“When one door closes another door opens, but we often take so long looking regretfully at the closed door, that we miss entirely the newly opened door.”
Alexander Graham Bell
Well here we are again nearing the end of another year. Where did 2011 go anyway? I came across the quote on Facebook the other day and it struck me how good a metaphor it is for seeing out the old year and bringing in the new.
I’m not suggesting for one minute that you don’t look back…reflection is a good thing, particularly at this time of year…just not regretfully or in anger. As the door closes on 2011 and opens on 2012 why not take the opportunity to look back on the year and learn some lessons from your actions, or possibly even your inactions and take a little time to consider the following 11 questions. You may wish to focus on one particular area of your life, or take a helicopter view of your big picture.
Above all, be honest with yourself and decide how you will use this information to make a positive start when you walk through the newly opened door of 2012.
1. What did I do that I’m most proud of this year?
2. What was the one thing I didn’t do that I wish I had?
3. What was the reason I didn’t do it?
4. What gave me the most pleasure or satisfaction in 2011?
5. What were the reasons I found most satisfaction in this/these areas?
6. Who did I really enjoy spending my time with in 2011?
7. What were the reasons I enjoyed being with them?
8. What one thing can I do to ensure this/these relationships continue to be positive?
9. What one thing will I do to improve communications with my clients/customers/friends/family in 2012?
10. What are the two most important things I learned, or re-learned in 2011?
11. How will I use what I learned this year to best affect?
How will these reflections affect your plans for your future and what are you going to do with this information now?
When the Dali Lama was asked what surprised him the most about humanity he answered,
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money in order to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and then he dies having never really lived."
So let’s not dwell in the past, just learn from it…let’s not worry about the future, just make plans for it…let’s live in the present and truly enjoy it. After all it’s called the ‘present’ because it’s a gift!
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2012.
From a reflective Jacky Leonard