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Lessons for Bloggers From The ‘Death of 2007’

The following guest post was submitted by Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian from Money.Power.Wisdom.

And so another year draws to an end. The ‘death of 2007’ sparks off a line of thinking that will add value to your 2008. It’s about burying the dead past – after learning every lesson possible from it, and using each one to make the future better.

And this applies also to the way you and I blog.

Death Focuses You On The ‘Here & Now’

We often sacrifice today for a brighter tomorrow. We postpone gratification and enjoyment so that we may multiply it in the future. Sadly, sometimes, we put off the important things – until it’s too late.

Death reminds us to live in the here and now. Do the things that matter today. Be wary about what you give up for a pay-off down the line… it just might be something far too precious to risk.

Blogging for influence might lead you to focus too much time and effort on your online activities. As you plan your strategy for future world-domination, ask if you really are willing to pay the price. Family, friends, social networks – all cannot be put on hold for long without damaging relationships permanently.

Death Shows How Insignificant Many Things Really Are

We obsess and worry about many things. We blow up many minor misunderstandings and shortcomings into earth-shaking disasters. We live our lives in a frenzy of self-created crises and emergencies.

Most, if not all, don’t matter as much when viewed in the cold light of hindsight. How many of these ‘terribly urgent’ things will matter some years from now?

As a corollary, this also draws your attention to the really essential things – and adds meaning to your life by directing your actions to where they will be most effective, not merely most efficient.

Look back at the hot, emotional and intense posts and ensuing discussions that have happened on your blog. Does what seemed ‘oh so vital’ then still remain as central or focal to what you do? Are you blogging about what matters – or just chasing rainbows?

Death Creates Urgency

All of us procrastinate. Many of us do it most of the time. “I’ll just get to it tomorrow/next week/when I have time,” we assure ourselves – and rarely manage to get things done.

But what if there was no tomorrow? Would you let these tasks go unfinished? Or would you hurry, re-organize and prioritize differently to get to them right now? Urgent things get done. Important things need to get done. Death can be a beacon that shows up the difference.

Is your blog on track to get you where you want to go? Are you caught up in trivia and detail, being forced to delay growth-oriented activity? Have you done things you need to do today – before wasting time on incidental stuff?

Death Recalls Pleasant Memories

Towards the close of 2007, what remains brightest in our minds are the nice, pleasant, joyful things that happened over the last 12 months. That focus helps energize and rejuvenate us to prepare for the challenges of the year ahead.

Taking time to relish success, enjoy rewards, bask in the glory of achievements is something you may not have thought important or essential. Truth is, it is vital – to happiness, to success, to accomplishment.

Look at what’s great about your blog. The top posts. Your best feedback. Your audience and the attention you’ve got in the blogosphere. Relish and take pride in what you’ve done. Promise yourself you’ll repeat it more often next year. And then, make that promise come true.

Death Makes You Pause & Reflect

In the mad, mad rush towards an ephemeral goal and a vaguely defined set of targets, we often lose direction or engage in unproductive effort. A time-out to rethink the direction you are moving in can get you closer to where you want to be than intense, but unguided, activity.

The end of a year (or month) is a good time to review your goals and targets for your blog. What landmarks did you reach? Which numbers did you make? Are they the right numbers? Why? How else can you make it better?

An hour of analysis and brainstorming every month about where you’re going with your blogging can make a world of difference to where you’ll reach by this time next year.

Death Provokes Gratefulness

We all have a lot to be thankful for. Most importantly, for being alive. Healthy. Rich. Happy. And a lot more.

But we hardly ever think about it that way. We are obsessed over what else we want, how much more we have to achieve, what else is left to attain – and the ambitions, dreams and aspirations drive us on relentlessly.

The calming holiday season before the hustle and bustle of a New Year begins is an excellent time to reflect, feel gratitude and express thanks to the Universe for all you have, enjoy and dream about.

And above all, be grateful for the wonderful online world of opportunity you (and I) enjoy, one that lets us blog, make money, and be happy!

Death Makes Way For The New

This year is almost gone. In many ways, I’ll remember it as a year of loss.

Many special people in my life died… my father, my dog, my professional partner, another team member, and my neighbor. Some deaths were natural, others accidents. Some came in the fullness of time, others destroyed enormous potential and promise.

