Choose Three Words

Here we go… the world did not end on 12/21/2012, and a new birth of possibilities is in front of us all. The human story is one of resilience. If I had to choose one word to characterize the human spirit, it would be resilience.

I am in the business of learning and co-creating the future. Every year, at the end of December I challenge myself to tell the story of the year in three words. For 2012 my three words are: surprise, rethinking, overcoming.

Surprise forced me to rethink how I can help and create significant value. Rethinking led to overcoming setbacks and challenges, and it opened the door to opportunities that I did not see.

Upon reflection, I’ve seen this theme all around me this year: surprise, rethinking and overcoming.

I then ask if I can intuit a theme for the coming year. For 2013 the three words that presented themselves are: listening, elevation, creativity.

I see cross currents and conflicting short- and long-term trends ahead that require deep listening, which opens renewal and growth pathways to new elevations. At a higher elevation we are able to see what we were incapable of seeing before. And at a higher elevation we find new capabilities, creativity and the potential to unlock previously unimagined possibilities.

Now try this yourself by playing a game with friends over the holiday. Ask them to describe the essence of 2012 in three words. See if a pattern emerges. Then ask them to intuit the coming year in three words. See if the answers provide insight into how to set yourself up for success in 2013.

I am interested in hearing about your three words for 2012 and your three words for 2013. Please share your insights.

Kind regards,


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