One Word!

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At our recent Mastermind Retreat our colleague Steve Tyink gave each of us a book titled One Word That Will Change Your Life. The authors are Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. It is a small, concise, powerful book that encourages people that make up organizations to choose one word that will be the theme for the year. The idea is that focusing on that one word can simplify your focus and make a life changing difference.

In our Extraordinary Leader Program, we have a one page document that we give to our participants at the beginning of the year to have their plan for the year in front of them and easy to access. At the top is the theme for the year that drives everything.

When Steve introduced this concept and challenged us to come up with our word I explained that I still had a few months left on my word for this year and that I would come up with my word for next year before the end of the year.

My word for this year has been “Connection”. It seemed to me at the beginning of the year that being connected to people was what my life and my business was all about. I decided to take a deeper look into this and take a focus on connection for a ride. As the year began I realized that I am a pretty connected person. I am not sure if others would think that from a social media perspective, although I do dabble in that, the kind of connection I focus on is different.

A few years ago, my focus was gratitude and for the past 1,855 days I have had the practice of writing 10 things in my journal each day that I am grateful for. At the beginning of this year I also started writing down 10 people each day that I connected with. As we approach the end of the year I will have a list in my journal of 3,650 connections and there are many more.

Here are some of the things I have experienced and learned from a year with this focus.

One of the first things I realized is how easy it is to be disconnected these days. Although technology has a way of connecting us, the busyness of trying to keep up with everything we have put into our lives has in a way disconnected us. A powerful part of being connected is being present!

I have noticed this year that when someone comes into my mind I would connect with them. I am not sure why they have shown up in my mind, but it would trigger a call, an email, a text, or a card.

As wonderful and powerful as it is to connect with people I had never met before it is quite extraordinary to reconnect with people from my past. I found a friend that I haven’t seen since my family moved away 50 years ago.

I took some connections I already had to a much deeper level this past year. I realized that the quality of my connections was more important than the quantity. I realized that my favorite connections are in person.

Although I had to disconnect with some people whose lives came to an end this year, the memory of our connection lives on.

I think I also learned the importance and impact the quality of my connections make in my life. I realized the importance being disconnected from people who I don’t see as a positive influence.

It has been an Extraordinary year of connection. The quality of my life and the number of people I am able to support has increased. Perhaps the biggest lesson has been the awareness that I need to be connected to me in a profound and powerful way.

As this year comes to an end I am pretty pleased that I chose the word “Connection” at the beginning of it.

A few days ago I was asked to commit to my word for the coming year.

I have decided that my word for the coming year will be “Create”.

If we think of our lives as a movie, there is a chance that we are observers of our movie and we are waiting to see what happens next. Maybe we are actors in our own movie and there is some creative aspect to how we decide to act in our movie. This year I have decided to put more emphasis on the Director and Screenwriter roles. Each of the last three roles have a creative aspect to them and I am planning to explore that.

I was inspired by two interviews I saw. One was with John Mellencamp and the other with Bernie Taupin. Both are incredibly creative people who simply create every day. Mellencamp said that if “I end a day where I haven’t created something it just doesn’t feel right.”

I am excited about what I will create in the coming year. I am excited about making the creative process my focus.

Here are some of the possibilities I am thinking about!

Dreams! Articles! Songs! Screenplays! Presentations! Power Points! Vacations! Connections! Works of Art! Experiences! Gifts! Environments! Jokes! Dates with Rose! Smiles! Laughter! A hole in one! Meals! Collaborating on a Creation! Awareness! You get the idea!

Now here is the big question:

What is your One Word going to be?


Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA and the co-founders of the Extraordinary Leader Program. If you would like to connect with them you can call 1-866-822-3481 toll free.

Posted by Will Flourance at 12/20/2018 10:13:58 AM | 

Thank you for sharing. My word for 2019 is going to be "focus."
Posted by: CMAA Member ( Email | Visit ) at 12/20/2018 10:46 AM