As a small business owner I like as much “objective” structure and framework as I can create. In life, technically, we are all making it up as we go. The “My Three Words” (a la Chris Brogan) exercise is a way to frame things I’d like to see more of for the coming year.
They’re different than specific measurable goals, which I will set as well. They’re more like aspirational guideposts for character and growth. (Chris explains how to do it here-it’s a great exercise. I highly recommend it.)
2017’s words were Love, Naked, Dance. Love as in “What would love do?” Naked as a reminder to be truthful and authentic; and Dance, for carefree abandon to move and feel comfortable in my body. 2018’s words, (Lead, Write, Iris) are here.
My Three Words for 2019: LIGHT, MAC, NOW
Light says trust that what you know inside, in your core, is a good guide. It’s short for “when I call on the light of my soul I am home.” I first heard that at a progressive Jewish morning prayer session at a conference last November. It brought tears to my eyes so I knew I needed to listen and lean in.
Now every time I say it I feel a warm glow just below my cardiac plexus (exact center of the chest).
Light reminds me of the story of Hagar and Ishmael in the desert. Hagar cries for water for her son, to find it’s been there all along. What is right before me that I am keeping in darkness?
Mac is the nickname for my grown-up inner voice. If you’ve happened upon any literature about negative inner voices, they (psychologists, neuroscientists, artists) say give it a name, make friends with it! I did both. Macabea has been her name–from the movie version of the Hour of the Star. My Macabea was a combo of the movie character (frumpy, doormat, foolishly hopeful) and 5th grade me: Overweight, insecure, wishing to be included in the group but never fitting in.
Now she’s grown up and I’ve given her a bold new nickname-Mac. Mac is like Adriana in Midnight in Paris. Sassy and brave. Irresistible and confident and engaging in life. She knows who she is.
This iteration of now comes from The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. “Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now.”
Now is about acting in the present without fretting about past mistakes or giving into paralyzing angst about how it will work out in the future. This is the best of grounded mindfulness in the present and the real-time response of “Yes, and” of improvisation. And it’s about taking action. Now.
How I use My Three Words
I say my three words every night as a I lie in bed falling asleep, as a review of the day, and every morning before I get up, to jump start my day. They help ensure I am being the best me for me and thereby the world. And they help me be bold to serve my clients and fuel their dreams, to be the best they can be and have their farthest reach as well.