One of the greatest inspirational speakers of our time, Zig Ziglar, said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” So, let’s start off a great 2012 with these 12 things to do for yourself!

  1. Spend time with the right people. — There’s not enough time in life to spend what precious little of it with people who drain the very life essence out of you. The people that make room for you are the ones that want you in their life. Don’t force yourself on those that don’t value your contributions and worth. True friends will be there when life isn’t smooth.
  2. Face your problems head on. — Don’t run from them. Sure, it’s not easy. Every person in the world has had their go at adversity, and not everyone has handled it with perfection. Instant problem solving is not genetically infused in us. Human DNA has the survival instinct in it. We get upset and mad, sad and hurt, we stumble and fall. But we rise and fight, learn and adapt, experience and succeed! This is what helps us become the developed person we aspire to!
  3. Speak truth to yourself. — You can lie to everyone, but you can’t lie to yourself and mean it. We improve our state when we engage the risk. One of the first risks we can engage is being totally honest with ourselves.
  4. Be your own self. — Stop trying to be someone you are not. The world seems to challenge us to be conforming and like others. You can always see someone else who is more intelligent, more sophisticated, arguably more attractive or younger, and they will never be you. In the same vein, don’t change them to be like you and don’t change yourself to be like them. Be yourself, and those that matter will love the person you are.
  5. Be courageous when facing tasks ridden with potential for mistakes. While failure may not be an option, the fear of failure should not be a show-stopper. Look at all the successes that had years of failure that paved the way. Many performers of 20 years become ‘over-night’ sensations.
  6. Look for happiness in yourself. —Don’t look exclusively to others to fulfill your happiness. You have to create your own happiness by being happy with who you are. If you aren’t happy with who you are, take some steps to get your inner relationship corrected.
  7. Get busy. — Take action. Don’t over analyze or you’ll create a problem where one never existed. Evaluate quickly, then act decisively. You won’t change what isn’t confronted. You can’t make a 15 yard completion if you never throw the ball. Progess involves taking risks.
  8. Reject self-pity and negative talk. — Don’t complain and feel sorry for yourself. Adversity comes for a reason: to cause you to take action, change a course of direction. At the moment things happen, you may not see the reason or understand why, with reflection, you’ll see that they often have led you to become a better person .
  9. Practice forgiveness and forgetfulness. — You shouldn’t live your life with hate and grudges in your heart. You end up hurting yourself more. When you forgive, let go, find peace, and be free from the emotional entaglements the grudge or wrongful act has brought to you. And the part about forgetfulness is to let the other person know, without saying a word, that the grudge is truly in the past. By the way, while you’re at it, remember to forgive yourself.
  10. Rise above the fray. — When those around you would pull you down into the mud to muck it up, take a stand and refuse to wallow in their level. Adhere to higher standards.
  11. Take time to enjoy precious moments. — Rejoice in the little things, for little things have a tendency to become big things. I’ve heard stories over and over of elderly folk who discovered late in life that one of their most influential moments in life had been one considered by them to be quite trivial, but the one who shared that moment had experienced a mountain of importance.
  12. Focus on what you want to happen. — Avoid focusing on what you don’t want happening. The basic tenant of every success story is positive thinking! When your day begins with thoughts of what wonderful things that will happen today, you tend to seek those wonderful things. And when you seek them, you find them.

And for the baker’s dozen, be thankful. I am thankful for all that I have materially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My dream for 2012 is to be the best employee I can, to do more magic shows, and to enjoy my family more than ever.