“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”

~ Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

As 2008 draws to a close, I find my mind is led backwards in time as I re-evaluate the past twelve months and set my goals for the coming year.  Outwardly, today will be spent getting ready for the New Year’s Eve bonfire with close friends and neighbors.  It will be a festive day, with a focus on celebrating all of the good things we have accomplished this year.  Today all our fears and insecurities concerning the future will be temporarily swept aside, and we will instead celebrate the wealth of our abundance, no matter how small our treasures may outwardly appear.   As I look back on the past year, I find that the things I am most grateful for are the small things.

This past year, my personal focus has been on building a network marketing business.  My days have been spent making phone calls and attending networking events.  In the process, I’ve become very good at building relationships, both online and in person, and my life has become far richer precisely because of the friends I have made.

We are taught that to be successful at network marketing, it is important to DREAM BIG.  So this past year I did just that.  I had a clear mental image of myself making lots of money, traveling the globe in support of my distribution team, changing countless lives with my opportunity, and generally being a huge financial success.  In the process, however, I seem to have forgotten about the things that really matter.  In my quest to build my dream life, I have sacrificed time with Keith and my other friends and family, I have missed concert opportunities to sing and to play my drums, and I have neglected my home and my cat.  I have also, in my busyness, not taken the time just to play at being a musician, which is what my  heart and soul want above all other activities.  I have been too busy to cook and to share meals with people I love.  I’ve been too busy to sit quietly on the back porch with a cat on my lap, or to walk on the beach with the wind blowing through my brain.  I’m starting to realize that I’ve just been too busy, period.

As I look back on the past year, I find that those small things I’ve been too busy to appreciate are precisely the things that have made my life rich and worth living.  I find that even with no money, even if I were to lose all of my possessions, even so my life is already abundant beyond measure.  So this year, my goal is to DREAM SMALL.  My aim for 2009, then, is to value people over money, and to value the quality and depth of the time I spend over days spent busily chasing elusive dollar bills.  Of course I’ll continue to build my network marketing company, because I still believe that I can change many lives through my business opportunity and my product,  and that I can make a very comfortable residual income while staying close to home and tending my garden.

But this next year my focus will be different.  Rather than strive to satisfy monetary goals, my primary focus will be on achieving the goals of my soul.  This year I’ll dream small rather than big, and I’ll go deep rather than wide.  This year I will remember the small things, and will focus my time and attention on the people in my life, because ultimately none of it really matters unless we have each other.   So if, in 2009 I seem by outward appearances to be experiencing a financial downturn, don’t let that fool you into thinking that my life has taken a turn for the worse.   You see, I’ve finally realized that I already have everything that I can want because I have people who love me, people whose lives weave in and out of my own in ways that form a beautiful tapestry of love.  I am already truly wealthy beyond measure, and I am grateful.