At the beginning of this year I did what many others did and came up with three words to help me define my goals and priorities for the year. I thought, since we’re coming up on the six month mark, that now would be a good time to review and see where I’m at.
My three words are Connect, Difference and Positive.
Connect. The idea with this goal was for me to make sure that not only am I connecting with new people all the time, but that I’m maintaining my connections with those I’ve known for a while. These days, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the online world. Many people struggle to find a balance. Connecting online can be addictive – frankly it’s just so damn cool to have this way to instantly meet, converse and get to know people who are across the world that it’s hard to resist the temptation to do it all the time. I’ve become close friends with people who I’d never otherwise had the chance to meet. It’s astounding and every day I am amazed.
But….what about the offline world? I often wonder if I’m doing a good enough job nurturing those connections.
This past weekend was very offline for me in terms of connecting. I went to two gatherings…one with a bunch of friends and former colleagues from my old cable TV days, and one with my closest girlfriends. Many of these people I hadn’t seen in months, or even years in some cases. It was like stepping back into a comfortable old pair of shoes. Even though we’ve all grown up and moved on, the connection we made so many years ago endures. Don’t forget to connect with people from your past once in a while. It’s vitally important. It’s fun. And it almost always opens new doors.
Difference. My point with this goal was to focus more time on making a difference for others this year. I’ve always been philanthropic by nature, involved in a bunch of different project to help other people. Over the years I’ve volunteered with the Red Cross, The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, The Cancer Foundation, CHEO, Foster Parents Plan and more. I get that from my parents. They were highly active in their younger days with various charities. We were always engaged in some kind of way with one fundraising project or another. They showed me at a young age how important it is to help others, and I’ve carried that lesson through my whole life.
Over the past few years I’d backed away a lot from making a difference. I was still giving money to various charities, but not much of my time. As fate would have it, Danny Brown came along, and so did 12for12k. I’ve gotten so much out of being involved in this project I can’t even tell you. It’s a great feeling to know we are doing good things to help others. It’s fun, and challenging, but we know what we have to keep going with it, building and growing it.
But making a difference doesn’t always have to be about charity. Look around you. Do you know someone who needs your help? Maybe they need someone to help around the house. Maybe they need help with a special project of their own. If you have something to offer, don’t hold back. Reach out your hand, see who takes hold. It’s what life is all about.
Positive. This is by far the toughest one for me. Anyone who knows me might be shocked to hear that. I put it on the list because it’s something I need to work on. Some days it’s my attitude that needs work. With so much going on in my life right now, it’s hard some days to bound out of bed and be 100% positive about everything all the time. But it’s not just about my attitude.
A lot of my positivity comes through the people I spend time around. I’ve made up my mind to push negative people from my life. Just to do it. I’m not trying to be mean, but I just don’t have time for negative people any longer. Sure, they are still going to try to come at me once in a while, but I’ve learned how to deal with them better now. How to not react, get sucked in.
I’ve learned that the best way to stay positive is to stay present. Eckhart Tolle says that “In the present moment, problems do not exist.” It’s a simple phrase, but one that is very hard to understand and abide by. We waste so much of our lives on past and future.
The secret to my positivity is presence. I’m far from perfect at it, but I’m trying, every day, to get better.
Thanks for listening to this – I feel good that I’ve taken time to reflect on my three words.
Now, how about you?