This is a story of “the power of intentions”.. work-life balance, personal/professional growth & success, in whatever form you identify it.. 🙂
Back in December of 2006, the year I first met my wife, she taught me all about “them(ing) a year” & setting the intention for the success of the upcoming 12 months. It was December 31st to be precise, we were on the back of a friend’s boat on the Sydney harbor just under that famous bridge which I had seen on so many New Years Eve television broadcasts. We were going to move in together as of 2007, and so jointly we decided that the year would be appropriately themed “The Year of Living”. Now when you theme a year, you have to express your activities in alignment with the theme, and so the next question was “where we were going to live”. So as we asked ourselves “where is a living city?”.. we simultaneously declared “Barcelona”. At the time I was living in Portugal, Maria dancing between Zurich & Hamburg. Very appropriately, Maria then instructed me to get on a plane a few days later.. headed to Barcelona to find our new flat, where she would meet me at the end of the week.
In addition to starting new businesses each, 2007 was a year in which we made conscious decisions to “live”. We traveled every 6/7 weeks for extended weekends in-between intense work periods, we created a blog to share our passions, we obviously explored the “living city” of Barcelona and we constantly challenged ourselves to take every opportunity possible to LIVE! As a follow-up, 2008 became “The Year of Celebration”, which we appropriately kicked off with our wedding celebration, all of this mind you, whilst still developing successful new business models in very adverse conditions. With our businesses entering critical stages, and the clouds of the Global Financial Crisis looming on the horizon, 2009 become “The Year of Perseverance”, and we jointly exerted extra concerted efforts, thus excelling our businesses to new plateaus.
This “theme(ing)” business & setting intentions which drive your focus has also become a powerful backbone of the methodologies with which I’ve provided for my clients, who have in turn transformed their cultures, had their staff stand-up & take accountability for driving company results, creating the necessary environment of greater “work-life-balance”, and finally, driving an average 50% revenue increase in their businesses. It’s all about “focus” and communicating that focus to your team, and those around you so that everyone is conscious of where we’re headed, why & what’s in it for them along the way.
Several weeks ago, my wife Maria & I started to question ourselves in regards to a possible theme for 2010, and noting where we stand, and what we would like to see happen through disciplined hard/smart work, we’ve decided on “The Year of Opportunity”. More than normally, we will seek to identify the opportunity to learn & grown in every event we encounter. Our passions will be driven to create new opportunities for ourselves, and those that surround us, as we progress through our year. We will remain focused, and yet open minded as to not limit our choices. We will seek new business partnerships, we will question the “status quo” in our lives & businesses, and we will seek to enhance our businesses offerings through creating unique win/win growth opportunities for all.
Will it be an easy year? Obviously not! We’ve discovered that you don’t grow in “easy times”. As Maria likes to remind me, “the stronger the wind.. the stronger the tree” 🙂 So with open arms we await to embrace 2010 and all of it’s challenges that lie ahead. Counting on the support of friends, family & an extended network to play hard & work smart, we know we’ll come out on the other end wiser & stronger for having had the focus & discipline to leverage every opportunity.
What the moral of this story? If you set an intention, voice it loud, hold yourself accountable whilst allowing others to hold you accountable, focus with all your might, be diligent and consistently question your “status quo”, combined with a few tools & support, the only thing in the way of success is yourself. Or as I like to say, “the only thing you need in order to achieve success in anything you desire is one of two things.. either overcoming a limiting belief, or determining the right strategy”.
How about you? What’s on your radar for 2010? How are you going to face what’s ahead? how are you going to make the most out of every opportunity?