Most Valuable Lessons From 2017

Written by on December 20, 2017 in Self-Awareness

Lessons Learned From 2017


This year has been filled with so many different experiences. There have been great times, but 2017 was definitely a year where many of us had to dig really deep and work through a lot of challenges.

I think Pema Chodron’s quote says it well.

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. ~Pema Chodron

This is my last post for 2017, and before we dive into a new year I wanted to take some time to consider what we’ve learned this year so I invited a few colleagues and friends to share their most valuable lessons from the year.

See if any of the following insights resonate with you.

Most Valuable Lessons From 2017

I now find it easy to give a compliment even when I’m pissed off. Only takes one breath for the goodness to be seen and pour out of my heart and mouth. ~Nellie Catherine McIver

Embrace, own and inspire with your uniqueness. Be who you are, and hold your head high, knowing that you answer to no one.

and another one …

No matter how small and insignificant you may feel in the world, your voice has the power to inspire others and potentially change the world. ~Tracy Lystra, Founder, and Director, Saving Huey Foundation

There is nothing more important in life than continuing to learn—whether that means software, a language, your faith, bettering your relationships, or uncovering the hidden in yourself. Learning something new and building on what is known keeps our brains working and our hearts expanding. ~RoseMary Griffith, Musings From a Redhead

The hardest and most important lesson I’ve learned this year is that if I don’t respect myself, nobody else will either. ~Leslie Lumanic

No matter how much effort and detail, you put into planning and pursuing your goals. There will always be challenges and obstacles, you simply can’t anticipate and or control! ~Mark A. Newsome, You Can Market Online Now

Going through breast cancer treatment has taught me we never have as much control over our lives as we think and that realization has helped me let go of certain expectations and live more in the moment as opposed to the past or the future. ~Jeri Walker, Word Bank Writing & Editing

The most valuable life lesson I learned in 2017 is that your life can change at the drop of a hat. My husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia this year and it very promptly put an end to my travels. That would be tough for anyone who likes to travel, for me as a travel writer, it also hit the pause button on my ability to earn an income. We’re now waiting to have him placed in a personal care home so that he can get the care he needs and I can get some normalcy back in my own life. ~Doreen Pendgracs, Chocolatour

I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for and using the mantra, “I dunno, but I’ll figure it out” really helps! ~Alice Gibson

You are stronger than you think and braver than you feel. Resilience is a: Belief system, a process, a skill set and a learned style of thinking. ~Michael H Ballard, Resiliency For Life

I’m good at crisis management but when 2 back to back Windows 10 upgrades in July threw my internet connection out of the window (literally) and made my beloved Lenovo ThinkPad Edge redundant, I had to rethink what was more important – sticking to a marketing, blog & social media schedule or focusing on activities that gave results. Strange as it may seem, my creativity and sense of adventure returned all because of a lost internet connection! ~Vatsala Shukla, Karmick Ally Coaching

Anything you want to achieve in life is solely dependent on your actions no matter what it is. You have to create your own waves to reach the shores of personal success – challenging yet empowering. ~Lesley Federici, Power Affiliate Club

I’ve decided that the whole point of goals is 80% to get us off our asses and 20% to hit some arbitrary benchmark. The value of any endeavor almost always comes from the process of failing and trying rather than achieving. ~Mark Myers

Ageism is alive and well in our society and some people use it as a convenient excuse to exclude you. “You’re too old to start something new” or, “Why not just sit back and enjoy your golden years” or, “Oh, you shouldn’t do that at your age.” Last year I found myself starting to actually believe that nonsense and was able to shake myself out of it. Now I’m teaching, volunteering, traveling, can text with the best of them, and am having the best time of my life. I’ve decided if others don’t want me around simply because of my age and a few tail-tale signs of a life well-lived on my face, it’s their loss! ~Meigs Ingham, 87 years young

And my most valuable lesson?

There have actually been quite a few since I threw myself into many first time situations this year, but the one that sticks out for me is to just slow down. That is a hard one for me, but I’ve learned that by slowing down I not only produce better work, I actually enjoy the process more!

How about you? What’s the most valuable lesson you learned this year? Did you have any experiences that left you a little wiser?

It’s okay if you don’t know how much more you can handle. It’s fine if you don’t know what to do next. Eventually, you’ll let go of how things should be and start to see endless possibilities. It’s your life, grasp the steering wheel and force yourself to pay attention to where you’re going. ~Wendy Keller
Will you be the passenger or the driver in your life journey?
About Marquita A. Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click here.

