January 9, 2018
Phil Johnson, Ph.D.
Another year…another chance to look ahead at who we want to be and how we want our lives to look in these next 12 months. I recently wrote a blog talking about some of the highlights of 2017, so now it’s time to look ahead and see what we can manage with this next 12-month set of opportunities. Here is my Top-10 List:
1.) Take at least 3 more risks than usual. And then see where those lead you- you might be surprised that you find yourself.
2.) Find someone smart and periodically ask him/her questions. Ask them how they sorted out difficult times. Ask them what has changed most in their thinking over the last 10 years. Ask them to tell you the greatest moral value they’ve ever had to wrestle with – and how they came down on it in the end. Ask them the one thing for which they’d like to be remembered.
3.) Choose one locations where you’ve never been – write at least 10 questions that you have about that location – and then go there and discover it – all for yourself. You will definitely own the experience.
4.) Show gratefulness – there are lots of people who help us, pray for us, do things for us and believe in us. Tell them how thankful you are that they had a part in your life.
5.) Choose to waste less time this year. I’m not even going to waste your time explaining this – you all know EXACTLY what I’m taking about!
6.) Go to at least one concert this year. Think about someone/group you always wanted to see live – and just plan it. For me, I’ve decided to either take the opportunity to see amazing musicians and artists either “just before” they become too famous, or slightly before they die. They all seem slightly more accessible in these situations. Anyway – the point is – experiencing great live music enriches your life, delights you with memories of the soundtrack of your life and creates new memories with friends and family.
7.) OK, it’s time to start getting rid of some people in your life. Who? I would suggest those who are inconsistent communicators, those who flatter effectively enough to confuse you, but time reveals the emptiness or hyperbole of their words. Those who make, but fail to keep promises. Those who like to make excuses. I’d also get rid of anyone who doesn’t contribute to your life. I am speaking about the people who you voluntarily put at the center of your life – not those who you are serving or helping or mentoring. I am talking about those who are supposed to be adding loyalty, trust and stability. If they’re not – get rid of them. Find better quality people. Life is short – help those who need it, and surround yourself with a few amazing people (even one or two is pretty great). And don’t compromise.
And my advice to the folks who need to be kicked out – you all need to sort yourselves out. Decide who you’re going to be, and be consistent. Find someone who wants what you’re offering and and stop trying to sell good people things you don’t have to sell.
8.) Start simplifying your life – get rid of junk. Do not over-estimate the value of too many sentimental trinkets. Clean up, prioritize- not just objects that you own, but the things you’re involved in. Become a master of exclusion – and do the things you do with great focus and great quality. Think of your life as a focused laser…not a ceiling of florescent lights.
9.) Forgive someone- whether they ask for it or not – put it in God’s hands – and forgive. There is something so freeing about no longer allowing someone else’s choices to control your emotions, regrets and disappointments. It doesn’t even matter if the person realizes that they need forgiveness. This is for you – for your mental health and freedom. For your heart.
10.) Start a list book. No, not necessarily a diary – but a book of lists. You come across quotes all the time, Scripture verses, comments that people make, statements that authors and speakers make, absurd bits of insight at unexpected times. Snatch those nuggets of possible wisdom, write them down in your book -look at them from time to time – and you’ll be surprised when those words come back to you at just the right time – clarifying your thinking and illuminating our path.
That’s about it! Ten things to consider – things that might make a huge change for you in 2018. Have a happy and productive New Year! If you have 2018 suggestions to share with us, please leave a comment!!