2013. The Year of the Innovator.

If you’re reading this right now, it means you’re still alive. Christmas chaos was no match for your cleverly devised survival skills. High-five. We’ve spent 360+ days living in 2012 and goodness-gracious if every year seems to top the last. With wars, famines, earthquakes, hurricanes, unrest abroad and at home, elections, resignations, scientific breakthroughs and a plethora of new questions resulting, our world has taken another step forward (for better, or worse) in its history of being.

While it would be interesting to write about the earth as a character and treat the whole of humanity as a facet of its personality, we’ll

year-2013-innovationleave that for darker times and heavier minds. What would be more profitable would be for each of us to reflect on the past year. There is so much happening in the air that we breathe that is beyond our control. There is so much in our each of our lives that happens to us. Sometimes it seems that we are simply creatures of reaction, of stimulation. We get sick. We get tired. We get injured. We get into a fender-bender. Our insurance rates sky-rocket. The

dog chews on the leather. And so we react to mend, to fix, to restore, to reduce the impact or make better of the situations life has thrown our way. See, we are primarily people of reaction. We are stimulated by what happens to us.

So what’s wrong with this? The truth is we can’t avoid being reactors. Life is unpredictable and so when it rears its mischievous head we try and corral it as best we can. However, we often forget that we aren’t just something that life happens to, more importantly, we are what makes life happen. As the New Year approaches and we see 2012 to the door, let’s begin to change our thinking. Reflect back on the year, but don’t wallow in missed opportunities or failures. You can do nothing about them. Instead, resolve in 2013 that you’ll be less of a reactor and more of an innovator.

Innovators aren’t necessarily smarter, better looking, wealthier, or privileged. They don’t all have degrees in business or finance. Being an innovator literally means being a creator. People who create are busy making life happen. Those who master the art of creation can manipulate circumstances, transcend the status-quo, and discover deep truths about themselves and the world around them. Everyone has the capacity to be an innovator, a creator. It’s not about being an artist or an inventor; it isn’t about style or design. Being an innovator in your own life comes down to approach.

French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” He was so right. How often do we make resolutions for the coming year that sound so good, that ARE good? We want to lose 20lbs, run a marathon, be more generous, become a better employee or boss, or save more money. These are good things. They are goals we should pursue. However, the question is never “WHAT?” but “HOW?” How will you make whatever your goal is come to life? How will you turn this ideal into reality? How you answer these questions will show if you’re on your way to becoming an innovator in 2013, or are destined to remain a reactor chained by circumstance.

Don’t just wish, because wishes often don’t come true. Create a plan. Devise a method. Practice the practical every day until you realize the prize. With a clearly defined plan you’ll never get lost on your way towards the goal. With a plan you’ll have the motivation and direction needed to one day stand atop that mountain of victory. Remember, reactors let life happen to them and concentrate on damage control. Innovators create their own path to success and make life happen. Who do you want to be in 2013? Happy New Year from the Tribe and good luck in pursuing all your goals!

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