Direct marketing experts advise when writing a solicitation letter to include a PS, because the reader will always read the PS first, before reading the body copy. So, make the PS an important part of your message.
When creating print advertisements experts advise on the importance of the headline. Sometimes these are the only words the reader will read, so make it count. The same advice would be true, I believe, when writing an article such as this. Perhaps, the only thing you will read, or remember, is the headline. So, go ahead read it again, at least twice.
My target audience for this communication is my children, grandchildren, friends and family. So, my New Year’s wish for each of you is that you are blessed with an outrageous amount of foolishness so you will believe, without a doubt, you were born to make a difference in this world.
So here is the 2012 question for you. How will you live a life of meaning and significance? What does God want you to do with your life? Why do you do what you do? For some of you these questions may be easy to answer. But, for most people, even mature adults, these questions remain unanswered for a lifetime. They can haunt people well into adulthood.
I will not tell you that I have a magic formula guaranteed to help with your personal discernment. But, I will offer advice as to where you may find answers. I suggest that you begin with this thought from the Bible, “Commit you works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 My suggestion is to start your day with a prayer. Include God in your daily plans. Recognize that you can’t succeed by your efforts alone.
My second suggestion is that you form the habit of positive thinking. In every situation, regardless of circumstance, you can decide to be positive or to be otherwise. Choose to be positive. As Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” So, form the habit, of being a positive person, it will change everything you do for the rest of your life.
The third suggestion is to be grateful. This morning, for instance, I had my morning cup of coffee (freshly ground beans), followed by a glass of orange juice, pancakes with real blueberry jam from Maine, and then a few grapefruit slices. And, I thought to myself, how many people in the world will never have a single breakfast as nice as this one? I have small indulgences such as this on a routine basis. I am I grateful?
Finally, I would suggest that every worthwhile enduring purpose is virtually always motivated by a desire for the well being of others. So, to the degree that is possible, think less about what you need and more about how you can be of service to others. True success, I believe, will be measured not by what you have but rather by what you gave away.
Here is a better way to express the same thought, “Remember when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing you have received—only what you have given. St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
So let’s go back to the article headline, the only thing you will likely remember, my wish for you this new year is “May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe you were born to make a difference in this world.” Get started. Make a difference. Remember, the journey of one thousand miles begins with one step. Chineese Proverb
Happy New Year. May 2012 be your best year ever.