“Living up to a dream is rarely as important as entering it for all it has to teach.”
Image from Unsplash by Keli Stirrett
What did you dream about as a child? How did your dreams evolve or change as you entered adolescence and your early adult years?
If you are a bit older, what did your dreams include in your 30s, 40s, 50s….?
Where did the dreams take you, and what did you learn along the way?
What vision, mission, and goals do you have for yourself today?
How mindful are you about picking up the lessons along each step of your path?
Motivational Speaker Les Brown and a few others authors suggest we keep shooting for the moon, because even if you miss, you will land among the stars.
“When the music changes, so does the dance.”
—West African proverb
Image from Unsplash by Mitchell Orr
For most of us, it has been quite some time since we’ve gone anywhere to dance. Weddings and other large gatherings where we celebrate and let loose with our best moves seem like distant memories of better times.
It feels like we’ve been engaged in a kind of musical chairs where the chairs are being removed and the music of change starts and stops without notice. We’re all on heightened alert, anxious about staying in the game and securing our seat.
As we look to find our footing in the new year, many of us are beginning to feel the beat and rhythm of new opportunities and possibilities to dance again.
How can you make and listen to the music of a better future for yourself and your communities? Where can you discover and create new opportunities to dance and celebrate your life in the year ahead?
“No man steps in the same river twice.”
—Heraclitus, Ancient Greek, pre-Socratic, Ionian philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Roma Ryabchenko
When you examine the pace of change in your life, what do you see?
When you look at your various communities, where do you notice small, subtle changes? Where are the tectonic shifts far more noticeable?
Just as a river changes its flow and its course over time, our lives are always flowing from one day to the next. To fight or resent such change is like grabbing a handful of air.
Where are you currently upset and angry about the course of your life?
Where are you trying to paddle upstream against the currents of change?
How can and will you instead step into the new river of each day, embracing and influencing your journey?
“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.”
Image from Unsplash by Eunice Stahl
Few of us are sailing the high seas or doing much boating these days. All of us, however, have seen dramatic climate changes in the weather, and in society. To what degree are you being buffeted or pushed around by the winds of change?
Alternatively, how are you learning to adjust your personal and professional sails and rudders to navigate toward safer harbors and a better world?
How is a meteorologist different from a sailor? Which of these professions reports and forecasts the changes occurring — and which uses that information to direct and adjust their efforts towards desired destinations?
How can and will you take more mindful moments during these dynamically changing times to clarify and pursue your path?
“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.”
—Rick Godwin, American Pastor
Image from Unsplash by NeOBRAND
We all know in our heads and even in our hearts that change is inevitable. The law of impermanence is pretty evident, yet our need for control has us always swimming upstream against the currents of life.
What is there to lose? is a question worth exploring deeply. It is this real or perceived loss that troubles us most. The Serenity Prayer, originally written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1932, can be helpful to navigate such waters. The modern version reads:
God grant me the Serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things
I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference
Where and how can a shift of mindset to a positive, opportunistic view of change help you explore and realize previously invisible gains that await you?
“You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.”
Image from Unsplash by marianne bos
Many of us are doing a lot more thinking about our thinking these days. With things changing all around us, most of us are taking significantly more time to explore our perspectives, attitudes, and values.
Where has this expanded and broader view taken you? Where are you simply looking harder in the same direction, hoping for the old normal?
How and in what ways can you move beyond looking harder in the same direction to take some new and courageous steps in a better direction?
Please reply to this post with any insights you are inspired to act upon today.
“Don’t go to war to maintain the past.”
—Seth Godin, American Author
Have you seen Hamilton? If not, you are in luck—Disney just paid a fortune for the rights to the show. It is now available on its streaming platform with the original cast.
Beneath the wonderful music, staging, and the extraordinary performances is the powerful story of the beginnings of our nation and how we went to war to become free and chart our own future.
The comical King George in the production went to war to hold on to the past, and obviously lost.
Where are you and others in your personal and professional communities still engaged in a war to maintain the past? What revolutionary ideas, efforts, and opportunities are worth fighting for to create your new future?
“A level-headed person is one who doesn’t get dizzy doing good turns.”
—O.A. Battista, 20th Century Canadian-American chemist and author
Image from Unsplash by Dayne Topkin
There is no question that the world is a dizzying place these days. What has recently changed in your personal and professional communities that has turned your life upside down?
To help you stabilize your world and regain some footing, many folks are bringing new levels of empathy, compassion, and generosity to those around them. What good turns are you observing these days in your various communities?
How and in what ways can you both acknowledge and actively participate in these efforts to realize a more level-headed world?
Please reply to this post with some examples of the good turns you are seeing and doing to regain your footing.
“If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you either need to change your habits or change your dream.”
—Sam Horn, American author and communications strategist
Image from Unsplash by Jakob Owens
Thoughts become things only when we take action.
Wishful thinking is not a good strategy for success. Even new millionaires who won the lottery knew they had first to buy a ticket.
To pretty much guarantee yourself a winning ticket in your life lottery, take a good look at your habits and daily practices.
If you are healthy inside and out, you likely eat well, exercise, get adequate rest, and probably have a few other self-care and spiritual practices.
What are your dreams for this year and beyond? To what degree are you progressing toward them through your daily efforts?
Consider swapping out one new good habit for one that is holding you back. To explore how to do this, consider studying and applying the work of Charles Duhigg in his brilliant book, The Power of Habit.
“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”
—Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker/author
Image from Unsplash by Isaac Smith
Do yourself a big favor and set some worthy goals for the new year.
If you are like many of us, you are thinking, I do this every year, or maybe why bother?
Perhaps, like many people, you stick to your resolutions until sometime in February, when things fall apart due to bad weather, waning discipline, or competing priorities at home or work.
Whatever you do or don’t do, you can bet that changes are coming. The question to ask yourself is whether you are going to control their direction, or simply react to whatever comes your way.
Please consider improving your odds of success by adding a variety of social and structural supports. To learn more about how to do this, put the book Influencer – The Power to Change Anything on your holiday and new year reading list.