“It ISN’T what it is. It IS what you choose to make it.” — Chris Suarez
The end of the year is often a time of reflection for many. We look back at what we’ve learned, what we’ve accomplished, where we were, and how far we’ve come. We compare are goals with our results, we assess our level of success, we think about the people we have gained, the people we have lost, and the relationships we have deepened. We reflect on our pain, our failures, our struggles, and our losses. And we reflect on our purpose, our wins, our lessons learned, and what we are grateful for.
The word ‘reflect’ is a Latin word which ultimately means ‘something which comes back to you’. In the simplest form, if you look in the mirror, an image of yourself will come back to you…It is your reflected image. If you are reflecting on the past, you are looking at it again, in most cases thoughtfully.
The danger? Be mindful that reflection doesn’t become, well, just that – a simple glimpse or view into the mirror of our past year. A perfect reflection of what you were, who you were, where you were, why you were…
“It is what it is”. One of the most common expressions. So common, we have probably all used it, some more than others, some unknowingly, some as their ‘go-to’ explanation for life itself. Yet, “it is what it is” implies that we have accepted our current situation. It implies that our reflection is not just a perfect image of our past, but also our automatic, destined, or fated future. It allows us to detach from any thought or desire for change, and allows us to accept whatever is in front of us, or whatever has happened to us.
As I “reflect” on my 2019, I have decided that:
We all love to have choices. Go into Nordstrom. There isn’t just one shirt, there are hundreds to choose from. Go into Whole Foods. There isn’t just one health bar, there are about 50 to choose from. Click over to Amazon (actually please don’t, keep reading this instead), you have millions of choices.
Unfortunately as our choices increase, clinical studies show we tend to choose less. It becomes easier to just reflect on choices, and not actually make a choice. Choosing immediately eliminates the expression “it is what it is” from our language and belief system.
But there is another step. The first step might be to choose, but the second step is another verb. To make. The word ‘make’ forces creation. The word ‘make’ forces doing. The word ‘make’ forces action. Now we see why “it is what it is” has become such a popular expression. There is no verb, no action word. There is nothing to do with that, except to accept. “It isn’t what it is.” Regardless of where we might be today – in a job we love or one we hate, launching a brand new business or in an industry being disrupted, full of energy at our peak health or feeling worn out, tired and unhealthy – IT IS WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO MAKE IT. Perhaps one step further down the road of responsibility, would imply it is what you have chosen to make it up to this point. It will be what you choose to make it from this point forward.
As many of you know, my word for 2018 was TIME. I spent countless hours studying, reading, learning, and testing strategies, concepts, thoughts around TIME. It is what caused me to partner in writing the course Master TIME & Money with my good friend Ben Kinney, and has led to the beginning of the book by that same title that we are currently working on. We taught that class just one in 2018.
My word for 2019 is FOCUS. Every year I spend a length of time out of the country. This isn’t time away, or a vacation. Rather, this time is some of my most productive of the year. I’ve spent the last two months once again studying, reading, researching, writing about, and digesting this word FOCUS. It will be the theme of our next course in the “Mastery Series”: Master ENERGY & FOCUS. We will debut that that course (as well as deliver TIME & MONEY for only the second time) just before our Keller Williams annual convention, Family Reunion. We have done that because Ben and I believe that mastering ENERGY & FOCUS (combined with a master of TIME & MONEY) could be the most important journey for every business owner (and especially real estate agent) in the coming year. With nearly 20,000 KW agents converging on New Orleans on February 15th and 16th, we plan to share these four critical concepts with hundreds of you over two days. Will you be one of them? You can CHOOSE to MAKE that happen by signing up here.