I’m sitting in my leather reading chair pondering one main thought. What kind of “end of year” lessons learned message should I deliver to all of you that would truly jump-start your new year? You see, I’m recovering from hip surgery and the rehab plan doesn’t allow me to fly for the next four weeks. I’m required to stay at home during this period so I have a lot of time to contemplate the many blessings I have such as my family, friends, and YOU. I’m reminded once again that change is a constant, and it is what allows us to be better human beings. We need the challenge of change. For me, this means to slow down and for those of you who know me and my energy level, I’m in for a great challenge! While this recovery period is very hard for me, I intend to use this very important down time to plan my future. Before I can do that though, I need to stop and smell the roses.
My wife, Margaret, who is the love of my life, has been by my side this entire week taking care of me and keeping me company. We have had a wonderful time talking about our dreams and plans for the future. Of course we’ve also laughed a lot, something Margaret is good at getting me to do, even when I am in pain. I don’t like to have a lot of time on my hands, but if I don’t slow down every once in a while I will overlook the priorities in my life and the people that deserve my attention. My AWESOME staff, Frank, Bonnie, and Kris have kept my company going while I recuperate. I am forever grateful to them for their service. I would also like to extend my thanks and great appreciation to Luis Escalante, who generously contributes his time and talents throughout the year. Greg Hutto and Keith Phildius are monthly contributors to this e-Zine and add great value with their articles for which I’m also thankful. This is my year-end lesson.
I have some thoughts I would like to share with you, though. The message I want to leave you with in thanks-giving is to learn to “Engage Christmas,” “Engage Hanukkah,” or “Engage the holidays.” I often remind people “When you are where you are, be there.” It shouldn’t be an option in life to ignore your relationships, especially during the holidays. It is easy to get caught up in the year-end work struggles and responsibilities. It is this time of the year, like no other, that we are reminded that new beginnings are truly possible, a fresh start is likely, and you can let go of your mistakes and learn from them and move forward.
Transitioning your life allows you to be thankful for the ability to move forward and to look up. It is only then that you become engaged with the true passion in your life. The holidays have built-in reminders of what is important in life. One example off the top of my head is the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with Jimmy Stewart. This movie has become a standard in our household before Christmas because it is a perfect example of a new start and the importance of family and friends. With all the training that I have done over the past 25 years, it has become clear that those who look up move forward and those who look down stop the growth process. One of the biggest “WHY’S” in my life is to remind you that it is your choice to change. And it’s not always just about you either—it is about all the people who depend on you. If you take the time to engage in your family and in your faith, you will begin the process of changing hearts like what happened to our dear friend, the Grinch. (I know what you’re thinking – Bryan has had too much movie time on his hands!)
As the years pass, doors keep opening for me to do a better job for you. In 2010, we will present our new three-day boot camp. My “Build a Better You” radio show is now on at a better time (4:00 p.m. central time each Saturday) and is expected to expand into different markets across the country. “The Good Life Rules,” published by McGraw Hill, continues to increase in sales. We will present two new programs that will enter the market this year, and my speaking engagements continue to grow. The truth of the matter is that the Good Lord has truly blessed me with these opportunities and you have also played a major role in our success. From the bottom of my heart, I just want to thank you for allowing me to do what I truly love and that is to serve others.
One way to express my “Thanks” is to share with you some good advice. In this month’s e-Zine, from me to all of you, I want you to “Engage the Good Life.” So, how can we engage this lifestyle during this time of year? Let me surprise you. Do the following: Let go of urban stress, wear your favorite boots to every occasion, and breathe deeply the holiday spirit of giving and helping, not just receiving. I encourage you to ride your bike or four-wheeler to the corner store instead of your car, feel the warmth between your toes from the fireplace heat, roll up your cuffs and catch a game, only wear shirts that represent your favorite team, abandon colored socks, pause for the beauty of the lights of the season, say hello to everyone, function on holiday time, and put off things that don’t really matter, so you can do what matters most today. Moreover, always tell those you love that you love them as many times as possible. Always remember to engage “The Good Life” wherever you are. You will have brightened the day because you have chosen to engage your life.
Always keep this in mind that the true spirit of Christmas lies within your heart and the true riches in life come from doing good. I would like to share with you my favorite three rules for a good day.
1. Say something nice to someone.
2. Do something nice for someone.
3. Be your best at all times.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!
Your fan for life,
Bryan J. Dodge and the Dodge Development Family