Finding Your Thermal Lift


In our aim to achieve our Best Year Yet®, a close knit circle of supporters and allies can be critical. This may take the form of family members, friends, and coaches. I propose the simile of storks preparing for long-distance travel. As they leave the ground, they fly wingtip to wingtip, watching one another, for the one that hits the thermal: the one that lifts the entire flock to higher air and saves energy for the long voyage.

Facing a life-threatening medical diagnosis, I have focused much of my energies watching for the uplift. Left to my own devices, it’s tempting question my success. Am I doing too much or too little? Am I on track? Did the thermal pass me by? By relying on the Best Year Yet® plan - and a network of committed supporters - I stay focused. This mental shift has helped release me from the rigidity of "this is a failure, this is progress." I can rely on the strategy and approach I can believe in - a critical shift.

My 2014 Best Year Yet® plan focused on "attending to what is most important." Of course this included the diagnosis, but encapsulated every area of life. My annual plan empowered me to return - again and again each month - to define and embody “most important.” From deepening personal relationships, to optimal health, to enriching the inner landscape, I relied on a close knit team of family and friends, with whom I could share the daily and weekly efforts of this strategy. In setting my 2015 plan, my new paradigm is “I am a master at living.” This reframing proved the thermal I’ve been seeking.

Who are the people in your life who serve as storks, flying wingtip to wingtip? What support do you need? How do you measure hitting the thermal? Each month, the PRO process affords us the opportunity to take stock of where we are with our annual plan. Are you still on track with where you wanted to be? Do you need to make course corrections?

By trusting the Best Year Yet® process, you are buoyed by a constant uplift of support. The daily "weather" of challenges or shortcomings can be seen with a fresh perspective. The storks are undeterred as they lift higher and higher. And so the close-knit supporters around you invite you to the blue skies above.

Click here to learn more about creating your own best year yet!

About the Author

Patrick Kelly

Patrick Kelly is a certified Best Year Yet coach. He has served as Deputy Director of the Society of Fellows at the Aspen Institute, is an Honorary Faculty at the US Air Force Academy.

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