The year: 2023. The month: January. The feeling: The same as most of us feel at the start of every new year—a mix of motivation as we start anew combined with exhaustion from over-indulgence.

If you, like me, would like to guarantee that this year will be better than the last, keep reading, as today, we will focus on how to have a transformational 2023.

I’m not a finance person, but the data doesn’t lie. This year will likely be a recession. I am an optimist. However, I get pessimistic about potential recessions, so I have learnt how to navigate them.

My pessimism stems from living through several recessions. The one that stands out the most is the 1990 recession. My father lost his business. He and his company didn’t recover.

In 1993 my father died of a sudden heart attack. Aged just 48, I was 16.
In an instant, my heart closed. It stopped letting in compassion, self-love and healing. Instead, I was full of grief, resentment and fear.

It was as if I could push an emotional button and numb myself to any feelings. For years I thought I had some superpower that gave me an advantage.

Looking back, I can see the consequences. Failed relationships, fear of failure on the hockey rink, and lack of empathy towards others.

I didn’t know it, and it lasted for 25 years. It nearly ruined my marriage.
As scary as it was to open my heart, my relationships changed, but I had to go to the place I wanted to avoid as I feared I wouldn’t return from it.

When we go through it and not around it, we transform. When we embrace our darkest fears, we return with an open heart – we become more compassionate and empathetic leaders. But only a few will go on the journey.

It’s transformation, and both our personal and professional lives dramatically improve.

Sadly my brother passed away in 2022. I’m not avoiding or suppressing the feelings. It’s hard; I’m going through it, not around it (which was always his advice).

2023 may be a bumpy ride, so I will lead with an open heart – please join me by helping others navigate this year as best as possible.

We need your leadership.