This morning I gave myself leisure rights and watched the “Today Show” for the second day in a row. Had I realized earlier that it was pre-recorded, I may not have invested the time. I’m glad I didn’t, since I caught one interview that inspired me to rethink any new year’s resolutions. Jon Gordon spoke about how one word can change everything.
As I listened to Jon Gordon share how less was more, I thought back to my commencement ceremony in 2012 and a word that was given to me by my cadre madre, Margaret Riel. We would not officially graduate from Pepperdine’s masters of learning technology program until we completed the summer term, yet we were gathered to celebrate the presentation of our action research. Rather than diplomas, which would come in the mail in a couple of months, we received a rock with a word on it. Our advisor shared with us how each word represented the person receiving it. My word was Enjoy.
I cannot tell you how stunned I was by Margaret’s choice. There were others I thought who deserved this word. I was better suited to “dependable” or “organized.” I caught the last bit of Margaret’s speech to hear her quoting me back to myself followed by a generous prediction. Later that evening, I looked inside my leather diploma holder and saw that she had inserted my Enjoy award complete with her speech. It began, “Michelle, your word is ‘enjoy’ because you move so fast and with such intensity that sometimes you need to reflect more on what you have created.” That gave me pause.
When my diploma finally arrived, I slipped it behind my Enjoy certificate in the frame. Both the leather frame and rock sit prominently in my work area. When I catch myself careening down some new path of thought or frustrated because I haven’t accomplished all that I’ve hoped, I look to these reminders. Remembering all that, I didn’t need Jon Gordon to convince to give up making resolutions. I was ready to discover the one word that would guide my growth this new year.
Trust me, I have a laundry list of potential resolution material to select from, but I’ve never had a particularly successful year with resolutions. I start out with the best of intentions, and as the year unfolds my devotion to change wanes. I’ve even consolidated resolutions in past years. Taking three or four resolutions and bundling them into one simple “live healthier” declaration didn’t have a lasting impact either. So this year, I’ve decided to really get to the heart of the matter. I’ve taken an action word as my focus for this year. I will be working on “relinquish.”