I have been thinking the last few days what I might write that would be appropriate for the end of one year and the beginning of a new. Of course a great number of people use the end of the year as a time to reflect and then vow to themselves to change some things in their lives.
As I thought about offering some leadership insights in the form of New Year’s resolutions, nothing came to mind that particularly inspired me. That wasn’t until I ran into this quote by Thomas Carlye who was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. He said this:
“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder – a waif, a nothing, a no man”
This led me to thinking of the words to the Beatles’ song “Nowhere Man.” Listen to the words:
I then concluded that the common practice of making resolutions for a new year really meant nothing unless one had first thought about why they are making them. Shouldn’t we first ask: “What is my life’s purpose and how will these resolutions help me accomplish it?”
“If a person hasn’t really thought about his life’s purpose then isn’t it possible that some of the resolutions made could really be inconsistent with what is really important in his or her life?”
For example you could resolve to become the best salesperson in the company for 2012. However if you think about a life’s purpose it could be entirely possible you find you really don’t like being a salesperson. So resolving to become better one could provide some short-term economic benefits, but may do nothing at all to accomplish your goals in life or make you happy.
So if you are going to make some New Year’s resolutions, make sure the first three are:
I resolve in 2012 to:
- Think about what is important to me in my life
- Then list want I want to accomplish and be remembered for
- Then strive diligently to live a life that will accomplish these things