Joy Strategies
For Your Success in the Business of Life

      In This Issue....
  • The Joy and Power of a Positive Vision
  • My Latest HBR Article About My Experiences Using A Cane & Crutches
  • Advice From Someone Who Uses A Wheelchair: Smile
  • Lighting Up 2017

Dear Friends of Allison Rimm and Associates,

More people this year than any other I can recall are eager to put 2016 behind them, saying it was a terrible year. Even more troubling, many are not looking forward to 2017 with the same kind of optimism that the clean slate of a new year usually invites.
Most every American was eagerly awaiting the end of what felt like the longest, nastiest, and most polarizing presidential campaign in history. Regardless of how you hoped the election would turn out, chances are you were hoping the nation could move forward in a positive direction and begin healing.
That didn’t happen. People took to the streets in protest. Violence and vitriol have erupted in some communities – even within some families. Thus the sense of dread and fear of what the New Year has in store for us. But rather than just sit on the sidelines as helpless observers, I’d like to suggest that we change “That didn’t happen” to “That hasn’t happened yet”. If we can do something to inject some positivity into our own thoughts, perhaps we can then put our focus on what we want and take positive action to help bring about the affirmative change we wish to see. Read on for thoughts on how we can reclaim some of our power when world events make make us feel powerless.

The Joy of a Positive Vision
One of the reasons I love strategic planning so much is that, by its very nature, it is a forward-looking, positive process. When done right, it both affirms our purpose and forces us to define the results we are seeking so we can develop plans that optimize our chances of achieving them. Creating a vision of what we hope to achieve, by definition, focuses us on the future we wish to create so we can take steps to make it happen.
What better time to look forward to what we wish to accomplish than this dark period in our history that has revealed deeper discord than many of us knew existed?  
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that."
These have been some dark days, indeed. Deep philosophical divides between and among Americans have been revealed throughout the election season. Think what you will about our next president, he would never have been elected had millions of people not felt so disaffected. The divisiveness has been building for a very long time and is not likely to go away anytime soon. Even as the next administration gears up to enter the White House ready to dismantle programs and policies that many of us hold dear, we are not entirely powerless to contribute in a positive way to achieving the worthy goals they were intended to address.

It is up to us to do whatever we can to light the darkness.


My Latest HBR Article: Kindness Always Matters

Thanks to a congenital condition, I developed severe, debilitating arthritis that led to two total hip replacements about a year apart. Otherwise fit and energetic, I continued to work full time, taking only a short period of time to recover while working from home. As the arthritis worsened leading up to my surgery, I relied first on a cane, then used one crutch, and eventually needed two crutches. As rehab progressed post-surgery, the pattern reversed going from two crutches to one, and then to a cane until I could walk unassisted.

A funny thing happened on the way to the operating room. In the months leading up to surgery to correct a problem, I experienced a full range of responses to my cane and crutches. One person dismissively let a door slam on me while I struggled to juggle bags, books, and a cane. At the other end of the spectrum, a kind soul offered to load my plate in a buffet line at a business meeting when my hands were otherwise occupied maneuvering crutches. It seems that people regularly make subconscious decisions about if and how to be kind to a stranger in need of a little assistance. Let me explain.

Timeless Wisdom

A famous quote seemed most fitting for this newsletter:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world."
And while that sentiment is quite appropriate, my research suggests it is not completely accurate. It seems that the actual statement below has been paraphrased to the more famous paraphrasing in that quote. And while a little less pithy, it is even more powerful:
"As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do."
– Mahatma Gandhi

Six Things You Can Do To Light Up 2017

1. Donate your time, expertise and/or money to charitable causes that are important to you. 

2. Participate in community events intended to promote diversity and inclusion, recognizing the value of all human lives.

3. Contact your elected officials and tell them to support legislation, policies and organizations you care about. 

4. Band with other like-minded souls, or act on your own, to create programs that address a vital need in your community. Charity begins at home.

5. Practice random acts of kindness.

6. Smile!

Advice From Someone Who Uses A Wheelchair: Just Smile

We live in a region where its residents are known for being “cold” to outsiders even when the temperature is warm. I’ll never forget an experience I had 10 years ago. Back then, I had recently returned home from my two-month stay in the hospital recovering from my spinal cord injury. I was out in public for the first time. As I rolled along the sidewalk in downtown Hingham, I noticed that everyone looked away as I approached them in my wheelchair. It was like making eye contact would somehow be embarrassing or injure me. Was I that fragile that people needed to look elsewhere?

I decided to try something different the next time in public. As I would approach people, I’d look them in the eye and smile. No words, just a smile. The result was surprising. Passersby smiled back and maintained eye contact.

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