If you’re asking the question, “What do I want to create?” you’re reconnecting with ideas and results that matter most to you, and considering 2017 to be the greatest year you’ve ever had. My guess is you’re most often operating from goals you pursue, and your choices follow along like an anchor.
Yet, as you look toward the future, you forget to do something just as important—acknowledge what you have accomplished so far. Looking back is just as essential as looking forward. In fact, the best way to manage the gap between now and your future goal is to look back at where you were before and celebrate movement. Confidence ensues. The past becomes a useful ingredient to future growth.
Acknowledgement is the act of completing and accepting the existence of a desired result. Just remember where you actually were three years ago. Doing this will provide you two key capacities:
1) Momentum. By acknowledging distance made, it gives you a platform for bridging into what’s next, to build upon your successes.
2) Gratitude. You begin to see who was responsible for creating change with you. The future you desired back then required allies to make it happen. These allies are your supply lines; they are teachers, guides, collaborators, and even enemies who brought you into this moment successfully.
Now get out a pen and paper and write down the existing conditions you had at that time. Call this Actual One. Now start another list next to this one. Call this Actual Two. These are the existing conditions now, three years later.
Compare the two lists. First look at how you’ve grown or evolved. Take inventory of your own habits and responses to life now compared to then. Look at your time today. How was your time spent back then compared to now? Look at how much time was reactive versus proactive. What were you doing with your free time? How were you structuring your work time? How much time were you spending on your personal gifts, back then? How about now? Look at your finances back then compared to now. Write down the accomplishments and events you’re most proud of.
Take stock of your relationships back then, personal and professional. Some people may have come and gone from your life as it unfolded. Make a list of the top 10 most influential allies and influencers that have impacted your three-year journey from there to here. If you were to start at the bottom of the list and count up to three and cross them off, how do you feel? Most likely, you feel bad because you just cannot discount the impact they’ve had on your progress and growth.
During this time of giving thanks, call each one of them, and speak from your heart about how they’ve touched your life and in what way. Don’t hold back your heartfelt words; say what you feel. Tell them the gift they have that has moved you and supported you, and acknowledge their greatest teaching or contribution.
After Thanksgiving dinner, go around the room and have everyone comment on those whose shoulders brought them to this day, and how. The stories are emotionally inspiring. It reminds us that the greatest gift of life is what we leave inside others’ hearts after we’re gone.
“What you appreciate, appreciates!”
Remember that human beings—yes, YOU—are living systems. Remember that no human being is isolated from interdependence. You nor anyone else can actually come into their essential properties—their best self—and work without relationship. To say, “I love you,” is to say, “Thank you for bringing me into the love that I am.”
In fact, the essential activating principle of life cannot be lit without relationship. Just like the Earth depends on the Sun, everything connects to everything as one grid, where flow patterns of energy and information cause form. No one or no thing is independent of anything.
If you let the world change you, then you know what I’m saying to your heart, because it’s listening right now as you read these words.