|For the CEO's desk|
Dancing in the dragon’s jaws
Success is about living each day to its fullest. By Bryan Hattingh
2012 has been heralded as a year that will deliver spiritual transformation, unprecedented change and challenge, and, according to the Doomsday protagonists, an apocalypse. People have approached and entered 2012 with a mix of fear, trepidation, excitement and/or anticipation.
2012 is a Leap Year and has been declared by the United Nations Gen Assembly as the International Year of Co-operatives highlighting their contribution to socio economic development – particularly recognising the impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. It has also been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
- There are a variety of popular beliefs ranging from the spiritually transformative to the apocalyptic. Astronomically, there are a number of special events this year:
- January 31st, 433 Eros, the second-largest Near Earth Object on record passed the earth at 0.1790 astronomical units;
- May 20th, is the annular solar eclipse;
- June 6th is the second and last solar transit of Venus of the century with the next pair predicted to occur in 2117 and 2125;
- August 6th to August 20th, the Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity Rover are scheduled to land on Mars; and
- November 13th, is the total solar eclipse which will be visible in Northern Australia and the South Pacific.
Enter the 2012 Phenomenon. It comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21st. This date is regarded as the end date of a 5,125 year long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. A range of astronomical alignments and numerological formulae in respect of this date have been predicted.
Wide-ranging views, from a New Age interpretation perspective, suggest that the earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation and may mark the beginning of a new era. This is juxtaposed with the view that the end of the world or a similar catastrophe is imminent. Most of the cataclysmic suggestions have been dismissed by scholars from various disciplines.
2012 has been featured extensively in fiction, sci-fi and futuristic movies and a plethora of songs. Astrologically it is simply seen to be the beginning of the Age of Aquarius.
However, whatever your beliefs, perspectives, hopes, expectations, fears or trepidations, none of us is going to be able to influence the big stuff in any way whatsoever. So whilst we cannot influence the higher order of things, we certainly have the ability to choose how we respond to whatever happens and how we direct our lives on a day by day basis.
Coffee shop and dinner table chat certainly suggests that a greater collection of people have positive expectancy for 2012 being a special year. Undoubtedly a large part of how our year and lives unfold will be determined by our attitudes and perspectives. So whilst we never truly get to wipe the slate clean, NOW is always a good time for a fresh start – a new beginning.
As with every year, in particular one deemed to be so special and with so much potential, we should clinically examine the baggage we carry that is the resentment, regret, guilt, anger and unforgiveness that we hold on to. In asking how this baggage delivers value to us in any way we should be able to quickly see the futility of it and start taking positive steps to discarding it like a snake sheds its skin. If we can catch the vision of our liberation it can be likened more to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.
The leadership and life gurus continually encourage us to approach our lives each day with an attitude of gratitude. This can best be achieved by counting our blessings and turning clichés into catalysts of positive change. Cynics will often snigger and demean statements such as “seeing the glass as half full”, “turning problems into opportunities” or “today is the beginning of the rest of your life”. Applying these principles or perspectives can materially shift our lives.
No matter how we dice or slice it, every day we have one day less to do all the things in life that we want to do. Firstly, have you articulated and tabulated what your wishes are, and importantly, what you have to do to achieve them? Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman created the wonderful colloquialism “The Bucket List” through their delightful, yet poignant, portrayals in the movie of the same name. It would be inexcusable, being aware of this perspective and approach, to not apply it in some way in each of our lives.
Ever heard the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you may just get it”? The truth is that so often what we expect or fear comes upon us. We therefore need to approach 2012 with the delicate balance of paradox by expecting longevity and great things, but pretending that December 31st is the end of the world. Our choices, then as to how we spend our time each hour, day, week and month of this year will be so much more carefully considered. Items of noise and distraction will simply be eliminated and omitted from our schedules and plans.
Ironically, this is a practice we should inculcate in our lives as a matter of course regardless of prognostications of calamity or the world ending. Imagine if today was your last. How would you spend it and with whom? There is no better time than now to embrace life to the fullest and approach each day excited, ignited and delighted by the fact that we are alive and have the opportunity to make an impact, leave a legacy and a footprint in the hearts and lives of those around us. And let’s dance with abandon in the jaws of the dragons.
Bryan Hattingh is the Founding Executive of leadership solutions group Cycan, www.cycan.co.za.