Here we are at the start of another year. 2016 was wild, from the loss of legendary artists and entertainers, to seeing our nation elect its first reality tv star as president. This year has been nothing less than bizarre. This year tore apart our expectations and taught us tough lessons, but we made it through.
Just Do It
The iconic Nike tagline is genius because it’s simple but extremely effective advice. I have always been someone who can get so caught up in the planning of an idea that I often burn out before the first action item is ever completed. While planning is needed to accomplish goals effectively, sometimes the best way to learn your craft is to just do it, and figure it out along the way. We plan because we don’t want to fail but often times failure is our best teacher on what we can do to become better. So stop chit chatting, stop “trying” and get it done.
Yes 2016 was a shitty year, or at least it felt like it. The numerology points to the number 9 (2+0+1+6) and tells us to expect transformation. Is change easy? Hardly. Is it expected? Yes. We are only given two promises in life, that we will die, and that things will change. Discomfort is the key to growth, so we must push forward in the New Year and keep going. I started school this fall, and my first quarter was tough, but I’m not going to quit, I’ll pick up the pieces learn from my mistakes and be better next quarter. Nothing worth having comes without a little effort, and while this paragraph is full of clichés they all apply and they’re all true.
Fuck the Isms
It’s hard not to get discouraged by the racism, sexism, and bigotry displayed in this country over the course of the last two years. Election season was brutal this time around and our country has spoken on how it truly feels about multiculturalism in America. The reality is these systems of oppression affect us all but they can’t stop a freight train. That train being you. Don’t let the ideas of being marginalized actually cause you to marginalize yourself. Your thoughts are more powerful than any outside influence and we must practice positive self-talk and affirmations to keep our spirits high. Your soul is other worldly so don’t let anything of this world stop you from accomplishing your goals.
Keep Your Heart Open
The world has a way of making our hearts heavy, whether it’s dealing with abusive personalities, getting stabbed in the back by someone close to you, or just feeling as if you keep getting slighted by everyone and everything it can be hard to keep your heart open. Remember that you are only responsible for you and your feelings. If you let the actions of others change the ways of your heart, then you’re becoming more like them and losing yourself. Practice meditation, prayer, take a walk, and get some exercise. Keep your mind focused on what blessings are in your life instead of who and what’s wrong. Don’t close yourself off to new experiences and meeting new people just because your past experiences have been negative. Learn to read red flags but give everyone an equal opportunity to show you their intentions.
Make Peace with the Present
Sometimes life just doesn’t go the way we planned for it to go and sometimes we feel stuck. When you feel stuck in life, it seems like there are no options to feel unstuck. I had this problem this year, I wanted to chase my creative endeavors but needed more time and skills to do so, I’m not in a position to quit my 9-5, and the visual design program I wanted to enroll in requires me to be in school full time. How do you manage? Where can you turn when all seems to be wrong with life, but the options to fix it are minimal? A good friend told me in these times, it’s best to be still. Take a second to assess your life currently. Celebrate the parts of your life you enjoy, and find small action items to change the parts you’re struggling with. I took two classes toward finishing my degree, I failed one and passed the other with a B. Does it suck to have failed a class? Yes, but the bigger picture is I went back to school after a 4 year break and I did my best. I’ll take this quarter off and be more mentally prepared next quarter. I’m able to gauge and assess how much time I’ll have to complete assignments and study. We have to be okay with our present situation in order to think clearly about what our next move should be.
I hope this year is a good one for all of you. I’m off to a stellar start, I have a new position with a company that aligns with my greater career goals and I finally feel like I know what it is that I want to do. I hope you all find these 5 lessons helpful and may 2017 bring you a lot of peace and a ton of prosperity.