And the year taught me many precious lessons about life, and about blogging. I’m sure yours did too. Let’s use those lessons to make a difference in the months ahead.

Here’s to a glorious, prosperous and joyous 2008. Happy New Year.

Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian is a heart surgeon using his Internet marketing business to fund heart surgery for under-privileged children in India. He blogs at Money.Power.Wisdom

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Thank you, Dr Sivasubramanian! This is a brilliant post. Point well taken. Best of everything in the new year to you and our charming host!

  2. Hey mate here in Australia don’t we spell it neighbour not neighbour? It’s sad to hear about all your loses. I wish you the best for 2008, maybe 50k rss subscribers.

  3. oops I mean you said “neighbor”

  4. As Stuart Wilde said, “Sometimes, we just don’t know enough about what we are trying to achieve.” I think it would have been even more appropriate if he had said ‘Lot of times, we …’

  5. I like the one about death provoking gratefulness. We all need to live a life of gratitude. Even taking a hot shower in the morning is an incredible experience. How many people wake and wonder how they are going to eat this day, much less get a relaxing warm shower. There are so many other little things we take for granted. Here’s to gratitude in the new year, from a Gratefully Deadicated reader. Miss ya Jerry. Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land.

  6. Live every movement as it is your last, this way we can get most out of our lives
    Don’t make any delays; I am a strong believer of “Now or Never” Off course no one knew when he will get a call from almighty GOD :)

  7. The most saddest part of life and the bitter truth is Death of course.

    So, live life king size.

  8. So sorry to hear about your personal losses this year. If it’s any consolation, your heartfelt essay has strengthened my commitment to the power of free and open communication. You have also helped renewed my spirit for the important challenges that lies ahead–in blogging as in life. Thank you so much and God Bless!

  9. Very nice article, thanks for inspiring us with some of your lessons learned… Notes carefully taken!


  10. Only one thing is guaranteed to happen to all of us, and that’s death.

  11. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Thanks for putting things once again into the proper perspective.

    Happy New Year!

  12. It was a welcome change to read a “new year inspiration” post which offers a new perspective: that of remembering the past in order to learn from it, rather than to simply focus on something new.

    Your style of writing was one which made me pay much attention and read the article thoroughly instead of skimming over as I usually do. Thank you for this, I appreciate your efforts and wish you the best of luck for 2008.

  13. Nice post! You make some great points. I think a lot of people forget how short life can be and spend too much time “sweating the small stuff”.

    Happy New Year!

  14. This exceptional post is steeped with the sort of wisdom that prompts people to pause, reflect, learn — and cherish.

    Thank you for sharing.

  15. Death is a rather harsh and final event but the points you’ve made in the post are things that I too have been coming to realise over the past few weeks.

    Life is short, you never know when things are going to come to an end and you never know what it is around the corner. Its very easyt to live in the past or the future but really all we ever have is the “right now”, this very moment.

    This of course applies to life in general, not just to blogging. It’s tough getting the balance of everything just right!

  16. Thanks
    I almost didn’t open your email today,
    Thought the header was a diguised sales pitch.
    So glad it wasn’t.
    Great message to start the last day of the year.
    Look forward to your emails in the coming year.

  17. It took me a lifetime to learn that death is ever so important to life.

    It also took me a lifetime (or is it just the change of my hormons?) to learn not to multitask but to “singletask” and that makes it a whole lot easier to focus on “the real” things in life.

    After that I started to be in “a flow”, living a fuller and more giving life both online and offline.

    As usual I love your style of writing and greetings form Denmark.


  18. Dr. Mani, you are, always, such an inspiration. We are blessed to have an ongoing relationship with you in our business…and I know we aren’t the only ones! When we count our blessings, you are always on the list. No wonder! With insights such as yours…and your generosity of spirit that allows you to continue to share, and share, and share. Here’s to a bigger, even brighter, more rewarding 2008! May we all help you help the world through more heart surgeries…and share with you plenty more reasons to “keep on blogging!”

  19. Hello Dr Mani,

    In relating to focusing on the ‘Here and Now’ you gave excellent points on not forgetting those around you while trying to conquer the world. Taking time out to be with family and friends is vital.

