars/ clubs. My favorite night out actually contains definitely of seeing a play, a ballet or a musical in a theatre and a late night dinner/cup of tea along with a really elaborate conversations regarding the show seen previously and life in general. I actually absolutely love talking about emotions and love… Unfortunately it seems that most of the people around my age(I am turning 25 in the matter of few months)rather still prefer going to clubs/ bars and getting ridiculously drunk. They actually are able to express their thoughts in that condition and open their souls up a bit, but…

    How to get new connections and get involved in interesting conversations with random people at daytime without getting treated as a weirdo or getting ignored?

    The unwillingness of my co-citizens to have a great communication through elaborate and meaningful or even small-talk conversations is an issue that both I and foreign students are struggling a lot with.
    I used to live in France for a while and I actually absolutely loved the fact that even the regular street market was considered as an awesome place for interesting socialization with strangers.

    Thank you!
    Love and courage,

    PS! Life lesson that I learned in 2013 is that you should always be proud of the real you. :)

    • Barbara says:

      The thing is, talking to strangers in this case is “not a thing to do”, however, that does not mean that people may not appreciate a random conversation. (it’s not as bad here in Germany, but a little bit like that)
      I used to never once think that others might think the same, but many do.

      How do you strike up a conversation?
      In such atmosphere, something with less impact would be a good thing to start.
      Start greeting people when you enter a room (any contact makes any further contact MUCH MUCH more easier)
      Greet the cashier, conductor, bus driver and so. (when you like to, of course) That alone makes further conversation easier – that way, you already made contact without being forceful and even if you did not greet the person you want to talk to, they’ve already heard your voice and noticed your presence.

      Can’t recommend much more which you wouldn’t know already I suppose.
      Good luck! And have fun talking to people ;)

      • Ruthie says:

        Thank you!
        I get that conversations aren’t ‘things to do’, but it is really interesting how the communication works differently in different cultures and countries. The weird thing that I never had problems with having random chats with random people in random places in France or even here within a group of foreign students, but I seriously struggle with other Estonians.
        I actually always greet people in a nice way! I ALWAYS say hello and smile at them. This is just a pure politeness and common sense. A majority of people rarely ever smile or greet back. When I smile at people they just frown at me or look as if I am crazy. This is just really frustrating and discouraging!
        Oh and Barbara, in my opinion German people are great conversationalists. The German guys I know always politely greet me first(or respond to my hello), they always smile or wave. Two of my really good friends are actually from München.
        But thank you!

        • Ruthie says:

          Oh and even though I feel discouraged at many times, I will NEVER stop greeting people with kind words and smiles. I will never stop giving compliments. That is just who I am. It’s never fake, because I think it’s only right to treat people like that. It is actually the only way in my mind. But it sucks that others don’t appreciate being friendly and the power of smiling. When I read a chapter from Matt’s book about having chats with serving staff and other people around you, I knew instantly that doesn’t work in our society even though I really would like it to work. This is a cultural issue that bothers me a lot. But thank you Barbara! :)

          • Barbara says:

            That’s a great attitude to have! :)

            But you’re right, people here DO respond (although they rarely initiate without additional approachability [eye contact and so on] or a greeting) .. I actually had a really nice conversation with a cute guy at the Citizen Registration Office, but I didn’t make more out of it (he wasn’t alone, either) .. well, he does live here.

            The up-side of being friendly and greeting in that way is that you can actually scan people beforehand .. those who don’t want to talk will show it immediately. Their bad if they don’t want to have a great talk. Ever got a conversation out of those who smiled or greeted back?

            And I know the problem with clubs and parties, if all people do is get drunk there’s no point in even bothering.

            Perhaps more comfortable places could help, too.
            Frequenting cafés or little shops, I’ve met many people due to one I’m a regular at

          • Stephen Hussey says:

            It’s not about how other people react Ruthie – It’s about being the kind of character you want to be. Keep at it! x

  19. Vanessa says:

    Such a thought-provoking and well-written article. The 3 most important lessons I learnt from last year is to not care what others think about you as their opinion doesn’t matter, to have more confidence in myself, and to not waste time feeling unhappy in life as life is just is to short.

