The universe is a mess of chaos in a dramatically more complex order. In 1903, James Allen wrote, “In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise [balance] would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute.” Those words echo true today, and they directly impact your success as an advisor, and ultimately the success of your clients. It’s a heavy responsibility.

So what is Allen saying and who cares?

In simple terms, he points to Cause And Effect. The results that happen around us are not accidental and they are not frivolous; they’re the result of our thoughts, focus and action. Business results flow from those who do business, those that contrive of an idea, enroll clients into the benefit of that idea, and help them profitably execute on that idea.

In any industry, in any market, there are those that surge ahead of their peers, and those that languish in average-ness. There are those that develop breakthroughs, come up with new approaches, that innovate and that win, when everyone else struggles. Why is that? It’s simple: they take absolute responsibility for their thinking, their focus, and their activity.

What can you do with this? How can you ensure that you maintain equipoise? Here are a few thoughts you can act on right now.

First, if we actually do live in a justly ordered universe, take a quick look at your thoughts. It’s a new year and it’s as good a time as any to make some changes. You don’t have to call it a resolution, but it’s a new start regardless, so start with your thinking. Do you think business is hard? Do you think getting clients is difficult? Do you think that cutting through the clutter is hard? You’re right. But the upside is that if you think business flows easily, it will. If you think clients are amazing, they will be.

Before you run away with “Chris has lost his mind and is caught up in some sort of ‘If you think it, it will happen’ garbage,” let me be clear, I don’t think you can “will” things into existence. But what I do know is that our thoughts color our perception, and how we choose to react to situations will fall into one of two camps: resourceful, or un-resourceful. Now, you get to pick which state you’ll be in, but I sure as hell choose “resourceful.”

In the final analysis, everything you do will either give you energy or take it away, and move you closer to your goals or further from them. If the universe is indeed “ordered,” then choosing to be focused on the good, the possible, the opportunities and what you can do about it is, indeed, an act of absolute individual responsibility.

Do you think this will be your year? It might. What I guarantee is that it will be remarkably similar to last year if you remain unchanged. And it will be remarkably different, if you are. It’s a justly ordered universe.