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Updated: Feb 2

Guiding Question(s): What kind of year or season is this for you? Is this a season/year of learning, experimenting, performing, or thriving?

Jay Shetty is a global bestselling author, award-winning podcast host of On Purpose, and purpose-driven entrepreneur.

Going into 2024, he says we should switch out New Year’s resolutions for goals, growth, and reformations. He says resolutions are pie-in-the-sky ideas that we hope we can live up to, but the reality is around 80% of people stop practicing their resolutions by the end of January.

Instead of focusing on resolutions, what if we focused on the root of who we want to be and the core of the person we are becoming? Instead of focusing on an idea, habit, or practice, we should root them to something deeper and more profound like our purpose.

He asks, “What type of year/season is this for you?” We want every year/season to be our biggest and best with record-breaking wins, but life is about cycles, and no one sets personal records every year or every season forever.

There are years when teams are focused on winning championships, and there are years when they are more focused on developing their players and building for the future.

There are years when Beyonce and Taylor Swift are breaking records on tour, there are years when they are resting and recovering, and there are years when they are quietly creating, working, and preparing.

Every year/season has a different feel and purpose, and Jay says there are four types of years/seasons:

1 - Learning

2 - Experimenting

3 - Performing

4 - Thriving

Every season or every year has to be a ‘Thrive Season,’ or a ‘Thrive Year' for it to be successful.


Is this a year or season where you want to or need to sit back and learn?

Maybe you have done all you can do and given all you can give, and you need to take a step back so you can learn, grow, and level up. This mindset allows you to take a step back so you can craft a plan to develop yourself.

In this season, getting better is more important than being the best. Sometimes we become so addicted to doing what makes us look good that we don’t focus enough on what makes us feel good. Sometimes we focus more on doing what makes us look good than doing what makes us feel well.

A learning year is a year of reading and listening. In some seasons, we have to take a step back to learn the things we need to learn so we can do the things we want to do.

What do you need to learn to take the next step?


Once you feel like you have learned what you need to learn and you are ready to put it into practice, it is time to start experimenting. Experimenting is practicing the things you have been learning in low-risk situations.

Preacher Manny Arango is a 7-figure entrepreneur and best-selling author who started preaching when he was 13 years old. He says wisdom is building a building that can sustain storms, and you know you are wise when you can build something that can withstand the test of time.

His foundation was built on finding low-risk environments for him to preach. When he started preaching at 13, his youth pastor took him to preach at juvenile detention centers to preach, something he did for 2 years. When he felt like he was able to manage adults, his youth pastor took him to preach at nursing homes. These environments allowed him to get repetitions or at-bats, in low-risk environments that would allow him to fine-tune his message and grow (24:00 minute mark in the video below). 

He says a lot of times, people are so hungry for a microphone and a stage that they don’t realize there are opportunities everywhere for you to get good reps and practice in, and getting a microphone and a stage too early can do more harm than good.

Get your lessons and your reps by experimenting in low-risk situations before you get on the big stage, and build your message or product until it's time to really perform. 

Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes permanent. Manny says, “Everyone saw David kill Goliath; no one saw him kill the lion and the bear. There has to be stuff that nobody sees. There have to be wins that you get that build your personal and private confidence before you jump on stage under the bright lights.”

What are opportunities for you to get low-risk opportunities to practice and experiment?


Manny then said the difference between a gift and a skill is that a skill is something you can do any and every time. Having a skill means you can show up and deliver at any time, under any conditions, and in any context. You can successfully perform your gifts under the right circumstances and when you are surrounded by the right variables, but when you have skills, you can perform that skill when you need to.

When you have mastered your skills, you can perform your gift tired, hungry, jet-lagged, stressed, or under any other condition.

After you have learned what you need to learn and have gotten enough reps in to feel like you have found your flow and zone, you are in a season of performing. This is the season where you go from a rookie to a vet. In this season, people will start looking to you for leadership and guidance, which comes with an increase in expectations. New levels bring new devils, which means you will get hit with new obstacles. This season will test you and will require a different level of commitment, dedication, focus, and persistence.

In this season, you put everything you learned to the real test.

There will be setbacks, but keep going, keep learning, and keep getting better, and you will hit your thrive season.

Now that you are performing, what are you doing well, what are you doing best, and what do you need to keep working on?


Jay Shetty says in your learning season, you need curiosity, in your experimenting year, you need a lot of openness to what trying new things brings, in your performing year, you need commitment and consistency, and in your thriving year, you need humility and a lack of complacency.

When you are thriving, it can be easy to think that you have made it because, in some ways, you have, but when you stop learning, you stop growing, and when you stop growing, people behind you can close the gaps. 

Dr. Jim Rohn was one of the greatest motivational speakers of his time. He said, “Success is not doing extraordinary things. Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Learn to do key things well.” He then said, “What you know greatly affects how your life works out, and what you don’t know greatly affects how your life works out. What you don’t know will hurt you.

He believes that we should read 1-2 books each week to keep up the learning process.

The key to continued success is continued growth. Be humble enough to know you don’t know it all and seek wisdom like treasure or gold.

Pittsburgh Steeler football coach Mike Tomlin told his team they have to find ways to continue to get better. He told them the things that made you great in the past won’t always allow you to be great in the future, especially when you work in a highly competitive environment.

If you want to stay on top and keep thriving, you have to keep finding ways to get better, and that might mean taking the time to take a step back to get better.


1 - What kind of season or year are you in? How do you know?

2 - One year from now, what would you want to be true about you and your life?

3 - What are three things you need to do to achieve that?

For a PDF of this post, click here: Jay Shetty's 4 Seasons of Life

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