  20. stacy katz says:

    This is such potent wisdom and exemplifies how the Hussey’s content is unique and special. Whether you are new or old to this site, why I look forward to each post is that under the guise of helping your love life, every aspect of your life will benefit and flourish if you apply the wealth of information here (trust me, I’m a 5 day retreat graduate). Stephen, thanks for investing in this community. And to both you and Matt, keep rocking the awesomeness!

  21. Shaina says:

    Okay Stephen,
    I think it is safe to say that most of us who follow Matt’s blog put a fair amount of faith in him; he says that you have a wealth of relationship and dating knowledge…now, as much as I trust that just by being a Hussey man you have been imparted with a certain amount of profound life wisdom. BUT, that’s not enough…we are going to need your credentials ;)…or at least a couple of amusing anecdotes to demonstrate how this ” wealth” has been gleaned :P. Come on Steve, bring it on :).

  22. A. says:


    1. It’s really easy to meet people, but those people may be transient in your life.

    2. Low expectations isn’t the key to happiness, per se, but it is freeing.

    3. Don’t chase. Anything. Job, relationship, anything. Work hard, but don’t chase until you drop. You know what I mean. That sort of intensity rarely works and if it does work, not for long.

    I feel like a fortune cookie!


  23. A. says:

    Hi Steven! Welcome aboard and thanks for helping to write the Get The Guy book.

    NUMBER 10.

    I struggle with this because the stuff I love, absolutely love to do are very female-centered. I want to cook and sew. I do! I love to talk and be introspective. I like yoga. Not many young men at these things! (Really, like 0-1.)

    I decided to take some cooking classes. Screw it. So I won’t meet men. But you are so right, I was starting to resent the singles crap and bars. LOTS of men there, but it’s just starting to make me annoyed.

  24. Ariana says:

    I was directed to this blog by a good friend of mine, & your article is the very first one I’ve had the pleasure of reading so far. Loved it! Wrote down your first lesson for future inspiration, as I seem to keep making a variation of the same mistakes in my love life… but looking back on 2013 the mistakes apparently are better quality ones :)

    Lessons learned from mistakes:
    1. Life is too short to stay in a mediocre relationship as comfortable as it may be.
    2. Having a “type” can keep you from meeting truly incredible men.
    3. Have more than one social circle, you are introduced to a whole new world & perspective with every person or group of people you are open to exposing yourself to.

    Just got my ticket, can’t wait to learn more when your brother is in Chicago!! Txs for a great article!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      That’s so kind of you Ariana, welcome! Your lessons are so good, I wish we could impart them automatically to every woman (or man) dating at the moment.

  25. Stella says:

    I learned
    1) that my time and energy are very valuable and it is necessary to spend them on only things I absolutely LOVE
    2) there are beautiful people in the world and listening to my heart when it is calling to travel, is very pleasant
    3) meditating and yoga every day helps me to keep balance and energy level high

    One of the best things what happened, was also getting to know your teachings, Matt, it has raised my level of understanding of life soo much! Thank you!

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Steve,
    Great to see you on the blog.
    All good points, but one must always keep in mind the “Bonus”. Never let anyone take your dreams.
    I would say my worse sin is procrastination, but pride usually does not apply.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Yea, when I procrastinate it’s also for many different reasons, but that was one that stuck out to me lately. I realised that often, I run from a task when I demand too much of myself on the first go, so I end up putting it off in case what I produce doesn’t live up to what I was hoping for. But you’re right, there are tons of other causes of procrastination.

  27. kerly says:

    *Learned that even if you are really certain in something, it may still fall apart
    *Learned not to make my plans after a man and always have a plan B
    *learned how to start conversations from a scratch with anyone in any given moment
    *learned that some things really do take time
    *learned how much i really like being loved and how good it feels
    *learned what i need more out of a relationship and that there are still some good guys left out there
    *to see things differently you sometimes have to go to a different environment
    *and to appreciate a place or a person sometimes you have to be away from it


    • Stephen Hussey says:

      “learned that some things really do take time” – Yes, me too (that’s a hard one to learn when you’re ambitious and impatient!)

