Complete 2019 in a meaningful way

Effectively completing a chapter 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 occurred. 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 2019 through the lens of completion, you will push your thinking and reflection to a deeper level beyond merely the facts of what happened. You will still account for the facts of what occurred; 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 them. 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 2019 in a practical and meaningful way:

As you end 2019, 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 2019 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 2019. 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 13th, 2020.

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


Are you living in and enjoying the moment?

A powerful quote by Alfred D’Souza, which I have shared in the past:

 “For a long time, it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last, it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life”.  

Have you ever had the frustrating or upsetting feeling that you are moving too slow, or you are behind in achieving your life and/or professional goals?

I had a conversation with a senior executive who has had a very successful and impactful career so far, in which he has built strong teams, achieved extraordinary results, and has received many accolades. He was eager to find his next promotion and role. Throughout our conversation, he kept referring to his feeling that “he should have been further along in his career by now, given his age and the number of years he had been in his company…”

A different professional who was looking for ways to build greater wealth through investments, shared with me recently that he felt he was behind and he should have been wealthier by now given his age…

I have heard these types of expressions from successful people many times before about different areas of their personal and professional lives. In fact, if I am honest, I have had these feelings from time to time about my own goals.

The problem is that as ambitious people we tend to set bold objectives in order to stretch ourselves, and then somewhere along the way, especially when we face challenges, we feel we are behind, we forget that we were the ones who created these high bars for ourselves in the first place.

We move so fast that we forget or neglect to stop every now and then to review our goals and take stock of our progress.

The whole point of setting goals is to direct, focus, and, most importantly, empower ourselves. The minute our goals are out of tune, it affects our mood, spirit, and performance. We need to have the courage to change, cancel, or adjust our goals to make sure they maintain their relevance and purpose. We also need the courage to acknowledge, own, and celebrate our progress and accomplishments, even if we didn’t exactly hit our set targets.

We definitely want to avoid the trap of feeling that our validation, validity, and “OKness” is based on whether or not we have hit our goals.

The entire “retirement” concept is predicated on the following premise. We work extremely hard throughout our life, often sacrificing and neglecting key areas like family, marriage, health and recreation, in order to achieve financial and professional goals that would allow us to ‘one day’ get to that stage in life where we can “truly start doing what we love to do and enjoy our life“.

Can you hear how ludicrous that sounds!?

And let’s be honest, the dominance of social media doesn’t help at all! In fact, it only makes the pressure and stresses greater. Instead of only seeing our neighbor’s new car or job, we are now exposed to thousands of online ‘friends’ who display their ‘perfect’ lives. No wonder the feelings of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ are stronger than ever.

Throughout our prime years, as we are working extremely hard, we feel like ‘when we get the next promotion, close the next deal, make the next million, buy the house or car of our dreams, get our children through college or married’ – “THEN life will truly be great.  But then when we reach a certain age, we start looking back and talking about our life in terms of ‘the good old days…’

So, if throughout our life we feel that ‘someday’ we will start living and then at the prime of our life we feel like ‘the best is behind us’ – when is our time??? When do we enjoy today… The moment???

If you want to stop delaying your enjoyment of your life, here are some thoughts about how to do it:

  1. Keep reminding yourself that you are the one who created your objectives and expectations in the first place. As the author of your future, if you find your goals and timelines to be too daunting and/or stressful, change them to ones that are more reasonable and ones that empower you.
  2. Acknowledge your accomplishments – every month, week, and every day. Focus more on your progress and what you have accomplished and less on your gaps, deficits, and what you haven’t achieved.
  3. Make sure to set time in your busy life for activities that fuel you with energy, enjoyment, fun, and fulfillment… If you are a workaholic, make time for the hobby you love or for personal time, or great vacations… and take time off. If you are married and/or have kids make sure to spend quality time with them on a regular basis… force yourself to do that….
  4. Stop equating your material achievements and success with your self-worth. Stop getting caught in the hamster wheel of jealousy and competitiveness. When you reach certain milestones or accomplishments, take the time to appreciate and celebrate what we have accomplished. Do not move right into your next goal; don’t let the rat race continue.
  5. Anticipate now what you will regret in the future if you don’t do or say, and do or say it today!
  6. Avoid falling into the trap of comparing yourself and your life with others… or even worse, being jealous of others. As my wise wife puts it: ‘you don’t want what others have and what they don’t have!’

It’s now or never… literally!