My 2024 Word of the Year

 

I’ve zeroed in on my new word for the year. And I’m right on schedule, since it usually takes me most of January.

I pulled my inspiration from the book, The Go-Giver. In it, authors Bob Burg and John David Mann outline “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.”  I revisit the book from time to time, and Law 5, the Law of Receptivity, is always a challenge for me.

So…the word I’ve chosen for 2024 is “Receive.”

Law 5: The Law of Receptivity
“The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”

This law seems to fly directly in the face of a deeply instilled paradigm for many of us, “To give is better than to receive.” Throw in a lifetime of societal conditioning as a female along with a healthy dose of “Minnesota nice” and, well….

This law also feels counter-intuitive to several of the other laws. It’s a paradox – a challenge to comprehend how it can be an “and” rather than an “or.”

The chapter on Law 5 explains how giving and receiving are 2 sides of the same coin. They’re like inhaling and exhaling. You can’t have one without the other. To give and not receive – or to receive and not give – is to stop a natural, healthy cycle.

I’ve taken an extra step this year. I’ve decided on three actions I’ll take to live my word of the year.

The simplest aspect of this law is to let other people do nice things for you. It could be a physical gift, but it could also be a compliment, a valuable introduction, forgiveness when you’ve erred, feedback when you need it, or any number of other intangibles.

When someone does or says something nice and you graciously accept it, you embrace the Law of Receptivity.

To graciously accept is to honor the giver. Not gonna lie – I need to get better at this. I’m using a journal prompt to make sure I pay attention to how I’m doing on it every day in 2024.

But I decided to go deeper.

It occurred to me that when I find myself resisting something I know is right and good and will lead to better results and a better life (exercise, possibly?), I’m pushing away a gift from the greater universe.

I’ve challenged myself to notice when I’m resisting and reflect on the gift I may be rejecting. Another daily prompt for my journaling practice.

And a step beyond the difficulty of receiving something freely offered, I struggle to ask for help when I need it. I’m sure I’m not alone with this challenge!

So the third way I’ll live “Receptivity” this year will be to dedicate some time every week to thinking about where I need help. What do I need to learn, and who already knows it? What am I struggling to do on my own that someone with different strengths and skills could do with ease? Where could I move faster with the right support?

Then I’ll do the hardest thing of all. I’ll follow through. I’ll ask for help.

This is more challenging than any theme I’ve chosen in prior years. I’ll never make it through a whole year if I don’t also pay attention to the joy of receiving, so…here’s to a bountiful year!

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson

Lorri Anderson is an expert consultant to businesses and a powerful coach to individuals. After a long and rich career as a strategic HR executive, she is driven to give back by changing the Human Experience in today’s workplaces, one business or human at a time.

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