Last year this time, you were less than who you are today. Over the year, you worked hard, got better at some things and tried some new things. All in all, you’re better today than a year ago.
However, as much as you think you did it on your own, you didn’t. Yes, you worked hard, put forth effort and ventured into the unknown, expanding your skills and experience. But if it weren’t for others helping you along the way, you would be only marginally better.
Your real development came from others guiding you, challenging you, supporting you, inspiring you. They gave you chances to learn, practice and grow. They believed in you and put you into positions to step up and perform.
They didn’t have to. They could have assigned those opportunities to others. They could have left you on your own to fail. They could have made it nearly impossible to succeed. But they didn’t. They applied their own discretionary effort—making time, expending energy and overcoming the inertia of silence. They rose up and interacted with you for your good so you could grow.
As you begin developing this year’s version of you, make sure you acknowledge their contributions to your development. Find ways to let them know you appreciate their investment in you. Give them the gift of knowing that their time, effort and energy were well-worth it. Make them proud and left wanting to be there for you this year, because when you do good, you make them look and feel good.