Build Your Future by Honoring Your Past

The holiday season is a time for reflection, and as I think back over the events of 2012 a bittersweet feeling is inescapable. On a professional level, it was a great year, highlighted by publication of a sports marketing textbook co-authored with Mike Fetchko and Ken Clow. The concept of being a lifelong learner has been front and center for me as I have explored a wide range of topics and subjects in an effort to make me a more knowledgeable marketer and more complete scholar. On a personal level, the achievements of my children, most notably my oldest son's graduation from college, served to remind me that I am blessed with a wonderful family.

The world around us provided stark reminders of our frailties and mortality. Our hearts were broken on December 14th when 26 innocent children were gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut. Celebrity deaths like the passing of Andy Griffith, Richard Dawson, and Larry Hagman felt like a little part of my childhood died. And closer to home, it seemed that too many friends and acquaintances were dealing with the pain of losing loved ones. The most painful of these events for me was the passing of my beloved Aunt Marcelle, who taught me to take time to appreciate beauty whether it be in nature, classical music, or a sunny day.

Like many people, I use this time of year not only to reflect on what has happened but also prepare a clean slate that is the new year. As I get ready for 2013, my plan is to build my future by honoring my past. It is clear that my past has shaped my life to this point - the influence of people, places, and events is undeniable but not always remembered. There are people in your life that may not be around any longer, but their impact remains. Similarly, there are schools, clubs, and churches to which you have been connected. You may not be an active participant in them today, but your involvement with them played a role in your development.

My blog posts usually deal with marketing, but the thoughts shared here apply regardless of your profession or situation. The future is always an exciting prospect. In 2013, take on that future by drawing on the wealth of character and knowledge you have built in your past. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season. May 2013 be your best year yet - in honor of your past, of course.