It's almost the end of December and I get that you're busy. From closing out all remaining pre-holiday business and maximizing your profits to shopping for your friends and family, there's one person who is getting the shaft: YOU!
If you were to take a moment and write down all the things you want to accomplish by the end of the year, I am certain there's one really important thing that's missing: Taking some time for yourself to celebrate all your many accomplishments this year.
What You Focus On Expands
Celebrating your accomplishments is more important than you realize. Every time you take the time to acknowledge yourself and the incredible things you've done, you train your brain to do more of that. The more you recognize and celebrate your accomplishments, the more energy you have to put toward being even more awesome than you already are.
I should know. Anyone from the outside looking at my 2017 might think that I had a pretty epic fail of a year - and yet, nothing could be further from the truth. From the outside, you might see that I:
1. Lost two of my largest clients
2. Was forced to shut down my San Francisco and Kansas City offices, and
3. Lay off some really great employees
Any entrepreneur who's experienced a substantial loss can relate. And sure, I could throw my own pity party and climb into a bottle of Scotch. No one would really blame me, would they?
But every epic book, movie and story includes a disaster. The prizefighter loses a critical fight. The racecar driver spins out of control and crashes. The star quarterback throws an interception and loses the game. The reluctant hero is lost.
Then The Turnaround & Reinvention Happens
Inevitably, when one door closes, three more open. Instead of focusing on what went wrong in 2017, I choose to celebrate my epic life, including:Interviewing Tony Robbins for his new book, Unshakable, and standing next to Arianna Huffington has Tony Robbins rang the opening bell on Nasdaq. Getting coached by world champion athletes Siri Lindley and Rebecca Keat. Finishing in the top 50% of my very first 140.6 mile Ironman. Being flown down to VTEX in Brazil to give a keynote speech and interview Sir Richard Branson. Vacationing in Costa Rica with my family and spending quality time with them while zip lining over the very top of the jungle. Renting an RV and driving the entire length of the US (and back) with my father, brother and two boys (including their first whitewater rafting trip). Dropping 50 lbs and making my health a much bigger priority and then celebrating with my mom as she ALSO drops more than 50 lbs and gets rid of her insulin shots for her Type 2 Diabetes. Getting professionally trained as a CLC (Certified Leadership Coach) by Coach 4 Life - one of the top ICF coaching training companies in the world. Celebrating 17 incredible years being blissfully happily married. Securing my next book deal to co-author Millionaire in 2018.
And I'll stop there because that's not even half of it!
Life Happens For You, Not To You
When something happens to us, we always have the power to choose how we feel about the event. Yes, we can NOT control all of the events that take place in our lives, but we can ALWAYS control how we choose to interpret and feel about them. So I ask you, are you a manager of your circumstances, or are you truly living legendary?
I just turned 45 years old last month. I can honestly say, that while there are still many things I am looking forward to doing in my next 45+ years, I love the life I choose every single day and in every possible way.
I am fortunate and empowered to work with only the people who I truly value and who truly value what I deliver (be that a level 10 keynote speech, breakthrough coaching experience or writing words that move people to action). If today, you are not in the same position, I invite you to re-write the next chapter of your life so that you are living life totally and completely on your own terms.
When You Fail to Plan, You're Planning to Fail
One of my leadership coaches imparted this wisdom to me once and it stuck with me: when you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. Said differently, if you are not playing the leading role in your own life's epic movie, then you are destined to play the role of an "extra" in someone else's life.
Think about that for a minute. Are you playing chess or are you the pawn? Do you have a strategy for what you will accomplish next year, or are you being moved around the chessboard by a series of invisible forces you don't quite understand? Simply put, would anyone pay to see the movie of your life thus far? If you're answer is no, then I invite you to rip up the old script and write a brand new one. As Tony Robbins drilled into me two years ago, "When would NOW be a good time to do that?"
Start By Celebrating Your Wins
And so I come full circle to the beginning of this article. I invite you to give yourself a gift more valuable than diamonds. Carve out a solid hour for yourself to recap your many accomplishments and celebrate your wins. Please don't compare your life to anyone else. Instead, focus on what YOU accomplished and how these accomplishments are moving you in the direction you want to see in your life.
What's wrong is always available to you in this life. Then again, what's right is equally right there in front of you. The more you focus on what you're doing right, the more of that you will do and the happier you will feel.
If you're committed to having an incredible year in 2018, begin by celebrating all that you've accomplished. Then take some time to write out your epic story for next year. Print that story out and hang it somewhere you can see it every day. That way, you can remind yourself what you've committed to doing and ensure that 12 months from now you're celebrating all these new accomplishments. This is the not-so-secret formula for living a legendary life.