It was one of the funniest scenes of the very funny long-running Bob Newhart Show. Bob, in his role as a psychologist, was beginning the diagnosis of a new patient (you will want to watch it to the end!). While the scene may make any licensed counselor cringe a bit, his simple “stop it” prescription might be a helpful suggestion in our world today.
On this New Year’s Eve, the focus for many will turn completely to “new” … a new beginning … a fresh start. Rather than counting down the final precious seconds of the “old” year, we count down each remaining second in anticipation of the New Year. The closing seconds only have relevance in context of a new beginning.
The old has lost it’s relevance … but often, isn’t really brought to closure.
While there is a slight tip of the hat to the old (e.g. recapping accomplishments at year’s end), it is the “new” that stands in the spotlight. And often the “new” is filled with a list of new beginnings … frequently cast as new to-do’s.
This is all well and good. Yet, often the strategy is flawed in that the list rarely includes a list of endings. A “stop-it” list … if you will. We live in a world of constant change which, by definition, creates a lot of “new” options. Our rapid change environment provides a lot of opportunity for wonderful new beginnings. Yet, to fully embrace a new beginning, we are often required to also embrace a necessary ending. One of my all-time favorite presentations of any National Speaker Association Convention was Joe Calloway’s keynote entitled “Let it Go!” It was the buzz of the convention hallways that year. Because in our world of “mounting-on” we all know, deep-down, of this need for letting-go.
Moving-on is often impossible while we are holding-on.
As I look with incredible optimism to a year destined for new beginnings, I end this year intentionally making a list of necessary endings. Some things on the list are easy to stop. Others are a little harder to end. And one I add to my list slowly and reluctantly … dreading for months to write it down. In fact, I wasn’t looking forward to actually writing it.
You are reading it now. The final issue of The Front Porch newsletter.
I’m grateful for every reader, every follow-up email packed with insightful reflections, and every ounce of encouragement along the way. The title of the newsletter was inspired by the culture of yesteryear where people would reflectively gather to ponder the issues of business and life. The Front Porch seemed to resonate, with many, as more than just a title. It was more of a place to visit.
Yet, as I worked my way through the writing of my upcoming book Return on Integrity, it became clear to me that at some point, you have to get off the porch and start digging. My hope is that if you have liked sitting on The Front Porch, that you will love where we are headed.
So today, you are reading what is ending. Yet, come the last Thursday of January, we will reveal all that is beginning. I hope that you will be inspired to grab a shovel and come with us as we start to Dig Deep. It will embrace a fresh more consistent interactive experience that moves us from pondering to pursing … together.
Watch your email, when else, but on the last Thursday of next month.
I am convinced it is a new beginning worthy of it’s related significant ending.
In the meantime, in these final precious hours of 2015, I encourage you to intentionally explore what needs to end … to be left behind … at the stroke of midnight or soon thereafter. That ending is likely the gateway through which you must pass to reach the starting line of your new beginning! Happy New Year!