A few years ago, Chris Brogan inspired me to come up with three words for the year. Last year, I came up with Living Fully which is only two words but encompassed what I was about. 2012 was filled with many highs and lows, and a major low was the sudden death of my mother. That was a wake-up call for me, and informed the choice for my three words for 2013 – Living, Caring and Serving.
Living: Henry David Thoreau wrote in Civil Disobedience and Other Essays: Collected Essays of Henry David Thoreau, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” I do not want to be one of those people – I want to live my life to the fullest. There are many times when we hold ourselves back because we think that we are too old, too young, do not have enough money, do not have enough education, do not have our ducks lined up in a row, and the list goes on and on.
Today, I start off where I am, I take the first step, and then the next, because I know that I don’t have to see the entire staircase, just the first few steps. I have my plan for 2013, and it is quite ambitious and overwhelming, as it should me. But I remind myself that all I have to do is take the first few steps and form a habit.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.” Lao-tzu
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Caring: This is a year to take good care of myself so that I am able to take care of those who are important to me. I have never done a good job of caring for myself. When I was very young, pneumonia almost killed me, and as a result, I am prone to bronchitis. When I get the flu, I often take a much longer time than others to heal, and there are times when I am quite ill.
There have been instances when I was so ill that I could not get out of bed, and I suffered in silence, even though I know that there are people who would willingly take care of me. I will take better care of myself, even if it means asking for help, and do not overthink the situation.
“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” Anthony Robbins
Serving: No one ever succeeds alone, and to be successful also requires that you serve others while serving yourself. Life is about give and take. Some of you may know this, or figured it out, but I grew up in the church in Jamaica. I went to a Christian school, and it was always drilled into me that it is better to give than receive. It’s important to give, but it’s equally important to receive as well. Even though I’m still involved in the church, my perspectives have changed radically.
So instead of giving to others, I’d like to serve others and make a difference in their lives while making sure that my needs are met. I will not allow myself to be overwhelmed because I want to impact as many people as possible. I will be happy serving one person and having a major impact on him or her. I will serve others, one person at a time.
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Mohammed Ali
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead