2017: Thank you for the lessons
2018: Let’s do this!

Wow! What a year…. Similar to your year I’m sure, ours was filled with things we expected and things we did not expect. The Bledsoe estate experienced a rollercoaster ride of changes. Our faith was tested like never before, and we were stretched to never imagined new levels.

A few of those changes I reflect on today were:

· Niki and I worked at the same place this year. She joined as a crucial part of the leadership team, and man were we better because of her leadership.

· Our son started daycare/school. While challenging at first it became super beneficial for his development.

· We played major roles in putting on our first live event

· Emceeing my first live event followed by a few more. This led to my first “side hustle”, my first website, and my first real opportunity to be me.

· Experienced my first Air Force Reserve tour. Boy was that different than active duty. LOL!

· Hosted a radio show where I got to hear the unique personal stories/life lessons from over 50 people from different parts of the world. Talk about eye opening!

· Pushed myself physically to new levels by completing my first Spartan Race Trifecta with my good friend Leo Nanez. He’s been a remarkable blessing to me this year.

· Unfortunately had to shut down a business we were deeply passionate about. This left us job hunting, very discouraged, and unsure which direction God wanted us to go.

· Not long after that Niki was blessed with new job. This lifted a good amount of our anticipated financial burden we had.

· I experienced the Dale Carnegie program for the first time ever…Fundamentally changed my life, and it totally turned my life onto an incredible new path.

· Was presented a dream come true opportunity to be a part of the Dale Carnegie & Associates organization.

· Started my own business!!

· Bledsoe Enterprises of NC, LLC now provides Talent Development services to companies in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas. The vehicle in which these services are delivered is the Dale Carnegie & Associates programs which have helped people and companies grow for over 100 years.

Throughout all of the experiences of 2017 there is a common thread that leads me into 2018.

In, fact, the thread is tied into several of the principles we teach in our Dale Carnegie programs.

There’s no such thing as “stress free”. There’s only stress management. When things went sideways for us during the challenging time of losing our family income source I was not optimistic. I was not encouraged. I was not handling the stress well.

What I learned from our Dale Carnegie course instructor Doug Stewart and my classmates was life altering.

Stress happens!
To everyone.

My classmates were a living example of that. Some were also going through stress at home or at work, or both, and some were not at that particular time. We were all experiencing some level of stress in our own unique ways.

We learned several key principles to practice on ourselves and with other people. The few that helped me during our stressful season are:

· Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. (I love that this is #1 because it sets the tone for success internally within the person. Puts us on the right path.)

· Pray (God has never left us stranded at a bus stop without another bus coming to pick us up and continue on to the next leg of our journey. So if we haven’t died, then another bus is on its way. Just ask for it to hit the gas, and what should we learn while we wait.)

· Don’t worry about the past. (We aren’t going to the past. It can’t be changed. So look to what can be changed, today.)

· Keep busy. (I find that the answers I’m looking for, or the direction that I’m supposed to be going, is hidden in the efforts of doing good work that matters. So keeping myself busy with good work takes my mind from “what if?” rabbit trails and puts it on “what’s my opportunity here?” trails)

These are just a few of Mr. Carnegie’s principles that served me and my family very well during a time where are stress was at its highest, and our faith was being tested like it had never been tested.

Mr. Carnegie said, “We live our lives in peaks and valleys.”

Seeing what Mr. Carnegie meant first hand was educational and freeing for me. Stress was nothing I could avoid. After a peak in life there will come a valley. The encouraging piece is, that after a valley, there will come another peak.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity that taking the course gave me and my family. We could still be under tremendous amounts of stress. Applying and working the principles didn’t make us “better” people in 2017.

They just gave us tools to seek out and discover the next peak in our life for 2018.

Happiness has returned :-) !

I hope this encourages you in a way that’s special and unique to you as you look on to2018. If I can support you in your journey now, please reach out. I’d be honored to chat with you.

Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading this post. I’d be honored if you share it with friends to lighten their day as well.
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