With just one month left in the year, it is natural to look back at the previous eleven. For some it will feel like a blur, others a slog, others yet a mixed bag.
In the context of our life, it is likely that only a handful of memories from this year will remain lodged in our consciousness this time next year, joining the handful of others from each previous year of our lives.
Let’s call these our greatest hits. Just like most artists only have a few songs from each record release that stand the test of time, so too it is with our lives.
One of the fathers of behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman once said, “I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.”
So take a moment and think of your greatest hits from this year. What experiences will you still think about five, ten, fifteen years from now?
Here are some hints with an example of mine in parenthesis. They could be an awesome vacation (taking my family to Scotland), an inspiring cultural experience (Hamilton), planning a big event (my Mom’s surprise 75th birthday party), something you did with your kids (coaching soccer/basketball) or for others (helping three Yonkers students with their college essays), completing a major work project (launching “Whose on your dream team?”) or a simple, tender moment with your partner (recently receiving a supportive hug in a moment of crisis).
Now with your greatest hits in your mind or better yet written down on a piece of paper, ask yourself these questions:
- Who and what made each of those moments possible?
- Have you recognized everyone who played a part on your greatest hits?
- How instrumental were you in other people's greatest hits?
While year is almost over, we still have 8% left. Plenty of time to record another hit, thank those that helped you record one already or play a part in the making of someone else’s.