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Our 2020 New Year’s Resolutions (B)

I resolve to be even more accepting of and tolerant with people with differing personalities, traits and characteristics, personal styles, individual values and beliefs, and for their idiosyncrasies. I will also work at better managing fluctuations in people’s moods, points of view, and interests.

I resolve that especially with friends, co-workers and family, I will always assume that they will succeed, assume that they will do things correctly, assume that they will give everything they do their best effort. I’m surprised when other people make mistakes, give things less than their best effort, don’t succeed. Since I expect success, I’ll take on some degree of personal responsibility for mistakes of others, lackluster effort, non-success. My first take on the situation is that I haven’t been smart enough or skilled enough to effectuate the right outcome. For that reason, I’ll work with the person to identify the deficiencies. When possible, I’ll modify my performance so that I can facilitate the other person’s success.

I resolve to try harder to accept people as is. My goal isn’t to change anyone. Rather, I’ll make the effort to focus on encouraging and facilitating in ways that enable each person to achieve optimal performance within the context of their skills, abilities, and interests. Concurrently, I expect people to expand and improve their capacities and am ready to help with that process however I can. I don’t expect People to change but expect them to grow and develop.

I resolve to do a better job with remembering to praise my children, friends and family when they do well. I’ll take care not to praise too little but also will try to avoid making it seem like little more than a polite habit. I won’t be stingy with praise nor be excessive with it. I’ll be quick to recognize and acknowledge the successes and accomplishments of others but won’t confuse praise with simple good manners. Please and thank you and noting that someone did a good job or was helpful are not examples of praise. They are rather, merely examples of good manners and are just part of my habitual deportment. Alternatively, praise is an intentional and thoughtful action which privately or publicly acknowledges and commends excellence. I reserve praise for exceptional or extraordinary performance, never missing an opportunity to praise when anyone meets that standard.

I resolve to resist the temptation to either focus on what is not going well or on what is. It may be a function of human nature to attend mostly to the negative or to the positive, depending on one’s personality; but I’ll keep in mind that this is not a simple matter of choice or personal preference. The key to my success is seeing that neither focusing on the positive nor on the negative is advisable. Here’s the perspective I’ll always try to keep in mind. The reality is that things are continuously transitioning from a past state to a future state. My primary responsibility is to affect the transition so as to actualize the desired future state. To do this, the task is to reduce and eliminate the disparity between the present and future states, without redefining or compromising the desired future state. My focus then needs to be on the cluster of elements that affect the future state either as contributors or as detractors, understanding that neither is more or less important than the other. Focus must be on the gestalt. In short, I’ll be keeping my eye on the big picture, on the way on down the road.