Lessons from 2018 -- Insights from Our Network Poll

At the end of last year, we asked what you learned in 2018, and our community rendered some insightful responses that we all can take with us into 2019. Thanks to everyone who replied, and good luck to all on a fantastic new year!

On "me time" and disconnecting:

"I learned how important it is to take time to disconnect from technology so I can relax and refresh. This helps me to avoid stress and burnout." - Elizabeth B.

"I learned the importance of time alone. After years of filling every day on my calendar with volunteering, time with friends, and board service, I finally hit a wall. At first, being alone in my apartment at night gave me anxiety and I would find myself sort of just, zoning out on my phone for hours. But I've rediscovered my love for cooking, going on longer dog walks, spending more time at the gym, and catching up on some new audiobooks. I'm just as intentional with how I spend my time, I just make more of it for myself." - Stephen B.

On professional life and development:

"I learned first hand what great things organizations and teams can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Alexa S.

"I built my networking skills and learned about a lot of non-profits I had not known about before." - Stephanie P.

"I learned that communication is THE key to success when trying something new. Speaking plainly, challenging assumptions, and never letting 'that's the way it's always been' answer any question about planning for the future elevates you, your team, and your external partners." - Anonymous

On fulfillment, life, and perspective:

Finishing a season of "The Good Place" on Netflix and finishing a bouldering problem after 16 (more like 286) failed attempts both make me happy. But in 2018, I learned to differentiate between different forms of happiness, specifically pleasure and fulfillment.

Pleasure is "happiness" that can be reached with little effort and is usually derived from common sources by everyone (e.g. having a drink, posting on social media, binge-watching Netflix). Fulfillment is "happiness" that requires effort and the sources often vary by person (e.g. starting a family, finishing a painting, improving at a sport). You can find your sources by asking, "what excites me more than it would the average person?" For me, this was rock climbing, volunteering with children, and pursuing new experiences.

Pleasure can be comforting and relaxing, but in excess it can breed complacency. Becoming conscious of what brings me fulfillment this past year, I look forward to pursuing those things more frequently and at a higher level in 2019! - Suraj K.

Miss the deadline but still have thoughts to share? Not to worry! We are still accepting submissions here.