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December 22, 2017

10 Thought-provoking Considerations for 2018 and Beyond

After spending much of my time in November thinking, December has brought about a sorting of those thoughts. Whether they dealt with personal goals or with a work and career focus, I found many of these thoughts to be foundational and applicable for the success we all seek.

If you’re looking for some foundational ideas for 2018 and beyond, below are 10 of these thoughts for you to consider:

1.     There is something bigger than you.

It’s really easy to become engrossed in our own worlds and especially in our problems when we feel like we are as big as it gets. When you understand that you are a tiny part of a much bigger something, it’s easier to put things into perspective. Whether you perceive that bigger something as God, or the Universe, or society, or community, we are all just small pieces of a much larger unit. Thinking more about how you create yourself for that unit rather than just for yourself keeps the small stuff from becoming so large.

2.     You Are Solely Unique in What You Have to Offer.

You may be a tiny part of something larger, but every single being within that larger something has a unique set of qualities. You may be replaceable in a job, but you yourself can never be replaced. There will never be another you, and no one will ever be able to offer what you offer in the exact way you offer it. In that way, there is no competition, only what one person prefers vs. another.

3.     You Have to Live for the Present as Well as Seeing the Big Picture for the Future.

Most people will tell you it’s one or the other; they will tell you to live in the present moment or that you must live with the future as your focus. I’d argue that you need both. Living in the future doesn’t allow you to truly be present for yourself and others. There’s little enjoyment in that. It usually comes with statements like, “If I could just finish X,” or “If I just just get to X, then I could…”  Likewise, living for today without any attention paid to the future can also cause problems. Without a plan you don’t really have any clarity about how to get where you want to go, and that can lead to never getting there.

4.  You Must Be the Center of Your World.

While it’s important to live with a larger perspective and to see a bigger picture, you’ve got to stay in the center of your world. Otherwise you end up running around everyone and everything else, trying to fit in their worlds, and that’s exhausting. You can be much more effective and helpful to others if you’ve taken care of yourself first.

5.  Failure Is Inevitable. Success Is Not.

Even the most successful people will tell you they have failed at many things. Many successful entrepreneurs and creatives wear their failures like badges of honor, and there’s good reason for that  - you don’t get ahead without trying things out, and it’s inevitable that some of the things you try are not going to work. If you’re afraid to try things because you might fail, your chances of finding success will be significantly lower.

6. Money Is Your Friend.

You can’t wish you had money and also think it’s a bad thing. If you want to have more money, you have to make friends with money and give it a reason to want to hang out with you. People with money who are greedy or selfish or devious didn’t become that way because of the money. Money, like power, typically only magnifies the true characteristics one already possesses. There are many wonderful people doing wonderful things for others and for the world with money. If you want to be one of them, then you have to adopt a positive mindset about money so it can be attracted to you.

7.  Positive Thinking In and Of Itself Is Relatively Useless.

All the positive thinking in the world isn’t going to create change unless you believe what you’re saying. It also doesn’t matter much if you’re not pairing it with some form of action. So a better focus is the adaptation of a belief system that supports a positive mindset, in addition to solution-based thinking. When you’re thinking in a positive way about how you can solve an issue, you are creating possibility.

8.  What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

If you want something and you’ve been working in a certain way and you’re not getting it, then something needs to change. There’s no way around that. People will often “try harder” in the same way in order to get ahead, and that usually doesn’t yield great results. If you really want to see change, then you must change something. If you’re not sure what that thing is, then look for people who can help you.

9. Getting What You Want Is a Bi-product of Becoming Who You Are Truly Meant to Be.

If you’re focused on discovering who you truly are and what the foundation of that is, you are much more likely to develop a solid idea of what you want and how to achieve that, because it will align with your truest nature. If you’re set on what you want and you don’t really know who you are, you may find out later that you worked very hard to try and get something you only thought you wanted.

10.  Things Are Not Fair and They Never Will Be.

Frustration over things not being fair is a waste of your energy. Emotions are not fair, and since many of the decisions in the world are made based on emotions, there’s no use in thinking this will ever change or even that it should. The world is run by people, and people oftentimes don’t run on facts or logical reasoning. And that’s ok. That doesn’t mean that you can’t argue for what you believe to be right, but you must understand that those who oppose you also believe their view to be right. Sometimes you will win an argument and sometimes you won’t.

If you haven’t done so recently, I would encourage you to find some thinking time of your own. When all of your energy is spent running from one thing to another, it can be difficult to find clarity, and that’s usually something we all would enjoy having more of.

And if you find you can’t do this on your own, then consider joining a group or a course that helps you structure some time in this way. Ultimately, it’s not what you do with your life that matters, it’s how you choose to experience it.

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