Because we human beings live consciously inside a medium called time, we experience everything in life as having a beginning and an ending. We count our age with annual birthdays, and our marriages with annual anniversaries. We evaluate history in units of time: years, decades and centuries. Because that is so, it is inevitable that when we come to an end point of one of our time measurements, we pause to evaluate. I’ll invite each of us to evaluate this past year, and, I’ll invite you to share your thoughts with another person whom you value.
My three best memories of 2016: Record your responses and share them.
Excellent! No need to reflect on what did not work, where you failed to meet a goal, where something broke bad. You learned what you needed to learn, and now you’re focusing on the best of 2016, because as you do so, you’ll bring about the best for 2017. Simple, but effective.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus
Join me in making 2017 the best year ever. Since the quality of our life is determined by the questions we ask, let’s start asking some profound questions. I invite you to record your responses and create goals for 2017.
There’s a story of a biologist’s experiment with “Processional Caterpillars.” On the rim of a clay pot that held a plant, caterpillars were lined up so the leader was head to tail with the last caterpillar. For a week the tiny creatures circled around the rim – not once did any of them break away to go over to the plant and eat.
Eventually, all the caterpillars died from starvation and exhaustion
Doesn’t this story serve as a parable for human behavior? Sometimes, I, and maybe you too, am reluctant to break away from the rhythmic pattern of life.
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Terry Tempest Williams
Question: Where am I like the caterpillars? What will I do to break away from a rhythmic pattern of life to improve my health and my relationships? Record your response and make it a goal for 2017.
Take full control of your life. In his book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield gives us a formulas for a successful life: E + R = O (Event plus our Response equals the Outcome). Whether we have control of events or not, how we respond to them creates our life experience. It’s up to us, no excuses.
Again, referring to The Success Principles, Canfield says “You have to give up all your excuses.” He quotes George Washington Carver who said, “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” What prevents us from being more successful, happier, more prosperous, are the excuses we make to keep us right where we are. It’s called our comfort zone. Our excuses prevent us from taking the risks we need to take, in order to grow ourselves into our goals.
Question: What have I been putting off, delaying, because the first step I need to take feels way too risky?
Drop the excuses and take that step. You’ve just created another worthwhile goal for 2017. Congrats!