The magic of the holidays are once again fading as another new year gets lost deeper in the 2017 calendar. Someone commented on cable television that if only the celebratory mood, goodwill, carefree hours and ample food and drinks could last all year round. That is synonymous with the writer who penned the wish that every day should be Christmas Day.
Well, the reality is that every day is not a holiday. I suppose the last week in December and the first week in January are the days when the inner urge to believe in the empowerment of self through resolutions is at its strongest. But soon after the public holiday of January 1, and the world seems to disembark from the fantasy of best wishes and peaceful co-existence that it fights so contagiously to create each year, the dreariness and imperfections of the human culture once again nibble away at your consciousness. Who knows, maybe some people who dislike the holidays, or who don’t celebrate them, do so for this very reason: they believe in their simple wisdom of not giving themselves an end of year “high” only to have to jump off to a crashing low on January 2nd. Prevention is always better than cure, isn’t that so?
But a fundamental challenge still exists. How do you brace yourself to face the onslaught of the upcoming twelve months? Can the good intentions of those new year’s resolutions carry their weight? Unfortunately, we all know that by the time February slips around many of us are already soiled and buffed by daily work and personal activities that we unconsciously laugh at ourselves for having been foolish enough to having adopted a “new year new you” philosophy.
Is it really a waste of time to try to change ourselves or our lifestyles at the beginning of the year? Are such yearly ambitions doomed to failure, a mere reshuffling of the chairs on the deck of the Titanic?
I suggest that the problem is we tend to put faith in the calendar time period of the holidays as well as the human camouflage of a purposefully feel-good campaign of goodwill to all men. When we do that, we miss a universal truth which whispers in our ears every day of the year. The power to change is always present in every human being. Our failure is that we marginalize and trivialize the key ingredient of our will power.
Think about it. Don’t you make decisions during the rest of the year? Don’t you follow through with these decisions which result in necessary change and betterment of your living conditions? Those decisions are impactful because we determined in ourselves not to deviate from them. We make up our minds that we will not falter.
Similarly, life changing decisions can be made at the end or the start of any year. We just have to make sure that the decisions are being made, not on the man-made high of the fairy tale holiday season, but on our own desire for really being different and wanting a better existence. If we truly look at the man in the mirror and make up our own minds about wanting to do something to make us better off then we can make such a decision in January, June or November.
The beginning of the year is as a good a time as any to ask ourselves what we really want. Reflect on your situations and decide the personal outcome which you would want to see become your reality. I was inspired last year when a graduate student said that the best way to plan for the future is to create it. Those are powerful words. There comes a time when we must come to an awareness that it is our duty to create and own the upcoming days, weeks, months and years in our lives. But as most of us begin to grow into our own, because we are not accustomed making life changing decisions for ourselves, we somehow procrastinate and look for a green light of permission from other people around us.
That is a habit which we must stop with immediate effect. Just as persons who would have been in the arena of success have made their own decisions, you who have not before known success have that same human right and responsibility to master your destiny through your decisions. And there is no better time to start that today.
Yes, home and work responsibilities, coupled with environmental stress, will continue to permeate our lives in 2017. The headlines making news are probably not going to get any better either. The possibility of some new “mosquito-borne” disease is also likely to be named this year, too.
But nothing that is happening around you can deter or stop the decision that is made within you.
Again, the question is being asked: What do you want for yourself and your life in 2017? After you have answered that question, know to yourself that you have the ability to do what it takes to make your answer your 2017 reality. There might have to be hours of hard, non-enjoyable work, but work hard anyway. You might have to burn the midnight oil while everybody else is sleeping, but stay up late anyway.Very few months or years will pass without soe form of human conflicts, quarrels or arguments, but pick your quarrels and confrontations astutely, and battle on anyway. After all, didn’t even the Bible, through the wisest man, say that there is a time for peace and a time for war?
In fulfilling the legacy of the made up mind we must never forget that the next December will come. Now this might seem like foolish thinking in March and July, but if there is one fact that is irrefutable it is this: time does not stop moving. No matter how good or how bad right now may be, time will continue to move on. If you don’t believe me, just look at your watch. Isn’t the seconds quietly ticking away? Then surely, the time of your payoff will come.
So, if you know that time cannot stop in the present, then your fuel that drives your passion must be that when that future time comes in December, you will be in a position to enjoy the future reality which you decided you wanted for yourself in January.
Although I’m using the new year’s resolution practice as the main argument here, the same principle applies in every area of life, in every situation. If you are hoping to pass exams in June, make up your mind now to push ahead; June will come and you will pass. If it is a matter of health, of wealth, of family, of community or of longevity, make up your mind right now and don’t back down when the going gets tough. You will find it easier to carry on with your made up mind’s decision because you already expected the tough times.
But remember as they say–tough times don’t last but tough people do.
So whatever road you are on at the start of 2017, let’s raise our glasses of a made up mind and drink to the situations of the next twelve months which we would look back on at this time next year as the defining times that cemented our better future. Happy new year, everybody.