4 Ways to Make 2018 the Best Year of Your Life
If 2018 was your last year on earth, and you had to keep your job, what would you do differently?
Brevity simplifies priority.
You’d feel an urgency to enjoy life if the end was near. You’d say “yes” more frequently if fear governs you. You’d say “no” if pleasing others dominates you.
“You can have it all,” is a lie that destroys enjoyment.
#2. Practice presence.
“Being present” seemed like New Age gobbledygook to me, but the former CEO of KPMG, Eugene O’Kelly, made it real and practical.
O’Kelly died about 100 days after being diagnosed with brain cancer. It was September 10, 2005. He was 53.
“Before my illness, I had considered commitment king among virtues,” O’Kelly wrote in Chasing Daylight. “After I was diagnosed, I came to consider consciousness king among virtues.”
- Presence is doing one thing at a time.
- Presence is rediscovering relationships.
- Presence requires patience and kindness.
- Presence focuses outward during conversations while being connected to your heart at the same time.
- Presence enters into experience without controlling.
Tip: relax and NOTICE if you want to be present.
#3. Practice kind candor and courageous transparency.
Bronnie Ware writes the top regret of the dying is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” (The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.)
Kind candor and courageous transparency answer the top regret of the dying.
Adding value is the guiding principle behind kind candor and courageous transparency. Leaders don’t running around saying whatever pops into their heads.
#4. Express gratitude.
Gratitude infuses life with meaning.
Go through your contact list. Call one person a day. Recall a memory. Let them know you appreciate them. (See, The Gratitude Diaries.)
What would you do if 2018 was your last year on earth and you had to keep your job ?
A Most Excellent Post and a great way to start my New Year. Thanks, Dan. Your thinking adds clarity and focus to me and for a lot of people, you can be assured. Have FUN out there, too!
Thanks Dr. Scott. Happy New Year to you. It’s good that my personal search for clarity is useful to others. If I wasn’t so confused, I couldn’t write.
As I reflect on 2017 I consider this a great list. I would add a couple items, the first to nourish ourselves physically for vitality. The second to serve in someway to nourish ourselves spiritually.
Brilliant Nine…. If I had one day to live, I wouldn’t exercise. But a year is a different matter. 🙂
Isn’t it great that serving makes life better for servants.
Me too, one day and I’m thinking like a death row inmate with my last meal, but a year… I’m thinking to support my efforts at enjoyment, kindness, gratitude, presence. Not sure I understand your comment on serving… just for servants?
I should have said that serving makes life better for those being served and for those serving.
Thank you, I appreciate you and the work you do. Here’s to a great start to 2018
Happy New Year, Dan. This blog helps sift out what’s important.
Happy New Year, Donna. Thanks for the good word.
Happy NewYear Dan, thanks for a thoughtful starter.. I appreciate your words regarding presence, I’ve wrestled in a similar way.
Thanks Ken. Happy New Year. I had a moment of clarity because of O’Kelley. For some reason the idea made sense when I brought life’s brevity to the topic. If we have limited time in this world, it makes sense to be present in life. I feel a little silly, but that’s what happened. Cheers
Happy New Year Dan. You are a modern-day Lao-tzu (author of the Tao Te Ching) : )
Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves, this nonsense makes perfect sense. And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep.
I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
What a great thing to say, Bill. I can wish. The Lao-tzu quote is awesome. Perhaps one of the challenges of leadership is avoiding the seduction of complexity.
Happy New Year
Express Gratitude. I saw an idea on another website to keep a daily journal recording one thing about your spouse for which you are thankful. It might something grand or quite small, but the point was to be specific. Give this journal to your spouse at Christmas. I like this idea. The point of that blog was to stop trying to change your spouse, but rather give thanks. I see this working also in any number of contexts – family, work, church, etc. Happy New Year!
Love the idea Pete. Leaders could practice a form of this with their team members.
I wonder how many people in mid/lower levels at KPMG have the luxury of doing one thing at a time, or practising patience and kindness?
Actually, O’Kelley didn’t practice it until he knew death was at the door. Gives a whole new meaning to begin with the END in mind. OR, live with the end in mind.
Happy New Year
Eye opener for the New Year.
Keep doing what you always do, if that fits your plan, knowing your required to work till the end in theory.
A true servant will give to the end.
Happy new year
Own Family is very important for facing of life problem . Not life of problem but all of problem ,the family is the best support to make good integrity
#3. Practice kind candor and courageous transparency. Excellent, I like that! Honesty doesn’t have to be cruel if its put tactfully, its just direct. After losing more people than I would like, too early, you do eventually realise that tomorrow isn’t promised. Happy New Year!!
Thanks for the reminders!
P.S. Writing a note/letter to a person a day comes back to you ten-fold!