Open Letter: Lessons from '18

Dear Breakthrough Community ,

The consensus amongst peers both professionally & personally seems to be that like most years, 2018 flew by. I tend to agree, which is why I took a step back to reflect on key takeaways from the year that flashed right in front of our eyes.

1.“Money is not the most valuable asset, time is”

We often hear the phrases: “If only I had more time” or “There’s not enough time in the day”. Well the reality is, there is more than enough- we simply have difficulty allocating & distributing our energy effectively . In a digital age where everything is instantaneous & we are expected to be accessible 24/7, it becomes tempting to fall into the trap of refreshing & replying, refreshing & replying. While the reactive behavior may keep you up-to date, ultimately it is difficult to accomplish anything of substance. Through my own trials & errors I have learned to get any “deep work” completed I need to schedule uninterrupted blocks of time into my day. It allows for the concentrated time to focus on the few major essential tasks rather than completing generally inconsequential busy work. That being said, there are certainly situations when fires arise & I find myself running around plugging holes all day. The goal however, is to have the majority of days structured by design rather than by default. Engage deeply with what matters most. I am making a conscious effort to set more clear & defined priorities that will have the most impact & give the proper time & resources to completing them.  “If you don’t have time, you don’t have priorities”- Tim Ferriss

2. How To Say No Effectively & Eloquently

This lesson is one that I have learned the hard way, several times. When beginning Breakthrough I had the tendency to say yes to every and any opportunity that came my way. In what I believed was efforts to build my portfolio & establish credibility I realized I was actually undervaluing & spreading myself too thin. I was overcommitted, and overwhelmed. The ability to say No is extremely difficult in the short term, as it seems you are forgoing jobs & relationships that are seemingly appealing. However, many of these commitments can actually become opportunity costs. It is imperative to define what your bandwidth is, and commit to meaningful relationships rather than accepting anything that comes across your desk. I am still working on this as I have the bad habit of thinking I can overfill my plate without any negative repercussions. By learning to say no directly , I have seen that I feel lighter, more clear headed and oftentimes people respect the conviction of setting boundaries . Rather than sacrificing to accommodate new commitments I am only half heartedly invested in, I am vowing in 2019 to pursue opportunities I truly believe in, and politely decline those that are out of our wheelhouse. “As hard as it can be to say no to someone, failing to do so can cause us to miss out on something far more important”- Greg Mckeown (Essentialism)

3. Delayed > Instant Gratification It is hard to shift perspective from short to long term. Throughout the year I struggled with the phenomena of playing the long game strategically but still expecting immediate results.Everything needed to be done 10 minutes ago. This “I want it now” mindset can begin to extend into how we frame our goals and seek our fulfillment if we allow it to. The hyper-speed nature of our digital environment means it is easy to look for short-term gains and pleasures at the expense of the truly necessary long-term goals we ultimately desire. I am hoping to install a mindset that is equal parts patient & understanding as it is relentlessly pursuing dreams & goals . I am focusing this year on continuing to develop deeply meaningful relationships, & create authentic & long lasting content. In addition, I aim to implement sustainable systems rather than quick fixes. “Don't give up what you want most, for what you want now" - Richard Scott

A big shoutout to everyone involved in the Breakthrough Community, we have learned a tremendous amount from all of you this year and we’re continuing to learn and evolve every day. Thank you for rolling with us, we’re just getting started. Here’s to ‘19, we’ll see you out there!

Boston, MA

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