I’m truly impressed. It’s Friday, and you’ve been with me for 10 straight workdays. You have read and reread your resolutions countless times. Most importantly, you’ve had a chance to think about them in new and I hope deeper ways – and to add to them. You are in the top 5% of promise makers…and promise makers themselves are better than many.
In terms of success…what you can and probably will do this year…you are in a very elite class. Your New Year’s resolution list is nearly complete. It lacks only one thing – one very important thing: Today, you are going to promise to be a better person.
You are going to do that by making a commitment to:
- Pay less attention to yourself and more attention to other people
- Focus on opportunities, not problems
- Listen first, talk later
- Criticize only when your criticism is helpful
- Never speak badly about anyone
- Never complain about anything
- Perform an act of kindness every day
This will have the most profound effect on your happiness. Nothing else you do – and nothing else we’ve talked about so far – will bring you peace of mind. Money won’t. Success won’t. Fame won’t. Only by focusing your energies outside of yourself and toward the benefit of the people and things around you can you give yourself that wonderful feeling.
Make this last resolution and then write it down, with all the others, on your list. Make two copies of your list. Put away one copy for safekeeping and keep the other one with you at all times. This is going to be the best year of your life. You are not only going to get healthier, wealthier, and wiser. You are going to be kinder too. Happy New Year![Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]