Creating a Happy New Year

One of the greatest highlights of 2012 for me, was being mentored by one of the most skilled, transformational, and highly paid Supercoaches on the planet. A great way to introduce Michael Neill to you, is to share the coaching tip he sent today, called “Creating a Happy New Year.”

He begins his tip with a question and a simple exercise.

What were the absolute highlight of 2012 for you?

Take a moment to jot down 3 – 5 of your best memories from the past year before reading on…

I’ll share some of mine.

  • Teaching my first poetry workshop to a bright circle of women.
  • Watching my daughter play Susan Waverly in the musical, “White Christmas.”
  • Making a new, gold-circle friend of whom I will adore and cherish for life.
  • Being mentored by Michael Neill, a pipe dream of mine for many years.
  • Making an international circle of brilliant friends in the process.
  • Giving a speech on interfaith relations to a large audience with glowing results.
  • Sensing that my compassion has noticeably deepened for others.
  • Arising early in the morning every day, despite being a “night-owl.”

Now, here’s the next question:

How many of the things on your list were the result of careful planning and hard work, and how many of them either came up unexpectedly or by “happy accident”?

The only above highlight for which I set an intention, was the increase in compassion for others. Everything else was splendid serendipity.

When I’ve asked these questions of my private clients and on public seminars, the ratio is generally 2 to 1 in favor of serendipity and synchronicity. Which raises an interesting third question:

How do we design our best year yet when 2 out of every 3 things we’re going to love about it can’t be planned for?

And these questions my friends, speak to my several year pondering on our American obsession with goal setting, and various philosophies and strategies regarding “success.”  In other words, I’m skeptical, having employed many of these “empowerment” ideas with sometimes exciting, but short-lived fruits.

And so I ask the question again: What if the very best moments of 2013 will not be planned for or strategized at all? What if the whole goal-setting, success approach to life is not as we’ve always assumed?

Next time, I will share a few ideas and possibilities from the Creating a Happy New Year coaching tip. If you’d like to read more now, feel free to sign-up here for Michael Neill’s Weekly Coaching Tips, and enjoy his refreshing, wise, commonsense approach to life.

Until then, a celebration of this fresh new year before us all!


1 Comment

  1. Chris Jones on 01/02 at

    Timely. I wondered this same thing for years; well, no, I still wonder. But I think I have an idea.

    For me, most of the things I wrote down were planned, some of them well in advance, and some of them were the results of years of planning and hard work. But as I thought about those things – being at the GaTech/BYU game, for instance, with my son Nicholas – I realized that the planning and the organizing, of which there was a fair amount, were only the support structure. The things about that experience that I remember most were things that we didn’t plan at all: watching the xylophone band, singing the fight song along with hundreds of our new closest friends, going to the Varsity and seeing the place dominated by the blue and white. Those things made that experience memorable, and we didn’t plan for any of them. The planning allowed them to happen, though. No planning, no serendipity.

    So looking at this year, two things occur to me. One, that I should make sure that I have a structure for my life, a set of things that I will do, every day, to make sure my life is running the direction I know it should. I’m not talking about the gym, necessarily (I learned this from breaking my leg). I’m talking about reading and praying and pondering, things that I must do in order to truly be me. I made a list of those things that I must do, every day, without fail. There aren’t as many as I thought.

    Then, two, I have to realize that as much as I might love my plans, it’s the things that the plans don’t contain, the mortar in the cracks, that are what I truly want to experience. I want to make my house payment. But what I most want isn’t the house, but what happens inside it. The structure gives me space to make miracles happen, but it isn’t the miracle itself.

    I believe in serendipity. I believe in spontaneity. I also believe that those things happen most often when there are clear decks and open spaces, because all the toys have been put where they belong.

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