Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year, Same Old You

Much as I love the Holidays I won't lie to you, I don't like New Year's. It's not because I don't like the notion of change, renewal, or a sort of rebirth almost, but what I like least of all is the notion that who you are right now isn't enough and that the person you might become will be better than the person you see when you look in the mirror this morning. By those standards none of us will ever be enough, for ourselves, for our friends, family, society, whatever it may be. We judge and measure ourselves based upon an image of personal perfection that we'll never be able to live up to because when tomorrow becomes today you're going to be just as critical.

When all the inevitable motivation posts hit the web today through the end of the week titled "New Year, New You". Don't read them. I can guarantee not one of them is going to tell you something you didn't already know, be it about yourself or about the world or about what you need to do to change the person you're tired of being. What's most important is that you know the person you are right now, in this moment, is enough. They're enough to make the change.

We have no other option than to live in the present. Make amends for any of your past wrong doings but carry no regrets. The past is the past and will never catch back up to the present. It's time to let it go.

Make plans for the changes you'd like to see in yourself but know that those changes will not come tomorrow. Change is the result of hard work plus time, and time is always a variable. Whatever this change is you want to see in yourself in the new year know that it might not come in a week, in a month, even in an entire year, but it will come. What's important is to continue working hard toward it. The work is what's important, not necessarily the change.

What humbles men and women is not the rewards for their work, but the work itself. The quickest way to cause someone to lose their faith is to answer all their prayers. When someone has everything they want, what need have they for faith, for God, for anything? You must remain hungry for change, constantly. The only way to remain grounded, humble, and successful is to never stop working as hard as you can toward whatever it is you want and to never give up. If you obtain the thing you're working for, set a new goal. Life's not done with you yet. There's only one end and none of us want to meet it prematurely. So until that end arrives, stay hungry. Always.

Know that you can never be anyone other than who you are in the present, so you have no other option than to either be pleased or displeased with that person. Simple as that. If you can't be anyone else then work on ways to love yourself more because you deserve to be loved, not just by others but by you. No one will be a harsher critic or a more proud supporter of you than yourself.

In life you're either going to be your own best friend or you biggest enemy. Quit working against yourself and get out of your own way when oftentimes it's us standing in our own path to success. There's a talented, powerful, incredible individual inside each of us and you've got to let them out, but first your biggest enemy needs to get out of the way and if they don't you've got to force them aside. Break down walls, kick through doors, burn down buildings of the mind and spirit if that's what it takes to locate and bring out the you, you truly can be. Stop at nothing, and I mean nothing, to find that person. They're only hiding because you put them there. Because you were afraid. The first step toward true change is overcoming your fears. Fear can keep you hungry but it can also get in the way. Find the balance.

Be prepared and grateful when you fail, it's a learning experience. Failure is not the end and it isn't necessarily a step backward. Failure is fuel for the fire. It'll burn, it'll hurt, and it might scar, but it's a visual and visceral reminder of what you've learned on the road of life. And this road is not comfortable or easy either. It's bumpy, rocky, jagged, and switch backed. If the road to change and subsequently the road of life were a straight shot it'd be boring and you'd be a single celled organism. But you're not. You're a living, breathing human being. Be glad that you are capable of making mistakes and rectifying them. Crazy as that sounds it's a sign that you're special and different from the rest of the animal kingdom. If you stumble or fall, bow your head, grit your teeth, and get back up. Every day is not you working closer toward the end, it is you beginning your journey anew with each dawn. Recognize that and be glad for it. The past is gone and the future will never come. All you have is who you are right now.

If you have a desire to make changes in your life, cast away the notion of the "New Year, New You" which is dreadful for your psyche and your health. If you want to make a change, don't wait for January 1st or for Monday or for the first of the following month. Change starts now. Not tomorrow, not next week, and not five minutes from now. Throw away your New Year's resolution and make a resolution for life. Remember in life that the only constant is change. So why resist it? They say "be the change you want to see in the world", but don't neglect yourself trying to please everyone else. Most important on the road to change is the self must come first to give you the proper perspective on how to change the world. If you can't change yourself how can you expect to change anyone else?

If your resolution gets off track, stop. Don't just blindly barrel on down that road until it becomes a dead end and you're forced to turn around and come back. If you're trying to work out more, lose weight, eat better, study more, drink less, be a more devoted spouse or partner, whatever it is, if it gets off track stop and reassess. Take your lumps but buck up and keep the faith. If you remain hungry, you'll always find a way back onto your resolute path.

The value of your life is not necessarily measured by your successes but by how you respond to your mistakes.

Be where you are right now. Be present. Be mindful. Be grateful for your life and take heart knowing the person you will become is not imaginary. That person is you right now, but you've got to work to reveal them. Every successful woman and man started as a massive slab of marble. The beautiful sculpture lies waiting inside to be revealed. It's there. I promise. Maybe it's only an idea or a concept at the moment, but you've got to start chipping away at the exterior in or to reveal it. Achieving a higher sense of self and purpose is not an ethereal reward bestowed upon you from the heavens after the work has been done, you've got to give the rewards to yourself.

If God truly does has a "plan" for us, it's up to us to make that plan. No one else is pulling your strings. You have free will. It's up to you to decide whether or not that's a blessing or a curse.

There is no heavier burden to bear than that of a great potential. Feel it. Let it tear you, rip you, and take you down. Feel it's weight as it crushes you. That's good. That's fire. That's your fire. That's the weight of the amazing person you can become. Now bite down, brace yourself, and stand up. Don't try to put the fire out because it burns, fan the flames and let it scorch the person you used to be. From those ashes will arise the person you know you can become.

This person you're destined to become is locked away inside and only you have the key. They're not waiting for the world to change around them, they're not waiting for your family to change or for your friends to change, they're waiting on YOU to change. Make the change, unlock the door, and let them out.

Live a life others would want to read as a book.

Happy New Year everyone. Don't wait until tomorrow. The future is forever becoming the present. Live in it and be happy with who you are now because that person is enough, but know each passing moment is a step further on your road to becoming your best self. It's going to hurt and it's going to be hard. Good. If it were easy we'd all just quit.

Don't forget that cliches exist because they're truthful. Like all the cliches you just read above.


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