As another year moves closer to its inevitable end, it is human nature to look back and reflect on the things that happened and to glean whatever useful information we can from it. There were many occasions and situations that happened over the past year which has given us a new experience or taught us a new lesson. The year has certainly taught me many interesting lessons. It seems the older that I am the more I learn, and I look forward to the new year with anticipation about all the things that I will learn. But before we move forward, let me look back at the year and the lessons it has taught me.
- Be for yourself- In all that you do, it is ok to look at the experience and determine what is going to be the best outcome for you. If you don’t look to your own well-being, then nobody else is going to. Making sure that what you are experiencing is good for you and your future is not selfish it is common sense. I have found that most situations are designed to work out in your favor especially if one takes a moment to analyze it and see if it is ultimately for your greatest good.
2. People are Awesome- Or at least they are if you give them the chance to be. At the end of each year, it is natural to look at the year and think of the people who have come into your life over the previous 12 months and the mark they have made on it. I have been very fortunate to have many awesome people touch my life and leave an indestructible, positive mark on me. From the Maine Golf and Tennis Academy to DSI to the places that I hang around and write like Panera, my life has been altered and enhanced by each encounter. From music I enjoy to the understanding, I have about others.
Often people enter your life much like the tide in the ocean. They roll in and cover an area, stay for the time they are intended and then recede back to their origins. Often the things that they leave behind on the beach of your life are quite significant. Even though few people can remain in your life constantly forever, the marks that each individual leaves may have a lasting effect. They may make you smile when you think of them or force you to think of things in a different way.
I have been blessed this year by many tides and the remnants of their presence will stay with me throughout life. I wonder how many people I will meet in the new year that I can say the same thing about. I can’t wait to find out.
3. Living without Attachment- One of the problems I have had is to place an unhealthy attachment to things. I hope that I have learned how to be better at allowing things to happen as they are meant to and enjoying them for what they are, rather than being disappointed for what they not. When I let life just go, doing my part by setting goals and taking actions, then each day brings an enjoyment that makes life an awesome experience.
It really doesn’t matter what you are doing if you appreciate what they are, it will be good, always. There are sad things that happen, and those are not going to be defined as “good” but they are happening, if you learn something from them then they are valuable. I do not know what 2015 is bringing but I look forward to it all.
- Getting Healthy is Hard but Rewarding- I am sure that many have learned this lesson. As you reach the end of your rope and know it is time to take control of your health and fitness. No matter what your goal, it can be difficult to get to the point that you want to get. Losing weight or just being healthier. The good news is that you will soon be reminded how good it feels to get a regular exercise period in your life. How happy it makes you and how much more you enjoy life because of it. I had the motivation to finally put all the excuses aside and start to work toward getting in better shape, and it has made my life a complete experience and has led to some daunting fitness goals in the new year. There is only one way to accomplish any fitness goal and that is one day at a time.
5. What you BELIEVE about yourself is a choice and can be changed as more information becomes available.
I have learned that most people are running their lives based on the beliefs that they established when they were very young. These beliefs were cultivated and developed because of the of the ideas of our parents, teachers and things as distant as the media. Our beliefs about success, love, and money have all been implanted in our minds and most folks never manage to question these things.
You can change all of these beliefs about yourself at any time that you wish. It takes a simple recognition of what beliefs you do have and how you would like to change them. Let your life experience dictate what you believe and not what someone else wanted you to think about yourself, your abilities and how enjoyable your experience of life is going to be.
6. Forgiveness is vital in moving forward in life. The most important person that you need to forgive yourself. There is nobody else’s opinion that matters as much to you and your life experience than yours. All people have regrets and have made mistakes, it is OK. Let go of the guilt and make choices today which are going to honor you, and really that is the only thing that you can control. The past is gone and it is never coming back, good or bad.
Once you truly forgive yourself then I have found that forgiving others is a lot easier. Forgiveness allows you to keep things in perspective and to move forward with life and to enjoy what you experience without comparing or contrasting it to previous events. Happiness is a choice that often begins with the choice to forgive others and most importantly yourself.
7. Being positive is a choice that you can make. Many people look at positive thinking in the wrong light I think. It is not only looking on the bright side of things, but it includes the way you perceive the world and all the events in it. There is a natural and simple contrast to what we view as negative and how you think is always a choice. If you look at someone and judge them in a negative light, it is just as simple and healthier to accept them as they are. Learning to practice substituting sympathy for cruelty, love for hate, generosity for greed or hope for fear. All of these things are simple choices that you make in every situation. Life will test you and no matter how hard you try there will be times when you fail and think things based on bias and prejudice. Each one of these situations provides you with the chance to grow and become a better person.
8. Its OK to be Afraid
All people experience fear, it is a natural part of life. How you deal with it is what is important. Facing what you are afraid of head on and honestly takes courage and hopefully, I have developed this type of strength over the past year. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of what other people think of you and what you do, etc. are all very real. There is no weakness in feeling these things as long as you face them, overcome them and take actions that you know are right. It does take bravery in many cases to be yourself but that is the only real way that you will experience a happy life.
I look forward to the changes and opportunities that I will have to be a better person in the new year.