A few years ago, Chris Brogan decided to pick three words to shape his year. He says that the three words “sum up what you want to work actionably on changing/improving in the coming year.” In 2006, his words were “Ask. Do. Share.” This year, he chose “Walt. Ender. Monchu.” I know, not exactly intuitive, but the point is that you select what makes sense to you.
Many others jumped on board and picked three words. Recently, I was reading Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation and noticed he picked three words (starvation, beyond, student).
MY THREE WORDS
This year, mine are health, love and listen.
True health is not only physical. Health is something that encompasses the full you: physical, spiritual, social, mental, and emotional. It is something you pursue, a state where you keep negative forces at bay. It’s more than the absence of sickness. It’s also the presence of well-being.
My friend Tim Sanders wrote Love is the Killer App and it’s true. Caring about others changes the dynamic. It changes a company culture, and a family culture as well. Joel Manby’s book, Love Works, demonstrates that companies can be run with love. Love is other-focused. It’s having someone else’s interests as higher than your own. Love isn’t judgmental. It doesn’t allow scorecards.
Listening is a skill. When I’m in the presence of someone who really listens, I am in awe. How many times do I listen only partly, thinking of my response? How can I cultivate the ability to be completely present with others I meet? To listen well means to be rested enough so I can focus, to put away distractions, to not multi-task. It requires the devices to be away. Full eye-contact. It’s hard.
So, what are your three words? Pick three positive words you will ponder. Words that will inspire you to think about the person you want to become this year. As a twist, try this exercise as a team building exercise at work. What three words work for your team?