Well, it's that time of the year again, when the media -- new, old and everything in between, including this blog -- fixates on compiling its Year-End List.
While the act of "Listification" seems to have suffered a bad rap due to overuse by content farms and click-bait websites, list legitimacy and relevance are re-validated as the annual calendar gets ready to turn its page.
More than just a cheap, easy way to generate content though, a bona fide Year-Ender forces its lister to look back and reflect over a period that passes by too quickly, and re-discover some of the thoughts, feelings, events, trips, speeches and other memories that are forgotten as time marches on.
With that in mind, I spent much of the weekend scouring the 52 posts of 2014...well, let's make that 53, as I also snuck a peek at 2013's Year-End List. In the end, that was perhaps the most relevant post of all, as I could only muster a top three list that year; I obviously learned (and enjoyed myself) a whole lot more in 2014, where my "Best Of" expanded to five.
So, kill the preamble -- in no particular order, and with a little comment on each, here are my Top Five Lessons of 2014:
1) You Are What You Share (Feb. 24)
A reflection on a key metric in the new economy
2) Family Doesn't Always Come First (Sept. 15)
Yikes! This one was controversial!
3) The Two-Step Secret to Going Viral (June 9)
From a very spirited summertime speech I gave
4) To Get a Backlash, You Need a Front-lash (Jan. 27)
The remnants of an explosion at a client meeting
5) Create Demand: Real Artists Sell (May 12)
Crossing the line between Church and State
But, as they say in those infomercials: "Wait, there's more!"
Despite the above, my major learning of 2014 was the immense value of learning itself. It's one thing to experience things and write them down for others to (ostensibly) consume and share; it's another when they come to life and work for you.
So, to close this year off with a spark of validation, here's a little something extra; what bands used to call the "bonus track" on their albums (when people still bought albums...but I digress), my ultimate learning of 2014:
5+) Great Lessons Last Forever (March 10)
All that said and listed, here's to a 2015 where you won't merely learn something new...but act on it.