Do more than *get through the year.*

Between a History Channel program about the deadly sin of sloth and prayerful reflection today at church, I had a bit of a revelation about 2009.

Hear me out.

Like many, I’m anxious about the year. What will the economy bring? I know people looking for work. Others in business for themselves, trying to make ends meet. Still others with jobs who will do more with less.

I picked up an expression from someone a few weeks back, “Flat is the new up.” It’s ironic, and it’s got me in this mindset that if I can just get through the year, the economy will turn around and we’ll be fine.

Doing more

I thought today: Just getting through an entire year seems like a bit of a waste. Would I be content if, a year from now, I kept everything as it was?

The people around me need more than that.

More than ever in my adult life, I think, people are going to need me. They’re going to need my strength, my humor, my intelligence. They’re going to need my help. And, knowing the way my mind works, I’ll only be available to them if I have my house in order: my job, my family — my head!

What I plan to do about it

That History Channel show about sloth came at just the right time. Among other things, it talked about the little procrastinations that add up and rob me of my time and energy. And with my prayers for strength ahead of what could be a difficult year, I realized: I need to be ready.

Ready to help. To be there for other people. To network for them and present opportunities for them. And I can be ready if I stay focused and work hard and smart.

Perhaps this year my resolution is to stay alert. Maybe cut back on some of the time-wasters I enjoy for relaxation. I’m going to need that time when someone comes knocking. They’re going to need me. And I’m going to help.

I don’t typically get this philosophical on my blog. Did this message strike a chord with you?

Please, leave a comment.



  1. Hi Joe,
    I was laid off last May and took the opportunity to launch my own business. Every day is a struggle and I have had to scale way back to make ends meet, but I really believe that 2009 is going to be my year. It really touches me that you care so much and are willing to make yourself available to help those who need it. I have no idea what I need (other than clients), but it’s nice to know you’re there for me and others like me.
    Warmest regards,

  2. Kelly, let’s figure out what you need together. Go through the positioning statement exercise here: and read “The First Three Numbers” at


  3. Thanks Joe. Your message does strike a chord. I find myself constantly recommending other folks and know that it will all come back to me in ways I never expect. I’m taking steps to learn more and more about social networking etc, but it’s taking a while to learn the ways of the computer. I know I will be able to help more when I know more. Meantime, I’m trying new things in other aspects in life and doing my best to “be ready” also. Change is coming, I can feel it. And I have lots of hope and positivity that all will be well. I think you are right on to get yourself straight and strong first before you can take care of others. Here’s to a 2009 filled with learning, loving and full living!

  4. My sister-in-law, everybody. Thanks, Joell, I appreciate your comment.

    I know the eco-friendly gift wrap is not your main source of income but let me mention it here because I think it’s a really neat idea.

  5. Joe, I admire your desire to help others. It’s something I don’t always appreciate enough. And it is something that is easily accomplished by seniors…most of whom, like me, don’t do it. Someone with a young family has very limited time, energy and money to be as good a person as you would like to be. I admire your goals. Just don’t spend more of your time and energy than you have available after doing all you have to do for your family, your job and yourself. Don’t forget “yourself.”

  6. Thanks again Joe.

    I appreciate you your support.

    🙂 XO

  7. Great post, Joe. I especially love the balance here – taking care of yourself in order to be more able to take care of others. Too often we fall to far to one side of the spectrum or the other – either making others our sole priority and neglecting “our house,” as you say, or being completely oblivious to the needs of others. Working towards a tension between these two, taking care of YOU (me, anyone, etc.), and then giving of that nourished self to others…well, that sounds pretty darned healthy to me! And like a great New Years Resolution.

    Valerie’s last blog post..When do you need a Personal Lawyer?

  8. Thanks, Valerie. Well, here I am 24 hours after I wrote the post and … I’m tired!

    I would have gone to bed had it not been for this article. I thought, Heck, I can do better than that! I’ve got Web copy to write for Cardiac Science!

  9. I think one of the positives to come out of what is going to be a tough year for many, Joe, is the Pay It Forward approach that many people are taking on, including your good self.

    While it’s a given that we need to be there for our families, loved ones and friends, it’s going to be just as important that we’re there for our strangers yet to be friends.

    Everyone will have a different level of suffering and need, as well as different levels of what they have to offer. But offer it we must, as we’re all in this together.

    If hardship in 2009 is because 2008 saw greed take its final bow, then I’m not going to hold grudges in the next 12 months.

    Danny Brown’s last blog post..Choosing Bus Stops

  10. Danny, thank you for your poetry.

    You set a great example for this with your 12for12K effort. I’m happy to support it!


  11. Wow! We must be telepathically linked. You are speaking not just the words out of my thoughts, but the ‘sermon’ I’ve been preaching for the past 2 months. I have even decreed that 2009 is the “Year of destiny!”

    I found your blog by looking at your page on Biznik. There is truly a current running through those of us who have taken on the role of ‘stakeholder’ in the Transformation. Thank you for this blog entry. It is my analog of the History Channel program you mentioned.

  12. Ron Leopold says:

    Joe Dewey: rocks and you are my new hero!

    I loved this posting [Doing More Than Getting Through The Year] in particular.

    Seriously, my friend, this is an inspiration in reaching oneself out while staying grounded, and creative expression.



  13. Thanks, Dr. Ron. I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight. It’s timely. I need some help touching up a bit of comedy for tomorrow night’s sales meeting and you wrote almost every funny word I spoke in the Wharton Follies.

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