(Christmas + Gift-giving) x (New Years + Goal-setting) x Others / Self
= A Challenging 2010 with Kick-backs from Generosity
Typically, seven or eight out of ten New Year's Resolutions have Self on center-stage: Lose weight, pay off debts, get a better job, quit smoking.... Still, I love the energy around this motivation-driven, list-making, endeavor. The cycle of time offers a yearly reminder and opportunity to straighten out the crooked parts of life, and many of us jump at the invitation.
But what if we mixed the goal-setting of New Years with the gift-giving of Christmas? We could end up with a more generous 2010. The cost of serving others will make it challenging, of course, but long-term rewards should outweigh any short-term sacrifices. What could this mean practically?
Well, in the spirit of becoming vocationally good neighbors, it means using your imagination to move in next door to a consumer. In a recent article called "Eight Inches Away", I asked:
"If you practice law and your client lives next door, does this...make you treat her case differently? If you teach high school and your worst student lives next door, does it affect your relationship? And what if you make advertisements and your neighbor buys the gadgets you promote? Do you question what you're selling and how?"
I asked these question because I've lived and worked in a duplex for the past five years. My actual neighbor isn't a client but the situation has forced me to ask the questions. Loving your neighbor as yourself resides practically and essentially at the heart of work. This New Years, I have a chance to renew that goal of giving to customers and clients as I think about living eight inches away from them.
If you're looking for an addition to your resolution list, try this one out. The kick-backs are great (and they offer a nice little something for Self, too!)
Read "Eight Inches Away" at The High Calling. Note to friends: No, we haven't moved. I don't know who lives in that photo.
The High Calling is a site about work and God.