It Will Take Courage to Give Yourself These Unexpected Gifts

What was your 2021 year like? I’ve been looking back at this last year and thinking, “We made it one more year through the COVID-mire.” Almost exactly one year ago, I did a podcast with my friend David Osborn — such a remarkable person. December 2020 — we had just gone to a comedy show together the night before.

At the beginning of the show, the powers-that-be threw us on the ground and stuck a Q-tip up our noses to tickle our brains, claiming we had to have a COVID test to come in. Okay — maybe they didn’t throw us on the ground, but seriously, I know that the COVID Q-tip stabbed my brain, or perhaps an eye.

We’ve all experienced unexpected changes this year because of this virus — but what if we could claim an unexpected gift in 2022?

The Unexpected Gift of Being Closer to My Wife

What I loved about this podcast was the answer to my first question to David. I asked what the most exciting thing was happening to him right now. He didn’t mention his two books: Wealth Can’t-Wait, or Tribe of Millionaires. What David said is, “What’s most exciting to me right now, Justin, is actually being closer to my wife.”

What a statement, and I decided, right then, to do better with my wife and family, too. I’ve taken a lot of advice from David Osborn about many things — but this thought from him meant a whole lot on that December day in 2020.

The Unexpected Gift of Being Present

You’ll want to listen for yourself. Listen for the part where David says:

“And so, right now, this year, I’m doing a tremendous amount of work on my consciousness to sort of disarm the armor that I’ve built up for economic war, so I can be more present as a man, a husband, and a father for my kids. Now, I say that, I don’t want you to think I’m not in the game, I’m still heavily in the game. There’s no chance that the way I’m wired, I won’t forever be engaged in business. It’s just a reprioritizing of things.” –David Osborn

I’ve watched David; we’re friends. I see him do the work to win at being present — this stuff isn’t simple. He has to make an effort to be fully present, and all of us witnessing this change are proud to be a part of this change in him and happy that we can learn some profound life lessons from David.

The Unexpected Gift of Changing the Pieces of Your Mindset that Aren’t Working

If I could print you up a motto to hang on your wall — I’d ask you to hang up this quote:

I’m approaching things, and changing the pieces of my mindset that aren’t working. I had to do this getting into business. I had to give up being a victim and procrastinating and whining and complaining and had to take full accountability. –David Osborn

Make this your new motto for 2022 — your whole life will change for the better.

The Unexpected Gift of Staying Current On Your Paperwork

Look for the bottlenecks in your life and solve those issues. David mentioned to me long ago that he found out that paperwork was his bottleneck. He saw a pile of unmanaged paperwork on his desk and decided that paperwork was something he was going to solve.

Zeroing in on the main bottleneck of your life will free you up to do many other endeavors and tasks. So look around, be genuine and honest, and dare to call yourself on your own B.S. In 2022, dare to eliminate one bottleneck in your life, whether it’s your paperwork or something else.

The Unexpected Gift of Self-Discipline

Not everyone chooses to do this, but I have the ability to discipline myself, read books, meditate, contemplate, think on what I’m doing and how I’m approaching things. I choose my goals and set my purpose of being purposeful. David Osborn

The Unexpected Gift of Uninterrupted Technology-Free Time

It will really help if you get a buddy to help you on your unexpected gift journey. Get many helpful friends, mentors, and acquaintances that inspire you and hold you accountable. David and I talk about this a lot when we are moving through this significant life journey and discussing the issues and problems.

I journal, read, and take time to think — with zero technology around me. This technology-free time is my time to reflect.

I loved one thing that David told me he does — getting back to being present and tech-free. He sets his phone in the bedroom beside his bed every night by 7 p.m. and leaves it there for the evening.

The idea behind this new habit is so that he won’t get distracted and flip back and forth to look at email or texts because it’s not even in his hand. Talk about making a distraction-free zone for the evening. In this way, he can be undistracted while having dinner with the family.

The Unexpected Gift of a Journal

I learned about the unexpected gift of journaling many years ago, and it was brought to my attention again during this podcast interview. But, I have to say, David Osborn takes journaling to a whole new level — he rarely will be seen without his journal.

One of the reasons David is so successful with many things is his journaling dedication. Hopefully, you’ll get to see this masterpiece sometime. He has tabs throughout his journal where he cracks it open and enters tidbits of helpful information to grow his businesses, ideas for making life better, and goals for himself and his family.

You can’t help but make a success of every endeavor when you calculate the odds, diagram the objectives of each day and week, and track where you’ve been and where you’re going.

The Unexpected Gift of Choosing Growth

Choosing growth and finding a way to stay curious will be one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. I put this down as an unexpected gift because you can’t possibly see where a growth mindset will take you.

Your entire life will be better by choosing personal growth. But, as I always say — you can’t be complacent, ever, and everything you do to select growth and development will come back to you (usually financially) many times over. So lean into the transformation, as David Osborn says, and be the enemy of the status quo.

The Unexpected Gift of Financial Success

Whatever venture you set out to do in this life — whatever your job, whatever you long for; if I could give you one gift, it would be the gift of financial success — whatever you picture that to be.

Just do it — learn what you have to learn, do what you have to do — but give yourself the gift of being financially sound. Of course, when you are financially sound, you don’t get to lie down and do nothing after you achieve your goals, but being financially sound will help you be able to do more things for more people, and you will have a little less stress.


Most things we do are automatic — every day, 90 percent of what we do, we are on autopilot without thinking about it. So I hope that for this beautiful new year of 2022, you will take some part of your life and transform that part.

Just choose one small thing to change — a habit you can build on — or learn one new thing. Then, let me know what unexpected gifts you find this next year.

Image Credit: Liza Summer; Pexels; Thank you!

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