The “practice” developed from my early years working at large corporations. They shut down the whole week between December 25th and January 2nd. One reason was that maintenance had to be performed on the manufacturing machines. Another reason was that customers were shut down for factory maintenance. It was a great week even if I had to go into work, because almost no one else was there. Peace. Quiet. Concentration. A wonderful chance to reflect on the year past and the year to come.
When I left the corporate world, I promised myself I’d try to continue that tradition of being “shut down” the last week of the year. I’ve pretty much stuck to that promise and have only a very light meeting schedule this year. Most of the meetings are more personal than business oriented. I will take this time to organize and to think about the good things that happened during the year. I’ll also reflect on areas for improvement.
I will tackle my desk over this year end break. I’ll organize, schedule all my standing meetings for 2010 and review our wills. I’ll do the filing, cleaning and tinker with the PC, loading new software, etc. And, this year, I know I’ll be thinking a great deal about the economic conditions and what’s going to happen business wise in 2010. I will be “upbeat,” as always. And, I will still be cautious because there are many signs that things are going to continue to be “slow” and “rocky.” It’s times like these that I try to remember the sayings from the sages. One of my favorite reminders that “it’s all up to me” is a poem by Walter D. Wintle, The Man Who Thinks He Can. I first read this poem in Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. A great book in my opinion, and one that we should read continuously. At least once every couple of years.
So, I leave you with this poem. It reminds me of the frame of mind we all need to succeed – especially in challenging times.
The Man Who Thinks He Can
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t .
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
Walter D. Wintle, “The Man Who Thinks He Can.” – Poems That Live Forever, comp. Hazel Feldman 1965
May you have a fantastically healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.