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Sawubona, Temple and In Medias Res – My Three Words for 2014

Another year has come and went out the door. As I sit here, on the beginning of the new year, reflecting on this past year I can’t help but feel lucky to be here! There have been lots of exciting things that have happened this year (both personally and professionally) and lots of scary, painful things as well (like breaking my collarbone and getting into a fairly serious motorcycle accident). I’m also really excited for the future as my wife and I are expecting another child very early on in the year!

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Rather, I picked up the habit of choosing three words for the year to provide myself with focus on the year ahead (for more on this take a look at Chris Brogan’s blog and C.C. Chapman’s blog and book). As I look back on last year’s three words I feel that I did alright with them. As this coming year starts, I’m not ready to lose focus on those words either though as I feel they will still provide me with a lot of focus and fuel for the coming year.

As I continue to work on last years words and take them with me on my journey, here’s my three words that I’ll be adding to that for 2014:


Sawubona actually comes from Zulu dialect and literally translates as “I see you.” It’s typically meant as a greeting like, “good morning!” or “hello!” but I feel that it’s much more powerful than a simple greeting that toss around. To me, it’s a matter of being fully present. Often times, we’ll say “good morning” to someone as we walk by and not even break our stride to hear the response. For me, when I hear the word sawubona, I can’t help but think of a greeting that says, “I’m genuinely interested in you and what you want to chat about.” It’s not a word that can be said without breaking a stride. This year, I’ll be focussing on being present for more conversations. Clearing distractions and giving the other person my full, complete attnetion.


One of the things that I’ve realized over the past few years is that the better I’m doing, the better my business is doing. Especially in the line of work where you are your business, it’s essential for you to be taking care of yourself. So with that, I’m planning on spending more time reading and writing, focussing on fitness and health, and creating a lifestyle that enables me (and my family) to grow and expand.

In Medias Res

I guess I kind of cheated with this one…it’s “technically” 3 words, but I like to think of it as one word/phrase! It’s a Latin phrase that means, “In the midst of things.” I first learned of it through my university english classes and it’s all about starting a story in the middle of the action. Something that ropes people in to the story right away and then builds the characters and scene afterwards. So why this phrase? For me it’s going to serve as a reminder that we are all in the middle of our stories. There’s a backstory to everything and there is a future. It will serve as a reminder to learn from the past, focus on the present and plan for the future.

To all of you that are reading this and especially those who are active readers of this site, I just want to thank you for all your awesome in this past year and wish you and your families wonderful blessings in this coming year!

Now it’s your turn! Are you focussing on a few words for this coming year? If you are share them with me and this community in the comments below! If you’re not, let me know what you’re looking forward to this year!


Jason Dykstra

Jason is a Conflict Management Specialist who is helping organizations and congregations move from conflict situations to creative solutions. He specializes in relational and communication issues and uses his experience and training in mediation, group facilitation, conflict management coaching, speaking and teaching to aid you and your surroundings to better… MORE >

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