“Once we realize that fear is normal, then we don’t have to wait until we aren’t scared to do the thing we want to do. We just do it scared.”
-Christy Wright

“Direction not intention determines your destination.”
― Andy Stanley

“You’ll become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
― Jim Rohn

Nearly 20 years ago I was working with Carlton Masi. Life was good. Carlton was a mentor and like a brother all in the same package. Then the unimaginable happened. Carlton’s life came to an end far too soon.

It was time to have a real conversation with myself about my perspective and what I needed to do to move forward with clarity and conviction. That conversation took place on October 27, 2002.

Welcome to 2019 and the time of year that I continue to have a real conversation with myself. A conversation about what I need to do to move forward with clarity and conviction in the year ahead and beyond. Interestingly, I personally answer each of my own questions. Here’s a sample of the kinds of questions I ask and answer with myself:

  1. What are my hopes, goals and aspirations?
  2. What are the goals that I expect to accomplish this year?
  3. Where can I stretch myself to achieve something that would seem unlikely?
  4. What do I need to do to be a better husband? A better father? A better leader?
  5. How will I challenge myself this year in ways that are different from previous years?
  6. What do I need to change to be the best version of me?
  7. Who can I invest in and help to achieve their goals and ambitions?
  8. What was the most significant change about me personally or professionally in the previous year?
  9. How did that help or hinder me?
  10. What new experience can I expose myself to this year that will help me think beyond boundaries?

One Simple Question

I figure that since I’m the one that asks and answers the questions in the conversation I have with myself, I’m also the one who’s accountable for my progression. I measure that progression throughout the year by asking myself one very simple question:

Am I getting where I want to be on purpose?

At the end of the year I ask myself one more series of simple personal accountability questions:

Did I end this year where I wanted to be? Why or why not? What’s next?

I want to challenge you to have a similar conversation with yourself and I also want to challenge you to be personally accountable in measuring your progression. If you know that won’t work, find an accountability partner who can support and help you along the way.

Don’t Be Surprised

My hope for you in the year ahead is that you will get to where you want to be on purpose, because that’s far more invigorating than getting their accidentally. When you get to the end of 2019 I don’t want you to be surprised; I want you to be accomplished. Why? Because there are plenty of people who have learned to be content with going in the wrong direction. As Joel Thomas says, “When you’re going in the wrong direction you can be happy, but you’re still going in the wrong direction.”

Ask For Help

I used to think that asking for help was a sign of weakness. Experience has shown me that there’s wisdom in asking for help where and when I need it. If you don’t, you’ll pay the penalty for not paying attention to the fact that everything wasn’t meant to be accomplished alone. Not surprisingly, people want to help other people. Sometimes the ASK is all they need to be mobilized to support and assist you on purpose. Likewise, in the year ahead, look for opportunities to contribute to others and help them. There is an inspiring and energizing power in creating a positive impact in someone’s life simply by helping them.

Unnecessary Compromise

Buckle up for what comes next.

Underperforming people would prefer that high achieving people lower their standards of performance so that they don’t have to raise theirs. We live in a world where compromise is necessary. However, your hopes, dreams, goals and ambitions aren’t the place to make unnecessary compromises in your life. It’s taken me years to learn that the limitations that someone places on themselves aren’t allowed to become my limitations. I’m unwilling to apologize for being driven towards accomplishment and achievement. That focus is my choice and in the same way I have to be willing to accept that everyone doesn’t share the same view. Here’s a key point to consider as a part of your conversation with yourself: Choosing to ignore what you see underperforming people doing isn’t a formula for your success. When criticism comes, because it will, for your energy and direction in your life always remember this thought: There’s a difference between being judgmental about other people and using good judgement regarding myself. I own me, they own them.

In the year ahead, challenge yourself to move beyond the boundaries of your own self-imposed limitations and knock-off with any unnecessary compromise you’re making that marginalizes the power of you.

Be authentic. Be purposeful. Make it meaningful.


Final Note: As I’ve mentioned here and in my social feeds previously, I’m continually refining my writing focus. My purpose is to write in an authentic, purposeful and meaningful way on topics that are impactful to you as a part of the Thoughtwave Community of Readers. Your feedback along with analytics have shown that most of you have joined Thoughtwave through a direct or indirect connection to Perpetual Development. With that information provided, I want to let you know that the Thoughtwave blog has been moved from my personal website BrentPatmos.com to my company website PerpetualDevelopment.com. As we progress, both of these sites will serve unique purposes, writing focuses and areas of emphasis. More about that in the year ahead.