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2022: What's Your Lens?

Don Neal

This is not only my last blog of 2021, but my last post in my role as the leader of 360 Live Media. I’m turning the page and beginning to enter a new chapter of my career and so are you. For all of us, a new year opens a new door to enter the world in a way that allows us to see things differently, challenge our assumptions, and to let the signals we’ve ignored, maybe for years, to be received in a new way that will make our life better and more meaningful.

Each of us enters the world through the lens of our genetics, our experiences, beliefs, values, and attitudes, which over time have become our behaviors, vocabulary and the habits which ultimately form our character and  destiny in life.

So, as we all enter a new year, we have the opportunity to challenge the lenses through which we see others, ourselves, our role at work, and the world around us. And in that spirit, here are three things I’m going to do as I turn the page. Maybe these ideas will spark an adjustment to the lenses through which you look at the year ahead.

  1. First, I’m going to continue to edit and challenge my “What I Believe List." Yes, I’ve created a list of everything I believe so I can see them in one place. This list defines my thinking, my values, and the influencing factors for how I enter the world. It’s a bullet-pointed list of my views on social, political, economic, cultural, and other forces that allow me to make sense of the world, my own biases, and attitudes about how things work. So far, I have 30 statements that I believe to be true that allow me to confirm or challenge what “I believe” as I sift through the news, my experiences, my conversations and my own thinking. For example, I believe that industriousness (hard work) is the most important factor for success in one’s career and that no matter how smart or lucky any of us are, full days of committed effort are the only path to achievement. I believe each of us is the product of our experiences, cultural environment, and circle of friends, and that it’s a miracle we all get along as a society given how differently each of us has experienced the world. I am going to work harder to remember this every day as I encounter people who see the world differently than I do.
  2. Second, I’m going to try to schedule more "intermissions” into my days. Like most of us, I follow a pre-programmed pattern each day and I’m starting a new habit of altering something such as changing my watch from one wrist to the other a few times a day to remind me to stop and “think about what I’m thinking about." I’ve written the following quote on the top of my daily action-list as a reminder: “thoughts are waves on the sea of consciousness." These words help me calm the waves of thought that continue to roll in and out of the shores of my mind hundreds of times a day.
  3. And finally, like you, I am entering a new period of potential to contribute, give, build, learn, accomplish, and experience life in a way that most of the world’s population never will. Living and working in the United States, with all that is good about our society, is a gift. And it’s an obligation to do what we can on important work that must be done by each of us each day, in our own small way to reduce the coarseness of our conversations, to find common ground, turn down the temperature on our judgment of others and remember most of us just want to be heard, be seen for who we are, and live our lives safely—to fulfill what we each believe we are on this earth to do.

Thank you for reading these blog posts over the years. I’m grateful for you, and I hope you will continue to read these posts as other authors and contributors from 360 Live Media help you think about your work, your events, your organizations, and your life through a new lens.

Stay safe, savor what is good in your life, and Happy New Year.

Don