Seems fitting that I post this today, which is the actual day Marty traveled forward to in Back to the Future 2.
Fitting? Yes. Because my management team at work asked us to write a speech to ourselves, from our future self, telling our present-day-self the things our present-day-self should do now in order to end up with a successful 2016. So, it’s all about time travel.
I tried to be clever and make a David Letterman-style Top-10 List. For the younger kids on the sales staff, they might’ve not even known David Letterman invented top-10 lists and they’d think my idea was even more clever. It’s all about impressing people, right?
This top-10 list, I thought, would be funny and get a few laughs. So I came up with the following.
10 …TEN new accounts in 2016.
9 …NINE hours of work each day.
8 …EIGHT appointments weekly.
7 …SEVEN out of 10 clients returning as annuals or growing
6 …SIX multi-market closed deals!
5 …FIVE days of exercise weekly
4 …FOUR new accounts of $50K+
3 …THREE event sponsorship deals
2 …TWO new $100k annuals
1 …ONE helluva year.
But I have to admit something. It left me uninspired. Was closing with “one helluva year” going to bring the crowd to it’s feet? It felt like I was given an assignment, wrote something, and just checked another to-do off my list. My managers told me to “do this” and I did it.
Check. Task complete. Onto the next thing.
And that’s when I noticed a penny sitting next to my notebook. So random. So there. Just a penny …sitting there. And it hit me. Don! Stop going through the motions. Your future-self is trying to tell you something. He won’t inspire you and you won’t achieve great things with some lame top-10 list that’ll be forgotten the minute you get done speaking (if everyone didn’t already drift off in the middle of your speech).
The penny was a message. From my grandmother (d0 you know that story?). From my mother (another story). From my past-self (in the hospital wondering if I’d live or die) to my future-self to my current-self.
Recently, I’ve started to let the pressure and stress of my job creep into my regular life. My job is all I think about. When I drive home. When I drive to work. When I lay in bed. When I wake up at night and stare at the ceiling. When I am reading a book to my kids. When I drive on a road trip. When I walk my dog. When I’m eating a good sandwich. When I’m showering. When I’m pumping gas.
You get the point. I hired in two years ago …yes …two years, and I was reminded of that when a manager put a birthday hat on my head recently. Regretfully, I’m not the guy they hired. That guy they hired? They hired him because he had joy and enthusiasm and spirit and they hired him to bring that TO WORK EVERYDAY.
With that in mind, my future-self made a NEW top-10 list that WOULD ACTUALLY INSPIRE present-day-me. And it’s about bringing JOY and passion back to my real-life and, in turn, back to my work-life and THAT is how I’m going to attack my to-do list and make a successful 2016.
Why is my 2016 going to be successful? Here’s why . . . counted down from 10 to 1 . . .
Oh. Wait. First, let’s start with ZERO! Zero texting while driving! Zippo. Zilch.
Now, back to the top-10…
10 …TEN hugs daily (even people who aren’t “huggers”)
9 …NINE good, quality, real conversations daily …clients, friends, family, co-workers, or hell, the check-out lady at Kroger.
8 …EIGHT o’clock, at my desk, ready to work (and not talk about traffic jams or last night’s game)
7 …SEVEN hours a week writing, blogging, or making salsa and marketing it
6 …SIX o’clock, HOME! Living. Enjoying my family. To my bosses …the math works out. 8:00-5:25 is a 9 hour and 25-minute work day (with a ½ hour lunch)
5 …FIVE minutes of quiet reflection (or prayer) each day
4 …FOUR days a week of exercise (everything will be a little better if I’m healthier)
3 …THREE good, informative, client phone calls daily … Meaningful! That adds up to 150 great phone calls a year.
2 …journal or acknowledge TWO things I’m grateful for each day …or, if it’s a person, tell that person(s) I’m grateful for them
1 …it will ensure I have ONE great life and ONE great year.
And that’s it. Thanks, future-self. I needed that.