Happy New Year!
I was thinking over the Christmas / New Year’s break about something I read during the year and it was where some author alluded to the concept in the title that many of us live our lives like we are reading a novel, waiting to see how it all turns out! And when you think about it, that’s a bit ludicrous because the reality is we are writing our own stories, the stories of our lives one day, one week at a time. And for us to just sit back and wait for life to do it’s thing is a bit ridiculous really when in fact we are writing the book ourselves.
If we accept for a moment that we are in fact writing the novel, we are writing the chapters, well then it is up to us to write the story the way we would like it to turn out. Surely you agree?
Of course, as some of you know, if you are going to write a book, it makes sense that you would at least have some shape in mind, some end point to it, a direction the book would be leading and the same is true for your life. You can’t just bump from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year and expect it to all work out magically; you’ve got to figure out how do you want your life’s story to end, and then work backwards from there.
One of my all-time favorite thought-leaders is the late, great Stephen R Covey and he asks us to consider our lives, looking back on our lives from the vantage point of our eightieth birthday. It’s a very interesting exercise to consider and an equally interesting take on life because the reality is the majority of us will have lived the most of our lives by that stage, so it poses the question,
“What life do you want to lead between wherever you are today and your eightieth birthday?”
One way to do that of course, is to write the novel of our lives, we are the ones in charge, we are the ones with pen in hand so to speak and it’s up to us exactly what we write but we’ve got to start with a vision of what it will look like when we get to our eightieth birthday and, as I say, work backwards from there to now.
Then we’ve got to make each year count. And how do you do that? Well, it’s very interesting to be addressing this in week one of 2019, because the reality is they way we make the year work is very simple; we make the week work – we make one week work towards the desired outcome.
Another ‘Coveyism’ that I love is, “The week is a perfect patch in the fabric of life!” which, if you think about it is perfectly true, the week IS a perfect patch in the fabric of life, your entire life, and mine too, indeed the year, is made up of weeks stitched together. Each week is exactly the same size, being seven days, seven night, 168 hours long and when I think about the year, I always imagine a patchwork quilt, the type you might throw on a bed, made up of 52 equally sized patches but all of them absolutely different because if we are living life to the full, well then it really shouldn’t be groundhog day, it really shouldn’t be the same day, the same week, repeated ad infinitum; really and truly there should be variety in our lives.
So, if you want to make 2019 work for you, well I recommend you start the year by considering your eightieth birthday – go all the way out to your eightieth birthday and figure out how would you like that day to look? What would you like your legacy to look and feel like on that on that day and then work backwards from there.
The starting point of that journey, the next chapter in the novel that IS your life, is 2019. You’ve got to make 2019 work. How? One week at a time! Talking about this in the very first week of 2019, gives us the best opportunity of making it happen bit we can only do so if we make week one work for us.
We do so simply by:
- Getting a clear picture of our eightieth birthday (happy to email you a simple worksheet I use in my seminars to help with this, link at bottom)
- Considering 2019 in the context of our eightieth birthday, what do we want to achieve in 2019
- The objective then is very simply to make week one of 2019 work – is to take a step -is to determine what step you need to take in week one to give yourself the best opportunity of making the year work! Make 2019 work, well then the rest should be a doddle!
How? The novel of your life is going to be written between now and your eightieth birthday and the next chapter is going to be written in 2019 and the first page of that chapter is going to be written this week!
The Big Rock.
You need to figure out what The Big Rock (another Coveyism – link at bottom) is, what aspect of your life currently needs the most work – is it health? wealth? relationships? or is it your spirit or spiritual walk? One of those four pillars of life is probably out of whack, indeed if you are like most of us, several or all of them could be!
Regardless, pick one. Pick one Big Rock from health, wealth, relationships or spirit that you feel you need to work on and then ask the One Thing question.
The One Thing.
The One Thing question is very powerful. Ask yourself what One Thing you could do in this next week that would have the biggest positive impact on that Big Rock.
And then go do it!
PS. Click the link for more on the Big Rocks Theory
PPS. Email me for a copy of the Eightieth Birthday worksheet using 80th Birthday as the subject line by copying and pasting my email address firstname.lastname@example.org into your email platform.
More… if you’ve enjoyed it and you think someone else would benefit, I’d be delighted if you would pass the link on. If it’s your first time here and would like more of this type of stuff, pop to my homepage and leave me some details and I’ll make sure you get a link like this on a weekly basis.
Most importantly please consider what’s been shared here and apply it into your thinking in this next week and then equally as importantly, come back next week and we’ll share another coffee together and I will ruminate on some other aspect of life and business.
Between now and then grab some good coffee, get some fresh air, get some R&R.
If you spend a lot of time alone, I recommend you go meet some people, conversely if you spend a lot of time with people, I recommend you spend some time alone.
And then when the time is right, and only when the time is right get your head back in the game, get organised for the week ahead, make next week count and I’ll see you here this time next week for another “Coffee with Colm”
Thanks for thinking with me.
Watch | Listen | Read | Think.
MORE. Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:
- #1 The Number One “Coffee with Colm” of 2018 – “Think and A.C.T. Rich” (or why just chasing the almighty dollar isn’t making you happy) – New Year’s “Coffee with Colm”- click here.
- #2 The Runner Up in the Top 5 of 2018 – “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try” – Yoda. Christmas week’s “Coffee with Colm” – click here.
- #3 We’re into the Top 3… and at No. 3, from June, we have a funny, yet eye-opening, take on ageing. Giggles guaranteed in this week’s “Coffee with Colm” – What Level Are You At? – click here.
HIRE ME TO SPEAK. Consider me speaking at your event, launch, awards, or as your after-dinner keynote. Find out more here.
WORK WITH ME OR THE COBM | SOUNDING BOARD TEAM. Need help with your business? Check out the areas I and The Sounding Board of trusted experts can assist with. Find out more here.
FREE AUDIO BOOK. If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by yours truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.
DEEP DIVE. If you would like to go deeper in your own personal journey, you can review the first step in my “12 Steps to Create the Life You Really Want” for FREE. Check it out here.
LinkedIn. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.