I’m trying something new. I’m kind of jazzed about it. I’ll pick 3 words for the year. Like a mantra. A vision. A course of action. A way of changing my life and maybe help me change the world.
Do you want to give it a try?
What am I doing?
It is a simple concept. You pick 3 words and use them to guide your year.
- Don’t pick 5 or 10. That’s too many. It won’t work.
- Don’t pick 1. There isn’t enough there.
- Don’t pick phrases. Cut to the chase.
3 words. Here’s how Chris Brogan describes it:
The idea behind there being three words (and not five or seven or one) is that you can create a kind of “triangulation” between three words, such that they can stand alone and work together.
A trinity. It totally makes sense. Words that dance with one another, inform one another, transform one another.
Why pick 3 words at all?
I often like to say that I think a mission statement is bogus.
I then like to say that I know a mission is essential.
And then I say that I believe articulating a mission is necessary.
We need to have words. Words we can draw from. Words which describe and enliven our hopes and sense of direction. Words which breathe life into the strained relationship we have with the world and with one another. Words which guide our actions, our thoughts, and our aspirations.
We need words.
In the 11 years Chris Brogan has been picking his 3 words for the year, he has refined his process. He settled on 3 because 4 wasn’t as good. He tried names as reminders, but that wasn’t as specific. He tried nouns or adjectives, but those didn’t drive him to action.
He wanted action words. Words which guided his action.
I’m picking words, and I encourage you to do the same, because if we want to change our lives, the world, or just that tiny bit of real estate around our couch, we need words which get us to move.
My 3 words for 2016
Enjoy. Excite. Evangelize.
I didn’t start out planning to alliterate. Seriously. The first two were coincidence. I then found that the third made sense too.
This one is natural, right? You might call it cheating, as I have vowed to proclaim the Good News in everything. But I want to make this more central to my thinking. I need to focus on communication, sharing, giving in a way I haven’t connected before. And help others do the same.
In an exercise I did with our vestry recently, they unanimously agreed that my gift was for “vision-casting.” I’m feeling called to dealing with the next step of exciting people to come with me on these crazy visions I have; to excite them to do this crazy thing we’re doing together.
Life is supposed to be enjoyed. I love preaching about “eternal life” as meaning vibrant living. I need to start taking my own preaching seriously! Life is too worth living to spend it waiting.
I love how these three play off each other. For months, I’ve been wondering about what it would be to live life the way Desmond Tutu does. To bring such joy and thankfulness to life. To laugh easily and give thanks to GOD with such grace. I’ve imagined what it would take to stand up to armed soldiers come to shoot me and to laugh with the joy of Christ in my heart, the certainty that GOD would not only be with me, but with them, drawing them away from violence and to Christ instead.
I’ve wondered what it would take. And I think it takes a profound faith. But it takes living that faith, proclaiming that faith, and inviting others to join in that faith. Enjoy. Evangelize. Excite. whatever the order.
What are your 3 Words?
If you are interested in more or want to read about Chris Brogan’s 11 years of 3 Words, visit his site at chrisbrogan.com.