My favorite psychologist is Viktor Frankl and he offers a bit of advice that will be helpful for us as we gear up for the new year. Perhaps it is more of a mental trick, but the idea is to imagine you are living your life for the second time around, asking yourself what you’d do differently this time. It takes a second to get your mind around the concept, but when you do you’ll find yourself approaching life with more discretion...
Like, if you think about your career, what would you do differently in 2012 if this were the second time around? Would you create deeper relationships with your coworkers and clients? Would you focus more on only a certain number of projects?
What about your relationships? If you could do 2012 over again, would you spend more time with the people you truly love and who truly love you? Would you stop yourself from being spread so thin?
Frankl’s tip is a handy way to help us understand what really matters in life. It gets us thinking about what’s ahead, has us living the entire year in our mind, anticipating our mistakes, and then invites us to live differently.
What I did with this was to create a few categories on a sheet of paper and write down how I’d like to live within those categories a bit differently. For me, those categories are career, relationships and faith.
The year 2011 had me living in reaction. And while it was an eventful year, and maybe one of the more growing seasons of my life, it was filled with mistakes and way too many people and projects. I feel like I lived on planes and gave half efforts to books and blogs and conferences and movies. I had a vague notion of what I wanted to do with my life, but really just went where the wind blew. I’m hoping 2012 is different. I want to live more wisely, stick to my values and ethics, live a much smaller, slower life. I also want to surround myself with people who have integrity, who can help me become more healthy, pillars who are grounded in reality so I know where I am and what life is really about. None of this is going to be easy, but I’m going to give it a shot.
What about you? If you could live 2012 over again, before you have even lived it the first time, what would you do differently?