January 21

Top 10 Pieces of Wisdom from 2022



This is the first episode of 2023.

It is a tradition to recap the previous year - in terms of highs and lows and the learning.

I want to also have the special new year episode but not share my highs and lows.

I want to share with you the wisdom that I received in 2022 and carry with me in my psyche.


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Names / Resources Mentioned

Wisdom 1 comes from Magdalena Rogl "We have so much power". I have written about Magdalena Rogl in 2018 on my blog.  

I met her last year in Bits and Pretzels

Wisdom 2 comes from Janet Harvey. You can listen to my full conversation with her on the 50th episode of Unique Careers, Unique Lives. 

Wisdom 3 is Hope is a Muscle. I developed a verb that means being optimistic, which is not being but doing. I called it optimistisize.  This piece of wisdom came from Inner Development Goals a.k.a. IDGs. You can learn more about the Inner Development Goals here.

Wisdom 4 "Future is fresh" comes from Theory U.  You can learn more about Theory U via U-school

Wisdom 5 "Nothing needs to be rushed, we speed up by slowing down" is inspired by the conversation with Janet Harvey on the 50th episode and by the quote from Bayo Akomolafe “The times are urgent; let us slow down. Slowing down is losing our way—not a human capacity or human capability. It is the invitations that are now in the world-at-large, inviting us to listen deeply, to be keen, to be fresh, to be quick with our heels, to follow the sights and sounds and smells of the world.”

Wisdom 7 "Take fear out of Your Life" and Wisdom 9 "Follow Your Joy" are inspired by Richard Barrett. He shared these pieces of wisdom at BeCoach Academy Wisdom Cafe. I also mention his book "Evolutionary Coaching" in Wisdom 9.

As part of wisdom 7, I talk about my meditation teacher Susan Piver and the Heart Sutra.

Wisdom 10 "What are you paying attention to?" comes from Dorothy Siminovitch. She shared this piece of wisdom at her session about Gestalt Coaching at BeCoach Academy Wisdom Cafe


[00:00:00] hello, this is the first episode of 2023. It is a tradition to recap the previous year in terms of highs and lows and the learning. Well, I don't want to do that, but I still want to have a special episode for the new year. What I want to share with you is the wisdom I received last year and I carry with me in my psyche.

[00:00:27] In this episode, you will hear 10 words of wisdom for living your life fully. Let's start!. We start with wisdom number one: we have so much power.

[00:00:45] This year I attended the startup conference bits and pretzels in Munich. Last part of the conference was a networking breakfast in Octoberfest. We could choose our table captains who would facilitate the conversation, and I chose Magdalena Rogl, whom I have been following for years.

[00:01:07] She has been a role model for me in terms of career change because she did not fall prey to seemingly impossible conditions. She wanted, and she received. I had written a blog post about her in 2018 on my old website, which I am now adding to my website, isiluysal.com. You can read it and see why I love her.

[00:01:35] And of course, loving her, I had questions to her. I had one big question that was burning inside of me. And the question was how can she find energy for everything? She has a full-time job. She is a speaker, she has lots of community work and she is... wait for it... the mother of four kids. So I asked her this question and she said she never thinks about it. She just does it. She said, I know we have so much power. We have so much influence. I show up.

[00:02:18] The way that she shared that, I felt the generosity, I felt the importance of our lives, not just for ourselves only, but for all the complexes we are part of. One warm good morning to your colleague. One loving word to your child. One feeling you share in a friend's gathering can make a difference in other person's life. You cannot imagine how much influence and how much goodness you can have. That's why we show up. We are powerful beyond our understanding.

[00:02:53] Now we go to wisdom number two, worry is a waste of life.

[00:03:03] I have spent quite a big chunk of last year, probably also last decade worrying. I have reached to the top of worrying. I became a master worrier. Not warrior, but worry-er. I experienced how damaging worrying is for my life. So when Janet Harvey shared her thoughts on worrying the 50th episode of the podcast, it clicked.

