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One Word on New Year's Resolutions

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Posted on 07 Jan 09

If you are now or soon will be planning your New Year’s Resolutions by sitting quietly and reflecting on the past year - terrorism, a Wall Street meltdown, a global recession, a political shift of seismic proportions - hope, change, fear, concern, etc. and considering the future and what you must do to make your life and your world better let me offer one word - DON’T!

I’m not against weight loss, exercise, more family time, meditation and prayer but I am convinced that these most noble Resolutions announced on January 1 only become broken promises and guilt by April Fools day. Maybe that was the origin of this day - a quitting point for us lying to ourselves. A day when we could once again get back to our overeating, sedentary, stressed lives and end the living lie that we have struggled with since New Years. Maybe we are really April Fools…

My mind flashes (or at least flickers back) to a conversation I had years ago. One of my good friends and mentors asked me what the words DO and BE meant to me. After much consideration, I offered the following definitions. BE is who we are – this is our core being – our mind, heart, and soul. DO are the roads we take as we travel through life – our actions -- the choices we make, our job, our behavior, etc.

We agreed that ideally our DO and BE should be aligned; all too often these are not. The difference between our DO and BE is stress and the dysfunction in our lives. An analysis of our life may indicate that we start to DO before we fully understand who we BE (it’s not good grammar – it’s much more important than that). What you do is your job. Who you be is your life, your heart, and your soul!

I’ve written about, spoken of, and facilitated more business and strategic planning efforts than many. And my efforts like those of so many others go nowhere. Why? Because these efforts are always about the “things” we do and never about “who we be” as individuals and as organizations. Sounds a little like April Fools…

My Resolution for the New Year is to find those “addicted” to the status quo and their comfort zone but who have finally reached the point where they want more out of life, living, business, and community. I will work with people who are making money but not having fun. Individuals who have a check book in balance but a life that is not. I will work with business owners who realize that peace of mind is a most important asset and who seek fulfillment as an individual and corporate goal.

The process proposed will facilitate the business owner first finding “individual balance” and clearly articulated individual values. It will then transition to organizational values compatible - complementary and supplementary to the owner’s values. Next we will encourage and support every member of the organization in finding their personal core - their “BE” and assuring that they are compatible with the new organizational “BE.” Finally we will align all to the markets we serve. Balance, alignment, fulfillment, peace of mind - this I resolve!

Mike Manes is the founder of Square One Consulting. Today he works with agents and agencies to facilitate mergers and acquisitions (issues of cultural compatibility), design and coordinate ventures between banks and agencies, develop niche market programs, build marketing networks, etc.
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