As the year dawns to a close and the media drowns you in the innumerable “Best of 2015” listicles; here is my wish for you. A wish that you find time and the guts to stop, look back and then look ahead:
You have been running like crazy and working your ass off the entire year making people happy and satisfying their needs. You deserve this. Take sometime off just for yourself, no one else, just yourself. An hour probably. Not much. Just some minutes.
I mean it, really look back. Look at how your year went. For each month, what were the highlights? Between you, the people around you and the experiences you had, what all stands out. Was it someone you met, a job you took, a project you released or a heart to heart with your child. Did you learn something new, made a new friend, helped someone out or had a bad fight?
For each one of these events, take a few moments and look at all the people involved, those that were somehow part of the this experience that’s etched in your memory. Were they nice to you? Were they the reason for that experience? Did they make it beautiful or worse?
Take another few moments and for each of these, try to recall all those seredipitous events, that lead to these events. Was it that somehow you and your client were together in the lift at the very same time and you took that chance on a making the first impression. Or that somehow you and your partner both found time to make that weekend trip at the last minute. And even those silly arguments that accumulated and led to the bitter breakup. There always are a lot of pieces that fall into place to make those paths collide and to resonate those feelings. Figure those out and admire the workings here. Frankly, there are no miracles and angels don’t exist. But if we really look, I think they are all around us.
Now that we have all this nostalgia bubbling over, can we sift and keep all the beautiful ones on one side and rest on the other.
Let’s start with YOU: what are you proud of achieving, creating, learning, providing and being this year. From helping an old lady understand subway maps to deploying your new website, everything counts. Appreciate yourself and feel good about all that you changed for the better this year. You did it! Wow! And while we are at it, lets also list down the things that we want to change soon about yourself say quit smoking, being more patient and relaxing a little more?
Now we come to the People around us: From the boss to the housekeeper, the irritating neighbours to the morose friend with whom you end up drinking all your weekends off, each one of those are a part of your world. Let’s start with the ones that matter the most, family and friends. How have they changed, grown over the year. Have you spent as much time and effort with them as their importance in your life. Did you hear all they said or didn’t. Can you recount all the small and big ways they made your life interesting this year. Is there someone who has gone far or a dear friend you haven’t talked for long? Do we need to make amends? Or is there someone who is just using you for some ulterior benefit? Do you feel better off being away from that incorrigibly bitter friend or that spit-fire ex-girlfriend. Is there something we can do to get rid of or bring peace to the energy and mood suckers. At the very least, lets spend more time and energy with those who bring love, honesty and trust. And keep the others where they belong.
Lastly, the Experiences we gained: Can we list out all the things we loved doing, the ones that made us alive and connected? Was it managing the team through that crisis, learning how to paint that mural or teaching a bunch of school kids the fundamentals of app design. Or may be it was the serene break you took when everything was falling apart to clear your mind, came back and won the world. What is it that shook your core and what is it that brought you peace. Let’s list out all those that we want to do over and over again and also those that were mistakes, never to be repeated.
Why are we doing this? Because if we can’t appreciate what we have and accept what we need to change, what’s the point of it all? A happy new year starts with a clean and sorted slate.