[00:03:31] Janet Harvey: “You know, I think life is available to us All the time. We just have to open our eyes to see it. And there's such a wonder. You know, I am very blessed to live in a rural area. So I have a lot of, a lot of nature around me: a big meadow next to us with 30 big fir trees and the deer and the Eagles and the ospreys. And I look out at the water and the mountains, and I realize that I just have such privilege and I can't imagine wasting a second of it worrying about things that I can't do anything about.“

[00:04:07] I loved her thoughts on how precious life is.

[00:04:11] Wisdom number three: hope is a muscle. Last year I met inner development goals, or in short IDGs and was impacted by them. I have talked about them in the 53rd episode of the podcast and through these inner development goals, I understood that I don't have to feel optimistic. I can optimistisize . This word does not exist, but I think it communicates what I mean, which is optimism is a muscle, it is an act, a way to show up.

[00:04:57] When you notice you are down, you are depressed, or you lack energy, pick yourself up and optimisticize. You are very welcome for the new word, English language.

[00:05:11] Wisdom number four. Future is fresh. I got to know Theory U last year, just before I got to know inner development goals, And what a wonderful thing that Theory U is included in the field kit of inner development goals.

[00:05:29] Anyway, the biggest wisdom I received from Theory U and which I constantly remind myself is that the future is fresh. Now is fresh. Now and future arise independent of my past, independent of my past mistakes, successes, concerns, hopes, and beliefs. Now and future has all its potential. The part I see is filtered through my perception, which can include my past mistakes, successes, concerns, hopes, and beliefs.

[00:06:02] I don't know about you, but I have found out for myself that I look into the future with a lens that seeks ways out of my past misfortunes and way into the continuation of my good fortunes. But the world is full of everything. More than what I have experienced in my past, more than me. It is full of possibilities.

[00:06:27] The work I have understood is to let go of what I know, which are my past mistakes, successes, concerns, and beliefs, and open my heart and mind -Theory U says open heart, open mind, open will- to let things come. Then a fresh intention and vision can emerge and I can see the world anew act in a fresh way and let the future emerge.

[00:06:56] Wisdom number five: nothing needs to be rushed.

[00:07:01] We speed up by slowing down. To let the fresh future emerge and not strangle it with my past, I need to allow myself to let go and let come. I need my calm. That is a call for slowing down. That is what I understood in a moment of anxiety last year, and I was reminded of this wisdom many times by others.

[00:07:29] First in my conversation in the 50th episode by Janet Harvey, I reminded her that she once said, we can do things effortlessly. I felt that it required effort to be with ourselves, to show up to challenges and to follow our intentions. How could we be effortless? And she said,

[00:07:49] Janet Harvey: “I think we need to start with the word effort in what we mean by it. It's not that I don't infuse a lot of energy into the activities and into my thinking and into my sensing and intuiting faculties, right? It does require energy. I would use that word instead of efforting. And the reason I say that is that so much of our growing into adult responsibility is you must apply yourself. So application and effort often get collapsed together and people think, and in fact, this was an early belief from my dad, if you work harder than anybody else, you'll be successful. And boy did I! I told you seven days a week, almost 24 hours a day. I didn't sleep very much. My body essentially said, sorry, you have run out of gas. There is no fuel in your tank. That's over efforting, right, when we shut down paying attention to the natural cycle of restoring ourselves. And that's what I was doing, I was making the achievement and production of results more important than, my own sense of harmony, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. So I think that life gets easier when we slow down just a little bit and become what I call generative. Unless I'm still, I can't hear new ideas.

[00:09:20] I can't recognize that right there in front of me is the coolest, next thing I wanna engage with experiment with, get my hands in the dirt with. The fact that I'm activated in that way, right, I have an original thought starting to emerge for myself. I also trust that I can translate it into something really tangible, right, to, to create something physically wonderful.“

[00:09:47] I love these words of Janet, and I also love the words of Bayo Akomolafe

[00:09:54] I'm quoting.

[00:09:57] „The times are urgent. Let us slow down. Slowing down is losing our way. Not a human capacity or human capability. It is the invitations that are now in the world at large inviting us to listen deeply, to be keen, to be fresh, to be quick with our heels, to follow the sights and sounds and smells of the world.“

[00:10:22] Oh, I love it. This is what I'm saying: Let us slow down to let life emerge in us.

