While December 31st is a night of celebration and friends reveling together, the first day of the year seems to always bring about reflection:
What was the good? The bad? The ugly? How can this year be better?
In short, 2013 has been like many others:
- too many people I care about went through personal challenges that tested their strength and faith
- most overcame those with the support of others to become stronger
- new friends entered our lives, which I hope become great friends
- I was blessed with my wife, my kids, my family and friends
This New Year's blog isn't a reflection on my personal life. But, it is an observation I had while reading a new book, which led to surfing the net in an A.D.D. moment.
I have always read a lot. Eclectic material, novels of all genres, non-fiction, reference materials, and magazines. Why? I don't know. I am drawn to the wisdom that words have. Some people look at me with raised eyebrows when I tell them what I have read. Certainly, I get the "how did you know that" from friends when I answer obscure trivia questions in a board game.
Currently, I am reading "The Blind Side" by Michael Lewis. Many are familiar with the movie version starring Sandra Bullock. It is one of those rare items that bring people who normally don't like the same things, together to enjoy. It combines sports, heart warming family stories, and cultural observation together into one amazing story.
In short, for those who are not as familiar, it is the story of Michael Oher, a young black man from the poorest part of the south U.S., who is an incredible athlete. He overcame a number of challenges with the help of some great people, to star at the elite level of sports.
As I was reading, that A.D.D. moment came over me and I took five minutes to surf the web. There I found a wonderful clip of a young Kentucky girl who is a blind disabled girl, Mariana VanHoose, who sings an awe-inspiring rendition of the U.S. national anthem.
As I went back to the book, that moment of reflection hit. Both of these individuals have overcome many things. But what they also have in common is that they have been blessed with an ability, something special that they can build upon to achieve.
In his book "Rich Kid, Smart Kid", Robert Kiyosaki called these special talents "geniuses"; areas of innate ability that if allowed to develop in any of us, can create opportunity to succeed.
With Michael Oher, it is an amazing ability to master his physical body and get it to perform athletic skills at a superior level. For Mariana VanHoose, it is a voice that sends shivers up your spine with her musical ability.
So in this moment of reflection on New Year's Day 2014, and in question of how to make this year better, take a lesson from two who found an answer. Find your "genius". Hone those special abilities you have and build upon them to find success.
And more importantly, look for them in your children, your family, and your friends. Help them become the best they can be, by recognizing their talents, hidden and otherwise. Be an encourager.
I read posts on FaceBook from my friends and family. The consistent message is have a Happy New Year and all the best in 2014.
I would like to add another.
Celebrate the "genius" traits in yourself and others, and you will have a great 2014!
** Best wishes to our friends, family, clients and future clients, for a healthy prosperous 2014 **