Bernie Dixon on New Years Resolutions
Everyone talks about it. At every cocktail party and social gathering during the holidays, inevitably at least one person approached you with THE question. What are your New Years’ Resolutions? You have to have a response. “Oh, I don’t know….” is lame. Since it’s on everyone’s mind in late December, by not having an answer you appear to be aloof.
"I don’t do New Year’s resolutions” is another possibility. Except, when you offer that response, you’re seen as either in denial that you need to change anything or you’re simply too busy, stressed, or frozen with indecision to even move on, or maybe you consider yourself perfect enough to not change anything. Those responses don’t go over well …. unless, of course, you’re a guy.
Yes, we all want to be our ideal physical and emotional self.
Surely you can, once again for 2018, vow to eat healthier, get more fit, lose weight, stop drinking more than one glass of wine at a time, or exercise a bit more. My unscientific poll reflects that these resolutions are high on the list at parties as you’re drinking a craft cocktail and munching on homemade cheese gougers (my French cheese puffs.) Usually that leads to a roaring discussion about how much everyone has eaten and drank over the December holiday period.
Spending more time with family and friends is another favorite resolution, particularly as friends and family are departing your house and you begin to appreciate how dear those relationships are. Having a family spread out around the world makes me acutely aware of the preciousness of spending real quality time together and not merely face-timing it.
The pure pleasure of a completely selfish resolution
My family and friends have been after me for years to write about the adventures I've embarked on based on New Year's resolutions. I'm aware that some people think of me as very serious and business focused. I am, so my New Year's Eve resolutions do not have to be. I choose something indulgent, something personal that I keep hidden until after it has been researched, contemplated, and maybe even tested as worthy of resolution status for me. The one thing all these resolutions have in common is that they are a commitment to learn something new. I've been doing it for years. I know it is selfish. Yet, quite frankly, I highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fun, it’s something I will enjoy, it causes me to use parts of my brain or skills that may push me to improve.
I’ve taught myself crafty or artsy things like how to play the piano, how to crochet, and even couture sewing. I’ve learned yoga, Feng shui and self-hypnosis. Other years I have studied Italian or Spanish, jumped into day trading and formed my own company to learn that process. Funny thing is, I have taken all these learned skills with me afterwards and continue to enjoy and be rewarded with the knowledge of them. I have to admit that the year that I spent trying to create the perfect croissant with my own homemade butter was one I abandoned mid-year. I’m not sure if my husband and kids were relieved with the absence of abundant butter and flour for Sunday breakfast or if they actually missed the golden beauties that I learned to create from scratch. Whatever the case, I take my resolution to learn something new very seriously.
In 2018, the winner is... What is it that I have a burning desire to know or learn? What would be practical in my life? What do I need right now? What makes me a better leader or more relevant technically? I’ve already outfitted my house with smart gadgets. As usual, I have been thinking about it for a few weeks. I’ve tried it out with a lot of success. I took two on-line courses and delved into the first of four books on the subject. And here we go - In 2018, I lit the fuse of my rocketing interest in the universe of cryptocurrencies; the dynamic, on-line, never shut down, wild west (for now) of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Etherium.
My family and friends are rolling their eyes knowing I will be chattering about the rollercoaster rise and fall of Bitcoin, initial coin offerings (95% are scams by the way) and the hacking of paper currency systems by new digital currencies that are actual computer code with unbelievable capabilities. Who knows, maybe I’ll write some smart contracts* on Etherium or make some money in rising Bitcoin values. I’ll watch what Amazon is doing in cryptocurrency. I’ll download a few more apps to track global volumes. Who knows what else?
I never know how these resolutions turn out. I go in deep, have fun and see where it takes me. Here’s my other 2018 resolution. I’ll check back with you, readers, in Q2. Maybe I’ll share some Etherium contracts or offer some insight that is useful to young and emerging businesses. I do know this. Once bitcoin drops below $14,000 USD again, I’m jumping in deeper. #Boom.#ChaChing.
*A smart contract is a computer program controlling the transfer of digital currencies. Blockchain technology (a decentralized ledger used to support bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) is used to store the contracts.
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