[00:10:31] Now wisdom number six: embrace the complexity. War, inflation, family that needs attention, covid, your declining love life, bills to pay, visibility of your post on LinkedIn, how much you sleep, going to the gym, books to be read, stay in touch with friends, your water intake, gratitude journal at night, 10,000 steps... So many things to take care of. So many things are happening outside of you and inside of you. How will you manage?.

[00:11:05] I have thoughts. Then thoughts about thoughts and thoughts about my thoughts about the thoughts.

[00:11:13] I want things to be simple. Simple. One thing at a time. Structure, plan, goals, organization. Yes, that is good. Structuring is good, but life happens independent of my plans and organizations. Life happens. Life is. Whether I can handle it or not life happens with all its complexity. I try to simplify it for my fear of missing out, falling behind, losing.

[00:11:44] The complexity touches the fear inside of me. But because of complexity, there is the endless possibility, the possibility of anything to happen anyway in any time. The potential is in the complexity. I see my need to simplify and at the same time, appreciate the complexity. No need to be afraid.

[00:12:10] And with that comes the next.

[00:12:14] Wisdom number seven, take fear out of your life. You might be saying, yeah, right! I understand because I said that too, but then I could do it a little bit. Anytime I sense fear, I let it go, and I am now mostly, not fully, but mostly fear free. How did I get there? I had received this message over and over.

[00:12:49] I heard it from my meditation teacher, Susan Piver first. She sent us the postcard for New Year and included the quote from the Heart Sutra. Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear. I chanted heart sutra frequently. I have heard it also from other wisdom traditions such as Stoics and from yoga, but I connected to it hearing from Richard Barrett.

[00:13:18] Richard Barrett is the founder of Barrett Values Center and the author of many books, including Evolutionary Coaching. We had invited him to our event called Wisdom Cafe at BeCoach Academy, and he said,

[00:13:30] „You've only gotta do one thing, only one thing. Take fear out of your life.“

[00:13:36] when he said it, it clicked and it made a difference.

[00:13:43] Wisdom number eight: stop thinking. I told you about my thinking. Then thinking about this thought and then thinking about the thinking of the thought. In some moments of frantic thinking, I brought myself to the level of losing my mind and understood that thinking this way does not help in any way. I noticed that I was guided completely by my thoughts, which was highly influenced by my emotional state.

[00:14:13] When I felt fearful and anxious, I had lots of thoughts that made me feel even worse, and were actually just survival level thoughts. Nothing fresh, nothing authentic, creative and loving, but all about saving myself or hiding.

[00:14:30] Last year I completed a yoga teacher training and experienced firsthand how centering myself in my body and relaxing influenced the texture of my mind.

[00:14:42] I don't find safety in my thoughts but my body, I don't find calmness in my mind, but in my body and thinking actually only works for my favor when I'm calm and centered. I recognized that the frantic thinking was a flight response. It's not that there weren't things to think, there were, but I had the power to choose my thinking rather than the thoughts directing me.

[00:15:08] I decided that I proactively will list the areas that I want to think about, and I allocated time for this intentional thinking. I brought some thinking topics to my sessions with my coach, some to my time with myself and journaled about them. If a thought came out of nowhere, I stopped following it and postponed to my thinking time.

[00:15:32] Usually the worrisome or fearful thoughts came in the moments when I felt very tired. I prioritized rest and attended my body first. I learned that thinking is a tool, not my guidance, and I stopped unintentional thinking.

[00:15:50] Talking about guidance... This is a great bridge to wisdom Number nine. Wisdom number nine, follow your joy

[00:16:02] BeCoach Wisdom Cafe with Richard Barrett was so inspiring for me. After having read his book Evolutionary Coaching I had a question. In the book he was saying that individuals develop spiritually in stages and to develop, they sometimes have to leave environments that suppress their development. I understood that, but at the same time, if we all left the suppressing environments, how could the environments change? I know that a change in a community happens with a critical mass of 30%.