      “learned how much i really like being loved and how good it feels” – Yes!

      “that there are still some good guys left out there” – Yea, you just have to find us, but we’re still around ;)

  28. Francis says:

    Hi Steve,

    First, welcome to the light  and thank you for sharing.

    To me, lesson number “7” “Somebody else’s version of ‘good’ won’t be right for you” resonates the most because I have always had a vision of what I wanted to do with my professional life but because “it is not the proper environment for a woman” I steered away from that path. This is something that I am currently working on changing.

    The three most important lessons I learned in 2013 were:

    1. Talking to people (read between the lines: handsome men): Now, I can now go up to anyone and speak to that person without being tongue-tied. Thanks, Matt!!!  AND the second part to that equation is that I just need to relax and be myself. If the person does not like it, then c’est domage – NEXT!!  Thanks for that one, Steve.

    2. Take risks because they are worth it: In order to find love and extraordinary relationships (in all their forms), I must be open to them – ready, willing and able to take a risk and accept people into my life.

    3. 1% shifts: Life is about making many small changes that will ultimately help us reach our goals.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Take care, Francis (and, yes, I like scotch)

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thanks for the encouragement Francis. Sounds like your 2013 was a valuable year to live through. Totally with you on all of your lessons. I’ve got something I’ve wanted to write about taking small risks for a while so I’ll definitely get on it now you’ve mentioned it. x

  29. Manon says:

    I salute you Stephen!

    What you have just brought to us is so wonderful that I shall have it printed out and put to my notebooks. (right next to Matts’ quotes, it is that good ; )
    “Some lessons I think I knew on an intellectual level, but never internalised them because I hadn’t had the sting of experience to slap the moral deep into my precious face.” Elegant brilliancy right there!

    Regarding the question:
    You are making me scroll wayyy down for my notes… Last year was a big one but I’ll go for… [15 minutes later] these ones, today:

    1) To fail is to miss for greater. (And oh my God have I failed in 2011!)
    2) Fly too low and you will trip. Fly too high and you will dip. (Be realistically imaginative)
    3) Boeing7R13ND5.com BUY your tickets wisely: See it as if Happiness/Success/Love/Respect etc., was a destination. Who would you pay a ticket for to go with you on that trip? And don’t forget to check their luggage.

    Last but not least, referring back to my first point: ‘Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn’[how to win at last].

  30. Travelista says:

    I wish I would have been reminded of the “BONUS” late last year! But these are all great and I look forward to hearing more! Motivation is what people need!

  31. Irene says:

    Hi Steve,

    Number 5 is killing me. I tend to overload myself with tasks and then find myself fighting for air. That’s nuts. I know where I’m wrong and still keep on doing it. Due to this situation I rather make sure I get the things done from last week and this week than make time for other things, enjoyable things that make me happy. This hole story started about 2 or 3 years ago. It’s frustrating.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. bonus lesson is the icing on the cake!

  32. Emilia says:

    oh, that’s a good one: 3 lessons of the 2013.
    a) there is a great energy in the interaction with people; mainly with friends. It might not be such a groundbreaking discovery but one should not underestimate the power of meeting people.
    b) instead of planing your future, focus on today’s tasks. Silly though it may sound, it held me back and made me realise how precious everyday single is.
    and my favourite one c) similies does not exist; like faries. That’s acctualy what I’ve learn on my writing class and I find it truely groundbreaking.

    Thank you for this brief moment of reflection on the passing year. I am looking forward to the upcoming posts.

    PS- I really like your lesson number 10. I would like to apply it to my own life.

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thank you Emilia – I really like the one about meeting people. I’m also always overwhelmed at how much can happen when you take chances to meet a new person – it’s severely underrated how life-changing that one lesson can be.

