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Words for 2013

What words do you want to define your life in 2013? The right ones might make a difference in how things unfold for the next 12 months.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve come upon two different sets of “words to live by.” Both were offered as a way to improve the quality of our time here on earth.

The first set belongs to spiritual author Eckhart Tolle.  His three words are ACCEPTANCE, ENJOYMENT, ENTHUSIASM.  I like those words, even though there’s no catchy acronym for using them.  (“AEE”  sounds like a mouse is loose in the house.)

“Acceptance” is the first step in making life sizzle.  You won’t have a dime’s worth of success–or fun–if what you think you are doing doesn’t mesh with reality.

“Enjoyment” belongs on everyone’s plate, but too often, we assume someone else is supposed to dish it up for us.  What am I going to do to be sure I ENJOY my life?

And “enthusiasm”?  Well, it’s one of my favorite words, trumped only by it’s first cousin, exeburance.  Let’s hear it for being–and staying–exited!

Accept, enjoy and stay excited.  Sounds like a pretty compact recipe for a good life.  I gotta try that one.  (Again.  This set came from notes I took several years ago. How can I forget such important things so easily!)

The second set of words is from book marketing guru Brian Jud in his December newsletter.  His set has four words.  He offered them in the context of writing and selling books, but they are actually as generic as Tolle’s.  Jud’s set:  DISCOVER, ADAPT, RESPECT, EMPOWER.  (The first letters from his turn cleverly into the word:  DARE.)

He offered the words, but I’m adding my take as I present them here.  (So if you hate what I’m writing here, don’t blame Brian.)  For me, DISCOVER means you need to explore what excites you and use that to keep yourself motivated.  Doing what you love is the fastest way to success no matter what you are trying to do.

ADAPT adds the fact that you need to work within reality  Life is a lot easier if you’re working at coming up with effective ways of dealing with what’s actually going on around you instead of trying to solve what you thought was going on last year–or the year before that…or never.

You need to RESPECT yourself first–and that’s Jud’s point.  But take in farther than that–do what you can to respect everyone and everything.   Respect requires equal parts  of tolerance,  humility and wisdom.  Much as it looks weak, it has great power.  Respecting others builds bridges, spans chasms, and links worlds.  (And disrespect throw everything off kilter in a heartbeat.)

With his last word, EMPOWER, Jud also points inward, as in “empower yourself.” That is good advice, for sure, but you can gain even more from it by taking this farther, too.  When you empower others, your effort comes back to create even more energy for yourself.

It really doesn’t make a lot of difference if you use the nouns (ACCEPTANCE, ENJOYMENT, ENTHUSIASM) or the verbs (DISCOVER, ADAPT, RESPECT, EMPOWER).  The real key is in using something.

Much of the time, we rush around just trying to get everything done.  But when you put the daily manic effort in the context of prioritizing that comes from word maps like the two I’ve just described, life can take a calming turn.  They don’t have to be these sets of words.  Maybe you’d be happier with ones you came up with on your own.

What are you trying to do with 2013?  Bubble?  Meander?  Forge?  What words energize you when they come to mind?   Giving?  Rest?  Forgiveness?

Instead of New Years Resolutions, maybe it’s time to try a word map.



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