Happy Chinese New Year! 
The Year of the Rat begins Thursday, February 7  

What can we learn from The Year of the Rat?

In ancient Chinese astrology, it’s a distinction to be born in the Year of the Rat. Unlike the garbage, plague and lab rats of Western culture, the Eastern Rat offers us rich benefits to take advantage of during 2008. Charming and disarming, this Rat is bright and ambitious, curious and imaginative, hard-working and persistent. The Rat is motivated by money and status, a natural leader,  inspirational speaker, intriguing conversationalist and loyal friend. Do any of our Presidential candidates come to mind as you read this? 

The 2008 Rat is the Earth Rat, a sign of acquisition, and has a knack with money and for saving for a rainy day (Isn’t this intresting, in light of our rampant financial illiteracy and volatile market? I’m also reminded that it is China that’s financing the US occupation of Iraq and the upcoming stimulus package…). The Earth Rat also carries with it the image of a misty mountain, representing clouded perceptions and unexpected outcomes. The lesson for Rats is to see what is real, develop self-awareness and consideration of others – even to put others first. What I glean from this brief character sketch is that 2008 is a year for each of us to raise our accountability, produce better results and make a greater contribution –
by seeing through the illusions that keep us stuck in our comfort zones and by communicating more truthfully and clearly with ourselves
by extending our leadership, speaking and conversational skills
by stretching our listening, mentoring and influencing the development of others
by mastering basic financial skills, such as budgeting, saving, balancing budgets, utilizing compound interests and teaching these skills to others and by more active appreciation and consideration of our loved ones

I invite you to ask – in each of these areas – what are the actions that will move you onward and upward?  Through tapping into the power created by over a billion Chinese minds focused on the Year of the Rat, we will increase that power and be bouyed and boosted in our Rat endeavors in 2008.

-Pamela Kelly