If, like me, you've been bombarded by lists of inspirational tid-bits advocating positive thinking or the horrors of dairy since midnight on the 31st, you're probably feeling pretty pumped right now, either that or you've culled every single Facebook friend who sent you a smiling picture of the Dalai Llama or a soft focus picture of someone doing yoga.
If you really need inspiration, why not turn to the one thing that is always there for us -- alcohol -- and look at what a lifetime of imbibing can teach us.
1) Anything is possible.
I once saw a guy kick himself in the eye; own foot -- own eye! Witnessing this overwhelmed me with the sense of infinite possibility in this magical world of ours. If a man attempting a late night Cancan could temporarily blind himself in one optic with his own suede shoe, then what too can we achieve if suitably motivated?
2) It's never too late to change.
There's a certain herbal liqueur which lurks in the freezer and tastes like violent crime. Before this syrupy German beverage became the drink of students and successful business people who need to be passed out by ten, it was very popular with the Nazi's, so much so that it was affectionately known as Goring Schnapps. Only goes to show it's never too late to reinvent yourself.
3) We can survive anything.
Some things demonstrate the enduring resilience of the human spirit. I once fell off a bar and impaled myself on my own wallet. Had I been sober I would have lost at least one testicle to an America Express card. As it was I don't even remember the impact and the bruise itself vanished after a week or two and a couple bottles of Arnica cream. The only long term effect is I can now predict thunder using only my left ball, but as Churchill said "we only have to endure to conquer.'
4) Love really is all around.
Alcohol releases our fluffy inner emotions, allowing us express things we were never able to put into words before. After a few drinks people the world over grasp the sweaty backs of old friends and say 'I love you, man' whilst finding new and previously unknown emotional resonance in the music of Jon Bon Jovi. Here's to you sweaty cuddlers.
5) Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
I once witnessed a man who appeared to have been living off pork rinds for the last couple years go home with a woman who could have modeled for Victoria's Secret. Whether this was a confirmation of miracles, the work of evil mind control, or the most benevolent act of charity imaginable, I just don't know, but I found myself inspired by his inner beauty and/or her sacrifice.
6) Not all change is good.
As the latest Guinness advert so ably demonstrates.
7) A mistake today is a kick ass story tomorrow.
It's tempting to think of the time you tried to kiss your boss, streaked past a nunnery, or publicly fellated a bottle of unoaked Chardonnay as a bad, bad thing, but stop that negative thinking right now! All great heroes have regrets but still shoulder the burden of taking their rightful place in history, as must you. Bar room heroes of the world we salute you.
8) There's always someone with a smile on their face just for you.
Your local bartender is clearly not doing this for the money, odds are it's because they like people, or setting fire to things, or just don't dig mornings. Either way there really is a place out there where everyone knows your name, you've just got to find it.
9) Alcohol, like friendship, is best enjoyed responsibly.
Drinking is proof that people have forgiving natures. In fact I'd like to take the opportunity to apologize to a few of my friends right now; Matthew for throwing up in his classic Fender electro acoustic guitar; Mark, Don and Alex for placing my flaccid member on the table in front of them and demanding they pay for the experience. Wow I feel better already. This confession thing rocks!
10) Sometimes you just need to take a moment.
Everything moves so fast these days, which is even more reason to enjoy drinks that demand a little time and patience; from swirling a nice Cognac, to sipping a single malt. In fact, next time you're in a busy bar why not order an Old Fashioned; damn thing takes 10 minutes to make, but ignore the hostile looks of your server and rise above the abuse and hurled projectiles of your fellow patrons to enjoy a moment and a great drink.
Happy new year.
Has alcohol taught you a particularly inspiring lesson? Let us know in the comments section below, at bezerkskrankenhaus.com, or via twitter @bezerkskhaus
Follow Dan Miles on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bezerkskhaus