Learn the Lesson or Repeat the Class

Have you ever ran out of gas after swearing to yourself (and God) that you would never do it again after that last time? Or what about that time you were laid out over the porcelain potty after you’d just vowed a few months earlier to never drink that much again?

Have you ever wondered why you’re still messing with that fool? He said he would change, but 6 years later, he’s still the same? Remember when you said you were going to do better when it comes to answering the phone? Oh that’s me? Never mind.

Often in life, we don’t give ourselves time to process and learn from our mistakes. As a result, we replay them, remix them, and sometimes even put hot sauce on top of the mess and partake again!! The most common areas I see this repetition has been with people, jobs, and finances.

“When someone shows you
who they are,
believe them the first time.”
– Maya Angelou

People. Seeing people for who they are is a task that I believe millions of people struggle to tackle effectively. Why is that? I have a few ideas. Naturally we want to see the best or potential in those who surround us. We want to believe that our good juice will flow into them some kind of way. We have our mom’s voice embedded in our brains saying, “Do the right thing.” Meanwhile our elders have swept so many secrets and scandals under the rug, the corners won’t stay down!

While we did not have the opportunity to choose who was in our lives during childhood (aside from friends), we as adults have the power to determine which individuals no longer play a healthy role in our lives. That may be a long term friend, family member, or significant other. But as we grow older, we should also grow wiser, make better choices to keep ourselves healthy, happy, and sane!

Contrary to popular opinion, time does not heal all wounds. Sometimes time merely gives way to allow a fool to learn new foolish ways. Time does, however, give you an opportunity to process the hurt you felt from a situation or relationship. Time gives you a chance to focus on yourself, get counseling, take a trip, relax and rejuvenate. We have to be intentional about healing. First, we have to acknowledge that we experienced an emotion that was not normal or expected. Secondly, we have to stop questioning ourselves first when things don’t go as planned. Allow yourself to jot down the facts, the pros and cons, the causes and effects, and how they all impacted your life. Normalize putting yourself first! When relationships end, women often ask themselves, “Why wasn’t I good enough?” But why haven’t we trained ourselves to think, “it’s so sad they didn’t see my value” and let a break be a break? I know, it’s usually easier said than done.

Dr. Jameca, a trending Psychologist, speaks about relationships and various personalities on her YouTube channel (additional info below blog content) Dr. Jameca always says that health is wealth. She explains that holding on to things that have hurt you may cause unnecessary changes to your health such as weight gain and high blood pressure. On the other hand, focusing on letting go of the mess can improve your mood and decrease anxiety or depression. Sometimes it takes forgiveness, moving on, and letting go of past relationships and situations for you to “pass” to the next stage of your life and level up!

“Challenges make you discover things about yourself
that you never really knew.”
– Cicely Tyson

Jobs. Many times we put ourselves in stressful situations because we are focused on what it can provide for our future. While in the midst of what seems like a storm, we are questioning our decision each day we arrive to that job working for that horrible boss. You know the one….everyone has left their team and you’re new so you haven’t really figured out what others mean. But when you know, you know! You see! But you know what, experience gives you something no case study, assignment, or example could ever provide. In real life, people are not like you. Jobs are not always for you. It may take several factors to present themselves before you realize a job is not a good match for you, your family, or well-being. Hours may become way too long to accommodate your kid’s sports schedule. Traffic may become entirely too bad for you to plan anything on a week day. When things become exhausting, stressful, and unenjoyable, in my opinion, these are all indicators for you to begin managing the change you want to see. Because guess what? If you died tomorrow from all the stress the job caused, they would probably release a job announcement to replace you within 48 hours.

Jobs are not loyal – people are! Yes you may be great in that position, but do you want to be better, make more money, or take on a leadership role? Then go for it! Don’t be ashamed to leave a team behind. That’s a business decision. If they have truly become like family to you, they will keep in touch. But if they have made your life miserable, take a chance at getting a breath of fresh air with no regrets. Don’t involve yourself with the same messy coworkers, or accept another stressful, demanding position solely based on higher pay. Whatever you do, take a sticky note with you of the lessons you’ve learned from interactions with people, teamwork or lack thereof, and strategies for success.

“We spend money
that we do not have,
on things we do not need
to impress people who do not care.”
Will Smith

Finances. They say money is the root of all evil, but I believe it is the love and mismanage of it that must be rooted in evil. As times have changed, we now find ourselves making more money than our parents have ever made, which can put us in a mindset that “we made it” and the extra money can be spent on things that will make us happy. Meanwhile, the racial wealth gap continues to expand for minorities because we are not making our money work for us and utilizing it properly. Many of our financial habits are learned behaviors that we watched our parents or elders exhibit. Pay your bills late because they’re not late until the 14th? I’m sure someone pointed that out to you and you ran with it. Don’t have the cash so you’ll just use the credit card or apply for the payment plan? Yep, someone let you in on the easy secret. But what they didn’t tell you is – these habits affect your credit, which in turn affects your ability to obtain things like higher available credit balances, mortgage loans, or low-to-no interest on car loans. With a home being the most common asset you can possess, many people are at a disadvantage due to unhealthy financial decisions. Many people don’t invest in life insurance because they can’t take it with them and believe it is a waste of money. Change the narrative. Prepare for the future or the next generation will wish you would have changed your past.

When it comes to credit, paying the minimum balance seems responsible, but it actually shows creditors that you can’t handle all the charges you have made. Additionally, having money left over after receiving your paycheck and paying all your bills should not equate to money to blow – not as a forward thinking adult. This is a common lesson many people fail due to the lack of a reasonable budget, based on income, expenses, and personal life goals. We must implement financial changes as though we are making them for our grandchildren. This means responsibly using credit and effectively using budgets, savings accounts, maintaining life insurance policies on all family members, and investing money to make higher returns.

While these are tips I have learned over the years, filled with trial and error, your best bet would be with finding a great financial advisor or debt counseling non-profit organization (such as CCCSMD – where I wrote a recent blog on the Racial Wealth Gap). Many are free or only make commission off things you purchase like a life insurance policy.

“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then,
is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle

So before you go into 2022 making all those resolutions (i.e., firm decisions to do or not do something), take a minute to really focus on areas where you struggle the most. Write down all the changes you want to see in your life. Then set goals (i.e., the object of ambition or effort) for yourself with dates, actions, and specifics attached. Remember, change is only a change when you start changing things. Progress does not mean perfection. Everyone and everything won’t make it to your next harvest season after you’ve grown and watered yourself. That’s okay and expected. But if you don’t learn from the lessons life teaches you, you will surely repeat the class. Good luck in all your endeavors in 2022!

Never give up!
Never stop reaching for
a higher level!
Never stop trying to be your Boldest, Flyest, Self!!

You can follow Dr. Jameca at:


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