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  1. Suzie Cheel

    I love the quote you opened with and so true
    Like you i have had so many learnings this year and patience again has been on e for me as well as learing to trust my intuition xx
    Thank you for being part of the blogging community and the value you add. Wishing you a Happy Festive time and see you in 2018
    Suzie Cheel recently posted…PARTY TIME: ARE YOU READY TO SHINE YOUR LIGHT?My Profile

  2. Lesly Federici

    What a RICH post! I loved it.. I think I identified with everyone here… “now I can give a compliment even when I’m pissed off …. “, “I dunno but I’ll figure it out .. ” all of them I related to. Wonderful post. Thank you for inviting me to participate … all of these insights I take with me as I swim and ride my waves to shore. Appreciate you …

  3. Joyce Hansen

    What a great contribution to making the world a better place knowing so many are challenging themselves, learning from mistakes and looking to the future with anticipation. A wonder year of posts Marquita. Can’t wait to see what you have planned for us in 2018.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Time for your online business to become a private label?My Profile

  4. Thank you for sharing your insights Vatsala, and I agree with you about the unmistakable theme of the various life lessons. I also think there is another common thread and that is learning to make peace with the uncertainty of life. Wishing you all the best in the New Year! 🙂

  5. I’m so glad you liked it Mark, and thank you for your contribution. Wishing you all the best in the New Year! 🙂

  6. I like it William! Thanks for contributing to the collection and the conversation. 🙂

  7. Vatsala Shukla

    Thank you for including me in your roundup post, Marquita.
    I enjoyed reading the takeaways from the other contributors and noticed the underlying theme of winning over challenges and the realization that nothing in life is permanent – we have to be ready to continuing playing when the rules change.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2018!
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…3 Simple Steps to create your desired results in the New YearMy Profile

  8. Mark

    What an awesome group of quotes and life lessons insights M!

    And while I can definitely say,I can honestly relate to each, on some level or another, I too, especially love the one by Pema Chodron!

    What a incredible insight and perspective! And thanks so much, for allowing my extremely small contribution,to be a part of such an awesome collection of extremely helpful insights!

    Somehow my week is never quite complete, until I get my “insight fix,” from your blog M!LOL!

    Continued success, in 2018 and beyond!
    Mark recently posted…Marketing Tips: Does A Proven Content Marketing Strategy Really Matter?My Profile

  9. William Rusho

    I love reading quotes, especially from people I know.
    Sometimes we get overwhelmed with quotes from famous authors, or people.
    I tend to find, people who have the best quotes to live by, are from those who live the quietest lives.
    There is a quote for next year.
    William Rusho recently posted…A Trip to the Hyde CollectionMy Profile

  10. I like that attitude, Marquita–2018 WILL be a great year!

  11. “Law of unintended consequences” – I like that, and it sure fits! I will admit I have been challenged to set deadlines for myself, in part because I’ve done so many things for the first time this year, but mostly because all my life I’ve been the proverbial “fast walker” so I’m still trying to find my way in this new slow and thoughtful approach to living. I have a feeling I’ll end up somewhere in the middle, which will still be an improvement. 🙂 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my friend!

  12. Oh, sounds wonderful RoseMary! I’ve completed my year-end review and set up my BIG rock goals for 2018, and just this morning I spent some time mulling over various things I can do to challenge myself outside of work. Politics aside, I think it’s going to be a good year … well, hell, let’s just be determined to MAKE it a good year!

  13. Donna Merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    Wow, so many great lessons learned as we close out 2017.

    I think I resonate most with yours, though.

    I’ve learned to slow things down and chunk big projects into even smaller bites than ever.

    I not only enjoy the process more, as you point out, but I even get more done.

    Go figure… the law of unintended consequences at play 🙂

    Donna Merrill recently posted…How to Identify Your Target Audience Online And Dominate Your Industry in 2018My Profile

  14. Love all of these, especially Meigs’ and one of the first new things I’m doing in 2018 is meeting Donna Billings–author of Red and Purple Hiking Boots: An Older Woman’s Trek to “It’s Never too Late.”
    It’s never too late to keep trying the new and I’m convinced we age as soon as we stop reaching beyond ourselves.
    Happiest of Holidays, Marquita!

