It’s the season to take stock. To reflect on 2014 and turn our attention to 2015.

In our rush to celebrate a “Happy New Year”, we can tend to cut short our reflection and miss the lessons that are there for us, often below the surface. Slow down. Don’t rush it. Take the time to mine the lessons of 2014.

A traditional review would be to ask “where did I succeed and where did I fail?”

If your 2014 was a tough one filled with crisis and loss, you may ask “how can I just put this year behind me? I just want to turn the page.”

If it was a year filled with prosperity, good health and personal triumphs, you may still be anxious and you ask yourself “how long can the good times last? How can I just keep it going the way it is?”

Try asking a better question.

One thing is certain. Life will not stand still. Change is guaranteed. Whether we flourish in 2015 depends on how open we are to learning the lessons that life will provide. Every dip on our journey, every surprise, is a chance to learn and grow.

My friend Scott Coady says, “I never fail. I either get the result I’m after or I get the learning”. Needless to say, with that outlook, Scott is an intrepid adventurer; one of the most resilient people I know. See more about Scott at

As you look back at 2014, go deeper. Ask yourself “what did I learn this year?”

What did you learn about yourself? Your courage, your capacity to take a stand in the face of criticism, your ability to focus on the most important things and tune out the rest? Your skill in navigating through “rough weather”? Your resilience? On how to take the best care of your body, mind and spirit?

What did you learn about why you are even here in this life? On what higher purpose calls you? On what or and whom you really care about? On your connection to a higher power? To nature and the mystery of the universe?

What did you learn about building, sustaining and repairing relationships? About restoring lost trust? About finding compassion for those who disagree with you? About the power of your mood to lift the spirits of everyone around you? About your ability to inspire others to achieve the impossible?

Life charges us “tuition” often in the form of pain — pain of loss, dashed expectations, falling short and letting others down, illness and injury, and of witnessing acts of brutality and exploitation. Or the pain of being slowly ground down by poverty, work without meaning, relationships without love, and persistent threats to our safety.

Exuberant living starts with a growth mindset.

You already paid the tuition. And, guaranteed, there will be more tuition to be paid in 2015. Learn to tolerate the pain and discomfort so you can keep moving and get the education. By maintaining a growth mindset, you will find that the bigger the challenge, the bigger the learning available to you.

So I ask you again. What did you learn this year? Who were your teachers in 2014? Do they know? Take the time right now to let them know. Thank them.

I look forward to being IN THE ARENA with you in 2015!