For the second year in a row, I will be following the advice of Jon Gordon and selecting my ONE WORD for the New Year. Jon Gordon is one of my favorite authors and has been a great inspiration to me in a variety of ways during my time of transformation over the last several years. For Christmas 2016, I received the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life, written by Jon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. The authors declared selecting ONE WORD is a New Year’s resolution rooted in simplicity: “By simplifying our approach, we discovered the secret to life change. Our formula is not rooted in strength and resolve but in surrender and simplicity. It is not based on temporary inspiration or on the latest pep talk. It's found in narrowing our focus, because we believe less is best. For us, simplicity created clarity, power, and passion.”
For 2017, I selected the word BLESSED. Even though I had been shaken in 2016 and I experienced some major life changes, I knew that I had a lot of blessings in my life to be thankful for. I decided to keep track of at least one blessing each day of 2017 and I recorded them on a page on my website (click HERE to see my list of blessings in 2017). Each morning I woke up, reflected on the previous day, and recorded at least one blessing. Sometimes the blessings were events, sometimes they were people in my life, or sometimes they were insights or feelings that I became aware of during my journey. Although some days I had much more than a single blessing I wanted to keep my approach simple. This project was quite fulfilling because no matter what happened each day I was able to recognize the goodness in my life.
For 2018, I have selected the word INTENTNESS. This is a term that comes from John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA, has long been one of my greatest coaching influences. Even though Wooden won 10 national championships, it was not how much he won that drew me to him. It was his philosophy, and how he taught the game of life as well as the game of basketball, that hooked me. Here is Wooden’s explanation of INTENTNESS:
The fourth block in the second tier of the Pyramid of Success is Intentness. It is as important as any single block in the entire Pyramid.
I could say Intentness means determination; I could say it means persistence; I could say it means tenacity or perseverance.
I will say it is the ability to resist temptation and stay the course, to concentrate on your objective with determination and resolve. Impatience is wanting too much too soon. Intentness doesn’t involve wanting something. It involves doing something often for a very long time.
The road to real achievement is usually bumpy and long, but you do not give up. You may have setbacks. You may have to start over. You may have to change your method. You may have to go around, or over, or under. You may have to back up and get another start. But you do not quit. You stay the course. To do that, you must have intentness.
For 2018, I want to remember that INTENTNESS does not involve wanting something; it involves doing something often for a very long time. This is very easy when we are just starting out and have no expectation of reaping any type of result or reward for our work. For example, I began my website and blog in November 2016. I committed to writing one article each week for one year. I was simply writing to share lessons I learned from my own journey. Throughout the year I began to see some themes in my writing and I put together the book I recently published, The Ride Home: Strategies to Succeed for Parents and Coaches. Even during the revision process, I would often write my article for the week and then later realize that it fit in one of the current chapters of my book so I would add it. Although I had a vision to write and publish a book, I did not necessarily set out to write that book in that particular way. The Ride Home developed out of the work that I did because of my intentness to write one article per week.
I also committed to recording one blessing per day, as I previously discussed, and sharing one inspirational quote each day in 2017. I compiled a list of 366 of my favorite inspirational quotes to help me RISE ABOVE and added each message to a picture. Each day I updated the website with the quote of the day (click HERE for the Quotes page on our website) as well as posted it on social media. I originally thought of publishing those in book form, but I had a sense that I wanted to do something more with it. I love quotes, but in reality, they do not do much for us unless we internalize the message and apply it to our own lives.
During the summer, I began to sporadically post a daily challenge on social media that was based on the quote of the day. I quickly noticed that the challenges were some of my most liked posts by my friends on Facebook. Combining what I saw as a desire from people for self-improvement as well as my experience of writing to bring out my best thoughts and ideas, the idea for my second book was born. The first draft of The 1% Journal: 366 Challenges to Bring Out Our Best has been finished and will be published in the near future. This book will be an interactive journal that asks the reader to respond to the challenges by writing in the journal at the beginning and/or end of each day. I have seen the power of writing out my thoughts in my own life and want to help others do the same.
I have several more book ideas that I would like to complete in 2018. I also had several opportunities to speak with teams and lead them in team-building activities recently. But this is where we circle back to my One Word for 2018: INTENTNESS. I want to avoid the trap of focusing my attention on wanting something and distract myself from doing the work. My mission is to inspire leaders to rise above and enjoy the journey so they can live their legacy. I love creating things to help others and add value to their lives. I must guard myself against thinking, “Why am I not selling more books?” or “Why am I not getting the chance to speak to more teams?” If I avoid wanting something and focus on doing something for a very long time, then the results will take care of themselves and come at the right time.
My 3 commitments of INTENTNESS for 2018 are:
I would like to challenge you to reflect on ONE WORD that you can focus on for 2018.
I would also like to challenge you to make 3 small commitments that you can complete each day. They must be part of the process that is under your control.
Let me know your One Word for 2018 or your 3 daily commitments at firstname.lastname@example.org
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