Leadership Corner: Tips For a Positive New Year
Welcome to 2012!
We hope your first week or so of 2012 has been spectacular and that you are already well engaged in developing your 2012 plans for living the life you seek to live in the coming year and beyond!
Often the earliest mailings of the year are focused on new beginnings…and why not? It is the logical thing to do when New Year’s rolls around. We think about who we are…how last year went…and what we hope to bring to fruition in our lives over the coming year. If you are currently engaged in this process, I encourage you to look deep!
As I consider the plethora of changes in my life over the past several years, I noticed that as I learned to look deeper for what was REALLY important, I grew exponentially…as a dad, as a teacher, as a partner, as a person.
We all lead full lives…we all face our own challenges and opportunities and we all struggle at some level with the voices in our head. Recall that Maya Angelou promised us that, “Everyone you meet is dealing with something.” The way out is through self-examination and then knowing ourselves…it’s about moving toward possibility.
I don’t know if Maya Angelou’s quote relates specifically to what I have been through in the past three years (and will go through in the coming year) or whether that relates more to my coming to my 60th birthday? Who can say for certain? I can only tell you that the deeper I have looked, the more I have learned about myself. While that might seem scary to anyone contemplating the same adventure, I can tell you that it has been thoroughly refreshing, incredibly interesting, in some ways wonderfully exciting and in an unexpected way, liberating! Yes, Liberating! I wish you the same good fortune and experience that I have enjoyed on my continuing personal journey of introspection. My guess is that you don’t need to see a particular birthday on the horizon to get started! J In the end, it will help you become the person you aspire to be.
To start the year off on good footing, I want to share with you (with permission), a piece from Jon Gordon’s daily e-mail service (www.jongordon.com). It provides simple advice for 2012. Frankly, I believe this advice would be valuable to anyone choosing to rethink how they live their life, on any day of the year.
Following Jon’s list of 20 suggestions, I have added a few quotes that I had discovered (or rediscovered) during the past year while researching material for this weekly mailing. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed them.
On a personal note…I want to thank you all for your support and feedback about our leadership and communication work at Washington State, as well as for this list-serve and the various programs I and others have had the special honor to present. It has been a sincere privilege to share these Monday leadership musings and quotes with you over these past three years. I hope that whatever the future brings, you might find some encouragement and support in the words of others that we have shared here in our weekly mailings. The years continue to pass and while I don’t know for how long and in what form this endeavor may ultimately continue…change is omnipresent and continuous…and change will always prevail in life. However, one thing that I don’t see changing any time soon is my interest in helping you and your teammates to be all you aspire to be. To that end, if ever you need to reach me, know that you will find me available to you at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.595.8015 (voice or text). Anytime you believe I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call or write.
Finally, let me say that it is my sincere hope that our future paths will intersect so that I can thank you in person for reconfirming for me, the incredible value that exists in spirit, heart and capacity of people around this world.
BTW…if you are looking for a great read in 2012, try Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania. I found it the next step beyond “choosing happy” which while simple (and catchy), was of course, simplistic. Dr. Seligman’s book had for me, a lot of nuggets on what it means to tend to our sense of and human need/quest for “well-being” and its four core components. For me personally as a book of interest and meaning, I found it to be on a par with The Slight Edge and Rich Dad, Poor Dad which, while focused in other areas, were understandable and powerful reads that increased in power every time I read them. I am not selling books here…I’m just saying, it was a great read!
Best wishes for a WONDERFUL New Year. Happy 2012!
Here are shared with permission, Jon Gordon’s:
20 Tips for a Positive New Year
1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a "Thank You Walk." It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
3. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
4. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: "What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?" Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.
5. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, think optimistically about where you are going.
6. Remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome.
7. Don't chase success. Instead decide to make a difference and success will find you.
8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.
9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.
11. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
12. Remember there's no substitute for hard work.
13. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. Remember that complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick. www.NoComplainingRule.com
15. Read more books than you did in 2011. I happen to know of a few good ones. :)
16. Don't seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you. www.Seed11.com
17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished____________.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.
“We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.” --Henry David Thoreau
“Not choice, but habit rules the unreflecting herd.” -- William Wordsworth
“Every individual has the power to change his or her material or financial status by first changing the nature of his or her beliefs.” -- Napoleon Hill
“The greatest of all freedoms is the ability to choose how you will respond to any situation.” -- Victor Frankl
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” -- Vince Lombardi
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo Buonarroti
“You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, get on your way!” -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
“If someone were to ask me to pick one word to best describe any success I've had in my life....I wouldn't hesitate; the word would be perseverance.” – Mac Anderson
“The miracle is this - the more we share, the more we have.” Leonard Nimoy
“Only the brave know how to forgive; it is the most refined and generous pitch of virtue human nature can arrive at.” -- Laurence Sterne
“You can conquer almost any fear if you will make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.” -- Dale Carnegie
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt 26th US President
Here’s to a wonderful week of growth and excellence, for your patients, your careers, your education, your teammates, your family…and yourself.