Complete 2018 in a meaningful way

Completing a chapter effectively can be a meaningful and powerful endeavor if you approach it with a deliberate and conscious mindset. Unfortunately, most people tend to focus more on starting a project and executing it, and when it reaches its end, they just move to the next one. We tend to underestimate the power and value of completing things effectively, not merely finishing or ending them.

The dictionary defines ‘Finishing‘ as ‘Bringing a task or activity to an end. It defines ‘Completing‘ as ‘Making something whole or perfect’.

You don’t have to do anything for something to end. It is the nature of any cycle. Things begin, go through their evolution and end. A year, a project or a lifetime, it’s all the same principle. But, in order to feel complete at the end of your year, with all the good things and bad things that happened, you need to apply deliberate and mindful focus and awareness.

How do you complete things?

If you review the year’s events without the distinction of completion in mind, you are likely to focus on the cold facts of what actually happened. You will ask yourself questions such as: “What did I do?”, “What didn’t I do?” and “What results did I achieve?”. Most likely your sense of satisfaction would be determined by the number of outcomes you achieved. If you achieved most of your goals, you would most likely feel good. If not, you would feel bad.

In contrast, if you look at 2018 through the lens of completion you will push your thinking and reflection beyond merely the facts of what happened to a deeper level. You will still account for the facts of what happened, however, you will be compelled to own what happened and what didn’t happen in a more meaningful way.

You will ask yourself questions such as “What did I accomplish?”, “What did I learn?”, “Where and how did I grow?” and “How am I better, stronger and more prepared for the future?”. This type of taking stock will deepen your connection with your higher purpose and vision and it will make you feel more satisfied and complete.

Your experience of success and failure are based on interpretations, not facts. You can feel victorious and successful even when you didn’t meet your goals. And, you can feel disappointed and unfulfilled when you did meet your goals. The feeling of success or failure is often determined by the notion of completion.

Completing the past and feeling that you have learned and gained the most out of it will enable you to put things in a more powerful perspective. It will help you put the past behind you, and this will leave you feeling freer, stronger and more empowered and excited to focus on the future from a clean slate.

However, if you leave things incomplete, past incompletions could haunt you and cloud your thoughts, plans, and aspirations for the future. You could become more hesitant to take on new things because of past failures and/or you could take on things with a sense of vengeance and need to prove something, which could rob you of enjoying the journey. In both cases, you would be reacting to your past and that won’t be effective or satisfying.

The good news is that you can bring completion to your past at any moment, no matter how good or bad things were. You just need to take stock, draw empowering conclusions from past events and then declare the past complete. It requires taking a stand and it takes courage. But it is easy and fun!

How to complete 2018 in a practical and meaningful way:

As you end 2018, reflect on your year. First, make the list of the facts – what happened, what you did and didn’t do and accomplish. It’s useful to start there. But don’t end there.

Ask yourself:

  1. What did I accomplish?
  2. What did I learn?
  3. Where and how did I grow and improve in the areas I care about?
  4. How did I forward my bigger personal and professional vision and purpose?
  5. What am I most grateful for?
  6. Whom do I want to recognize and thank? (Make sure you tell them.)

Once you declare 2018 complete, you will feel a sense of satisfaction, peace, and fulfillment. In that space, you can powerfully start creating your next year to be your best year ever.

In conclusion, on a personal note  – Thank you for following my blogs during 2018. I hope at least some of them were useful to you. I will be taking some time off myself and will post my next blog in the week of January 7th, 2019.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year!


Are you addicted to your smartphone?

I spent a few days on the beach in Miami with my wife, and I couldn’t help but be shocked by people’s behavior with their smartphones.

My day started early at the gym with a small handful of exercisers. Even at 7am many of the exercisers were glued to their smartphones for the entire duration of their exercise. People were walking on the treadmill and cycling on the bike while being completely immersed in their smartphone for 90 minutes, without lifting their eyes from it.

At breakfast I saw a few couples and families sitting around the table, everyone with eyes glued to their smartphone as they were eating, with an occasional brief exchange of looks and words.

And, then at the beach, so many people sitting in their beach chairs glued to their smartphones for hours at a time. I even saw a few people walking on the beach holding their smartphones in front of their eyes literally walking and typing. I’m not sure how they managed to watch where they were going.

And then again at the restaurant over dinner, same behaviors.

I don’t know what the official statistics are of daily smartphone usage, but assume it is very high. In fact, I would bet some people spend 60-70 percent of their day glued to their smartphones. And, to be clear, the people I saw were not all teenagers or young adults. Some were clearly in their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

This is our modern, enlightened society.

If modern, enlightened means not being able to put your smartphone down and control your usage, not being able to make eye contact and/or converse with your loved ones, and/or not being able to simply be present in the moment in order to ‘stop and smell the roses’ – then, count me out!

Please don’t get me wrong, I love technology; I depend on it; I can’t imagine being without my computer or my phone for even one day. My entire life is entangled in technology – my personal and business calendars, my food and exercise apps, my immediate and extended family WhatsApp groups, my personal and business contacts, my emails, texts and more…

However, I don’t want to be so consumed by my technology that I am unable to function without constantly glancing at my smartphone. I don’t want to be impatient and anxious to receive the next message; I don’t want to worry that if I go off the grid for an hour or two, I may miss something. I want my technology to be my tool, resource and support mechanism, not my addiction. I want to control my impulses, I don’t want my impulses to control me.

Call me old fashion, but when my kids come over and we spend time together I want us to just be with each other and catch up, without smartphones. The same with my friends. I want to have quality time with my wife without either of us thinking about or looking at our smartphone. I want to exercise and do yoga without being concerned about missing out on something at work while I am nurturing my body and soul.

My wife often challenges me to eat my salad without dressing and to try other foods without sauce or gravy, in order to remember the taste of vegetables, grains, and meats in their natural and pure form. To be honest, I don’t love doing that because I have become used to the taste of meat with honey mustard or fish with Hollandaise.

However, when it comes to my connection and quality time with my wife, kids and loved ones I will do my best to keep our relationships as natural and pure as possible.