By: Founder and CEO, Mary-Ann Massad
As I look back on 2019, I have had to ponder many truths, including death and passion. It seems incongruous that death and passion could be mentioned in the same breath. In reality, they are two sides of the same coin-namely the human experience. Let me explain…..
Just a few days ago, my father-in-law died. Ironically, on the day we celebrated the birthday of Jesus Christ, my husband’s father was dying in a hospital bed, almost a continent away from our Christmas holidays in sunny, sub-tropical Florida. As soon as my husband got off the phone with the doctor, I was booking his ticket to return home to Toronto so that he could say what would be his final goodbye to his father.
Earlier this year, in January, I was grappling with the very real mortality of one of my closest family members, who had been diagnosed with cancer, and who was undergoing surgery to remove the deadly tumour. I felt like my life hung suspended in time until we got the prognosis which was excellent.
So the year began with fear of death and ended with actual death. As we move into a new decade, that of the 20’s, I’m seeing my life, my family and friends, and my business and clients with new eyes. I am realizing that the antidote to death is to live with passion.
How many of us can truly say that we live, love, and work with passion? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’m working on figuring out what this means from my perspective. Here are some of the Passion Principles I will be working on in 2020.
1. Be fearless! Be a dreamer. If we are going to die anyway, why not be unafraid of living our dreams, testing our limits, taking a chance?
2. Be authentic. Only we know who we really are. No one else. Why not be who we really are? If we are a CEO, a business person, a technologist, why can’t we also be a philanthropist, an athlete, an artist? I am mesmerized by Leonardo DaVinci who had so many facets of knowledge that it would be difficult to say one aspect was more important than another.
Or perhaps, we have been too scattered in terms of being a “jack” of all trades and want to work on a particular thing with singular focus?
3. Be present. How many times do we brood or dwell on the past or the future, but don’t truly savour the moment, the experience, the people we are with? Being present is truly a spiritual practice that heals every aspect of our lives. How can we dwell on worries if we are firmly in the moment?
4. Be grateful. How many times a day do we say thank you to God, ourselves, others? How many times do we really appreciate the smallest blessing or happy moment? Gratitude is also a spiritual practice and can only be achieved by being in the moment.
5. Be loving. Really and truly love ourselves. How many times do we automatically allow our inner critic to flagellate some aspect of ourselves? How many times a day do we really express love and appreciation for who we are? Putting the oxygen mask on your own face before putting it on our child or companion, to me, is a metaphor for loving ourselves before we can truly ever love others.
6. Be generous. Help and love others all the time-with no thought of “quid pro quo”. Also, sometimes charity starts at home. Perhaps your children or a parent or elderly relative need your love, support, guidance, help in some way? What is the value of helping others if you don’t do that for the people who are closest to you? And after you have taken care of those closest to you, reach out to your employees, colleagues, friends, strangers and give some aspect of yourself that creates healing and love in even the smallest of ways.
7. Be hopeful! What we envision and believe, we make happen, plain and simple. As long as we are alive, there is room for hope, faith, and miracles. Once we are dead….who knows?
8. Be Action-oriented-Do it NOW!!! Don’t procrastinate! Take that trip you have always wanted to take. Go see your doctor if you feel that something isn’t quite right in your body. Exercise and eat to heal your body. Don’t wait to apologize or clear up bad feelings with precious ones in your life. DO IT NOW!!!
These principles are not comprehensive, I’m sure, but for now they are what I am going to focus on in 2020. I know for me this will not always be easy as I have trained myself to worry about the smallest details that might come back to bite me or our family or our company. So being present is going to be one of the hardest things I will need to work on. I am so excited and curious as to what 2020 will bring. I have a knowing within myself that no matter what happens-all is well………
Happy New Year to all!!