BUSINESS & LIFE: Stepping into the New Year with faith and confidence

Valda Henry PhD

We are still at the beginning of the New Year, though the first month is quickly coming to an end! For the last nine years, I have used the last programme of my “Cutting Edge of Business,” on Marpin TV, to give thanks and to discuss what “my bones” are saying about the year ahead. In 2016, I did not get to host that last show. I decided I would speak about “my bones,” in my first article for 2017, however, the events of the first weeks of 2017 led to a change to “Return to Civility.” I promised this would be my second article and so here I am! I thank all the persons who commented, emailed or telephone with feedback on the first article.

I don’t make New Year resolutions. I usually set my plans for the year ahead on my birthday. I review them towards the end of the year and try to discern what my inner voice, which I call my bones, is saying. I feel things very deeply, with and through my whole being, and therefore I speak of my bones. In December of 2015, I stated that my bones were kind of silent for the first time in a very long time. They were saying nothing. I interpreted that to mean that I was to follow wherever the Lord leadeth. And 2016, was a very meandering year; mountain tops, hills, a few precipices and valleys. I took them all in stride and ended 2016, with a joyful and hopeful heart. The events in the first few weeks of 2017 in Dominica and even the world, though tragic in many of the cases, have not shaken my faith that all will be well.

I love Christmas. I love everything around Christmas, however, leading up to the big day, I was just not feeling the usual excitement and anticipation. My feelings were not helped by the lack of decorations and Christmas cheer in Roseau. I returned to Dominica a few days before Christmas and Roseau looked and felt like any ordinary time of the year. Our family Christmas lunch was held at my home and I figured that when everyone descended, the feeling would come, and I was correct! Several family members returned home for Christmas with one of my nephews surprising us on Christmas Day with his two children. This was truly icing on the cake. This year, we broke with tradition and held our New Year’s family gathering at the beach. This was beautiful and I am sure will become our new tradition!

It was at the beach that my bones truly began talking! They said that I need to step out in the New Year with faith and confidence for God has already made the way. It does not matter that I can see no way, I had to step out that the way was there. I had to listen to God’s voice and go where he leadeth, even more than I did in the past: no hesitation, no trying to wiggle out of it like Jonah! I had to go boldly like St. Paul. This was my “Year of Go!”

It may be easy for one to step out in faith and confidence as individuals, however, business owners and managers, with a high need for planning, may see this as foolhardy. Stepping out in faith and confidence does not negate the need to plan. It requires planning, though the plan may change, for as Napoleon Bonaparte once said, no general goes to battle without a plan, even if that plan changes upon first contact with the enemy.

Business owners should use the new year, whether their financial year coincides with the calendar year, to stop and take stock, not only of inventory but of operations and processes: What are we doing? Where do we want to go? What is Working well? What is not working? What do we need to do differently to get to where we want to go? Where do we want to go and what do we need to do differently to get there are the questions which require the most faith and confidence. Faith that some of the ideas though appearing daring and unattainable to some are reachable. Courage is also needed on this journey for the actions to be taken to get to one’s destination often require discipline, sacrifice and ignoring the voice of naysayers, while also listening for the wisdom in the voice. This last point appears contradictory; however, it is not. The voice of the naysayers may be senior members of your management team or staff, business mentors, family and close friends, and this makes it even more difficult to do, however, if one’s bones or inner voice is leading, then one ought to follow. The way may not always be easy; there are often obstacles on one’s path and that is where the faith and confidence are needed most, to keep going; to not give up, to remain faithful to the journey.

The same or similar processes are needed for individuals: take stock of one’s life and goals, put plans in place to achieve them, step out in faith, turning obstacles to opportunities, never quitting but remain focused and determined to achieving one’s goals.

I step into 2017 with faith, knowing that God has prepared the way as his fingers never point where his hands have not laid the way and confident that despite obstacles, I will achieve my goals.

Until we meet again, May the Lord Continue to Bless, Guide and Keep Us in the Palm of His Hands!

I can be contacted at [email protected] or at Tel: 767 449 9649.

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