Kicking off 2020: One word, one song, and a refined purpose

David O'Hagan
4 min readJan 4, 2020

Here we are, 2020. A mere 20 years since the turn of the century. Time certainly flies. All the more reason to be purposeful and focused on this new year (and decade) that sits ahead of us, pregnant with opportunity.

Time will continue to fly, whether we purposefully drive our life forward, or lean back and let it drive us. It’s our choice. And this is a perfect time, right here in early January, to make our decision.

I have a particularly good feeling about 2020, for me, and for you. There is lots of potential inside us. We just need to harness it well.

My word for 2019 was curious, my song was Somebody to Love by Queen, and my purpose was to help others enthusiastically and creatively see solutions. Three good things, but my three for 2020 feel even more aligned to me, and to the impact I want to make in the world.

One word

My word for 2020: Down

A bit of a quirky word for this purpose (but I like quirky, and wish the world had more quirky in it), but I like the word down due to its various uses.


  • Down to business: Stop thinking (and researching and considering) for so long, and just take action. Results happen when we take action. We learn. We grow. We inspire. We build momentum. All good things, that the world needs. Yes do the prep work, but then give it a go. The world needs more doers.
  • Write it down: One of my expanded learnings for 2019. For years now with coaching clients I’ve been suggesting brain dumps (simply writing down everything that is in your head onto to paper, or something you can actually look at in front of you with your eyes). It is a fantastic way to get clarity, see the bigger picture, prioritize, as well as reduce stress and uncertainty. But this last year I’ve realized that this act of writing things down is something that can and should be done all the time. Not just for big decisions or projects. So now I’m writing and drawing on whiteboards, windows, and all sizes of paper, all the time. And I’m often surprised and amazed at the new ideas and perspectives that arise, simply because I’m now looking at it front of me, and not trying to process it all within my head.
  • Down and dirty: Aligned with the idea of just taking action, sometimes we’ve got to get down into the weeds, digging deep for answers, insights, or even empathy and emotion. Pushing our boundaries into less familiar areas and allowing ourselves to get lost (or dirty) opens up new perspectives and ingredients for sparkly new opportunities and solutions.
  • Down, but not out: Life isn’t all backflips, roses, or rainbows — or whatever positive things makes you smile. In life, we definitely hit roadblocks and have to wade through mud at times, but the winners among us are those of us that pick themselves up, dust themselves off (if required, or else wear the ‘dust’ as a battle scar), and dive back into life, more inspired and smarter than before.

One song

My song for 2020: Children, Go Where I Send Thee, the Nick Lowe version, because it’s funky.

(Another very catchy version by Kelsea Ballerini.)

Credit: Nick Lowe

I came across this song in 2019, and loved all the variations of it by different bands and artists. The song is an African-American spiritual dating back to the 17th or 18th century, that gives meaning to Biblical numbers, typically up to 12, while some versions of the song only go to ten. (There are some differences in what the numbers mean, which gives the song even more character.)

The numbers that stand out to me:

  • 2: Paul and Silas, influential and inspirational leaders in the early church
  • 8: The eight ‘lucky’ humans that got to board the ark at that crazy time on the Earth
  • 9: Nine for the ninety-nine; The 99 sheep that were left behind while the shepherd went to find the single lost sheep, paralleling how God seeks out the lost sinner and the great rejoicing when that one lost sheep is found (which then makes me think about how the church is not a museum for good people, but a hospital for the broken, to quote Jefferson Bethke)

But the reason I chose the song was that it pulled together a number of diverse elements into a single song: Christmas, numbers, faith, history, children, a catchy beat, and human potential.

One purpose

My purpose for 2020: To kick start the fire inside every person

For 2020, I’m continuing with a purpose, rather than a resolution, which I left behind in 2018. But this 2020 I’m doing some consolidation with my personal purpose and my business purpose.

I had been liking my personal purpose and how it’s evolved the last couple years to: help others enthusiastically and creatively see solutions.

Kick Fire has a longer more formal purpose, however it can be boiled down to this: to kick start the fire inside every person.

Seeing (and pursuing) solutions is definitely valuable and purposeful, however if there is little spark inside a person, the effort and long terms results of those solutions will be limited.

I love the inner fire concept, because every person does have a fire inside them. And when that fire is actually burning and especially aging, there is so much more success and joy in life. Which then fuels the ripple effect, whereby they are inspiring others around them to experience more joy and success.

So #staycurious, and let’s kick start some fires together this 2020!

Thanks to those that are journeying with me in life. It’s deeply appreciated. #lifeisateamsport, so thanks for being on my team, and the opportunities for 2-way engagement, listening, inspiration, challenging, and rich sharing!

Kicking off: 2019, 2018, 2017



David O'Hagan

On a mission to find: innovators, status quo crushers, culture builders, hungry creatives, and warm sandy beaches