Posts Tagged 'New Year’s Resolutions'

Let us resolve to savor the moments that enrich our lives

Dennis Sparks

In a blog post titled “A Happy Post-Sandy Story” Jamie Sussel Turner tells a story about a particularly high level of customer service that, as her title implies, lead to a happy outcome. From her experience she concludes:

“So, as we approach the New Year let’s celebrate the small and happy stories in our lives. Let’s be bold in asking for what we need and generous in offering our help to others. Taking time to fully appreciate these moments of joy can help to drown out the sad and tragic news in our world.

“Let’s consider what might be lost in our work lives, personal lives, and relationships that we’d like to find. I’d say that maybe by asking for help and giving help to others we might just find it. What would you say?”

Let us resolve this year not only to accomplish new and perhaps even extraordinary things, but to celebrate, as Jamie suggests, “the small and happy stories of our lives,” stories that allow us to remember and savor the moments that have enriched our lives and through us the lives of others.


Think “kedge” when you make your New Year’s Resolutions

Dennis Sparks

This is the season of good intentions we call “New Year’s Resolutions.” We aspire to acquire new professional habits, exercise more, live more balanced lives, and so on.

In Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy—Until You’re 80 and Beyond authors Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge introduce a goal-setting concept that truly has the ability to make a significant difference in our lives—the “kedge.”

According to Crowley and Lodge, becalmed and threatened sailing ships would load a small anchor (known as a kedge) into a longboat, drop it half a mile away, and “everyone back on the big boat would pull like demons on the line, literally hauling the ship to the anchor.”

Crowley and Lodge use this process, known as “kedging,” as a metaphor and motivational tool for “climbing out of the ordinary, setting a desperate goal, and working like crazy to get there.”

As I think back over the past year or two, a kedge immediately comes to mind.

As a hospice volunteer I helped introduce a new hospice program through which patients and their families would share their life stories, which would be videotaped and given to families on DVDs.

To do so I had to acquire technical skills, including selecting and framing the setting, determining the lighting, and recording the sound. I had to learn how to edit videos and to make high-quality DVDs.

Even more challenging, I had to learn how to encourage and support patients and family members in unpredictable and often emotional once-in-a-lifetime conversations .

When I reflect on the kedges of my life – although I would not have thought of them that way at the time – they all felt risky as they stretched me out of my comfort zone and involved significant, improvisational learning as I responded to new and often unpredictable challenges.

As I began I was aware of the very real possibility and costs of failure. As the work moved forward, I was energized by signs of progress and a growing sense of competency.

As you consider your 2013 resolutions, I encourage you to include a carefully-chosen personal or professional kedge or two among your other goals.

The benefits are likely to be substantial, for both you and for others.

I also encourage you to share your kedges with other readers so that we all might better understand the varied forms they may take.

My best wishes to you for a wonderful 2013!


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