What's hot in 2012 reflections

It's been a long road, hasn't it? A year ago today, I was in the midst of a panic attack, standing in the shower, in a haze with the walls closing in on me, I wondered how I had gotten there, when it was going to stop and where was the pure joy in living that people spoke of, the joy I enviously wished for myself?

And why was I panicking?

James Altucher once said that he doesn't post anything on his blog that doesn't make him nervously wonder what others will think of him and it's in this year of giving as I've named it, that I'm pondering that same message in my own work.

What does it mean to give, I mean really be generous and from the heart?

What does art consist of?

What is your relationship to your work, your family, your vision and the world?

2012 was a year of massive transition for most people I know. In my own life, I moved from panic attacks to true joy, belonging and adventure.

I traveled to San Francisco, Buffalo, Pittsburg, Baltimore, Hawaii, Rome, Connecticut and Los Angeles.

I spoke at two TEDx's.

I went off on my own as a freelancer and began to help people and businesses become thought leaders, both in their brands and personal lives.

I made more money this year than any other year of my life.

And I also made some really hard decisions. Ones that left me wondering what the fuck I was doing.

And amidst those hard decisions, I came to some very poignant realizations.

The first is that what we fear is not real.

We fear risk because we fear loss.

We fear loss because we think it infringes upon our safety.

And we value safety because it keeps us alive, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

This year, through many, miraculous experiences, I've realized that we are already safe. There's no boogie man, there's no reason to run and you are perfect, beautiful and divine, just as you are.

If you fear failure, know that you are already successful.

In times of struggle, doubt and insecurity, know that you are already winning.

And that you're never alone.

The second is that you're the shit.

You are awesome, amazing, glorious, divine, perfect, wowwzaa hot. Yes, you. That is what you need to believe and own above and beyond any other tactic or tool in the world. Own it. Love it. It's the seed for all things fruitful.

I'm going to ask you this year to rethink what success means and own the fact that your actions impact the lives of millions everyday. I'm going to ask you step into that power and lead.

For your sake and for ours.

Because we can't expect to be, as Ghandi so eloquently put, the change we hope to see in the world if we don't begin that change at home.

We can't expect to see sales increase if we aren't willing to have tough conversations and by tough I mean, face up against the shit that really scares us.

Rejection.

"Finding out" we really are a fake.

Loss.

No money.

No girl.

No nookie.

And now what?

Confidence is at the heart of every worthwhile endeavor we pursue.

What are you going to do this year to cultivate it?

The third is to be excited about the unexpected. That's what makes life interesting.

Do you want to know what successful, happy people do?

They do risky stuff. They are daring.

So let's break down risk and the idea of one being daring.

Daring tends to imply speed and risk, the idea that something might be lost.

Speed = fast decisions.

Successful people make decisions faster than others and are more comfortable with the idea of losing something if a given action is taken.

They do the hard work fast because they know that more time doesn't necessarily mean better quality.

They go out into the world because they remember that life is about living.

Not worrying.

Tomorrow you could be dead. Who did you inspire today?

Whose life did you touch?

How many times did you complain versus offer up a compliment to a bystander?

We are not the center of the universe. We are but a web of energy, light and emotions interconnected in ways the mind can only begin to fathom.

We are given opportunities every single day, ones that are fast fleeting.

They are like fire flies in the night sky.

You have to grab them while they're there. Act with passion and worry about loss later because we are always in a constant state of loss and gain.

Every single moment of our lives we are losing and gaining.

Trip to the bathroom? Loss.

Trip to the cafeteria? Gain.

Road trip to Panama? Break even.

The fourth is that we are all curators.

Somewhere during the history of physics some smart people decided that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Years later they came to the realization that we and all things around us are actually energy too. What does that mean? Well it means that as innovators, we are out of jobs.

Because we were hired to create things and well, it's all been created, at least some version of it.

There's the loop hole.

While the ingredients of the universe may be present, their infinite organization and presentation has yet to be seen in its entirety

That means that we borrow.

We reorder.

We elaborate, we challenge, we sway.

We don't create, but rather curate.

We often think that to be an entrepreneur or creative that all things must be created "from scratch".

But nothing in fact is from scratch and we are in fact simply curators of the universe, offering up interesting perspectives of both the tools we've been given and the ones we manifest.

And lastly, love is harder to make than money.

You want to know what's tough?

Being kind in the face of anger.

Being generous is the face of lack or loss.

Leading when all else are following.

Businesses hire me to tell them how to be a thought leader because thought leadership is key to sales, but many are unwilling to do what it takes to get there.

Being a thought leader or any sort of leader for that matter isn't about compiling a single report or brainstorming a brand architecture. It's not about what's on paper but what's in the real world around you.

It only matters if you act upon it.

Being a leader means being kind when others are angry.

It means being generous when others are quick to cut back.

And it means leading, when all else are too scared to say what is so painfully obvious.

2013 is a year to be bold.

And it starts with you.