It’s so exciting to have a clean slate – especially after experiencing 2009! I believe that most of us will refer to ’09 as “a year to remember!” Do you remember the book written about the maiden and final voyage of the Titanic? It was titled “A Night to Remember!” Many lessons were learned from the Titanic disaster! Others may prefer to title 2009 “a year to forget!” Either way, hopefully we learned lessons, grew from our experiences, made new friends and we know it’s almost time to move on and put 2009 behind us. I say it’s almost time to move on – because we still have a small amount of work to do as we summarize 2009. Do you know how we review our success and lessons after an important sales call or presentation? We review what went well, what we need to improve on and what takeaways did we get from the experience.
I look at the previous year in the same light. This week, I reviewed 2009 and made a list of my progress and accomplishments, the challenges I overcame, the highlights, and the people who came into my life – many of whom were unknown to me in 2008. I also looked at areas I need to work on so that I can be more successful next time. This exercise helped me take so much value from 2009.
I’ll share an honest and personal note with you. In some ways, 2009 was one of THE most difficult years of my life. I feel and look like I’ve aged about 9 years in just twelve months – but what an education about life! I now have a Masters Degree in Life. Another year like 2009 and I’ll have a PhD! But, reviewing 2009 was a great exercise because I learned so much about life, about overcoming obstacles, the power of strategic alliances and the value of strong friendships. I learned that I work like an ant. Throw any obstacle my way and I’ll go over, under, around or through it – and I refuse to quit. What did you learn about yourself and what lessons do you take from 2009?
Some people told me they want to forget 2009 ever existed. I don’t believe you can trash an entire year as a negative experience. I also don’t believe in “Bad days!” We have challenging moments. Some moments last longer than others but every day and every year offers something positive. It depends on what you want to focus on. It also depends on the personal conversations you have in your mind. 2009 taught many of us so much!
Once you have reviewed 2009, set your goals for 2010. We all know that goals have to be “realistic” but they have to be exciting too! Exciting goals unearth your passion for life. They make every day an opportunity to move forward, to make things happen and to grow.
There is one habit that I’ve had for 25 years and I’ll do it another 25 years. EVERY morning and evening, I read something positive and inspirational for a few minutes or up to 20 minutes. I always want to start and close my day on a positive note. Remember, our thoughts are like muscles. The ones we focus on the longest, become the strongest!
I wish you a wildly successful 2010! Go after all your goals with passion and confidence!
Always Optimistic ~
Chief Eternal Optimist @ Neil Wood Consulting
Author of The Magic of Working Smarter
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul firstname.lastname@example.org.
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