Your plan not your motivation might be the issue.


If your new year motivation is already waning, you might want to pick up the book, Howard’s Gift which is full of good insights from Howard Stevenson, Harvard Professor Emeritus for living a successful life. 


5 Valuable Insights from Howard’s Gift


1/ Live your life forward.


No one is immune from mistakes and failures because life has both controllable and uncontrollable risks. The only thing that you need to do is distill the right lessons and apply the lessons as you move forward.


2/ Recognize the opportunity created by inflection points.


Inflection points are created by decisions and events. Every inflection point creates an opportunity to chart a new path forward. Take your time and consider your options carefully to select the most satisfying and rewarding path.


3/ Forget about trying to strike a balance.


Life is more of a juggling act than a balancing one because there are so many dimensions to it. Define your values so that you are clear about which dimensions are most important to you. Then metaphorically, focus on the falling ball to keep all of your balls in the air. If one needs to drop, make sure it’s one with some bounce. According to Howard, your career will likely bounce more than your family.


4/ Define enough.


Know when you’ve earned enough and had enough so that you can take that ball out of the juggling act. Howard wrote another book called Just Enough if you need insights for how to define enough for the different dimensions of your life.


5/ Create some ripples.


Lend a hand or offer advice to someone in need. It often doesn’t take much but it’s those little acts of kindness that can make a difference for someone else. Howard likens it to throwing stones into water to create ripples.


Four questions to ask yourself to chart your path forward.


1/ Who are you? 


Define your values and what you want to have experienced by the end of your life.


2/ Which ball are you about to drop?


Assess your life to identify which ball you’re about to drop.


3/ Who is important to you? 


How are you supporting them to achieve success in their life.


4/ What’s your timeframe for action?


Your timeline is the duration of your life. Think about how to sequence the different dimensions to get the most from your life.

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