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Why I Begin Each Year by Looking Back at Who Died


by Glenn Shepard
January 2, 2018
Category: Inspiration




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Did You Know?

50% of adults in North America will make a New Year's resolution. 22% fail after one week, 40% after one month, 50% after three months, 60% after six months, and 81% after twenty-four months.

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I love New Year’s Day.

It’s the time of year that everyone gets a mulligan (i.e. A “Do-Over”).

No matter how messy the previous year may have been, you now have a blank slate to start over.

It’s also a time when I look back on who died the previous year. Here’s a partial list of who died in 2017:

Adam West
Charles Manson
Chuck Berry
David Cassidy
Fats Domino
Gregg Allman
Glen Campbell
Hugh Hefner
J. Geils
Jerry Lewis
Jim Nabors
Judge Wapner
Malcolm Young (AC/DC)
Manuel Noriega
Mary Tyler Moore
Mel Tillis
Monte Hall
Ralphie May
Tom Petty
Troy Gentry (Montgomery Gentry)
Walter Becker (Steely Dan)

While none of these people were a big part of my life, I’ve heard their names and seen their faces for most of my life.

I sang along with AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”, the Allman Brothers' "Lord I Was Born a Ramblin' Man", Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin”, and the J. Geils Band’s “My Angel is a Centerfold" more times than I can count.

The first song I learned on the electric guitar was “Johnny B. Good” by Chuck Berry, who’s considered to be one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, along with Elvis.

I watched Adam West on Batman, David Cassidy on The Partridge Family, Jim Nabors on Gomer Pyle and Mayberry, RFD, Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Jerry Lewis in countless movies and telethons, Judge Wapner on The People’s Court, and Monte Hall on Let’s Make a Deal.

Beginning a new year by looking back at who died the previous year may sound morbid, but it’s based on two principles in one of the bestselling self-improvement books of all time – “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

Habit #1: Be Proactive (instead of reactive, like most people are)
Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind

Regardless of whether you're a big-time celebrity, or an Average Joe just trying to get by, the key to a successful life can be summed up in 7 simple words:

Live your life with purpose, on purpose.

Forget about making all those New Year’s Resolutions you’re not going to keep. Just make the commitment to be proactive about spending 2018 with purpose.

When it’s time to work, leave your home life at home and be a professional.

When it’s time to relax, leave your work life at work and relax.

If you’ll make this simple commitment, you’ll look back on 2018 with a deep sense of pride and accomplishment when it’s over.

Happy New Year from Puerto Morelos, Mexico,


Glenn Shepard

P.S. And yes, I am practicing what I preach. This article was written last week. This week, my Beautiful Bride and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in the Riviera Maya, where I am not checking email, texts, or voicemails.

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