Welcome to 2013! The New Year is a special time for new beginnings, a time of hope and endless opportunities to begin anew and move forward.
One of my favorite movies is Hope Floats starring Sandra Bullock who plays the character, Birdee. It is a great movie about starting over and opening yourself up to new possibilities. As everyone does this time of the year, we often take a moment to step back and reflect on the past year and think about our successes, the things we have to be thankful for and the things we want to accomplish in the coming year. Whatever those things are, we typically begin with a gung ho attitude and have very little doubt in our mind that we will accomplish what we set out to do. However, if you are like me, my best intentions seem to evaporate by the middle of January. Life has a tendency to get in the way and before you know it, it is May, September and then the end of the year is upon us once again. Time has a tendency to fly by and with it goes any chances and/or opportunities that may have come our way.
There is a line in the movie, Hope Floats, when Birdee's mother says to Birdee, "You think life goes on forever? You think behind every chance there's another chance and another one and another one? It's the worst kind of extravagance the way you spend your chances, Birdee."
I think of that line often, especially when I am feeling that another opportunity has passed me by. I am not sure if it was because I was unemployed for three and a half years, or turning 50 or raising my 16 year old son, but I have learned that time should not be wasted and that I need to try and seize every opportunity that I possibly can to help make life better not only for myself, but for others as well. We all have our own individual talents in which we can make things happen. We all have the ability to influence others. As training professionals we understand that if we want to improve our performance, we need to change our behaviors. We are in the best profession to help influence other's performance which is not to say that it is always easy to do. However, because we are in the business of training and understand what it takes to improve performance, we can more easily identify those that need our help. I encourage all of you to seek out these opportunities especially if it is in our communities or in the workplace. Some of these opportunities may require us to step out of our own comfort zone, but that is the beauty of our efforts - developing ourselves while helping to develop others.
As we forge our way through 2013, the ASTD Eastern PA Chapter will be providing plenty of opportunities for you, as Chapter members, to attend either face to face and/or virtual events designed to give you the tools and resources needed to influence others. I look forward to seeing you at our Chapter events and welcome hearing from you throughout the year. As with any organization, the strength of its membership is what creates a strong foundation for success.
Happy New Year!