    A great way to add time to your life (yes, it’s possible) is in your ‘Pause and Reflect’. Spend time brainstorming and organizing at least once a month, and you will have those extra few precious moments to spend away from your business and with your loved ones.

    Every piece was good advice. Well written Dr. Mani.
    To a prosperous and Blessed 2008 and beyond,

    Yvonne Lyon

  20. Thanks Dr. Mani!
    As always, your writings are both inspirational and uplifting.
    How does that go…

    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    Live for today for there may be no tomorrow

    I for one will be thinking about your article as 2008 is born.

    Happy and Blessed New Year to all
    May God be with you in 2008 and beyond!

  21. I like the reminder woven into this post that how taking time not just at the end of a year, but even at the end of a month to review can be so helpful. Reviewing what went well, what didn’t, & what could be tweaked (blogging or otherwise). I too had a year of losses — my father, my dear friend, a colleague — and I am spending time this week really reflecting not just on those losses but on the gifts I received (over a lifetime in one case) and how I will take them forward. I’m used to reviewing quarterly for my business and annually on the personal realm, but I think a monthly time for reflection of both will be a good practice. Thanks, and Happy New Year.

  22. This was a wonderfully thought provoking post to take into the New Year. To be reflective of what has passed and take forward what has been learnt into the New Year, is a useful reminder for me.

    I’ve just recently been reading your blog and find much there to reflect on as well. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

  23. That was the most honest, to the point article I have read in quite a while. Thanks for the insight. I am definitely going to reflect on 2007 in this manner.

  24. I’ve always had a recurring fear of death. This has caused me anxiety to the point that I even saw a shrink and was taking medication for some time. But thanks to this wonderful post, I have seen it in a new and positive way.

    Excellent piece of writing! Kudos and thanks!

    GM T

  25. Great post and very inspirational for the new year! Great work Dr. Mani and also a great cause he is doing.

  26. Thanks for the feedback and comments, I’m glad the message resonated with so many people, each in a slightly different way. It was drafted after a couple of days’ reflection over all that happened to me in 2007 – and the lessons each taught.

    Tying it all into blogging is something that happened on Darren’s suggestion. And in the tweak, the article became more practical, a ‘what you can do’ style write-up instead of being a whimsical personal philosophy piece.

    So thank you, Darren, for that… and of course, for putting it in front of so many lovely people. I appreciate you.

    @ Suzanne, Pensacola REN, InterviewJolt, Sangesh – thanks.

    @ Dan, ITrush, I’m glad these words inspired you, that makes it well worth the writing. David, you said it. Perspective is all important. Amanda, you made my day – thanks :)

    @ Brad, Patrick, Caroline, Kirk, Susanne, Marian, Yvonne, Walter – I’m deeply grateful for the online relationship we’ve shared over years, and for the attention you have chosen to give my messages. I’ll certainly try and make them worth your while in 2008 too.

    @ Erica, I share your sadness in loss, and agree with your perspective on looking too on the joy those relationships have given over a lifetime. I’ve also scheduled monthly reviews into my plans for 2008.

    @ Heather, Warren, GM, Chad – thanks for the kind words.

    Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year 2008.

    All success

    (I Twitter as ‘drmani’)

  27. Dr Mani – what a great post. It is the best thing I’ve read on the subject of death since Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s books. You are very inspirational.

  28. Great post. Death is just a part of the natural cycle of life. It’s just a way for us to move onto the next step in our journey. It can be sad, but when someone dies, we should celebrate their life.

    Dr. Mani is very inspiring… especially seeing as how he is marketing on the internet for the underprivileged kids in India. Awesome!

  29. Dr Mani – may God continue to bless your good work in 2008. Isaiah 40:31

  30. Is every organism’s death permanent?

    Is it statistically possible that a given identical DNA will be reproduced sometime in the future and some people or animals will be conceived who will be identical to those who have lived in the past and present – and be of the same consciousness?

  31. So appropriate and timely.

    Earlier this month a dear friend passed on. I have been thinking quite a bit about his death, and your post crystallised my thoughts.


  32. Dr. Mani,

    A great post with a lot to think about.

    It reminds me that death is not if, it is when.

