‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”— Henry David Thoreau
Each New Year we resolve to improve ourselves. We reflect on what went well during the past year and what we could have done better.
Many people resolve to improve their health by losing weight, exercising more, and eating healthier.
Others think about how they might improve relations with the people in their lives. To recognize past faults. Perhaps they’ll vow to be a little more patient, listen more and speak less, take the time to understand another’s viewpoint rather than rushing to judgment. Some will push themselves to perform better at their job, on the playing field or in the arts, so that their truest and best self shines through.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,” Oscar Wilde wrote.
If you are pushing to be your best self, life will not be easy. You can’t get any better simply by doing what you always have done, living comfortably and safe. You’ve got to take chances and when you take chances inevitably you fall down. Progress happens when you stand up, brush yourself off and try again.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure … than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat,” President Theodore Roosevelt said.
This is a good time to take an honest look in the mirror and ask whether you are living the life you have chosen for yourself or simply being swept along on a sea of other people’s needs and expectations and the crisis of the day.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote.
In the coming year, I want to encourage you to embrace the struggle, to fight to be your best self.
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself,” William Faulkner wrote.
Believe in yourself. Because I believe in you.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning,” Mohandas Gandhi wrote.
We only have so many new years in our lives, only so many opportunities to start fresh. Make this your year. As I have said before- DREAMS HAVE EXPIRATION DATES.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough,” Mae West said.
As we seek to improve ourselves, let us also strive to lift up those around us. Let’s remember the simplest and best advice ever given to create a happy and successful life: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”
Please have a truly happy and fulfilling 2014.
Happy New Year.
Peace to All
- Henry David Thoreau – YouTube star? (csmonitor.com)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson on letting go (belovebelieve.wordpress.com)
- Walden Revisited: Thoreau and Contemplating Snow (babsjeheron.wordpress.com)