26 Big Lessons 2016 Taught Me

By Robin Sharma

Global Leadership Expert. #1 Bestselling Author. Humanitarian.

One of my rituals to run as we near a new year is to deconstruct the past 12 months to raise awareness so I can repeat [and refine] what worked and remove what didn't.

One of my rituals to run as we near a new year is to deconstruct the past 12 months to raise awareness so I can repeat [and refine] what worked and remove what didn’t.

I also do a “100 Lessons This Year Taught Me” list within my journal.

I thought it might serve you well if I shared‎ 26 of them with you. So here you go:

#1. A superb mindset without an elevated heartset [a word I’ve been introducing in my work along with “healthset” and “soulset”] is a fake win. You need all four of these interior arenas operating at world-class to bring your brightest fire into the world.

#2. Being productive at your craft is important. Being productive in your devotion to grow as a human is essential. [Inner empires precede outer ones].

#3. Be a warrior when it comes to delivering on your ambitions. And a saint when it comes to treating people with respect, modeling generosity and showing up with outright love.

#4. The most important things in life have nothing to do with things.

#5. Creative masters get that time in solitude is the A-Player’s peak protocol. [There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. And there’s a reason why the legends spend a lot of time alone].

#6. Being out on the jagged edges of your abilities is a scary place to be. So few have the guts to play here. Your weaker self thinks you’re being foolish. People think you’re strange. Peers will copy you when you get good. But this is ‎where the great ones live.

#7. Your income reflects your self-identity. Your impact reveals your personal story.

#8. What society calls impossible, the visionary sees as the untried.

#9. Everyone alive today is doing the bes‎t they can do based on the way they see the world. Their level of perception is driving the quality of their behavior. Don’t judge them. Understand them.

#10. People who cause others pain are people in a lot of pain.

#11. Your elite performance routines will not work if you don’t do the work to make them work.

#12. Own your morning and you’ll win your day [yes–I’m still writing The 5 AM Club. It’s been two years. I just want to get every word right for you. Thank you for your patience. And the tremendous encouragement].

#13. Your past was perfect preparation for your gorgeous future. Honor it versus regret it.

#14. Long meals with loved ones, sunsets and full moons, walks in the woods on crisp Autumn days and deep talks with new friends [in the South of Italy] are massive forms of wealth. Money doesn’t buy true riches like these.

#15. Humility shows your greatness. [When I hung out with Woz–the co-founder of Apple–at The Titan Summit in Zurich a few weeks ago, I met one of the most modest + kindest people I’ve ever met‎. Powerful experience for me]. True Titans don’t brag.‎

#16. To lead is to serve. [This past July, standing in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island, I got that insight deeper into my core than ever before].

#17. Most people have really good hearts. They’re just really scared to take down the armor that has allowed them to survive. Your job is to inspire them to do so.

#18. My life works a lot better when I’m reading every day. And a house full of books [analog] is a magical home.

#19. Make the time to mentor, coach and develop your team. You’ll grow your business swiftly by helping your people unleash their gifts beautifully. And it’s the right thing to do. [Leaders grow more leaders].

#20. Less ego. More authenticity. Less me, more we. Less talk, more do.

#21. The toxic people you’ve allowed into your life are costing you your dreams.

#22. The more I invest in personal growth + professional game, the more my ability to influence positively rises exponentially.

#23. Talk to yourself like you love yourself. You wouldn’t speak to your loved ones the way you sometimes speak to you.

#24. The more powerful you become the less you’ll need to advertise how powerful you are.

#25. You really can Lead Without a Title. I met the JoBurg janitor again this past year. The Michelangelo of The Washroom. Still sees himself as an Ambassador for South Africa [someone please give this man a medal]. Still works like it’s the most important job on the planet. Still smiles like a little kid. Still teaches me what being a good person is all about.

#26. Stop waiting for the‎ world to provide more heroes. And–today–start becoming one of them.

I hope I’ve served you well over 2016. I’ll work even harder for you in 2017.

I have your back. I’m in this with you. And I’m counting on you to bring on the fullness of your talents in the new year for the benefit of your potential, your family, your community and all of us who are longing to see you fly.

With love + respect,


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7 Responses to “26 Big Lessons 2016 Taught Me”

  1. Eusebio M. Cadag says:

    Superb learning materials. An inspiring and gracious person.

  2. Shweta Gawkar says:

    Respected Robin Sir,
    You are my inspiration. I am now in the process of making my own small business. The decision I made is because of one of your book which is “WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE” I really don’t know how to say thanks to you but Sir you will always be my inspiration motivational guide and my life teacher. Thank you for helping me to change my life. Thank you so much. You helped me a lot.

    Your Fan
    Shweta Gawkar

  3. Yasmeen says:

    Wow, there is some comments on this post

  4. K Kalyan says:

    Hello Sir,

    I am one of your lakhs of followers. You were introduced to me just an year ago through your classic book “TMWSHF”. and since then you have become a daily doze of motivational medicin. I read many of your books by now. All of them have an appeal to growth and lead a successful authentic life. I enjoy your invisible (soul) touch. Thanks for sharing your valuable wisdom quoted inspiration.

    Thanks for sharing above 26 points. I’ll prepare my list now. Wish You A Wonderful Life! God Bless You!

    Wish You n Your Dear Ones A Very Very Happy and Fulfilling New Year 2017…!

    K Kalyan

  5. Partha says:

    Very knowledgic and inspiring

  6. Yasmeen says:

    #10. People who cause others pain are people in a lot of pain.

    Please please robin let me rewrite this sentence

    People who cause others pain are people who don’t have any

    In fact, there is only one situation can make your
    Sentence correct 100% when some people hide something
    and they expect other persons to understand them without
    Speaking or saying something, so they cause pain to others
    As a solution to their pain.

  7. Hira says:

    People who cause others pain are people in a lot of pain……

    In reality, those who cause others pain are people in a lot happiness, they are used to do this. They are human with inhuman nature, talking about humanitarian aspect.

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