Ah, the New Year and the new beginning!
There are so many things about a new year that is inspiring, invigorating and hopeful! It brings the promise of new birth and new beginnings, new ambition, new ideas, new strength, new fortitude, and will.
We start off strong with the excitement and the promise of the new and something better than before. Some of us are so ready to shed 2017 that we forget to take notice of the good that did happen in this year that is coming to a close. “To heck with you 2017! You were a tough year and I am ready for something better in 2018!” It’s like throwing out your most comfortable sweater with holes and tears after it kept it warm and cozy for so long.
What if we do it differently this year. What if, before we close the door on 2017 and the things it did wrong to us, we begin with all of the things that we did right in 2017. What if we notice all of the things we are proud of and notice the places that we made a difference in our own lives, in the lives of our family, our neighbors, friends, community, workplace. We impact each other so much on a daily basis, just by giving a smile, a word of encouragement, an ‘atta boy/girl’ acknowledgment.
I have found through my work that we spend much time on noting the things we have done wrong, what didn’t work out so well, how we have no real impact on anyone and our little life really doesn’t serve the world at large.
That negative thinking, that thing about not acknowledging the things we did right or successfully is innate in us. Centuries ago, we did have to be on the lookout for everything that was “bad”, dangerous and life-threatening. Celebrating your success meant you got back to the cave with the deer and your family was still there….really!!
Our brains are set up to constantly be on the lookout for danger, an innate packaging that allows our body to have extreme speed and lightning quick reflexes when being chased by a tiger or another villager that wants what we have.
This is a good thing to have if you are being chased by the tiger, but we aren’t. So we find other things to feed this part of the brain with stress, worry, doubt, concern, etc. It is why we notice all the things we do poorly or wrong. We take note of it, even make sure we share with someone else how we screwed up today.
The good news is, those tiger chasin’ days are behind us. We really and truly can start focusing on what we have done well and correctly. We can start taking notice of the good we do in the world, even if that world is just our family or one friend. Don’t doubt for a moment that the good you do for just one person doesn’t have an enormous impact on the entire planet. Indeed it does! Our work doesn’t have to be the work of Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony.
Our work is individual and unique to us. Our work is the thing that lights us up, that gives us a feeling of accomplishment, that cheerfully chirps inside of us “HECK YEAH!! I DID THAT!!” And, yes, that means even the kick-ass dinner you cooked for yourself! Be proud of your work and your successes. Notice the good you do each and every day. That good can be slowing for the car that is trying to cut in front of you. Acknowledging the less than polite store clerk, sending love to the scowling ol’ man staring you down because of your less than perfect parking job.
2017 had many gifts for you and you gave 2017 many gifts and joys and reasons to smile….probably even laugh. Before you close the door on this year, take a look over your shoulder and make a note of all the good you did, all of your successes and I am willing to bet that you will probably even find some surprises of how truly miraculous your life really is.
Hello, 2018…This year I am bringing to you an even BETTER version of myself!