    All the best,


  33. Wonderful words of wisdom, Dr. Mani, thank you.

  34. Hey Dr. Mani – very inspiring yet again. I can personally relate to most of what you have written. I use this time of the year to think through my direction and I am in the chaos/confused stage of that process right now. I know that if I continue to reflect and value what I have achieved, the way forward will emerge. I know it did for me last year and led me to very successfully reorientate my blog. Your words about priorities, procrastination, and the power of blogging and influence ring so true. If only we could enjoy insight as it happens rather than hindsight after we have missed the opportunity. If we reflect ,though, we learn how to move forward with the benefit of hindsight.

    Ron P.
    Brisbane Australia

  35. What an inciteful post.

    The points made here can be utilized more much more than blogging. They can also be utilized for life in general. While I have not planned much for my blog in the new year, this post makes it evident that such planning and reflection should be done, as it can help me to reach certain goals with the blog for 2008. Procrastination is one of the behaviors that can definitely put a halt to achievements in many areas of life.

    Improving on this one area in particular should help to bring positive rewards sooner rather than later or worse…. not at all.

  36. thanks to everyone for your comments.

    To be honest I hesitated before accepting this post for publishing. Not because it was badly written, but I wondered whether a post about death was right for ProBlogger.

    However the more I thought about it (and reread the post) the more I realized how relevant it was – not just to blogging but to life. It’s also a topic that so many of us can related to in the different experiences of death that we’ve had through life.

    My hope is that this post not only helps a few readers in their blogging – but as they consider other aspects of their lives too.

    thanks to everyone for your feedback

  37. Very powerful words from you, Dr. Mani.

    Many thanks!

  38. It has been a sad year for me as well regarding the death of loved members of my family, including the death of my nephew to drug overdose. Christmas was subdued and my family were often pensive. At new year I spent time with friends and enjoyed the fireworks and observed lifes sadness but also gratitude for these friendships in many faces.

    We did not sing “Should auld acquaintance be forgot…” but it sang along in our hearts. We did not state our new year resolutions out loud but they stand up to be counted in our thoughts. We are writers and people before we are bloggers and emotion is what bonds us together.

    Thanks for saying what is oft left unspoken and enabling all these people above me to share their own thoughts. May the New Year bring you many blessings and send the joyous memories back to us when our grief fades. Thank You Dr Mani and Darren for posting this.

  39. Well, I’m glad you accepted the post, Darren, because much of what Dr. Mani writes is deep and insightful.
    Always a pleasure to read!!
    Dena ( a Dr. Mani groupie)

  40. Great article! Wishing you only happiness in 2008 and keep of the great postings. Thumbs up!

  41. I’ve been a fan of Dr. Mani for many, many years. His contributions to both the Internet marketing, as well as congenital heart-diseased children (such as, for example, his blogathons), have been nothing short of remarkable, and an example to follow.

    This post is another brilliant article by Dr. Mani. I’m glad you posted it, Darren.

  42. Wow! Dr Mani you wrote a great sentimental post, bye bye to year 2007 and welcome new chapter year 2008. Great sentimental value post, 2 thumbs up.

  43. Thanks for the sharing. I will know it.

  44. wow!!!! well it was really a good post and i will know it.Well whatever thanks for sharing you information and i am loving to visit your blog everyday…..

  45. @CatherineL, The Skinny On January, Mr.Gadget – thanks for the kind comments.

    @SearchEngines Web – Discussing this might be ‘off topic’ for this blog, but I’d answer ‘No’ because of the need for exactly identical interactivity with everything in the person’s environment to replicate one’s life in entirety. You might enjoy reading Michio Kaku’s ‘Parallel Worlds’, though.

    @fathersez – Yes, the post started out as being general, and then became more focused on blogging – I’m glad you found some solace in it.

    @Lowell – Absolutely.

    @Denise, Ron Passfield, Madlab Post – glad you liked it.

    @Darren – I appreciate you :)

    @Blogline, Julie Francis, Aaron – thanks for sharing.

    @Dena – I love you too :)

    @Michel Fortin – Coming from you, this is special – because you and Sylvie are two very inspiring people in my life. Thank you for showing what real courage means.

    @Shinaonline, johnny, Chirag Jain – thank you for the feedback.

    It has touched me to see how many people this message resonated with. Thank you for sharing your feedback about it, and I wish you a very happy, prosperous and successful New Year 2008.

    All success

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