Did This Year Really Matter?


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The end of another year is near. The anticipation of Advent has birthed another Christmas. Now a tired 2011 limps to an end.

Year End Review

For some people, New Year’s festivities are on the horizon. For me, it’s a review time. What about this year called 2011 really mattered? The answer depends on one’s personal definition of “mattered.” I’ll define “mattered” as something that was meaningful. It may only be momentary, but if one can attach significant meaning to the act or event, then I’ll say it mattered.

Minutes Matter

The year 2011 can be divided into 525,600 minutes. Each minute had the potential to have been a meaningful moment that mattered. But how many minutes achieved even memorable status? Far fewer rose to the level of mattering it seems.

Think for a few of these last remaining minutes of 2011. Which of its minutes mattered most to you and why? Will they still matter to you in 2015? How about in 2020?

Look through your planner or online calendar. Read your journal or blog if you wrote one. Scroll through the tweets that you sent and view your Facebook Wall. It’s tax prep time, so review how you spent/invested your money. How did you use your minutes? Sift through your records like an archeologist searching for glimpses of meaning.

Hidden Meaning

What you may never know is how some of your actions had meaningful ripple effects that mattered greatly to others. A smile to a lonely stranger. A note of genuine appreciation to a co-worker. A morning ritual of a wake-up hug and kiss for your kids. Showing up at church on Sunday’s when you really wanted to stay in bed. A random act of kindness because you needed a pick-me-up. They all can matter.

One never knows for certain which of a year’s 525,600 minutes will really matter. Some might argue that all of them do, while others might say that none of them do. I fall somewhere in the middle and hope that more of my minutes mattered than did not. I accept that I have no real way of knowing for sure how many really mattered. But does that fact really matter? Time will tell.

It’s a Matter of Seeing

Perhaps what really matters most is that we stay open to looking for glimpses of what matters in our lives and in the lives of other people. What we recognize and remember—we can potentially repeat.

You Matter, No Matter What

The way one lives one’s life does matter–more than we may ever know. Let’s try to not sleepwalk through another 525,600 minutes and notice what matters to us and how we might have mattered to others, just by being who we were born to be.

I hope that we both collect some meaningful memories that really matter in 2012.

Happy New Year!


About Andrew W Dix, MS, BCC
Author, Board Certified Executive Business Coach, Trainer, Reiss Motivation Profile Master and Private Pilot. Expertise in motivational intelligence, leadership development, strengths, management, coaching, and change management. Available for keynote addresses.

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