Another Christmas has come and gone. As the year 2011 draws to a close and hectic days of preparing for the holidays begins to wind down, it is a good time to review where you have been for the last year. What did you accomplish or perhaps more to the point, did you make a difference? Making a difference does not necessarily mean making a difference at work although there is nothing wrong with that. But perhaps you made a difference in someone else’s life, a family member, a neighbor, or even a complete stranger. Did you perhaps volunteer your time and talents for a local charity or non-profit? Did you mentor someone? Is there anyone that is better off today because you have been there?
If you answered any of the above with at least one accomplishment, then you made a difference. But even if you cannot think of anything, you might be surprised to learn that you did touch someone else’s life in some way that perhaps you will never know. In any case, the new year is the traditional time when we make resolutions for the coming year. Sure you can make resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, or perhaps exercise more. Those are all good things. But they are often forgotten after a few days. Instead, try to think of at least one way that you can make a difference for someone else this year. Perhaps you can learn a new skill and then teach it to your co-workers making all of you more effective at work. Perhaps you can spend more time with your family, especially if you have kids, before they are grown and move away. Maybe you can form a support group for your neighborhood to help others who may be going through some tough economic times.
You don’t need to public announce either what you did this past year or what you may plan to do next year. In a way that is just bragging, looking for others to praise you. Ultimately that detracts from the sense of accomplishment that just doing something will give you. So rather than read a long blog today, take a few moments and think about where you might channel your efforts this coming year. Then don’t tell anyone what it is. Just go out and do it.
Remember what Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull said, ‘The Christmas Spirit is not what you drink.’
See you all next year.