A Look Back Before Taking on the New Year
It was a big year for The Theory of 5! The book and workbook have reached more people in 2019 than I ever imagined and, from the phone calls, emails and messages I have received, I know that it’s making a positive impact on the lives of people around the world. I’d like to thank you, the people who have made the commitment to live a Theory of 5 life. The stories I have heard and the lessons I’ve learned have exceeded The Theory of 5 team’s expectations.
Before we embark on 2020, which I am confident is going to be even better than 2019, I’d like to do a quick review of what we’ve covered in the past year. This blog is a supplement to the text of The Theory of 5, full of new information and re-examination of the lessons of the book. Feel free to follow the links to read the full topics we covered In 2019, which included:
Bringing Our Dreams to Life — Using the idea of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely), we can set well-defined objectives for ourselves to get to the place we truly want to be in any area of our lives. By setting this type of goal, our mentors can challenge us — and we can challenge ourselves — to make sure we are on track and making steady progress towards our goals.
Choosing Our Partner — Choosing our partner in life is one of the most impactful decisions we’ll ever make. If we choose well, our partner will support our dreams and goals as we build a bright future together. Choose poorly and they could drag us down to the point we’ll never achieve our true potential. The bloom of love is beautiful, but we also need to look at the mindsets we both are taking into the relationship and discuss what kind of future we’ll build together.
Average Vs. Exceptional — If we want to achieve great things in this life, it’s going to take a great amount of effort, focus and time. If we compare ourselves to the “average,” we’re only aiming to be in the middle portion of the spectrum. By putting in the work and having the mindset knowing we can achieve great things, we’re going to avoid the world of the average and enter the world of the exceptional.
The Heart of Mentoring — Mentoring is one of the foundational pieces of The Theory of 5, but having a mentor is only half of the equation. Being a mentor not only is a benefit to the person we are teaching, but it enables us to learn and grow as well. One of my favorite Bible verses is “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” There’s no substitute for being accountable to another success-minded person.
Our Future Children and Our Past Selves — It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details of our world, but it’s important to look at what we’re doing now and then from a different perspective, especially when it comes to our children. They’re only going to be this age once, and there are no do-overs. Would you be proud of your decisions if you were looking at them 30 years from now with your adult child by your side? Would you understand and internalize the importance of some actions that might get lost in the shuffle without a deeper perspective?
Fighting Fairly, Parts 1 and 2 — When you get two people living in the same space, conflicts are unavoidable. Successful couple find ways to discuss — and argue — about disagreements fairly and constructively. It’s easy to fall into negative conflict behaviors (which include storming out, giving the “silent treatment,” labeling our partner and more), but these are pitfalls that we must avoid if we want to solve the problem at hand. By substituting negative behaviors with positive actions — such as listening, focusing on the topic and treating our partner with respect — we can not only resolve the conflict but come out of the disagreement with a stronger relationship. And these behaviors aren’t solely for those we love; any conflict is better met by keeping these positive behaviors in mind.
Leading Through Benevolent Brainwashing — When we take the emotionally loaded term “brainwashing” to simply mean “a concentrated means of persuasion,” we have a valuable parenting tool that will serve our children well throughout their lives. By being consistent with our teachings, rewards and discipline, instilling the correct behavior into our children at all stages of their lives not only makes our lives with them easier, but gives them a framework that they can use as they develop. Consistency is a friend to both us and our children.
Risk and Reward — There are times when we are faced with decisions that not “can” but will affect the trajectory of the rest of our lives. When we are making these choices, it’s imperative that we weigh the risk and the reward — and do so with a clear mind. While the “safe” path might seem like the less risky route, that’s not always the case; there are no “guarantees” in life. There will probably be an element of fear involved, especially if it’s a big decision, and that’s fine. Fear gets our attention; we shouldn’t, however, let it make our decisions for us.
In addition to reflecting on the year behind us, this is the perfect time to prepare ourselves for the year ahead. I believe the best lessons from The Theory of 5 for this include:
Be Proactive — Our life is a function of our behaviors and actions. Waiting for the “right moment” is no substitute for doing what needs to be done. We might not be in the mood to work out on a cold winter morning. Do it anyway. We might not feel qualified to climb the next rung at work. Do what it takes to get prepared. There will always be excuses for not doing what we know we need to do; the happiest, most successful people I know take action.
Visualize Your Goals — Create a vision of your 2020 mission. Know what you want to accomplish and write it down (vague goals are just dreams, while concrete, specific goals are a roadmap to the future). Once you’ve done this, imagine yourself living your life having accomplished these goals. When we feel the emotions attached to reaching our dreams, we acquire the fuel we need to get there.
Sharpen Your Saw — It’s crucial that we build our skills, our bodies, our minds and our talents each and every day. There are 366 days in the coming year. Let’s not waste one of them. We need to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today. By surrounding ourselves with people who will challenge us (and people who we will challenge), we create a network that will ensure that we are always moving forward toward our goals.
We’re only getting started on this Theory of 5 journey and can’t wait to get going with making 2020 the best year of our lives (to date).
I’d love to hear from you, as well! When you get a moment, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what topics you’d like to explore, lessons you’ve learned or have taught from your Theory of 5 journey.
Let’s make 2020 a year that we take massive action to reach our goals.