Five more lessons from a year of choices and changes encountered, endured and encouraged. To read others click here.

16 ) Just jump in. You’ll get used to it. From the mouths of babes, I will never forget my son calling out for me to join him and my daughter in the pool. Now, I was completely satisfied to basque in the Kaui’i sun with my journal on my lap, but when your child calls out to play, how can a mom refuse? Even at that moment I felt that simple request meant more than spending time tossing the volleyball back and forth with my kids, it was a call deep in my gut to stop playing it safe – a beckoning to stop waiting for the water to be “warm enough” – to stop waiting for anything! It was time to take action. Today. Now! For in the moment we say, “in a little bit,” or “I’m not quite ready” it is precisely the time to jump. And, go for the cannonball splash while you’re at it!

17 ) Surrendering to the chaos can be fun. Own it. For it’s yours and yours alone. I wrote that thought during a timed writing exercise and it still resonates with me months later. The message relates to #16, but this time I’m speaking more to letting go and allowing the craziness, unpredictable, chaotic moments have their space. These moments of turmoil and random anarchy is when we learn the most about ourselves. When we are caught off guard and must act upon the unpredictable and unreasonable, our core nature will rise to the surface.

18 ) “Yes” lives in the land of “no.” During one of this year’s mastermind meetings our group discussed the fine art of new business and the often dreaded “cold calls”. You know, those calls we postpone until the last possible minute, or hire another to “break the ice” and “set the stage.” Well guess what? All those Nos that seem to echo so easily on the other end of the line are usually a reactive response in the way of saying yes. A Yes you see, is a commitment. No, is a reaction. And we all know how much easier it is to react than to commit. In Steve Chandler’s book The Joy of Selling, he covers this topic brilliantly. And for all of us treading the waters of business development and helping others who so desperately want to say yes but are afraid to commit, I invite you to go on an exploration of this land of “no.” Recently I discovered a book of this same title Yes Lives in the Land of No by B J Gallagher where “readers discover how they, too, can persist in the face of frequent Nos — both Nos uttered by those around them and, even more significantly, the Nos sounded by their own inner voice.” I’ve added this little treasure to my reading list for 2012.

19 ) Be the change you want to see in the world. Sometimes even the smallest change in our behavior, our path, our choices will create a rippling effect vaster than we could ever imagine. One of the biggest changes in my life has been to learn how to be closer connected to my heart, my emotions and ways I can best care for my fellow man. I’m not going to kid you, this is really difficult work. It means facing my self critic face to face, toe to toe, and letting go of everything that is getting in the way of getting out. This blog is part of this process. If you want to see peace in the world, you must make peace with yourself and become the example of its good. If you want the world more conscious of the environment then begin with one. Begin with you. Then spread your word to your family, your friends, your community, your country. Set an example. Be a leader. Be the change, Others will follow.

20 ) Big things happen to big people. See all of the above, and think big!