My 3 Words for 2023
New Years’ Resolutions are great but too rigid for me. I’ve used the 3-word strategy for the past decade because I can improvise with them as life gets messy. So here are my words for 2023.
If you’re interested in a deeper explainer as to why words as themes versus a long list of goals, check out My 3 Words for 2012.
Let’s dive in.
“What Would Jesus Do? “
No, I’m not about to get all religious on you.
But you probably remember that fad when people would have WWJD on their bracelets as a prompt to ponder throughout the day.
“I have a big decision about X. What would Jesus Do?”
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill had a similar exercise he called The Invisible Guides. It was simple. In the key areas of life (e.g., career, health, relationships, spirituality, etc.), pick some experts you respect. Then, throughout the day, whenever you have a big challenge, ask the question: “What would X do if they were in my shoes?”
I love the concept but prefer the phrase Mental Mentors better. Having been on both sides of mentorship, I know the value of being able to ask or answer an important question during a critical challenge.
This hit me like a bolt of lightning a few weeks ago. I was having a pity party in my office because something at work was not going as planned. And then I asked a question: “What would a great man do in this situation?” Immediate clarity. I thought of two people I respect and what they would tell me. I got my head on straight and went right into taking action.
Since then, I’ve been closing my eyes and visiting my mental mentors throughout the day. It’s weird, but it works.
They say you’re the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most. For some, this is amazing because you may be in the company of A+ players all day long. In other situations, you may not have the luxury to be around peers that push you.
So I’ve chosen this phrase to create my own circle of 5 that inspire me to be the best version of myself. Sure, it’s not the same as being able to call these people. However, it’s better than nothing.
Growing up, I was blessed to be on multiple outstanding teams. Whether it was track and field in high school or ultimate frisbee in college, I know what it felt like to work so hard with people as motivated as me to compete and win.
In the rest of the world, it’s not as simple. Not everybody is as motivated to work together towards a common goal, even if that’s to have fun and be great friends.
The move to Oklahoma has been great for my family. However, I still haven’t developed the feeling of community and friendship that I have with friends from back in Upstate NY.
Now I have no problem being a lone wolf. I’ve gone for long periods as someone that lived and operated independently. But I know in this season of my life, I want to have that feeling again of working with people.
So while Mental Mentors are part of my internal world, the intention of the word team is to have similar experiences in my external world.
Honestly, I’m too blessed to be stressed.
However, if you ask my wife, she will tell you that I’ve allowed stress to shade too much of my life. The pandemic, startup life, a new kid, a new state. All these things together were challenging, but we overcame them. Still, my psyche feels like it’s in fight or flight. Still, there’s this low-grade worry all the time that a shoe is going to drop.
Yes, I’ve had my fair share of adversity over the past few years. A lot of people have, and many were worse than me. But I allowed all of that to cloud the many, many things I have to be grateful and joyful for.
A friend of mine once called me the eternal optimist. Even when I had very little, I had hope in my heart and joy in my face. It’s still in there, but I’ve allowed it to be dimmed.
This year, I need to allow joy to retake center stage. I need to be at my best even when external circumstances are at their worst.
Now The Hard Part: Living Them
I share these every year both for clarity and accountability. I review the words every morning as my guideposts. How can I attract the right players to my team at work? How can I strengthen my social circles? How can I drop all the bullshit stress and enjoy the moment at the dinner table right now?
These are my guideposts for 2023. Can’t wait to see how far I make it after one trip around the sun. Cheers 💛