A Year Free From Regret – by Eric Sinoway.
For most folks, January 1st was the day for both celebration and taking stock, for enjoying what we have and looking ahead to what the next year holds. But for my dear friend and mentor Howard Stevenson, that day was actually January 3rd – which he calls his second
birthday. The occasion of his second birthday – a day six years ago that Howard died…and, remarkably, inexplicably, was given a second chance at life – is important for all of us.
The tale of how Howard escaped death by the slimmest possible margin – and the subsequent book that it inspired me to write, Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work, – has seemingly captured the imagination of countless people around the world. From viewers of CNN to readers of Fortune Magazine and USA Today, it seems as if millions of men and women of all ages, in all lines of work, have discovered something that I have long known: like Bob Proctor himself, the wisdom from Howard Stevenson that I share in Howard’s Gift has the power to change people’s lives.
Howard’s Gift begins with a scenario familiar to many of us: a question about health. For several weeks, Howard – the towering “father of entrepreneurship” at Harvard Business
School – had sensed that something was wrong. He wasn’t feeling quite himself. But the doctors he consulted – first, second, and third opinions – said he was fine. Then, as he walked across the Harvard campus on the afternoon of January 3rd, 2007, Howard’s 66-year old heart … simply stopped and he crumpled to the ground. He had no heart-beat for four minutes. He’d died.
Ultimately, he returned to life through an extraordinary series of circumstances: a mobile defibrillator recently installed nearby and a colleague rushing with it to Howard’s side; a
friend (who’d received his CPR certification that day!) working tirelessly to resuscitate him; and an ambulance crew who happened to be carrying a special clot busting drug and were trained to inject it directly into the heart.
Nearly as extraordinary – for me, anyway – was a conversation he and I had during his recuperation. Ever the former student, I asked him if, looking back from what could have been the end of his life, he’d had any regrets.
“Nope, no regrets,” he said.
With anything, I asked?
His simple, direct answer struck me with force. I certainly couldn’t give the same response. And I challenge you to ask yourself if you could either.
That conversation led to lots of questions for me about my own life – and to many further discussions with him about how a person could live a life filled with satisfaction and no
Those talks and Howard’s wisdom – really, his genius learned over decades of inspiring, coaching, and teaching scores of people of all ages – are presented in Howard’s Gift so that you, too, may unlock your full potential and achieve a life of meaning, success,
and inspiration. Howard and Bob share that rare ability – that “gift” – to help you unlock your full potential, take control of your life, and set yourself on a path to reach your personal and professional dreams.
Howard is just the kind of wise and experienced guide so many of us can use: someone who gently but firmly tests our assumptions, helps us navigate uncharted waters, and empowers us to make big decisions and take calculated risks. For many people, that jolt of inspiration and confidence comes at exactly the right time. January is the time for looking
forward, setting objectives for the next year, and investing new energy in pursuing our career and life goals.
In fact, for a whole lot of folks, now is a hugely important time for looking forward. The time when the “hidden victims” of the long recession – people who may have kept their jobs but had to put their dreams and aspirations on hold – are now beginning to ask, “Is
it finally time to go for it again?”
The answer for most of us is a clear and resounding YES. But, the answer to the appropriate next question – “Okay, how do I start?” – may not be so clear.
Howard has a very clear and practical answer: “Start at the end.”
Here’s what he means by this typically counter-intuitive advice: Think about what you want people to say about you at your funeral; how you’d want them to describe all the facets of your life, who you were, and what you’d accomplished.
Then turn that thinking into a concrete vision – a clear picture in your mind that draws together your most highly valued beliefs, desires, goals, and priorities into a holistic portrait of who you aspire to be.
This picture – this “Legacy Vision,” as Howard calls it – will become your personal roadmap. It will be the reference point for all the myriad of personal and professional decisions you’ll face as you pursue a satisfying and fulfilling life. As important, it will
enable you to identify a series of concrete options for the next steps you take in pursuing your goals.
So here’s my New Year’s wish for you: That you resolve not to just “go for it” but to craft you own personal vision of what “it” means. That you pursue your vision with gusto – free from regret of things not done, dreams not pursued.
That resolution is the gift that Howard Stevenson has given me. A gift that comes wrapped in a renewed sense of life’s opportunities – of the wonderful possibilities for creating your own inflection points in life.
It’s a gift that I’ve tried to pass on to many other people through Howard’s Gift. And I know that you will not regret seeking Howard’s gift for yourself.
Eric Sinoway is president of Axcess Worldwide, a global partnership development firm based in New York and an author, with Merrill Meadow, of Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work, recently published by St. Martin’s Press.
To get more information please take the time to visit: www.howardsgift.com
This is SO POWERFUL, I just had to share.
Enjoy and have an AWESOME Life.