As I start going over some goals and plans for the new year, and what I hope to accomplish, I’m reminded of what really matters to me and what I think makes for a happier life. I figured while I was writing anyways, I would write some down as a form of a New Year’s Wish for everyone.
In this coming year, I hope everyone remembers to create experiences, lasting moments, and wonderful memories instead of simply buying more things. Travel, spend time with the ones you love, laugh, get outside, and take in all the beauty that surrounds you at every moment. Don’t look to see what you can get in life, but rather what you can get out of life.
Do something you’ve never done before, or you haven’t done in a while. Lay down to watch the stars on a summer’s night, see the sun rise at the ocean, or the sun set on a mountaintop. Step out of your comfort zone a bit more and challenge yourself to do things you never thought you could do.
Use technology and social media less. Put down your phone, and experience life on real terms, face to face with people, instead of the headlines they choose to offer you. You appreciate people more when you get to know all the bad along with the good. Social media all too often can be a collection life’s greatest hits, but to truly connect with someone, you also need to know some of their pain. Help those along who would benefit from your guidance, and don’t forget those who did the same for you when you needed it most.
Add value to the lives of others and by doing so, you will be adding value to yourselves. Love. Unconditionally. Do something for others daily with no expectation of anything back in return. Forgive others and forgive yourself, and for goodness sake, smile more. At others, and at yourself when you look in the mirror to comb your hair, brush your teeth, or see your reflection in the rear view mirror of your car. Smile. Often.
Do the right thing. When the opportunity to make a choice arises, always chose the right thing to do, not the easy, convenient, greedy, or selfish choice. Live with honesty and integrity, for the benefit of others and for yourself.
If you are reading this, consider yourself among the lucky. You are breathing, probably reasonably well fed, and still have the capacity to leave an outstanding legacy built upon love, compassion, and kindness. Don’t squander that opportunity. Don’t squander your valuable time. We all matter, and we all important. We are all amazingly, wonderfully created beings capable of so much more than we think.
May the new year bring peace, happiness, joy, and love to you. I hope you learn from all the events you experience this year, both good and bad, as positive things in your life. I wish you good tidings filled with blessed and wonderful experiences.
To those of you complaining about 2016 finally being over, and can’t wait for 2017, I have the feeling you said the same about years past. At the end of a “horrible” 2015, you wished for 2016 to be your year, because the previous year couldn’t get any worse…
I have some advice for you. Enjoy now. Not 2017, not just the weekend, and not only the summer. Start taking control over what you do with your time, and your valuable energies. Did bad things happen to you? Bad things happen to everyone. Take the time this year to ease your expectations of how life should be, and accept it as it is. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want. It’s ok. Life is just life and does not obey your ego or commands.
Make 2017 a great year because you want to. Buy less junk, take more trips, learn what your priorities really are, and make the time to experience life instead of blaming it for your troubles and woes.
If you didn’t like 2016, then your reaction to the events that occurred during that time frame needs some adjusting. Life didn’t let you down in 2016, you did.
Hero: an individual that is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities - Google
I’ve had many heroes in my life, none which have yet to wear a cape. They’ve come in all different shapes, sizes, genders, and ages. It’s funny, for as many times as I’ve searched for a hero, I’ve had a hard time finding one. They often pop up when I least expect them, in the most unusual places. Their timing seems to be impeccable. Sort of like a “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” scenario. I guess heroes are much like teachers as well then, aren’t they?
I don’t view a hero as others might in the traditional sense. I think facing the fears that can plague any of us are heroic. People who dare to speak about things that nobody else will, or who can put their emotions out there for the world to see can be brave. Courage comes in many forms, it’s not always glamourous and it isn’t always leaping over tall buildings. For many, it can be simply leaving the house, or making a phone call.
In addition to tackling what scares us, I believe any act of selflessness, or kindness without possibility of repayment can be heroic. I think an individual who can make us see the potential in ourselves is a hero. I know, I’m afraid there’s no damsels in distress, no carrying a cool weapon by your side, and no superpowers. Sorry. I know Hollywood would have us to believe that heroes are incredibly physically beautiful, athletic, and beyond charming, but they aren’t. Most are noble though, and you certainly don’t need a pretty face or six pack abs to fit that bill. As a matter of fact, you’re probably a hero to someone and you don’t even know it.
Would you change the way you act, react, or respond to circumstances in life if you knew you were a hero? I would say most of us would never consider ourselves to be of that caliber, but think about this another way. Are you a mentor, teacher or leader? Not all of those are necessarily heroes, but the good ones are. Heroes not only save us from burning buildings, but also save us from something potentially far more devastating. Ourselves. Most of my heroes have saved me from myself more than once.
Heroes, in my opinion, are there to lift us up when we fall. To offer an positive example, encouragement, or a kick in the butt when we need it. They offer the unconditional, non-judgmental love that humans should be affording each other in times of distress or need. They lovingly guide and take the necessary time, nurturing us to grow. I think that’s something we’ve all done for someone at one point or another, and has been done for us.
We’re all quite capable of changing a life for the better, including our own. There’s not necessarily a uniform or outfit necessary (although if you want to wear a cape, I won’t stop you). So what can you do today or tomorrow to be a better hero? I say a better hero, because you honestly already are one. Stop thinking of yourself as helpless and start thinking of yourself as helpful.
Help, dare, encourage, save, and teach yourself and the others around you.
Please hero freely and hero often.
Let me be your tour guide to life. I'm the author of "Learning to be Human Again", and just like you, I'm still happily trying to figure this wonderful life out.