I won’t spend a bunch of time “throat clearing” as a colleague once called it. Let’s jump right into it. Some of this will sting, others may make you smile, and some will cause you to eye roll. Push through it.
Here’s how I plan to win in the New Year, and I hope you will join me.
Take what you need, leave the rest on the floor.
1. Be accountable. I often hear folks in many spaces and places blaming others for their own business (or life) tragedies.
Let me be super clear. I work every day on a variety of issues surrounding equity or inclusion so I am a firm believer that there are moments that transpire because of a person’s affiliation with a minority group. There are human civil rights injustices every single day that are valid and bring up hundreds of years of emotions that can’t be forgotten. And, there are many moments that prove that there is a movable ladder of life, an heir of privilege, and implicit and blatant biases running rampant. I have experienced each and every one, and likely you may have too.
I am not talking about those experiences. I wouldn’t dare minimize or talk of those moments so casually.
There are some instances where the affliction is really due to a person’s lack of preparedness or ability to have personal agency in their own decisions and its impact. It is our responsibility to show up as our most excellent selves, and sometimes we will not be respected but that does not dismiss that we should do what we know to do. Because sometimes, and that’s a big sometimes, it is not another person who is causing our suffering, it is ourselves.
2. Be ok with not being right. Holding space for your expectations and standards may mean that it will not be “right” in the definition of someone else. That has to be ok. It will cost you a ton trying to prove that you are right according to their standard, or lack of, instead stand firm in your expectations and make a choice to remove things that do not uphold the integrity of who you are. Or, allow someone else the opportunity to mediate what might be best and not just what’s right for you.
3. Focus on one thing. There are several people in the world that we follow on Instagram and maybe other social platforms that consider themselves multi-hyphenate or multi-potentialite. These designations can only truly belong to a select few people in the world. Everyone can’t be everything. That’s counterproductive
Don’t let the desire to have many passions steer you from mastering one true field of calling. Understand that I’m not necessarily talking about field as in career space, but rather the thread that pulls all of your work together that you can focus on – though I DO believe you need to focus your career too (that’s another post for another time).
In an age where we learn what to learn and not how to learn or think through a process, I believe that we need the opportunity really excel at why we are placed here on earth before we move on to have seven sources of income or so many slashes in our LinkedIn bio.
And to give this caveat: excelling does not mean you stop growing, learning, or as my first lady says, “becoming”. Instead, it means that you are at a place of knowing - true knowledge that guides your every move.
4. Lead at every position. In my office I have this saying, “lead at every position.” As a leader, your greatest requirement will be to learn how to lead from every space you are in. Simply, this means that no matter what role you have, you are to understand your positioning and how it is show up to others; as a leader that might mean playing the most insignificant role and in some scenarios, you will be the unpopular villain. In each case, you are to stand firmly in guiding, mentoring, and even sometimes leading from beside or slightly behind another.
5. Serve others. The highest calling we have is to serve other people. It is our service to others that reminds us of what it really means to be in community and a global citizen committed to connection with all types of people. Our time in service also connects us with our center, the universe, and our highest self – usually a reflection of a greater entity.
6. Learn a lesson. I have a saying that I adopted after hearing it from a colleague, “learn a lesson or teach a lesson.” Every assessment I take says that I want to teach with compassion, or some derivative of that phrase. But I’ve learned that is dangerous, mostly to self.
If “doing is the best teacher, then learning is the best class.” Learning is essential to self-discovery. Learning gives an opportunity to move from “why is this happening to me?” to “what am I to learn from this experience?” This shift in perspective is a game-changer to personal health, self-care, and internal compassion.
At the top of each day ask, “what am I to learn today?” and the bottom of the day ask, “what have I learned today?”. With each set of answers, you can then determine if you want to take that lesson and one day share it or tuck it away so that the lesson never needs to be learned or spoken of again.
Welcome to a New Year, a chance to continue your “during”. Remember, there is no before and after, only constant movement towards a final destination. When you arrive to that final place, you are no longer here. So, keep moving.
A New Year affirmation
I stand in absolute joy that I have made it another moment, another day, another year to excel in what I am called to do on this earth. I will use this time to reflect on the experiences of the past only so that I may appreciate the reflection it makes on my present and future. My heart is filled with gratitude acknowledging that though I can find a list of challenges, if I think hard enough, I actually have so much more to be grateful for most specifically that I am able to keep going. I am here with much more steam to go farther, be better, and achieve more. This New Year I will be responsible for defining my own success and happiness. I hold myself accountable to find the joy in every decision and environment that I place myself in. I also hold myself accountable to say I’m sorry and follow with action. I set the intention that I will live my life to its absolute fullest and give myself permission to exceed my own expectations. And so it is.