[00:16:36] When 30% shifts to a new way of being, the rest follows.

[00:16:43] If some of us stay, then we can influence the environment we are in. We don't only develop ourselves, but our development contributes to the whole humanity. I also had an example from Thich Nhat Han. This is what I asked to Richard Barrett and his answer, enlightened me.

[00:17:03] Isil asking to Richard: „there was someone that went to Thich Nhat Han and said, well, I'm working in this place who is basically creating energy from detrimental products to the nature and I don't want to work there anymore. I don't wanna be part of this. And Thich Nhat Han said, well, if you leave, someone else will take your place. It's better someone with an open heart and consciousness like you stay there rather than someone else with a closed heart. „

[00:17:31] Richard: „That's wise.

[00:17:32] But it depends on the individual. It can be devastating for the individual. It's the soul of the individual has to make the choice. You can't get other people to advise you what to do. You have to listen to your own soul. And if your soul says, stay, stay. If your soul says, move, move. You don't follow advice from other people.

[00:17:52] You have a fantastic advisor right inside you. It's your soul. Do what brings you joy because joy is the domain of the soul. When you've experienced joy, you are experiencing soul consciousness. Do what brings you joy. You can't change the whole bloody world. „

[00:18:10] I love that he said you can't change the whole bloody world. Oh, Richard, how much I tried? Yes, I have learned to pay more attention to my joy. Which brings me to the final point in our top 10 wisdom chart.

[00:18:30] Wisdom number 10. What are you paying attention to?

[00:18:37] At the first Be Coach Academy Wisdom Cafe, we hosted Dorothy Simonovich, who guided us about the core principles of Gestalt Coaching.

[00:18:47] The demonstration she made stayed in my mind. You can watch the video clip of this demonstration on the show notes and the full workshop recording on Be Coach Academy website. Standing in the room with a painting hanging in the background. She held her hand in front of the screen.

[00:19:03] Dorothy: „You see my hand? Yes. But can you take your attention behind my hand to that blue picture? And focus on the picture. What happens to my hand? It becomes blurred. Bring your attention now to my hand. What happens to the picture? Blurred. Marvelous. So I'm gonna just tell you, when you put your attention on my hand, that is your figure. And the picture is your background. It is background, but when you put your attention on the picture, that is your figure and my hand becomes your background. What has changed? Only your attention.“

[00:19:49] Now, every time I find myself stuck, sad, disappointed, hopeless, I'm asking myself, what am I paying attention to and what do I choose to pay attention to? When I get aware of what I pay attention to, I have a choice. That connects to the idea of optimistisizing. I can choose to pay attention to my attention and what is there. That connects to the idea of getting rid of fear. I can recognize that I'm paying attention to my fear and choose where I will pay attention.

[00:20:24] And with that, we arrived to the end of this episode where I shared with you top 10 pieces of wisdom I learned in 2022.

[00:20:34] Wisdom number one, we have so much power. Number two, worry is a waste of life. Number three, hope is a muscle. Number four, future is fresh. Number five, nothing needs to be rushed. We speed up by slowing down.

[00:20:55] Number six, embrace the complexity. Number seven, take fear out of your life. Number eight, stop thinking. Number nine, follow your joy. And wisdom. Number 10, what are you paying attention to?

[00:21:18] This was the wisdom I received in 2022. Life gifts us unique wisdom made for our life. What was the top 10 wisdom you have received in your life?

[00:21:32] If you'd think about it and share it in a blog post or on social media, I'd be very happy if you tag me. My name is Işıl Uysal Calvelli. You can find my socials on my website, which you will see in the show notes. You'll also see something else in the show notes, a special invitation. Wisdom arises through connection, and I want to invite you to a meeting to connect through the points discussed in this episode.

[00:22:04] More on that in the show notes. I hope you have a wonderful year ahead of you and I'm looking forward to talking to you in the next episode.

About the author 


I am a LifeWork coach, the author of the book The Gift of Being Unfulfilled at Work, the host of Unique Careers, Unique Lives podcast, and the co-founder of BeCoach Academy. Learn more on isiluysal.com

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