Welcoming 2009

This is one of those years where people are welcoming a new year with so much of uncertainty about how it will shape up for them. With everything that’s happening around us, there is no other way. May be there is…

Here are a few things that YOU can do to make it a different year.

1. Basics first

Fortunately or unfortunately there is a big list under the “Basics” category but I have picked three for starters:

1.1 Being grateful for what you have: What you have is all you have. It’s a gift that has been given to you or it’s part of all the experiences that you have accumulated until this point in life. Without that, you are nobody.  Once you are grateful for what you have, you can start noticing what you can do with what you have. May be there is not much you can do and you might have to completely re-invent yourself for 2009 but without being grateful, that opening to find out if “something could be done” is closed.

Tony Robbins said it beautifully = “Most people think resources or lack thereof hold them back. In fact, it is not lack of resources but rather lack of resourcefulness that truly prevents people from achieving their dreams”

1.2 Having a healthy self-esteem: If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect others to believe in you. this does not mean that you start living in a fantasy world where you start portraying yourself as someone you are NOT. Self-esteem is just having confidence in your own abilities and having the right amount of respect for that.

1.3 Having the right balance
: Yes, we are in trouble in the short-term but if you forget the long-term, a short-term win won’t help much. There has to be a balance between the two. You will pay dearly in the long-term if you take any shortcuts for the short-term.

In my previous book “Beyond Code” (free download, amazon link) I talked about life being series of projects and you go from managing one set of projects to another set of projects. In that sense you are always doing two things – one trying your best to execute on the current projects and AT THE SAME TIME building your capacity to execute on your future projects. You may be flawlessly executing on your current projects (short-term win) but if you don’t grow to build the capacity to execute your future projects (long-term win) you will lose and it will only be a matter of time.

2. Remember GIGO: Garbage-in; Garbage-out

You have one life and you can only live one lifetime. in fact, you can only live one day at a time. So a max of 24 hours in a day. Your input is what you read and listen via all the channels (eg: newspapers, blogs, radio, TV, websites and newsletters)

Think whether what you are getting as input is leading towards making your life (and lives of people around you) better than before. If not, check the inputs at the gate.

3. Pay to get better help

Some of you may be navigating through a downturn for the first time ever in your life. Sadly, it can be worse than you think. Fighting it alone may not be the wise strategy. There is good help out there but it’s not available for FREE. Remember, everyone has to put food on the table.

One aspect of being resourceful is your ability to convince (or seduce) extremely smart people to collaborate with you on your projects. They won’t do it unless it is a win-win situation and helping you is the best use of their time in light of all the opportunities that are available to them at that point in time.

Note 1: A win-win situation is one where both parties think that it was a 60:40 deal (in other words both parties think they got a better deal) [ Courtesy: Pat Guerra]

Note 2: “Good” help may not be available in Yellow Pages.

4. Hunt for Opportunities to Give

Just like you can’t withdraw before you deposit in a bank, you have to give first to get back. Give more and you will get more. In a nutshell,

Even from a pure business perspective, if you increase the capacity of someone else to get more, you can make a business case to get a part of that “delta” that you helped create.

There are so many people out there who need help and may be you can be part of their puzzle to help them get to where they want to go.

5. Discipline. Period.

I have seen people getting things done and I have also seen people who have really good reasons for why they can’t get things done. Accomplishments get rewards not excuses.

Jim Rohn said it best – “For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward”

You can make goals and find excuses to say why you were not able to achieve them or you can truly achieve your goals and make a difference to your life and the lives of people around you. It all starts with the discipline of keeping a promise that you make to yourself.

Here it is from a different perspective: Think that in 2010 someone wants to write a book about people where were extremely disciplined and you are on their short-list to be interviewed. Will you have a good story to tell? How should you live your life in 2009 so that you are on that shortlist of interviewees for the book?

You suffer and you are part of the problem. You lead a good life and help others lead a good life and you are part of the solution.

You make the choice.


The above are snippets from my upcoming book

Cultivating the right attitude to thrive in tough times

You can read a brief overview of the book here (advance praise, buzz so far). You can also sign up for my newsletter there to receive updates about this book and other goodies once in a while.


Have a fantastic 2009!