Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Luggage" for '09

You can already hear freight train 2009 barreling towards us on its fast track. Fortunately it makes one final rest stop at Holiday Station, just long enough for us to collect a few thoughts before it heads off into the New Year.

As the old year rounds third and heads for history, it might be good to think about lightening our load a bit for the journey ahead. Extra cumbersome baggage is costly these days and adds unwanted strain on the carrier. So let's take into the new year only those things that we can carry and which will still be prospering when Engine 2010 approaches. For sure there is nothing new offered here, just a couple of reminders as we prepare for our routines.

The first item to take along - a disposition that leaves others encouraged. Improve rather than disapprove. My wife reminds us when cleaning the house for company, "Always leave a room better than when you entered it." ("Fine, then I'll just leave," I say. That's not the idea.) Contribute something edifying. Remove things unhelpful. Anyone can trash and tear down. Even a few well-spoken words are powerful - no flattery, just encouragement. It is always needed.

Another idea is to begin work on projects now rather than later. This obviously avoids extra stress. Starting your work early gives you and your project simmer time. Long haul preparation is more productive than last minute cramming. Slow plugging beats fast hammering.

Those who know how to prepare well are usually self-starters. They are not dependent upon others. They take initiative and finish projects. They also have learned how to inspire themselves, to stay motivated, and to dig their way out of discouragements. People like this should be your best friends.

Also consider that your gifts and abilities are given, not a given. We really don't own anything that we did not receive. Even the ability to acquire wealth has been granted from our Maker. This perspective produces gratefulness and helps us to approach our responsibilities without the selfish focus that brings the pressures of pride and insecurity.


Have a great New Year!

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