The following post is courtesy of Philip Humbert, one of the wisest coaches I’ve encountered.  Enjoy, and do take a trip to Philip’s website for additional insights!


In the next twelve months you will learn things. You’ll leave old habits behind and acquire new ones. In fifty-two weeks, you will learn new skills, eliminate old beliefs and delete old software. There will be new things to entertain us, and new problems to challenge us. A year is a long time.

Stuff happens.

 In a year, you’ll grow into a brand new person!

The question is not whether you will have new skills and new habits a year from now. The really important question is whether you will direct and control your own evolution.

 Self-directed evolution is vital for your future!

 Many people set goals to create specific changes in their lives. That’s good! Whenever possible, I favor committed, focused effort to transform your life! Set goals. Develop plans. Work your program and make the changes you want for your life!

Goals are good! Go for it!

 But even more powerful than goals, we are influenced by every-day evolution. We are gradually influenced, every single day, by a thousand small shifts that come into our lives.

 I remember an episode of the old “Seinfeld” TV show that introduced the phrase, “Yada, yada, yada!” Suddenly, everyone, everywhere was using the phrase to complete stories and finish sentences. It was amazing! And unplanned.

 With the possible exception of a few writers and performers on the show, that addition to our vocabulary was not planned or anticipated by anyone. And yet over-night, the English language changed! Suddenly, we had a whole new way of communicating ideas and telling stories.

 We evolve like that all the time.

 I am convinced that we are influenced far more than we know by our environment. When we watch stories filled with war and catastrophe, it frightens us. Many studies have shown that people who watch the most television are more fearful, more anxious and more stressed. The things we think about do shape our lives.

 Fortunately, however, we can easily surround ourselves with art and literature, with interesting people and dynamic conversation. We can listen to the best music, and focus on opportunities, on our goals, and the people we love. We can surround ourselves with humor and encouragement, and once again, the things we think about will shape our lives.

 You will evolve in 2012. You will learn new words, new ideas, new skills and new abilities. You will meet new people, read new books, watch new things. And they will all, slowly but surely, shape your life.

One of the keys to both external success and internal happiness is choosing (carefully!) the ways in which we evolve.

 Only humans can intentionally direct their own evolution. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have! And yet only a tiny handful take advantage of it.

Most people carefully choose their goals each year. That’sgood!

 But, I hope you will be just as thoughtful about the “little things” that influence you more quietly, the things that fill your environment with hidden or subtle messages. Choose the radio station in your car. Choose the books on your coffee table. Choose the shows and movies you watch. Think about the people you associate with and listen to their words with a “third ear” that scrutinizes everything and asks, “Is this good for me?”

 Your life will be shaped in powerful ways by the “stuff” that surrounds you every day, all year long. Choose well!

 Control your environment so that your world “automatically” encourages and rewards you for becoming the person you want to be. Remember, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It applies not just to people we associate with, but to books, television, activities and most of all, to the thoughts we think. In 2012, evolve wisely!



Copyright (c) 2012, all rights reserved. U.S. Library of Congress ISSN:  1529-059X    You may copy, forward or distribute TIP’s if this copyright notice and full information for contacting  Dr Philip E. Humbert are included. Contact him at: or email



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