Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good Riddance to Bad Rubish!

Good Riddance Day is a symbolic event intended for shredding, dumping or destroying single memories or ideas. For the last three years the co-organizers of New Year’s Eve in Times Square (Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment) invite the public to say goodbye, once and for all, to those bad memories of 2009. 

It has been a rough past year with a lot of notable happenings: the first African American President was sworn into office, Somalian Pirates raiding US ships, the Pilot that successfully landed his full plane safely in the Hudson River,  Unemployment rates soaring to record highs and the worsening of events taking place in the Middle East to name a few. That goes with out mentioning the pop culture scandals of Octo-mom, Balloon Boy, Tiger Woods and a surprisingly high number of celebrity deaths. Although not all bad, it seems to me that 2009 should be labeled The Year of Unfortunate Events.

In recognition of Good Riddance Day I urge you to reflect on the past year and recognize the not so great business moments that have occurred in your lives during 2009. Make your own "Good Riddance" list of 2009. Now before you shred it read it over. How many of these moments were caused by external factors? How many could have been handled differently to produce more positive out comes? How many could be attributed to lack in motivation, determination or innovation?

People have a way of developing patterns to deal with circumstances. These are not always effective as circumstance changes but thought patterns tend to stay the same. When you look at your Good Riddance list, have you noticed that perhaps you dealt with a circumstance in a similar way that you have before? Was the result of how you dealt with it satisfactory or, was there a better way that you could have handled it?

What patterns from your list do you notice that you can't seem to let go of? Holding on to these patterns will result in the same "Good Riddance" list for 2010. What you need to do is add that way of thinking to your "Good Riddance" list immediately. 
Now What? 
       Out with the OLD and In with the NEW!

For 2010 work on changing though patterns that seem to end up negatively. Try to think of new and innovative ways to approach circumstances. Here are some steps you can take to improve your way of thinking and eliminate those bad habits for the new year:

1. The more you learn the less you know. No one knows EVERYTHING, by realizing that you are not a mind-genius-super-brain and admitting your mortality vies with the rest of us will help you in the long run. The more stubborn you are about admitting this, the longer you will be stuck in the same mindset.

2. If you can't change something, change your attitude about it. This is one of my favorite quotes and it is so true. There will always be circumstances that we are faced with that we would rather not be. It is inevitable. Changing your attitude about them will help to open up new solutions and ways to deal with them proactively.

3. If at first you don't succeed, try try again. There are always underlying factors to why something works or doesn't. Many of these are temporary or can directly result from HOW you approached the circumstance. Give it another go, just don't go about it the same way you did before or it will most likely be a failure again.

4. The grass is always greener... now why is that?  Don't let your old ways of thinking keep you from coming up with fresh ideas to start your fresh new year. Sometimes it just takes a new perspective to see that things aren't always better on the other side.

5. Conquer your fears. There is a certain comfort level when you "stick with what you know" but for the new year its time to start anew and try to break the habits that have been holding you from progressing. 

6. The past is BEHIND you.  If you are not taking action to improve yourself for the new year then you are not moving forward. Your eyes are in the front of your head so you can see whats coming not whats behind you. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone.

7. You are not alone. Chances are if you have a question or circumstance you cannot answer or do not know how to deal with, someone has or had the same experience as you. Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, almost anything can be found by running a search. Research your "Good Riddance" perspectives and circumstances to see others advice and tips on how to confront them productively. You may not find the exact answer to your specific problem, but I can assure you there will be more than enough information about similar topics that you may be inspired after reading them to come up with your own solution.

"We spend the first of the year reflecting on our lives, making a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. To balance the list, we ought to reflect on our lives not looking for FLAWs but for POTENTIAL"- Ellen Goodman.

Cheers to a clean slate, fresh mind, and productive 2010! HAPPY NEW YEAR :)