Every year, I pick out a focus word. A word that governs various aspects of my life that year in lieu of resolutions. My previous words have been focus (2009), discipline (2010), growth (2011), nurture (2012), surrender (2013), challenge (2014), connect (2015), strength (2016), and self-care (2017).
I thought I had my word for this year all figured out.
Initially the word I wanted had to do with reveling in every moment and being absolutely present in each one. Not until a few weeks ago when I witnessed a few things within the travel community that bothered me. I usually stay on the fringes of unnecessary drama (who has time for that, seriously?!). People I deeply respect who needed to be looking forward, kept looking backwards. At their past. At the way things were. Nostalgia.
But you see, nothing derails you faster from your own path in life than not only looking at someone in a totally different lane, but maintaining that gaze until you wreck. Especially if they are a different generation. Nothing destroys all you’ve worked so hard to build faster than resentment that comes from not mentally moving forward and elegantly embracing your own transition in life.
This is exactly why I gave that massive TBEX keynote about seeing transitions in our lives as opportunities and it is why I keep sharing it with everyone I know. The full transcript (which I also share in the link above) is essential reading as you start 2018.
Transition is inevitable and the more people fully realize and accept this, the easier they’ll sleep at night.
2017 was an amazing year that saw me branch out in different ways while keeping me squarely on my own path in life. I challenged myself in many ways including speaking Swedish in front of millions on national radio (yikes!).
And in many ways, I continued to grow into my own.
As I was closing out the year, my focus word began to emerge and it felt just right as new adventures are already beginning to shape themselves for this year.
So my focus word for 2018 is to continue to…EVOLVE.
According to the dictionary, to evolve is to:
- develop gradually.
- develop over successive generations as a result of natural selection.
Some of its synonyms include: grow, mature, advance, increase, ripen
“Evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”
I couldn’t have picked a more perfect word at this stage of my life and career. It’s very easy to rest on one’s laurels, to stay stagnant. Gradual development is also the most sustainable, lest one falls into the danger of believing their own press.
There’s always a higher version of myself I can aspire to. I can never stop learning, and I can never stop growing. This will be everything from improving skills to growing spiritually and taking better care of myself holistically.
There isn’t a stage of “arrival” for me but rather, many major mile markers along the way. My own unique journey.
So, my focus this year is a continuation of what I’ve subconsciously been doing since I started down this path over a decade ago.
I will continue to evolve with grace.
To inspire you, here are a few more quotes on evolving:
“Look around you. Everything changes. everything on this earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing, and changing. You were not put on this earth to remain stagnant.” Dr. Steve Mataboli
“Time to eliminate things that no longer evolve me.” Erykah Badu
“Be patient with yourself as you evolve.” Anonymous
“Continue to grow and evolve.” Mahatma Gandhi
“What’s dangerous is not to evolve.” Jeff Bezos
“I am evolving and it’s so damn beautiful.” Anonymous