Yes it is true. Today is my birthday. Another year has passed. I am a year older and (hopefully) wiser.
You may be thinking: That is great Carl, but what does that have to do with us? Did you just do this so we would say “Happy Birthday?”
Answer: Keep reading, I will do my best. And what is wrong with saying “Happy Birthday?” I am not going to make you sing today, but that would be cool…anyway I digress.
Birthdays for me are a time to reflect. A time to think about the past year and answer a few questions.
1. Did I live my sentence this year?
2. Did I accomplish my goals?
3. Have I made progress? Both personally and professionally?
4. Why or why not?
This process helps provide focus and direction the goals for the next year to begin to form. So as you may have guessed, it starts with more questions.
What do I want to be? This one requires a little explanation. I have noticed an interesting thing as we age, we stop asking this question. As if once you reach a certain age, the rest of the story is written and you cannot try something new, change your career, or take a new risk. I was talking to a friend recently and we agreed that as we get older, our behavior should become riskier…skydiving here we come!
What is the most important thing I could improve to be more effective with my wife, kids, co-workers, clients?
What is my greatest fear? I will try to remember to write more about this one. We give fear too much credit and far too great a role in our lives.
I was fortunate to grow up living next to my great grandmother. We would regularly go over and hang out, talk and play games. One thing I remember about her is this little saying that everyone saw when you walked in her door:
We get too soon old and too late smart.
I am often reminded of this little saying as I reflect on my life each year. It is funny to look back each decade and realize how much your perspective changes and how much “smarter” you may have become. We cannot control the fact that we are getting older. We can control the progress we make each year.
She also had one more saying hanging next to the first one.
The secret to a long life is eating fresh vegetables and fruits for 85 years.
Thanks Gram. I am almost halfway there.