My Top 10 Key Lessons of 2012

Wow! It has been just over a year since The Artistic Edge was born and it is hard to believe that in that time we’ve added new resources, the Connecting With My Future interview series, two new bloggers and of course, a book!

As I reflect on 2012 all I can think about is a concept that I learned from Stedman Graham (marketing expert and Oprah’s boyfriend): The one thing in life that makes us all equal is that we all have 24 hours in a day. It is what we choose to do with our time that determines our success in the world.


Lisa with Stedman Graham


I love this concept and I have lived it very intentionally for the last year. I have made conscious choices with how I spend my time and the results have been eye-opening and exciting! So many adults live a life of excuses with countless reasons why they can’t achieve a particular goal. How are adults supposed to teach young people how to achieve great things in their life, if so many of them have never done it themselves?

Many people stop themselves from attempting what they truly love to do in life because of fear of failure or fear that they won’t make a decent living. Of course, careers in the arts are a prime example of this, and I’ve talked about this in some of my recent blog posts.

So where do we go from here? I’ve been working with children in arts and leadership education for over 16 years and it is only now that I’m finally understanding the skills that young people need to learn most. I have spent a lot of time over the past year learning new skills and becoming aware that I have much more control over my success than I previously thought.

In fact, I have come up with 10 key learnings that I want to share with you.

Lisa’s Top 10 Key Learnings of 2012

  1. You can do much more than you think you can.
  2. Success in life is determined by your willingness to constantly learn.
  3. Who you spend time with is who you become.
  4. Be grateful for what you have.
  5. Relationship building is the cornerstone to making things happen.
  6. Your thoughts create your reality.
  7. You should only ever get paid for things you would gladly do for free.
  8. There is no replacement for hard work.
  9. You can’t achieve big dreams on your own – ask for help.
  10. Rise each time you fall. Mistakes are practicing for your success!

As I look back on 2012 I realize that I’ve always known these things, but it was only when I put them into practice that their true value was shown. It isn’t good enough to think these things are important, you have to do them every day.

A big part of creativity is having an idea and making it come to life, but it is through leadership that we are able to take the dream and make it reality. As you think about your goals for 2013 and things you would like to accomplish in the year ahead, I challenge you to really think about my Top 10 learnings of 2012. For each one you master, will bring you greater success. As adults if we have our knowledge in order and our own development at peak performance, we can teach our children these important lessons from a much deeper and impactful perspective if we lead by example. Let’s give the young people in our lives all we’ve got for 2013 – they deserve nothing less!