Famous American poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau famously said, “The question is not what you look at but what you see.” On some level, we were all horrified by the events that took place in our nation’s capital last week. Not surprisingly, it has stirred up even more division and vitriol than existed a week ago, which seemed palpable even on its own.
I have no interest or inclination to get into a political discussion. If you’re looking for that, you won’t have to look very hard. I have determined that I will focus my time on building solutions by offering grace and kindness rather than looking to become involved with the many opportunities available to engage with strangers and especially close friends in a moral online battle. My solution is straightforward; I try to ignore it.
Happy New Year! As the year begins and we are all on 1,200 calorie diets, going to bed by 10:00 p.m. so that we can get up to exercise by 5:00, and reading three new books while focusing on how to break revenue and income records, let me welcome you back, perhaps abruptly, to reality.
I certainly do not mean to throw cold water and by no means do I intend to do anything other than to encourage you to make 2021 a year you will look back on with gratitude twelve months from now. I am not a proponent of New Year’s resolutions, so my tongue in cheek poking fun is just that. But seriously, where will you be on January 5, 2022? That is entirely up to you.
Full disclosure, I am using the headline and my message in the year’s final post from Reverend Joy Gonzales of Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas, where my wife and I attend church online every week. Joy’s message yesterday was too good and impacted me too significantly to not share it with my audience.
Many people I know, watch, and listen to cannot wait to turn the calendar this Friday and waive 2020 goodbye and greet 2021 hopefully. Indeed, a New Year always brings new hope, new ideas, and the promise that we can be and do better than we did last year. The truth of the matter is, however, that even though 2020 will soon be in the history books, its troubles aren’t going away any time soon.
This week, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas I want to issue you both a challenge and goal to ponder. Warning and spoiler alert: It may make you a little uncomfortable. If it does, then I have accomplished my objective for this blog.
I do not wish to debate, nor try to convert you if you do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In my life, I know for a fact that He is. My objective is to use the lessons He taught and the love He showed with everyone with whom I have a chance to make an impact. Simply steed, I would rather show you that I am a Christian, rather than tell you I’m a Christian.
As you have likely read or heard from me before, I get very reflective and even melancholy at the end of the year. I begin to evaluate my progress in the past year and considering where I had growth and where I need to focus my efforts more diligently next year.
I can honestly say that in a year that no one could have fathomed, I am super proud of all of the things I have accomplished this year. Sure, there were goals that weren’t quite accomplished, ideas not followed up on, and dreams to still be pursued. I am basing my success this year on a metric I have never used before because I am quite sure until one year ago I had never heard of a limiting belief.
It’s hard to believe that in just over three weeks we will celebrate Christmas. Personally speaking, I have gotten to the age where I become very nostalgic around Christmas. My days of having to stay up all night to be Santa are long gone and (hopefully) I am still a good way’s off before I get to experience the magic of a grandchild on Christmas.
Therefore, I take this time of the year to remember Christmases gone by. Memories of family members who have graduated to Heaven, old traditions that have faded away with time, and having and taking the time to just drink in the wonder of the season. Call me sentimental.
Last week as we celebrated Thanksgiving, I was so moved by a number of different messages I received both personally and electronically that were encouraging in nature. It makes me wish that we could celebrate my favorite Holiday every month.
As most of the world now turns its attention towards Christmas, I want to encourage you to camp out on giving thanks at least for a few more days. Why should you or I wait for one time a year when we truly express our gratitude for our blessings and the people who help to create them?
It’s Thanksgiving week. No greater time to be thankful and count our blessings. If you read and/or subscribe to my weekly blog and newsletter, I want to sincerely thank YOU. I can truly say in all humility that I hope I never know the impact my words might have on others and that I would never base my success on the number of people who subscribe, like, or share. My only goal is to serve.
So, if you follow me or read my posts at all, you know how much I love quotes. In fact, I recorded a video on my YouTube channel a couple of weeks ago where I tell you how and why I believe motivational quotes will change your life. You can watch it here. Last week, I came across a quote I have never read before that rocked my world and I couldn’t wait to share it with you this week.
To varying degrees, we have all felt the adverse effects of 2020. It will likely go down in history as one of the most difficult, if not tragic years in world history on a number of fronts. The long-lasting implications of everything that has happened this year may indeed take the entire decade of the ’20s to fully recover.
Who would have ever imagined that the horrific shootings that occurred throughout the country at the dawning of the New Year, or the tragic helicopter crash that took the life of Kobe Bryant and 8 other souls on that late January morning in Calabasas, California would become almost forgotten by the end of the year?
Despite all of the difficulties we have all been faced with, I believe there is still great hope in the future. I believe that brave people just like you and I turn tragedies into triumphs every day. But for a few very limited exceptions, these triumphs happen in anonymity. And I believe those are the best kinds.
Why? You may ask? Because the biggest and best expression of any characteristic of quality or integrity is best expressed by people who don’t do it for any other reason that to better themselves by first positively impacting the lives of other people.
If you look closely enough, you will see heroes all around you. People from all walks of life that care more about making a positive impact than being rewarded personally for what they do. Many of them wear uniforms but many more of them do not. They are our neighbors, local business owners, school teachers, volunteers, public servants. The list goes on and on.
Where we go from here is anybody’s guess. At least, that’s what “people” like to say. I’m not sure who “people” are but they have a lot of opinions and a lot of reasons why we shouldn’t have hope, shouldn’t try, and why we should just lay low. Those “people” are not my people. And they’re not yours either.
If you are reading this and are a loyal reader and watcher of my material (if not, see below), you know that I am going to encourage you to Be Different, Act Different, and Make a Difference. How? I don’t know that I can tell you exactly what you need to do for yourself. The only thing I can tell you is to do something. Anything that will get you moving in a positive direction that you can begin building on. The key is to just start. Today.
Start with kindness, mix in a measure of gratitude, and top it off with love and integrity and you can’t go wrong. It may be uncomfortable at first but anyone (including YOU) can form a new habit in just a few short weeks. I’ll close, as I often do with a quote that I hope summarizes my encouragement for you, and my motivation to keep “movespiring” you forward:
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well.”
I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These highly valuable hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.
We are all aware, or if you have somehow been able to avoid the news, you don’t have to look hard to discover that there is a lot of anger, divisiveness, and judgment pervading our society today. With hopes that the future can and will always be better, I write today to encourage you to practice kindness and goodness.
Moreover, I encourage you to turn any anger you have into acceptance, any disappointment into hope and any hurts you have into healing. Each and every one of us has the ability to change the narrative and the future. As is so often the case, my motivation, and my words today are a result of a quote I came across recently.