This post has become a favorite of my readers – so here it is, updated for 2021. Plus, the next cohort of the Optimize Your Life to Be Your Best Self group program is starting on Feb 17, 2021. And details about a talk I gave on Feb 1st, 2021, and how to access the recording.
This cartoon brings up so many profound truths for me: It’s up to us. Start small. Little things matter. Don’t give up. Expectations are everything. Be the change we want to see in the world. It’s always worth nurturing or creating something. Focus on the positive. And on and on.
Of course, it’s not always that easy to just plant flowers (literally or metaphorically). It’s very easy to get paralyzed by thinking that whatever we do it won’t be enough. I know I get caught up in that. I’m only one person, what can I do? Does it really matter? It reminds me of the story about a storm that has stranded thousands of starfish on the beach. There is a child walking along, picking up the starfish, and throwing them back into the sea, knowing they won’t otherwise survive. An adult walking by says, “There’s so many, you’ll hardly make a difference.” The child pauses for a minute, and then says, “But I’ll make a difference to this one.” In some versions of the story, after hearing the child’s response, the adult also starts throwing starfish back into the sea. Other adults start helping, and eventually they are all saved. Such a powerful illustration of how any of us can lead by example – we don’t need a title – we just need to do the right thing.
This cartoon reminds me how important it is to do whatever we can to make the world a better place, whether that is planting flowers, or saving starfish, or truly listening to someone with a different political perspective – or inspiring other people do those things. And it reminds me that no act of kindness or creation, or growth or nurturing, is ever too small for those that receive it.
2020 was a rough year, there’s no denying it. And while we made it to 2021, we were immediately confronted with an insurrection at the Capitol just a few days into the new year. Two weeks later, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as the country’s new President and Vice President, despite concerns of further violence. The COVID pandemic continues, and I think it’s safe to say all of us are yearning for the day when we can freely hug our friends again, and see people’s smiles. All of the challenges we were facing in 2020, both individually and as a nation, are still with us in 2021 – and there are undoubtedly more to come.
What can we do? Believe that our future will be better, and that we can help make it so. And work to show up as our best selves as frequently as we can. Here’s to planting flowers wherever we are, so that we shape the world around us into what we most want it to be – or at least know that we did what we could to increase the odds.
One of the brightest spots in my 2020 was the amazing synergy created in my inaugural Optimize Your Life to Be Your Best Self group coaching program. We shared laughter and tears, made big changes and tiny ones, all leading to this intrepid group showing up more frequently as their best selves. No one wanted it to end, so we started a Mastermind that continues today.
I’m excited to be offering the Optimize Your Life to Be Your Best Self program to a second cohort, starting on Feb 17th. If you’d like to see if it will be the right fit for you, let’s talk. This group is not for everyone, and that’s just as it should be. You can read about the program, including reflections from the original members (half of whom will be joining us again for cohort 2), and more here.
“It was immensely beneficial.” – Dennis, Optimize Your Life Cohort 1
While we’ll never be able to show up as our best selves all of the time, by optimizing our work, energy, and relationships we vastly increase the odds that we will – and that definitely helps to make the world a better place! Not only for 2021, but beyond. Looking forward to seeing what we can plant together. And excited to Optimize with you! Also, if you’re old enough (50+), you can access the recording of my talk on “Why You Have More Control Than You Think” by joining the Bloom community and going to past sessions in the Forum.