Listen to the news…read the newspaper…go to coffee with friends and you find yourself being surrounded with negativism, questioning, doubts, and fears. People have lost their perspectives about some issues and have unrealistic expectations.

We are living in tough times. There are uncertainties and instability in many areas of our lives. Yet, rough times don’t last but tough people do.

Resolutions at the beginning of the year don’t work for me, so I write a theme for the year. Then during the year, everything I do is tied to the theme. It has worked and made a positive difference in my life.

To keep everything in balance this year, why don’t you decide along with me, to SHINE IN 2009? If that is your decision, here are five ideas I’m working on and I hope you’ll also consider:


Focus on the goal not the obstacles. What we pay attention to, we empower. A single focus will make you; a lack of it will break you. Just like a horse needs a bit, a ship needs a rudder, and a winning team needs a coach, our lives will not ever grow until we are focused, disciplined, and determined.

Question: What is one thing you need to have a single focus on this year?


Make every Sunday the day you recommit to living your healthiest life by making healthy choices. Some of the healthy choices we can make include: making regular exercise fun, spending time with people we love, working weekly on mind games and solving puzzles, getting enough sleep, smiling continuously, and reading. Studies are now even saying that red wine and dark chocolate have benefits. Do everything in moderation and make every day count. And one more thing, teach yourself to relax, to turn distractions off.

Question: What are two things you are going to change this year to make healthy choices?


What holds so many people from reaching their potential is they have no imagination. Imagination is the true magic carpet according to Norman Vincent Peale. And Les Brown says it this way, “Live out your imagination instead of out of your memory.” This year, unleash your imagination. Soar where you’ve never soared before and dream of going places you’ve never been. It’s not time to worry and wait, it’s time to unleash, remembering worry is a misuse of imagination.

Question: What do you need to eliminate so your imagination can soar?


There is no place ever for a negative attitude. Ever! 95% of what you see, hear, and read is negative. So be careful what you look at, listen to, and read. Starting your day reading the newspaper might need to be reconsidered. Going to lunch or on break with people who are always criticizing others, focusing on what’s wrong, or talking trash might not be the best way to spend your time. Eliminate the negative so the positive can grow. You’ll shine because people want to be around people who have hope, passion, and are gracious. This year being negative-free is not an option, it is a requirement!

No question: Just decide you are going to be negative-free. It is a choice and it becomes a lifestyle.


Real heroes, in my book, are people who fall, fail, and are flawed. But in the end, they win because they’ve stayed true to their beliefs. What you believe is what you get. Our beliefs come from our character, integrity, and values. The world needs people with extra-ordinary beliefs. Make it your desire and goal this year to be one of those people.

Question: What are three beliefs you will live out this year? In fact, you will go to the top of the mountain and die for them?

Life is tiny changes. Will you join me this year in making some tiny changes in five areas? Will you work hard to shine?

If you do, you’ll SHINE and be “mighty fine” in 2009! The challenges will be great but the opportunities will be greater! Together, we can be a beacon of light in a world that needs some sunshine!

And these are just my thoughts on a Monday morning.


Steve Siemens, CSP