“We cannot tell the precise moment
When friendship is formed.
As in filling a vessel drop by drop,
There is at last a drop
Which makes it run over;
So in a series of kindnesses
There is at last one
Which makes the heart run over.”
- Samuel Johnson
Whether you call it my resolution of the year, goal of the year, theme of the year or word of the year … ‘Connect’ is what I am focusing on this year.
Resolutions and goals aren’t new to you. I won’t even attempt explaining them to you. Theme of the year and word of the year are alternatives to new year resolution.
Theme Of The Year
In theme of the year you pick one life area you want to work on and put all your energy into it. That life area becomes your priority, your obsession, your area of prime focus. How do I improve this life area, how can I make this better is the question you repeatedly ask yourself. And of course you work on the answers that you get.
Sometimes your journey will lead you to learning new things, sometimes it will mean experimenting on different theories to find one which works for you. Sometimes you look within to reflect everything pertaining to that life area, sometimes you go all out interacting with people in your life, people in the same boat and people who have found their answers to find a way to get better and better. Every answer will open multiple new routes for you, every route taken will lead to a better you and a better life.
The beauty of taking theme based approach is that it is highly action oriented. You don’t wait for anything to happen. You make things happen. You don’t wait for life to throw something at you to work upon. You actively seek and create opportunities to work on the focused life area. You create mini goals, set milestones & action plans as you move forward towards improving your life area. You follow the cycle of Act-Reflect-Learn-Act. There is nothing passive about this method.
Word Of The Year
In word of the year, you pick one word which resonates with you. One word which you would like to experience in you / your life. How you do that is not important. How will it lead to improving your life in areas you want is not important. This word pulled you because somewhere within there is something you need to experience & learn. Living a year with this word can lead you to it.
What you are asked to do is simple – every opportunity you get to be that word, to experience that word, to make that word real for you, do so. Stay with the word for the entire year and ask yourself how do I manifest this in my life? And follow through with whatever comes up. The path will lead you to places you need to visit, it will satisfy needs deep within which you didn’t know existed, it will open new areas for you which otherwise you possibly might have missed.
The beauty of taking word based approach is that you don’t know where will it lead you. Word based approach encourages you to own the word. You own it in such a way that it enmeshes with you, it becomes part of who you are and what your personality is. It becomes you. And because you own the word, it affects all areas of your life. Sometimes in ways you didn’t foresee while choosing the word. So often we keep working on known faults and the true reason for failure or lack of growth remains hidden. So often our understanding of what’s the problem is way away from the actual one. Word based approach brings to light these hidden areas, these blind spots in your life. It provides you with opportunities to expand yourself, it challenges you to grow and reach beyond yourself in every area of your life.
I read about ‘word of the year’ approach on Christine’s blog (whom I found via a guest post by Lance of Jungle Of Life). As I read Christine’s explanation of ‘Word of the year’, word ‘Connect’ immediately popped up. I knew Connect is the word for me. Christine has given a long list of words as examples from which we can choose. I went through each word, none of them felt as right as Connect to me. And so Connect it is.
Co-incidentally, the theme that I was interested in picking up this year was ‘Getting Social’ – which loosely translates into Connect. My plan is to work on theme based and word based approaches together with a common focus – Connect.
When I think of Connect, I immediately think of Dialogue, Compassion & Friendship.
- Connect is about taking that first step towards friendship, or many more steps if needed.
- Connect is about creating and nurturing loving bonds through conversations and understanding.
- Connect is about forming new friendships and strengthening old ones.
What does Connect mean to you?
More importantly, what theme/word are you picking for yourself? Which word pops up and attracts you to own it, which word calls you, which word do you wish to live for the entire next year?
December is Word-of-the-Year Month at Christine’s Blog. People who took word based approach for current year share their experience. Truly inspiring accounts worth reading.