My 3 Wishes for 2020
Each year in December I create my 3 Wishes for the following year. This ritual is my chance to reflect on the year ending: its quintessential flavour, its highlights and also its low moments. And then, as the New Year approaches, I turn forwards and create my 3 Wishes for the next year.
I write these 3 Wishes in my journal and these become my personal vision, guiding my choices and actions for that year. The following December I review these, what worked, what didn’t and why, and then, once again, I create the next year’s vision with my 3 Wishes and subsequent actions to secure them. Over the years, as I moved into the rhythm of this ritual, my wishes grew into an incremental visioning and evolved into ultimately finding my purpose. This and my personal vision continue to blossom into the most unexpected and magical adventures!
This is the framework for creating your 3 Wishes for 2020:
1. A brief review of 2019 including your personal as well as your professional life:
a) Your 3 high moments and your 2 low ones. b) What was the overall flavour/tone of 2019? Capture it in a word/phrase. c) Have you any regrets?
2. Now focus on 2020:
a) What’s the overall flavour/tone you really want for 2020? Write a word/phrase to capture this. b) Find/create a visual to keep you mindful and focussed. I use this as my screensaver. c) Now, create your 3 Wishes for 2020 and the subsequent actions that will best ensure they happen.
If you create wishes that are too easy, then you’ll secure them, but you might be settling for just good enough. If you are aiming for something greater then you have to be bold and hungry. Feeling shy about your wishes is the best indicator that you are on the right track! And these wishes are not exclusively focused on material outcomes. They include physical, emotional and psychological well-being, flowing from that fundamental question: ‘What will make your heart sing?’ One option is to choose a wish for each of your ‘3 Commitments’, as shown in the diagram below:
I am in the midst of creating my 3 wishes for 2020. Our wishes are deeply personal, with a special energy which we need to incubate and keep protected until they have safely manifested, so we need to be mindful who we share our wishes with at this stage.
However, there is an extra wish that I am very happy to share. It is a wish for kindness. As a former client, Neal Edwards wrote: “Act with integrity. This will almost inevitably induce you to be kind to others and to the planet. And you will find it difficult to sustain these and to act with integrity unless you are kind to yourself.”
I created the 10 Attributes of the Champion Mindset four years ago by asking key coaching clients globally what their top 5 Attributes would be. One of them then asked me about mine and, without over-thinking, I wrote:
A personal vision rooted in what makes our heart sing and the courage to implement it
A great positive energy rooted in physical and psychological robustness
A passion for excellence in all aspects of our life
‘A willingness to crash and burn’ (Steve Jobs) with the humility to learn for next time. The true meaning of ‘Detached Involvement’
The faith and courage to embrace love and life
What struck me on reflection is how the heart is core to all of these and how different my top 5 would have been a few years ago. I have always wanted to change the world, to do my share in changing the lives of those I love in a positive way. I still want that outcome but what has changed is how I do it. I have finally understood that we will only inspire people to make core changes if we come from a place of love and a good and happy heart. The Champion Mindset is, more than anything else, about choosing the path of the heart, the path of passion and of excellence. As a great champion, Einstein, said: “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth.”
Einstein was not talking about a ‘soggy spaghetti’ kindness. This extraordinary man was talking about a passionate, fierce love in the face of hate and mean anger. In December 1932, Einstein escaped to America, a month before Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party gained full power and Einstein continued to speak out against anti-Semitism, Nationalism and other forms of racism throughout his life. His values of ‘kindness, beauty and truth’ come from personal experience and great courage. The word ‘courage’ originates from the Latin ‘Cor’ meaning ‘heart’.
I describe this as the ‘red pill’ mindset. ‘The Matrix’, one of my top 5 films, depicts a world in which a simulated reality is actually a virtual one created by machines. In a pivotal scene, the protagonist, Neo, is offered the choice of two pills by the leader of the resistance, Morpheus: “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
The ‘blue pill’ choice comes from our ‘Adapted Self’, our locus of fear, and is the choice of least resistance, the easy, quick win, quick fix path. It is the one many take, persuading themselves that this is the sensible, ‘realistic’ option. But in coming from this ‘Adapted Self’ they are distancing themselves from their core truth and in doing so they find themselves increasingly bitter, empty and confused and, as a result, can cause great harm to others.
The red pill choice is the one of integrity. It comes from our ‘Authentic Self’, our inner truth, and it is the path that demands great courage. It is the choice we are most afraid of, the one we do everything to avoid. It can be a far-reaching external choice or it can be an immediate internal one: do I respond with fear and greed or do I respond with an open mind and heart? Either way we recognise it by our visceral instinctive response. Pure terror is a great indication that this is a red pill moment!
One of my favourite proverbs is this definition between heaven and hell:
A group of people are sitting round a sumptuous feast. They are forbidden to use their hands to eat and the only utensils are longer than arm’s length chopsticks. This scenario is exactly the same for both heaven and hell.
The definition of hell? Everyone is starving as they try to feed themselves: isolated and bitter for eternity.
The definition of heaven? Everyone is feeding each other in blissful harmony!
So, as we come to the end of 2019, how about giving yourself time to pause and ask yourself: What kind of person do I want to be? Do I want to be that person living in fear, anger and self-preservation at any cost or am I willing to open my heart and mind and live a life of kindness, beauty and truth?
And to finish, here’s another wish. Yes, we can never have too many wishes! I wish you all a very happy festive season and a 2020 full of great love, joyous fun and very magical adventures!