Welcome 2022, We’re Happy To See You

January 2022, a new year, and another opportunity to greet what’s in store. Like the McDonald’s commercial, “I’m loving it!” The wonderful thing about this first month of the year is the fresh outlook it offers, the chance to finish what we’ve started, and to chart a new path.

I think that’s also supposed to mean no more excuses, resolutions, or procrastinations, only forward movement toward a destiny filled with hope, promise, and peace. After all that went on the past 12 months, let’s pray that’s what it means.

About 15 years ago I stopped making resolutions since they usually fell by the way before month’s end. Now I think in terms of plans and I hope you will too:

First, let’s plan to celebrate Reach Your Potential Month. I love the wacky days we get to observe but this one’s special. We all have unused potential and it’s time we dust off our brainpower, gifts, and possibilities and live like we mean it.

Think about what you’re good at and do more of that. If it’s baking, call me when you create the masterpiece. If it’s organizing and getting things done, people pay money for folks who can help them get on the right track.

Let’s raise the bar for those around us and refuse to accept anything less than your/their best. Here’s what I mean. When I was a journalism professor 400 years ago, I told my students I expected them to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning story, so I wanted only their best effort every time. When they turned in their work, I’d ask if that was the Pulitzer. If they hesitated, I’d say, “only your best please.” When they thought it was award worthy, I usually thought so too.

The moral of this story is when we’ve done our best, when we’ve used all our potential, it shows in everything we do.

Second, let’s plan to learn about great people by spending more time with them. Fame and fortune aren’t what make us great. Certainly, we can do great things with/because of it, but it’s the intangibles—honesty, integrity, honor, humility, kindness, and patience that great people exhibit daily that builds legacies.

A recent news story about businessman Bobby Frist fits this description. Mr. Frist, the article said, is one of the lowest paid CEOs in Nashville’s publicly traded healthcare industry. According to the Nashville Business Journal, he gave millions in stock to his employees in appreciation and recognition of their hard work during the past 21 months of the pandemic.

“For those that have been on this journey with me over the months and years, I want to recognize their service with this expression of my appreciation,” Frist said. I suspect this was music to the 820 employees who received the stock.

Research continues to show that yes, employees would like to make more money, but they really want to know that what they do matters and makes a difference. Putting your money where your mouth is spells greatness every time.

You know the drill here—I don’t have millions (though I can happily help others spend theirs) nor do I have any stock to share but what I do have is a positive attitude, a joyful spirit, helping hands, listening ears, and a heart for the plight of children.

We weren’t created to live forever so, let’s pray for and lift one another up every day this year. Whether we create award-worthy moments or simply stoop to see a child, we matter and we make THE difference. .

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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