With just a few hours left in 2012, a naturally contemplative person can only find himself…well, contemplating. What went well in 2012? What went wrong? Was the right stuff “right” because it was according to plan? Or did some of the best stuff to happen in 2012 happen as a deviation…something that wasn’t planned? Are there any regrets?
I’ve heard a few people talking about New Year’s Eve as a “letdown” holiday. The thought is that it’s over-hyped. And when I thought about it in terms of the partying or the big countdown, I thought, “Maybe they’re right.” But that’s not what the holiday is all about. It’s like taking Christmas as simply a time to get gifts. When you look at it like that, it’s easy to think of it as a letdown.
Each year represents a new chance. And each New Year’s Eve is a chance to reflect on the past. It’s just as important to reflect as it is to resolve. Desiring a change inherently indicates a reflection.
Some of the best stuff to happen to me in 2012 was unexpected. The more I went out of my comfort zone — and trusted myself, trusted my abilities and remained confident, the happier I ended up. That doesn’t mean the journey was easy or happy.
A great example: I played chess with my career. I trusted myself. I trusted others. I trusted my gut, which told me I was incredibly unhappy. I made a decision others didn’t agree with. And here I am, MUCH happier professionally than I was a year ago. It taught me that I deserve happiness, even in the workplace. And if I’m unhappy, I can try to fix it in whatever way works. And I can learn from my unhappiness, too. Yes, there are responsibilities, but we also have a responsibility to ourselves.
I’ve learned patience this year, too. I’ve learned that just waiting can be just as productive — or more productive — than acting. But there’s also a time to act. Thinking and planning go a long way, but sometimes you just have to do.
Perhaps the biggest thing I have to work on is also something I’ve improved this year: Confidence. As if I needed it, I gained more confidence professionally. But personally, I’m also more aware of what I bring to the table; to the world in general and to a significant other. Don’t worry, I won’t list all of my amazing qualities because I don’t want to make this post too long. But they exist. That said, I still need to be more confident at times.
So what else do I want for 2013?
– More love
– More exercise
– More fun outdoors
– More travel with amazing people
– More music, especially singing
– More theatre
– To be more up front
– To be more ambitious in all areas of my life
– To step out of my comfort zone more
– To be more strategic
– To be more spontaneous
Oh, and I guess world peace. I’m supposed to say that, right?
And what sage words of wisdom shall I impart to you, my three loyal readers, on the edge of this “New Year’s Cliff”? Relentlessly pursue more. Better. The best. In the pursuit of the best, we’ll hit bumps and we’ll get bruises, but it’s all part of the ride. It’s what shapes us. It’s what makes us enjoy the best when we get it. Otherwise, we’d be unappreciative and unknowing. We wouldn’t be prepared for the best. We wouldn’t even notice it.
Three of the best quotes I can think of right now that I want to consistently remember in 2013:
“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.” – Nicholas Sparks
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re usually right.” – Henry Ford
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
The things that have happened this year have proved to me that these quotes hold true. Hopefully, I can use them to make 2013 even more awesome than 2012. So, it seems, when you look at failures, regrets and loss as things to learn from and not things that shouldn’t have happened — and you actually learn from them — this isn’t such a lame holiday, after all.
Cheers to an amazing 2013, whatever it holds.
Let’s do this!