The End is the Beginning

December 2017

Year end is always a time for reflection and usually includes some mixed emotions. I hope we’re all feeling grateful. I know I am…for so many things. And there’s likely a feeling of achievement. Maybe there are also some feelings of regret — regret in the sense that we didn’t accomplish what we set out to accomplish this year, or we didn’t reach the goals we set. Or we didn’t advance in the all-important area of personal development.

If you’re in this category of feeling some regret, know that just about every one of us has been there as well. Success is not something that happens with everything we try or everything we touch. In fact, as I often say in my talks to sports and corporate teams: Success is very smart. It knows how to test our commitment level, and its biggest tests are embarrassment and failure.

Embarrassment is the smaller test, putting us into the uncomfortable world or slowing us down just to see how we react. And of course failure is the harshest of its tests in that it will often literally stop us along our way. In either case, the best part about these two tests is that we all are capable of passing them. We can choose to have them stop us or we can choose to have them start us. Stopping is easy and it’s a guarantee you will never get to where you want to go or become what you have dreamed of becoming. Starting is hard — and at times extremely so — but it’s what we must do to get where we want to go.

So let’s look at 2017 as a year of learning. Its days are ending but its lessons can live with us for the rest of our lives. Use 2017 as your latest classroom that provided the lessons — good or bad/success or failure — on your path of growth. Let's make sure we study these lessons and learn from them. You can't just give them lip service; use them as career service!

And 2018? We may not know what’s in store for us, but if we plan -- and act on those plans -- we give ourselves our best shot to make 2018 a year of growth and achievement. Plans without action and evaluation are nothing more than wishful thinking and good conversation topics. Wishing and conversation never get us where we want to go. Let’s plan and take action!

So, yes, 2017 is coming to a close, but 2018 is out there for us to live in one of two ways: with planning and action or with no action and plenty of regret! Let’s plan and act on those plans.

 - KE

Wendy Eastman