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The biggest lesson I learned this year

Posted in the following categories: Life Lessons, Personal Development

Imagine moving to a new house.

You’re surrounded by boxes—some packed, some unpacked. Each box represents a part of your life; some parts you’re ready to let go, and others you’re eager to open up and rearrange in new spaces.

That’s how this year felt for me.

I decided to end numerous professional partnerships, and each goodbye brought a mix of emotions.

Let’s take my literary agent, for example. He had been in my corner since my dreams were just that—dreams. My career, now soaring higher than I ever imagined, owes much to his guidance, and for that, I’m deeply grateful.

When I decided to part ways with him, that gratitude was also mixed with a twinge of sadness for the chapters that won’t be written together, and a flutter of fear about the unknowns ahead.

And then there was excitement about finding a new partner—someone who matches my current stride and encourages me to dream bigger and leap farther.

I felt thrilled about this not knowing, this trusting in the process and in the pull of my own evolving narrative.

This mixture of gratitude, grief, fear, excitement, and thrill all co-existed—a blend of classical, jazz, and rock music playing all at once in my life’s soundtrack.

In the past, I might have let one emotion, like fear, drown out the other tunes. I wouldn’t let myself feel happy if I was also feeling grief. I couldn’t feel excited if fear was also present. So the past me would have rushed to fill the void, immediately finding a new literary agent to quickly restore my comfort zone.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be comfortable with all those unpacked boxes—to sit with these seemingly contradictory feelings. Instead of rushing to ease my discomfort and risk making the wrong move, I’m letting things unfold slowly, figuring out what I need to learn, and trusting the timing of it all.

I’m sharing this for two reasons.

First, it might resonate with you, especially if you find yourself riding a similar emotional roller coaster while everyone else seems to be cruising to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Think about travel. How often do people return from a trip declaring it was “SO MUCH FUN,” glossing over the jet lag, the lost luggage, and that mysterious street food that wreaked havoc on their system? These moments don’t make the Instagram cut, but they’re as much a part of the journey as the sunsets.

Second, life’s richness comes from our ability to let grief and love, discomfort and excitement, fear and thrill, to coexist—all at once.

We often resist “negative” emotions, fearing that if we embrace them, we’ll be stuck in their grip indefinitely. But the opposite is often true: Experiencing these feelings fully is the key to decoding the messages they embody and to moving through them.

In the end, life teaches us that the perfect setup may always remain just beyond our grasp.

There will always be unopened boxes.

Something, somewhere will be wrong all of the time.

You can resist this reality, constantly try to fix endless problems, and miss out on life.

Or you can choose to embrace the messiness, the complexity, and yes, even those moments when everything seems to be tumbling out all at once.

The real journey is in the dance of unpacking, not in the illusion of order.

P.S. Throughout this journey, my wife Kathy has been an incredible coach and guide—not just for me but for countless others who’ve sought her wisdom. She’s now spicing up her coaching lineup with a special focus on personal transformation.

If you’ve mastered the art of achieving but still feel like something is missing—if you find yourself asking, “Is this really all there is?”—Kathy can help you chart a course to more fulfilling horizons.

👉 Find out more and schedule a session with her here.

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