As you transition from the warm, lazy days of summer to the cool, busy days of an approaching fall, I wanted to share five lessons with you that I learned during a very transformative summer. It is my hope that you can use one or more of them to achieve success and happiness as you define it in your life, career and business.
Lesson #1 – Appreciating An Awesome Abode
August is the perfect time to look at spaces to live if you plan to move. As it is quiet with many people on vacation, the most experienced and sought after real estate agents are more than happy to spend the time showing you what is available in your target location and price range. The lessons that I learned from my real estate experience is that there is no place like home, it is important to appreciate an awesome abode, you can have a very strong attachment to your current neighbourhood and you cannot judge a building by its lobby, reputation or neighbourhood.
Lesson #2 – Clearing Clutter Causes Considerable Calm and Creativity
One of my most important projects this summer was to review the contents of every box, file and drawer in my office, organize all of my business and personal information so that I could find anything in under five minutes and discard any information that was no longer useful or applicable to my life and business. What I did not bargain for was how much the contents of my office were preventing me from feeling calm and being creative. My office was very neat and tidy yet I found that I was increasingly stressed and distracted when I worked there. The lesson that I learned was that now that I have cleared all of the clutter, my space feels like a calm embrace and there has been a marked increase in my creativity.
Lesson #3 – Finding Functions For Furniture
Now that the clutter from my office has been cleared, I am looking at it with new eyes. Though the furniture is made of solid mahogany and in great condition, the office now seems very crowded with large, cumbersome furniture that consumes much of the space. My vision is that a more open space will result in an increase in possibility and productivity. During a recent visit to several antique shops looking for the ideal table that could serve as a desk, I realized that I had to look no further than my own dining room to find the perfect candidate. The lesson that I learned is that furniture can serve a number of different functions and rather than go out and spend money, what you are looking for may be right in front of you.
Lesson #4 – Noticing and Navigating Neighbourhoods
Toronto is a city with an abundance of outdoor concerts, festivals and other cultural happenings in the summer. One of the city’s best kept secrets is its 11 Discovery Walks which run through parks, highlight points of interests and are accessible by public transit. Having completed 5 of the 11 walks to date, I have learned a valuable lesson about living in the city. There is always something new to discover in your own neighbourhood. Also, neighbourhoods in your city that you think you know well can transform in a matter of months. Make it a project this fall to explore some of your favourite neighbourhoods in your city.
Lesson #5 – Stairs Supply Strength and Stamina
A record rainfall which caused both extensive flooding and multiple power outages coupled with a labour strike by the much valued and very hard-working individuals who maintain the elevators in the many new high-rise condominium and commercial office towers necessitated climbing up and down 10 flights of stairs several times a day. While the stair climbing at first had some negative impact in the form of mild frustration and exhaustion, this was soon replaced by the positive benefits of emotional strength in the form of focus and discipline and physical stamina in the ease and energy with which the stairs could be accomplished. Stair climbing builds confidence and provides a calm and quiet cocoon for contemplation.