How many years of your life have felt like “just another year?” I contemplated this at a recent meeting of Toastmasters—a public speaking organization—where we were challenged to pick a coin from a jar and speak impromptu about the year the coin was minted. What memorable events occurred that year? What were our successes? What proved difficult?
A few club members discussed years where they worked very hard, unsure where it would lead, but ultimately the long hours shaped their careers for the better. A few people discussed difficult times: divorces, the loss of loved ones, and periods of unemployment. Despite the challenges, they each seemed to pull lessons that helped them regain momentum.
But the presentation that stood out came from a guy who bent the rules by pulling out several coins, and after he sifted through the nickels and quarters jingling in his hand he finally said, “Several of these years just seem like numbers. One year the same as the next.” Then he paused before asking, “It makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with part of my life?”
By all visible measures this guy is a success. But he admitted feeling like some of his life is stuck on a treadmill. I believe most of us have experienced times where we wondered how to get off that treadmill.
Several of my dental consulting clients have achieved impressive fitness goals over the last year. When I asked the doctors what sparked their lifestyle change, they all spoke of finally listening to that “voice.”
What would your “voice” say if you sifted through a jar of coins, recounting what stands out with each year? What does your “voice” recommend to ensure that coins minted in this current year are remembered with a smile?