We all want to get back in the gym. We all want to travel more, double down on our passions, and find that special someone.
Look, all that stuff is on my list of 'to dos' in 2017 too, but I'd like to change gears a little bit. Instead of thinking inward, let's shift our focus outward. What are some real changes we can make that will not only make us happier, but better the lives of those around us?
Let's say someone cuts you off on the freeway. What's your initial reaction? Are you slamming on your horn or cursing in ways that would make your mother cry? I certainly hope not. This is such a small example, but when you start to practice empathy your reaction could be more along the lines of "man, I really hope that guy's okay". Who knows? Maybe they found out their wife is in labor, or they're rushing to catch their kids recital because their work kept them late. Or on the flip, what if they found out someone they care about is sick?
Imagine what empathy could do in the workplace, at your next family dinner, or the next time you have a disagreement with a loved one. Everyone wants to be understood, so why not start by really taking time to understand someone else?
When you begin with empathy, what you know is challenged by what you learn. - Sabba Quidwai
Check Yourself More Often
2017 has to be the year for us to stop pointing fingers. Next time something goes 'wrong', why not ask yourself what you could have done to make the situation better or what you could do now to change it. We can't control what happens around us, but we can control how we feel about our circumstances and what we do about it. If everyone starts to change how they respond to situations by looking inward first, everything on the outside will gradually start taking care of itself.
Random Acts of Kindness
The effect that a random act of kindness can have on an individual could be the difference between their success and their failure. A simple hello can brighten someone's day, and a $2.15 cup of coffee could cause a ripple effect that spreads joy and positivity throughout a company. No kind gesture is too small to make a huge impact on someone else's life.
Hack: Next time you're checking out in a drive through, pay for the person's order behind you. It's a easy way to spread a lot of love, without having to come face to face with it.
Encourage Your Peers
Look, I'm all about healthy competition but I've heard true champions compete with themselves. If that's the case, then why not build a community on the foundation of truly lifting each other up to become the best versions of ourselves? All of us have something that could bring light and positivity into the world, but not necessarily the confidence to utilize them. What do you think we could accomplish if we focused more on the qualities of each other rather than criticizing their weaknesses? Climbing corporate and social ladders are so 2016, anyway.
Focus on Your Personal Brand
For once I'm going to take this out of the context of social media. Your brand is not your latest Instagram post, how many views you get on Snapchat, or how many times your Facebook Live got shared. The foundation of your brand is what you do, what you say, and how that makes people feel. What do you want people to say about you when you're not in the room?