“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice… And to make an end is to make a beginning.” ~ T.S. Elliot
Aw, it is time once again to put last year to rest and start anew. Once again we have made the long trip around the sun and avoided burning up or hurtling out into frozen space. Yeah! We’re ahead of the game already and the year has barely begun.
It is also a time when we ruminate about the past year and wonder about the coming year – will it be better, worse, the same? And as always we have the choice to make these ruminations productive or …not. Here’s a tip, avoid not.
Here is what “not” looks like: Long, depressing periods thinking about all of the bad luck that came your way last year, the decisions you wish you hadn’t made, the relationships you wish you had avoided, the money you lost, the debt you incurred…. What is wrong with a little cathartic wallowing? Just this, and I’ll quote Emerson. “You become what you think about all day long.” And this is only one of hundreds of quotes from very smart, very successful people that communicate the same message.
If you focus on everything that went wrong last year, and, if “you become what you think about all day long,” you have become the lead role in Groundhog Day, doomed to repeat, in this case, the same mistakes, the same bad choices, the same “bad luck” year after year after year.
Don’t get depressed! The “not” is not necessary. We are, after all, intelligent people with aspirations and dreams. Understanding the rules as articulated above by Emerson, you have the free will to CHOOSE not to focus on what is wrong with your life. You can CHOOSE to focus on what is right. Instead of projecting the worst of your life forward, project the best. In his book on raising healthy children, Wayne Dyer suggested that we “catch them doing something right.” By focusing on and commenting on their positive behavior, they tend to repeat that behavior – petting the dog instead of cutting her hair with mommy’s scissors.
In the arena of personal growth, reviewing last year has only two productive purposes: learning lessons necessary to move forward in a positive manner, and congratulating yourself for everything that you did right. Then, of course, you want to build on your right moves by creating a vision for the coming year. Focus on that vision with passionate certainty and you will have an amazing year.
Happy New Year!