It’s About Time

CEO

When a new year begins, we think of it as a fresh start. It’s when we claim we will break negative habits, replace them with positive ones, and set goals for the year. Sixty days (or what seems like 5 minutes) later, we may be off track. On one hand, we still have ten months ahead of us. On the other, time passes with unforgivable velocity. It’s time to kick it into gear while we still have time.

In my second book, What Anyone Can Do, I chronicle the wisdom of some very successful people from various walks of life. I asked them if they had all become successful by themselves, and they all laughed at the idea. Countless people helped them, many of whom they will never be able to properly thank, which is why paying it forward is so important to them.

The book title came from a line in The Long Run Solution by former Runner’s World editor Joe Henderson. In it, Joe mentioned that many successful runners and people generally achieve what they do in life, not because they are capable of superhuman feats. Instead, they do the things anyone can do that most of us, left to our own devices, never will. Yet, if we all did a better job of enlisting and engaging the support of our peers, they would help us do the things anyone can do far more often, and we could help them do the same.

Ten Initiatives for the Next Ten Months

  1. Commit yourself to the idea that who you surround yourself with matters. Recognize that so much of who you are and what you achieve in life reflects your peers.
  2. Take stock of the people in your life. Who is lifting you up, holding you at bay, or dragging you down? Spend more time with the people who will help you raise your game.
  3. Ask yourself:  Who have I met in the past year who has made a positive difference in my life? Consider how you can advance those relationships to your mutual benefit. (And if you don’t have anyone new in your life, be more intentional about doing so).
  4. Ask yourself: Who have I lost touch with over the years? How and why did that happen? Not every relationship in our life is meant to last forever. However, often, we can lose touch with someone without even realizing it. Before we know it, x years have passed in the blink of an eye. Don’t let that discourage you from reconnecting with that person. You may both be glad you did.
  5. Seek out individuals who will challenge your worldview. Too often, we hang out with people similar to us – for some of us, maybe too similar. In the movie The Sure ThingProfessor Taub tells her students: “Have conversations with people whose clothes are not color coordinated.”  Good advice!
  6. Assume a posture of learning rather than judging. The more often you can take the default position that you can learn from anyone if you pay enough attention, the more likely you will. Don’t judge others or rate their opinions/answers to your questions; learn from them.
  7. Ask more questions and listen for understanding. If you’re inclined to judge, this can be difficult, which is why being a learner is so essential. When people make statements we disagree with, we can’t help but counter with our opposing viewpoints. While you can’t fathom how someone could hold such a view, you’ll never find out if you leap into an argument. Be curious instead. If you do, you may not achieve agreement, but you might come to a mutual understanding and even develop a newfound respect for a different point of view.
  8. Share what you know with others who will benefit from your experience and wisdom. Effective peer-to-peer relationships are powered by generosity and reciprocity. As you learn from others, be sure you are returning the favor.
  9. Avoid the urge to double down on your struggling New Year’s Resolution. According to the University of Scranton, while nearly half of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, 92% fail. People fall short mainly because their resolution lacks specificity, and they typically don’t ask for help.
  10. Set goals for yourself instead. Once you’ve defined your goals, whether you want to run a company or run a marathon, surround yourself with people who have done it or want to do it. This is where building your personal dream team or joining/starting a peer group can be incredibly effective!

Summary

Wealth management isn’t singularly about money. It’s about the precious little time we have on this earth to serve others. How you prioritize your time during 2023 and the years to follow is where the true riches lie. How are you investing in your health and relationships to make a difference for yourself and others? Doing so is not a solo pursuit. Self-help doesn’t mean by-yourself-help. Who you surround yourself with matters – personally and professionally. Make the next ten months count.


Written by Leo Bottary.

Have you read?
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Silver Screen Disasters: Epic Failures in Hollywood.


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