The Best Year Yet workshop would have been a one-off wonder were it not for the thousands of people who have participated in the process over the years and shared their thoughts, ideas, and experiences. They are the source of this book and the wealth now available. Here are a few of their stories. I've given them new names to protect their privacy.
Paul, a forty-three-year-old general manager with years of experience in large multinational organizations, is now in his fourth year of planning his life in this way. More than anything he appreciates the ongoing need to make room for Gold Time and says, "I'm much better at it, but it's hard." He says most of his success so far is a result of a newfound ability to tell people he's busy when he really has no appointment-only time set aside to do the most important activities. Paul says,
I think there are about four phases in this process. First there's the novelty of the idea; then the guilt sets in, along with quite a bit of struggle to do what really matters. Finally the change really starts to happen and it feels like a rebirth. I'm looking forward to the final phase when it's all automatic-like brushing my teeth!
Hannah, a fifty-three-year-old mother, grandmother, and acupuncturist, is in her fifth year of this process. She appreciates tackling one main area of her life so it becomes the dominant theme in her life for the year. "Things happen over the year that are connected to this focus-many things happen, especially letting go of stuff I don't need," she observes.
She's learned to be far more flexible in the process and far less guilty when something doesn't turn out as she hoped. Because everything doesn't happen just the way she planned it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with her. Hannah says,
Seeing that I'm not living the way I want to be has been difficult. I have to admit that I've been postponing a lot of things that are dear to me. Now's the time.
Joseph, one of the earliest participants in the workshop, who started by taking the course and soon was leading it himself, is a thirty-five-year-old CEO of a successful international consulting firm. As a participant in the process since 1981, he talks about having a much, much higher level of confidence that he can do what he needs to do.
The most important secret has been getting help when I needed it. I know that a large part of what holds me back is something I can do something about. But the most difficult part is not getting back into the old groove of limiting behavior-it's hard to keep this level of awareness over a long period of time.
Another longtime player is Ann, a fifty-four-year-old successful actress and writer. Overall she feels her biggest win is that she's learned to make progress on the things that matter. For example, although meditation was an attractive notion for many years, it's now moved to being the focal point of her life.
I'm getting more and more honest with myself about setting goals. When things are not working, I can now tackle it. But it's a gentle process of being more honest about my performance overall. After all this time I see that the quality of my life is far more important than success and achievement in one area of my life.
Peter, a forty-three-year-old cofounder of a leading financial services marketing group, feels that sticking with this process for over twelve years has given him a strong competitive advantage. It's so important, he says, to get away from the process of day-to-day phone calls and "to do" lists and do the important things-otherwise they just drift away.
Most difficult for him is trying to do it on his own. Every time he's tried it this way, he's not done so well.
The combination of peer pressure and peer support makes a difference-even though the people I get together with have no real bearing on the goals themselves. It doesn't matter.
He too reports a shift from a life that's work-oriented to a focus on the quality of his life.
Finally, the experience of Michael, who describes himself as a fifty-three-year-old successful actor who's learning the hard way. This experience has helped him sort out a major difficulty dealing with the "stuff of life." For years he avoided really tackling both the problems in his life and his dreams, feeling a combination of unworthiness and disinterest. Now that he's learned to deal with this aspect of his life, there's more room for his inner self-the part that really matters to him.
There's a new inner voice speaking to me. When good things happen, it says, "It's okay, you deserve this"-rather than the old inner voices, which warned me that it wouldn't last. The most difficult part now is that I get overconfident and lapse into a daze and then fall into a hole. Constant awareness is necessary and I'm not there yet.
There are so many stories to tell of friends, clients, and family who have started to meet the promise of their potential. From day one my strongest motivation has been for people to see their gifts as clearly as they are seen by the rest of us-and to honor themselves by having their dreams come true. The world is a better place every time this happens.
Most people have all the talent, skill, awareness, and ambition they need, but it's often hidden under a cloud of self-doubt, past disappointments, or by simply being too busy. We rarely take time to examine what we're doing or why we're doing it.
The material in this book is designed for life planning through creating greater consciousness and awareness of the goals, targets, and objectives that are aligned with what you want for yourself in all aspects of your life. I hope you'll be happier, healthier, and truly more successful in all you do.
Tags: Personal Growth