THE BLOG
01/03/2012 05:04 pm ET | Updated Mar 04, 2012

Secret to Success In The New Year? Listen to Yourself

With each new year, all of us reflect upon our lives. We attempt to grow, learn and become inspired to improve ourselves. If you are like me, you tell yourself things like, "I will work out more, I will read more, I will spend more time with friends and family, I will push myself to limits beyond where I have been before."

Many of us are on a quest to find that place of serenity to balance the at times overwhelming pressures in life. We begin the year with an ardency that could light monuments. A part of us feels each January as if there is a fresh slate to accomplish long-held dreams and goals we have failed to have the discipline and time to complete. Some of us are seeking to heal from injuries to the soul and spirit caused by loss and change. Others are razor-focused on the triumphant next phases of success.

We have an annual accord with Amazon.com or our local bookstores to purchase the latest best sellers on diets, exercise, meditation, relationship consultation, fiscal management and career advice. Motivational speakers and expert voices fill our heads with encouraging examples and personal experiences that tell us we can accomplish and overcome anything we set our minds to, that we can maximize our potential against any odds. Is this all reality? Or are we setting ourselves up repeatedly to fail?

Each of us needs only to reach into our own lives to find inspiration. The discovery that takes you to where you dream of being may just be within yourself. Perhaps deep counseling is necessary, but perhaps, just perhaps, if we test ourselves, we may awaken both frightening and distinguishing aspects of our inner spirits. Each of us has them, even at our darkest times, or when someone or some experience has seemed to zap all of what we have out of us. We need to teach ourselves to be more self reliant, to dig within to find out what our true desires are, even if our goal is to simply eat less carbs, though typically our goals and needs are much more significant than this if we are truly honest with ourselves.

It is only after we look within ourselves that others can help us and that inspirations that have left a mark on our memories can make sense. Once we find this inspiration within us, assistance can actually transform our efforts into actionable results and lead us to finding the comfort and completion that we are looking for. I clearly do not know this because I am an expert. I have witnessed some really spectacular people discover this that will never be authors of books or have their stories known in a public way. Some of the most fascinating people overcome some amazing obstacles, and they really have themselves to thank.

A hammer is needed to drive a nail into a block of wood, but you still have to pick it up, aim and provide the energy needed. The hammer is a tool, not the creator of the result. We are all risk takers; even the most conservative of us wants to be. We may just not know how to connect the dots to figuring ourselves out, and as a result we form bad habits that become our own norms and ways of functioning. Eternally, we vow to ourselves to make changes in our lives. Everyday we feel something. We feel happy, we feel sad, we feel energized, we feel tired. None of this is right, none of this is wrong. What is wrong is for any of us to not be the pioneers of our own lives. I encourage us all to make the New Year's resolution to spend more time discovering and experimenting with who we are and what drives us. You just may find that permanent change or growth you are looking for is not in that book or television show, but right there inside of you.