Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I am embarrassed to say that I do not recall where I found this post or if someone sent it to me, one of my resolutions will be to try and make sure that when I save something like this to make sure that I write down all the details, especially if someone was kind enough to send it along to me because they knew it would resonate for me.

So with that mia culpa, I still want to share it, as there may be some who read this blog who had not yet seen it, and based on the feedback I have had from those who do read my posts I am guessing they would be as moved as I was.

What follows was written at the end of 2001, and even six years later, can't be ignored:
"So what does life expect of you in 2002? Better yet, what do you expect of yourself? Well, here’s the defining truth of 2002: we are all being held to a higher standard. The age of indulgence ended on September 11. It’s been replaced by the age of accountability. The most valuable people will be those who consistently enhance the people and the world around them.

So here are ten of the best New Year’s Resolutions you can make. They are based on The Ten Personal Best Practices formulated by Environics/Lipkin, the specialist Motivation Company in the Environics Research Group. These are the personal strategies and actions designed to achieve maximum impact in a topsy-turvy world:

1. Resolve to stay brutally optimistic. See the opportunity in every difficulty. Anticipate the most favorable outcome out of every situation. Whatever you look for, that’s what you’ll find. We can get better or we can get bitter. It all depends on the lessons we draw from each experience. Optimism is like electricity – very little happens without it. Know this truth: you have all the resources you’ll ever need to handle all the challenges you’ll ever have. It’s in the true emergencies that the true you emerges.

2. Resolve to identify the most powerful benefit you offer to the people around you and then deliver it. “The purpose of life” said George Bernard Shaw, “is a life of purpose”. What’s yours? Where are you investing your personal energy – on self-preservation or adding value to others. Here’s the well-being paradox: if you’re only concerned about yourself, you cannot take care of yourself. Only by helping others, can you succeed. This is not the creed of the Good Samaritan. It’s the primary source of motivation that sustains the Go-To people in tough times.

3. Resolve to pump up your Personal Vitality. In the game of life it’s not about who’s right, it’s about who’s left. Over 60 percent of us are over 36 years old. The real currency of the 2000’s is not cash, it’s vitality. It’s the ability to keep going 24/7/365 with vigor and verve. All you are to the people around you is a source of energy. And you cannot give what you don’t have. Ninety percent of all adults do no physical exercise at all. More than half of us is overweight. A third of us still smoke. So this year, resolve to enhance your physical, emotional and mental vitality. Take just a small step. First you’ll amaze yourself and then you’ll amaze everybody else.

4. Resolve to be Habitually Generous. Success is not something you pursue. It’s something you attract by what you become. The more you give of yourself, the more favors you attract from others. It’s called The Law of Reciprocity. People have a deep-rooted drive to give back. So resolve to proactively search for ways to contribute to others. Live above the line. If the line represents others’ expectations of you, consistently exceed those expectations. You’ll develop what Ken Blanchard calls “Raving Fans”, people who become walking billboards for you, your product and your service.

5. Resolve to go on a mental diet. Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can scar you for life. It’s humans, not elephants, who never forget. So resolve to use the language of Conciliation, not the language of Confrontation. Avoid the temptation to vent your negativity on others. Instead, use words that express your joie de vivre and connection with others.

6. Resolve to be a Global Citizen, fully open to the cultures and influences of others. There is a direct correlation between personal well-being and openness to other peoples’ ideas and cultures. If someone has a different point of view to you, they’re probably right as well. There are no absolutes anymore. No one has a patent on right and wrong. So welcome different opinions. Become a one-person champion for plurality. Not only will you make lots of new friends, but you’ll also gather multiple reference points to help you resolve personal challenges.

7. Resolve to take Control of Your Destiny. Don’t be so busy trying to make a living that you forget to make a life. You’re in charge of your own life, so take charge. Decide who you want to be and what you want to achieve. And then stride boldly towards your vision. The most precious human commodity today is Confidence. Confidence and Control of Destiny are Siamese Twins.

8. Resolve to increase your human connectivity. The person with the best connections wins. The wider your network, the more opportunities you generate. It’s all about trust. And it’s all about profile – your presence in the minds of the people who matter. So invest at least ten percent of your time broadening your sphere of influence. Connect other people to opportunities within your network – cross pollinate their potential. When you are with others, make every encounter a pleasurable one. When you listen, truly listen. And burn your fear of rejection.

9. Resolve to increase your creativity by letting go of the familiar. Nothing is as far away as yesterday. As Salman Rushdie writes, every year is the Stone Age to the year that follows it. See the world through fresh eyes everyday. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So be ready. Listen to your intuition and follow your instincts, they’ll tell you what to do before your head has had a chance to figure it out. You are a Picasso or Einstein at something. Discover what it is and then develop it to the maximum.

10. Resolve to be you because others are already taken. You and I are at our best when we’re being authentic. We’re at our best when we’re being positively spontaneous because that’s when all our energy is being invested in the person in front of us or the task at hand. In a hyper-competitive world, we cannot afford to second-guess ourselves. Success in the new, new age is all about speed. So act now, because if not now, when?

So there you have it, ten New Year Resolutions to improve your life in 2002. So decide. Fight the Good Fight, stay the course, and keep the faith."

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