Just Reading This RFL is a Waste of Time

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Friends,

Here’s my Happy New Year’s wish, which is perhaps better seen as an invitation, or a taunt:

LEAD YOURSELF to your best year ever.  Absurd?  Audacious? Well, leadership always has an element of audacity to it.  President Kennedy said: we’ll put an American on the moon.  Dr. King saw: the children of slaves and children of slave owners sittting together at the table of brotherhood. Sergei Page and Larry Brin say: they’ll organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible. Why shouldn’t a leader say they’ll have the best year ever? If you can get to the point of making this honest commitment to make it a great year, you are probably 50% of the way there.

If you posit that you will have the best year ever, it then begs the question: What can you do to make it the best year ever?  I suggest three things:

1.  Look back at your life to see what made for your “best-ever” life context, and look for the inputs that made things so good then.  Last year when I looked back in this way, I saw that both my best moments and my best long stretches had occurred when I created time to pray. That had made me purposeful, centered, and at peace. So, in 2011 I started and ended every day with prayer. I also saw that regular physical activity had promoted my productivity, creativity and well-being; my best self times were when I was working out. I thus recommited to treat my physical activity not as a luxury but as a core necessity.  These inputs – important to me – may well not be key to you, but what is?

2. Control what you can.  Of course, external inputs impact our happiness: a great boss, a romance, a new job, or the birth of a grandchild may have shone upon you.  Perhaps your best year was a blessed year, where things like that just fell into place.  But leaders control what they can!  So, what are the inputs that you can control? Some of the externals – like having a great boss – may be things you need to focus on to make 2012 great. And some things may have to do with re-orienting your own thinking.

3.  Write it down.  Just reading this RFL is a waste of time if you don’t do something with it!  Best case scenario: Take 5-10 minutes right now and write a picture of what you will create for yourself this year. “This year is going to be my best ever because I’m going to commit to….”

I’d love to hear what will make this year a great year, so you can truly

Lead with your best self,

Dan

5 responses to “Just Reading This RFL is a Waste of Time

  1. Dan;

    Today’s RFL was right in line with my future life directive. This year I decided to control what I can by cutting my work year to 180 days. I informed the owners of the company I work for that ideas making this move and naturally / fairly told them to let me know what I would be worth to them with this new work year. At 62 years young I know this could have lead to our separating, so I reminded them I have never negotiated an employment agreement, I have always offered my help and accepted THE offer.

    The owners made an offer and I accepted.

    A large step taken successfully because I took control.

    Thank you for keeping up the weekly RFL contributions.

  2. I wish this could be my best year but too many lies has been told about me over the years that is being used against me now by a corrupted system. I don’t even joke anymore because people turn them into something else. I believe that I am seriously ill because of the way I have been feeling since November but too afraid to go to a doctor. Plus I won’t be seeing my 8 year old pretty soon because of this corrupted system. My son is my family but soon won’t be. So it’ll be my worst year ever. I wish that I could pray too again but it’s hard to belive in God because of what is (and always has been) going on. I don’t know what would actually make this a great year for me or my son, Noah being without each other. God Bless you Dan and your family:-) 🙂

    1. Patricia,
      Begin by taking care of yourself. Being afraid is an important human defense. But you don’t need to be afraid, i.e., defend against the threat of a doctor. Doctors help. Sometimes time heals. Sometimes not. Doctors know better. You can’t be good for Noah if you’re not well. Listen to your best self.
      D.

  3. Taking care of yourself is critical to leading with your best self. Mental and physical health both. Listen to your body and your emotions. My worst best times were actually my best times. They taught me that I needed to learn more about people who manipulate and deceive. I did and continue to read about this sub set of humans. It is now easier to spot these people and to defend and work around them.

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