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These are some things I learned during 2012 I thought may provide some value to leaders for 2013.
Dream bigger, even if you are already a big dreamer. If you set the bar unreasonably high (and keep looking toward your successes) and meet some goals, you will achieve more than the person who sets medium goals and achieves them all.
Lose some battles. Losing battles hurts, causes conflict, and always costs something to somebody. But if you knew that the losing battles were pivotal to winning the war, they would definitely be worth it. Use failure as a learning tool to review, develop and become a superior you.
Celebrate the journey. Say “I love you” more. Tell those you work with that you admire and appreciate the things they do for you and others. Take a minute to look around and enjoy the scenery once in a while. You may be astounded where life has brought you and the things you get to see along the way.
Punch somebody in the face. No, I don’t mean literally. But look around to see who needs help. Shake up their world a bit. Use love, honesty and integrity to snap them out of the maze of mediocrity. Nothing is worse than going through life thinking that nobody cares. Sometimes we even know the right thing to do, but we just need a push.
Try on someone else’s shoes. If you do this, you might find yourself saying, “Wow, I didn’t know they would feel this way. Now I know why they are so crabby all the time.” Perspective is a game changer. Whose shoes do you need to try on?
I need a vacation. You only think you do. We both know you’ve been vacationing for days, months or maybe years. Are you giving your all or going through the motions? Are you drained or do you only feel drained because you are making poor eating, sleeping and moral choices? Get to work—you don’t need a vacation. You need to end your vacation.
I really need a vacation. I have a great regimen: I’m giving, helping, and leading. I’m developing those around me; I’m making a real difference. Things are going well, but I need to recharge. Take a vacation, but respect the law of momentum.
Respect the law of momentum. Too many people take a vacation when things are going well. This is a very common mistake. Think about it: The air is crisp, the birds are chirping, you can do no wrong. Money is coming in, projects are blossoming and people love to see you. News flash—those things didn’t just happen. You’ve created momentum along the way to get you there. Strike now while you have momentum, don’t stop until you find the point a few weeks before breaking, and find someone you trust to keep spinning the wheel. And vacation long enough to recharge, and get back at it before the flywheel stops. On the flip side, if things really aren’t going well, stop. Take a vacation, come up with a plan to stop the negative momentum, learn what happened and what you’re going to do to create positive momentum when you return. Either predicament says take a vacation for the good of you and those who follow you.
Smoke a cigar. I know this is not politically correct. I’m talking about those small pauses to do nothing. Many a man was destroyed by his own impatience. Learn that you don’t have to control everything. There are greater powers in the universe than you. Find friends and mentors who will keep you in check because you can’t be trusted to run your life on your own. In fact, some of these people will be at least 80 percent as good as you at many things. If so, hand it off if it’s not within your strength zone. The outcomes will still be positive and the differences negligible.
Keep your eyes, ears and mind clean. We all have weaknesses. The trick is to avoid them like the plague. Whether or not they’re destructive, unsafe or a combo of the two, they are bad. Get away, stay away and choose life. If you fail to follow this advice, you won’t need to listen to the rest. Put the book down now—it’s the truth. See “punch someone in the face.” You’re welcome.
May 2013 be a year of success. Maybe it will be your best year ever. Every day is sunny when you rise above the clouds.