At 60, as I enter the final third of my life, my thoughts dwell more on significance than on success, on spirituality more than materiality.

As a result, each New Years recently, in lieu of specific goals (grow the business “x” or do “y” time in a 5k); I chose five areas of personal growth to focus on in the coming year.

For 2012, they were:
– CPA2: Celebrate, Praise, Acknowledge, and Appreciate
– C5: Cool, Calm, Chilling, Collected, Centered
– CYB: Count Your Blessings
– Do One Thing Boldly Different (Daily!)
– Real Magic

#1 Celebrate, Praise, Acknowledge, and Appreciate: This comes from a perfectionist tendency I have to be “frequently pleased, never satisfied”; to treat excellence as a given, an expected level of performance. It is what I demand of myself, thus of others. While the passionate intensity it represents has been a major reason for my success in business, the flip side is that showing my appreciation, acknowledging the efforts and achievements remain a growth area.

Grade BGood news is made progress, rest of the news is I have lots more opportunity to make further progress.

#2:  Cool, Calm, Chilling, Collected, Centered: Okay, I can get a bit intense at times and it can backfire. Yes, I sincerely believe “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” yet as a leader, it is important to role model coolness under fire.

Grade B: I’m being rather generous with myself here…I hope “telling the truth in advance,” giving myself something further to live up to!

#3  Count Your Blessings: This one I get a gold star on, starting with my wife and son, family and friends, and Team Mates at The Collier Companies. I’ve truly grown leaps and bounds in my appreciation and attitude of gratitude for the many, many blessings in my life.

Grade A

#4 – Do One Thing Boldly Different (Daily!): “Our tendency does not have to be our destiny”; this one is to help me go beyond my comfort zone, particularly in my social and personal life. My tendency is to become insular, curl up with a good book, instead of accepting a social invitation.

Grade B– –:  It’s been more like one thing boldly different weekly.

#5 Real Magic
This comes from Wayne Dyer’s book of the same name. Real magic is when you get yourself to do something you used to think you could not do. About 18 months ago, after almost 40 years being an entrepreneur, of running the show day to day, of 60 and 70 hour weeks, i kicked myself up stairs to chairman of the board. I’m now officially retired and I refuse to work more than 40 hours a week (okay, 50 at most). The challenge, the real magic is in letting go, in trusting others while still providing board level guidance and oversight. It involves re-inventing myself yet again, the next and best stage in a life-long process of stretching and learning and growing and metamorphosis.

Grade B

Coming soon: 2013’s Five