  33. Shaina says:

    Hi there Steve,
    Welcome to this awesome community which Matt has facilitated! Thank you for your contribution :). I certainly resonated with your #10 which I feel is such an important life principal. The best piece of parental advice I received growing up was from my father, in regards to career, he told my siblings and I to pursue a field that we would wake up and do every day of our lives even if we weren’t being payed to do it. Following that advice has brought me great joy in my career life and has been applied to every aspect of my life. Do it for the love and passion of it, and it will always be fulfilling. When obstacles arise, they are easily thwarted when motivated by a genuine passion for what is being pursued.
    As for your question of things learned- this has been a year of extreme growth, and I feel that most of the lessons for me boiled down to a root understanding that I am enough :).
    Wishing you an amazing week!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Thanks for the warm welcome Shaina, your father sounds wise!

      • Shaina says:

        He IS indeed quite sage ;). He is a terrific mix of personality traits. When I come to town to visit, we begin with some deep life conversation, and then go climb trees together or go to a park and run through sprinklers as if we were 5 yrs old all the while laughing as if our lives depended on it :D.

  34. Kasia says:

    Most important lessons? Wow, I must admit that 2013 was pretty enlightening for me. I learnt so much about myself and what I want from life that it’s hard to pin point the biggest lessons. I feel like revelations and breakthroughs were constantly flowing and integrating too! But I think realising that I myself am the most important person (to me) and the only person I should be focusing on pleasing was a big one. I learnt that I should never compromise/settle for less and be people pleasing because they will not respect me and I will certainly not get what I want from them/situation.
    I also learnt to ask others for help, or rather became more relaxed about it. This is something huge for me as I am quite independent naturally. But I slowly become comfortable when asking and accepting help from others and I am enjoying the benefits! I think the turning point was when Matthew (or someone else, can’t remember now sorry!) once mentioned that psychologically people like us more if they can do small favor for us. I thought to myself: that’s interesting, let’s try this out! And it’s true!
    Another good one is that I realised that I am investing (both emotionally and physically) too much too soon with the guys! I am now much more cautious and scrutinizing (and that’s a good thing!)and don’t let myself fall for the ideal. The guys have to prove themselves to me first. I may be waiting a long time for the one that has it all but boy am I enjoying the ride! :)
    The list can go on and on really. Majority of the lessons are small and personal to me. Thanks for the article! You inspired me to do something exciting this year! Every time I will do something different, or challenging, I will have a funny moment, or important or proud moment, any situation that had some significance to me, I will write down on a piece of paper and put in a jar. At the end of 2014 I will open the jar and read all of the notes and have a massive laugh and celebrate my personal growth! Thank you once more!

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Do it Kasia! It’s a great feeling to look at all the lessons at the end of the year. Thanks for the encouragement, glad you enjoyed it x

  35. Taime says:

    Great article, Steve! I really like 1, 4, & 9. Thanks so much for sharing!

    My top 3 last year were:

    1. Spend less time consuming, and more time creating.

    2. Strike up conversations with strangers. The results are more rewarding than you think.

    3. If someone acts like a joke, treat them as a joke. (This one really stopped a lot of my worries and self-doubt induced by someone else’s ridiculous behaviors.)

    • Stephen Hussey says:

      Wow, your suggestions are excellent! I love them all! Number 3 might become my new mantra for keeping composure in some situations. Thanks for the comment.

  36. Rumors says:

    Nice to meet you Steve!

    About the question here are the three most important lessons I learnt last year:

    1. Fealure depends on your point of view. Sometimes the more valuable things are the ones cover in the the costume of failure.

    2. Sometimes the worse of our enemies is ourselves.

    3. Sometimes you just have to let the life flow, sometimes you have to take control. The difficult thing is to know when to do one thing or another.

    Now let´s talk about a interesting topic: Tell us all the embarrassing stories of Matt when he was little.

  37. Sheila says:

    I liked the bonus lesson. Same goes for getting approval of yourself. The only opinion that matters is what YOU think of you. Keep up the great work!

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