“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” – Mary Ann Radmacher
It’s my last one for 2013. A moment of reflection. A moment of gratitude. I end this year better off than where I started. That’s always the goal.
I am reflective and contemplative because I am intent on not making the same mistakes, not falling into the same traps and not tripping over my past. I am grateful for those who participated in my life this year. Those who shared their lives with me. Those who allowed me to participate in theirs. I am willing to let go of the tough hurdles and accept that I climbed over them (even if I did it really sloppily) and am now on the other side. I am playing the highlight reel in my head right now and it is making me smile. I’ve got so much to make me smile.
As a record or memory of my life, I like to post notes and reminders all around my office. They connect me to different points in time so I can go back and visit. I treat these as little benchmarks to help me measure change or improvement and, while I recognize that it might be time to update some, I have quite a few that keep me grounded and focused on where I need to go. Today, I focused on a note that hangs over desk. I see it daily but, like many things that we glance at but don’t really “see”, this note has become just a blurred bunch of words that is tacked to the bulletin board over my desk. While I was pulling something out of the printer today, one of the push pins fell out of the board and the note dropped to one side, dangling in front of my head. It was as if it was yelling out to me, “Read me.” It could not have more overtly made itself known. And, I acquiesced accordingly and pulled the note down to take a closer look. I know, generally, what is written on the paper but I have not taken a close look at it in a very long time. This is a note to myself from a leadership workshop I participated in December 2008. 5 short years ago. I have moved this note from office to office until it found its most recent home and kept it close to my eye level in order to make sure that it is always a part of my consciousness. I do this because the workshop resulted in me wanting to hit the reset button on my life. I walked away from the program knowing that, in order for me to achieve what I wanted, so much had to change. I needed a massive overhaul but had no plan to do this. And, I did not have the skills or understanding at that time to know how to break it down into incremental baby steps. Despite this, I have achieved so much of what I set out to do and have lived out many of my intentions. I would not call the journey pretty or strategic but I would call it mostly successful. And that makes me proud.
Here’s what I wrote:
I AM A COURAGEOUS, INSPIRING LEADER.
My brand: courageous, creative, inspiring
Start doing: taking risks; leading with strength and confidence; be consistent in my actions and behaviors in all situations; be more thoughtful; embrace the positive energy coming at me (receive!); believe in my truths rather than questioning or denying; own it!; use self-visualization to create my future reality
Stop doing: self-sabotage; letting my emotions rule my behavior; letting go of fear-based thinking; stop reacting.
Upon reflection, I recognize that I have started doing most of the things I set out to do. In fact, most are part of my regular practice now. I don’t even have to think about them. However, the items I encouraged myself to stop doing still seem to be very present in my life. I find this curious as it is almost as if I stopped reading after I took in all the new behaviors. Or, perhaps, it is a lot easier to start doing new things than to stop continuing with bad behaviors. And my story is testament to that fact.
I’m not going to beat myself up over this but, instead, acknowledge that there is still plenty of opportunity to work on quitting those destructive behaviors. And, while I do not really believe in resolutions, I do believe in setting intentions and I am ready to set some intentions for 2014. I want to be more conscious about how I show up in my life and I think the elimination of those four troubling behaviors will go a long way to helping me be successful. So, for the record, for all to see, I am committing myself to revisit my 2008 goals.
1. No more self-sabotage. There are enough people out there who can sabotage your hard work and efforts. No need to join that club.
2. Stop letting the emotions drive behavior. Reason should always prevail.
3. Let go of the fear-based thinking. It is useless and destructive and never reflects reality.
4. Stop reacting. I’ve already started this one. I’m learning to count to 10. It makes a huge difference. And, when coupled with #2, takes a lot of the air out of the balloon.
I’m keeping it simple.
Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to our journeys in 2014.