Go Places and Do Things

Happy New Year to all, and I hope your holidays were safe and fulfilling. I’m happy to get back to blogging and hopefully helping whoever reads this have an “ah-ha” moment that will get them through the day, week, month, or year. I believe we reap what we sow, so this continues to be my attempt to sow good seeds of positive change.

I don’t do resolutions, not anymore at least; but what about a “proclamation?” I laughed when my brother JD said this to me, because proclamation sounds a lot like resolution to me, but hey, I figured I’ll play along. So as we went around the room talking about our proclamations – my partner said something so profound and so “her,” which was that she hopes 2012 brings more blessings and growth in all aspects of our life. She wasn’t knocking 2011, it was a great year in many ways for our family, in fact. I’ll count some of those blessings in a second, but let’s think about my partner’s proclamation for a minute…it’s beautifully simplistic, and a great way to approach your new year! You are proclaiming (meaning it is going to happen) that your year will be better than the last! And how cool is it that you can purpose that in a way that it will come true. So first let me rattle off some of my many blessings (not in order of importance) to model what you need to do right now (and I literally mean you should WRITE THEM OUT):

  • Appointed to my permanent position
  • Expanded my business
  • My father-in-law is still here! (he wasn’t expected to make it to Thanksgiving 2010 due to cancer – alas, he is here!)
  • My daughter turned 2 and my partner, me, mom, dad and a whole lot of others are a year older!
  • We celebrated 4 years of marriage
  • DADT was repealed
  • NC State won their bowl game! (sorry Cards)
  • My partner graduated from college
  • Both of my brothers got new positions and moved up in their jobs
  • I led TWO LeaderShape sessions and had two amazing co-leads
  • We had another great Wilson family reunion (and won the Bid Whist Tourny – BOOM)

The list goes on and on…

Throughout this year I will take time to encourage you all to count your blessings, not for bragging sake, but because it can reaffirm the good work that you are doing in your life, and maybe remind you of what gaps you have yet to fill. Now for 2012…if you need help proclaiming what you will do this year, maybe I can help. Its a fair assumption that people may not know what they want from the year, or they dare not say it because it seems so out of reach. In a leadership class I used to teach, in our class about sustaining relationships, I would tell students that they needed to GO PLACES AND DO THINGS. Wow! How important is that! Not only for sustaining relationships, but for building new ones, appreciating your own existence, learning about others, feeling connected to the world that is so vast and wonderful. So your first proclamation is to GO PLACES AND DO THINGS. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first time flyer/traveler, it is good for the soul, trust me. Here are some tips to get started and get the most out of your “going and doing”: 

  1. Locate a place that is “culturally” different from you (e.g., another part of town, another city/state/country, place of worship where no one talks or looks like you, etc.). Notice these don’t require an expense account to do this.
  2. Before you go, read something (objective/academic) about where you are going. This will help you a great deal in appreciating the “going and doing.”
  3. Tell people about it! You never know who may want to help you get there, go with you, or have experience in that culture.
  4. Meet someone while there and exchange information with them. Follow up with them on a regular basis. Wanna know how to lead and follow in diverse environments? Build relationships with people different from yourself – you’ll be forever changed:)
  5. Write about it. Don’t let the feelings, the ah-ha’s, the anxieties escape you. John Maxwell said that reflection is like the crock-pot of the mind – let the thoughts simmer until they are ready. You have to capture those moments if you are ever to make meaning of them.

So there you have it, your first proclamation for 2012. Now share this with people you care about, and set out to do it. Look at that, you’ve already made 2012 a better year than 2011!


Published by Dr. Michael D. Anthony

I currently serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL. I served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Louisville and Loyola University in Chicago, IL. In order to expand my life's work beyond my day-to-day job, I started my own consulting work in leadership and diversity in 2008. I completed my Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville, where I also earned my Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. A native of Charlotte, NC I am passionate about leadership development, organizational change, and the ability of effective leaders to transform their communities. During my professional career I have made it my personal goal to be a strong and vocal advocate for students, faculty, and staff, and have a life-long vision to empower others to affect positive change in their community. I live in Rochester, MN.

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