Posted on 31 December 2007

Re: 2007

[BEGIN: Obligatory post on last day of year that uses a lot of words to say less than something interesting]

Before I begin, I want to say clearly that I have been overwhelmed lately by the incredible blessings and joy that have come to me over all the years of my life, and over this last year. The fact that my children are warm at night, and my family is safe and taken care of, by itself, is a blessing I have not had the luxury of enjoying, even in my only very recent past. I know that all of these blessings come from God, as he showers blessings down on all his children everywhere, and that it is by his grace, we are preserved and protected.

Yesterday, I read these words which, as I contemplated them deeply, caused a deep sense of joy to swell within me for the incredible life we each have been given:

This earth departs from its orbit of the sun by only one-ninth of an inch (2.82 mm) every 18 miles (29 km). If, instead, it changed by one-tenth of an inch (2.54 mm) every 18 miles, we would all freeze to death. If it changed by one-eighth of an inch (3.18 mm), we would all be incinerated*. Did this all happen by accident? Douglas L. Callister, “Our God Truly Is God?

I’m blessed not only in the life I am able to live, but most-richly in the friends I have had the deep opportunity to get to know. I don’t feel adequate at times to say I am a “good friend”, but I try to be a good person, and I try hard to listen and understand where others are coming from much before I offer advice on where I think they should go. Thanks to wordpress, sixapart, twitter, facebook, myspace, linkedin, ning and all the others for developing tools to help me become closer to friends I already know and love… and to meet new, incredible people along the way.

2007 was an interesting year for me. To be honest, it felt more like a very extended 2006.

Professionally and personally, I can’t say this year had very super-dramatic goals or objectives that I can say I’ve surmounted. In fact, 2007 for me has been a year of interesting twists, turns, changes in purpose, changes in attitude, changes in my own thinking, and changes in my real foundation of myself. Honestly, I can’t pause for a second and say “wow, look how far I’ve come”. I am in a different place, but that doesn’t mean the same thing as progress.

Oddly, as I think back and write it down, I sense the bits and pieces of a possible mid-life crisis. Could it be? I have no red Ferarri in the driveway (hold on, let me check one more time), so maybe that’s not really the diagnosis.

More than anything else, the lesson I think I’ve learned as I’ve contemplated last year is that all of my BHAGs–as Jim Collins would put it, which is short for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals–were accomplished sooner than I developed and became passionate about new ones.

Personally and professionally, I accomplished and exceeded many of the things I can remember feeling deeply focused on. What’s odd about GOALS is that “more of the same” is hardly something that I can get passionate about.

For example, “Continue to find new customers” and “Focus on my Target Account List” have been on my task list for some time now and, while I’ve both been successful at both, and I enjoy doing them, there is nothing really exciting or interesting about those specific words that makes me excited to check them off. In fact, I can’t actualy ever “check them off” because they are open-ended and permanent. If I didn’t do these things, I would likely lose my job… so why not put “don’t get fired” on my list and keep it short and simple?

At the end of the day, the most-exciting thing for me concerning 2008 is that I have new personal goals, family goals, and I’m working with my team at work to develop new and challenging professional ones as well.

Bring it on.

* See Bert Thompson and Wayne Jackson, The Case for the Existence of God (1996), 20.

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