  15. Good for you Joy! One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the late Hunter S. Thompson, “LIFE should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!” He lived – and died – by that principle and while I’m nowhere near as bold as he was, I surely am trying to do my part. Wishing you all the best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Joy!. 🙂

  16. So true Jeri, and it’s a lesson that most of us learn at least some point in our lives. I know it’s been a difficult period in your life but from an observers point of view, you have certainly risen above your challenges! Here’s to a calm and joyful 2018 my friend. 🙂

  17. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post Erika! Thank you for your good wishes and right back at ya! 🙂

  18. Joy Healey

    Hi Marty,

    What wonderful quotations and lessons to take forward into the new year.

    I am embarking on some new learning for 2018. While my friends and family are sitting back enjoying their golden years, I somehow don’t want to do that. I always tell my son it keeps me out of mischief and costs far less than all the fancy holidays my friends go on.

    But I have to admit that the “slow down” reminder hit home. I went charging off in one direction just today, when if I had stopped and thought first, I would have saved myself an hour at a time when that hour was very much needed!

    Have a great Christmas and New Year.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Smartphone Listening In?My Profile

  19. Jeri

    Doreen’s point that life can change at the drop of a hat really resonates with me. I’ve endured two huge changes in three years. While I’m learning to role with the punches a bit more, I’m looking forward to a much less turbulent 2018.

  20. Hi Marquita,
    nice to read about the lessons learned and I love Meigs Ingham’s the 87-year young contribution. And I like your Manifesto for 2018, we have the power to create. I am grateful my year was healthy and happy. Wishing you a joyful holiday time and the best for 2018.
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…Best Online Resources To Learn Search Engine Optimization in 2018My Profile

  21. I’m so glad you enjoyed (and shared!) the post Edward. Meigs has been a good friend of mine for many years and I consider her a role model. 🙂

  22. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and lessons shared Phoenicia! Tracy’s is especially important to me since she happens to also be my niece. She has accomplished so much this year with her foundation, I’m really proud of her! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for contributing to the conversation, now and throughout the year. 🙂

  23. I’m glad you enjoyed the post Sonal.

  24. Good for you Jeannette! Sounds like your move to Florida has really worked out well for you. I first met Meigs when we worked at the regional aquarium in Maui, she managed their huge gift shop and I managed all aspects of marketing, education and community outreach. She has more energy and zest for life than most people half her age – what a role model!

  25. Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation Doreen, not just in this post but throughout the year as you’ve left your thoughts and valuable insights along the way. 🙂

  26. Welcome Monika and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I’m glad you enjoyed in the post. 🙂

  27. Edward Thorpe

    Hi Marquita,

    Lovely end-up post with some interesting feedback from your contributors.

    I paid special attention to Meigs Ingham’s lament about not letting people put you into a ‘box’ because of age. She’s right, it’s a trap!

    Have a great holiday and looking forward to your posts in 2018!

  28. Phoenicia

    Great post to end 2017 Marquita.

    I have learnt to be content with what I have, that there is nothing wrong with wanting more but so important to be thankful with what have right now. At times I have missed the moment because I was too busy looking ahead.

    My favourite quotes are written by Tracy Lystra, Jeri Walker and Doreen Pendcracs. Touching and powerful.

    Have a wonderful Christmas. I look forward to networking with you in 2018!
    Phoenicia recently posted…The art of givingMy Profile

  29. Sonal Talwar

    Hi Marquita

    Many thought provoking ideas. Thanks for compiling them and sharing with us.
    Sonal Talwar recently posted…What is Parkinson’s Disease? Causes, Symptoms & TreatmentMy Profile

  30. Marquita — I enjoyed the inspiring comments in your post. Maybe because I’m an octogenarian myself, I appreciated Meigs Ingham quote very much. I absolutely don’t act my age. I’m busier than ever, have great friends and family, do all kinds of activities and to heck with how old you are.

    I don’t know if it would be classified it as a memorable experience, but I remained true to original promise to myself not to go on any boards when I moved to Florida. I did join a board this year as a favor to someone who co-chairs a committee and was left in the lurch by her co-chair who didn’t understand she actually had to work! However, I was asked to be on the board next year and I said, “no.” I’m finally learning to say that without feeling guilty.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Maya Angelou’s Writing Continues to InspireMy Profile

  31. This quote really resonated with me: “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron That explains a lot about what’s been happening in my life!

    And thanks for including a quote from me in this post! I was surprised to see it, and inspired by all the people who contributed to this post. Happy holidays, my friend.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…“On The Chocolate Trail” perfect for your Hanukkah or Christmas gift guideMy Profile

  32. Monika

    So many thought-provoking things here Marquita – thank you for taking the time to compile them for us. I am new to your blog. We often talk about teaching our children resilience but sometimes we forget we need that lesson too. I look forward to future posts. Monika