This article is not, in any way, meant to be pessimistic. I, personally, have never actually welcomed "New Year's" as an exciting event. I have always had a quieter, melancholy outlook towards it. With that being said, I have never really understood the hoopla. It is, after all, just another day of the year; but, New Year's, to me, is a day that emphasizes the swift passing of time and, truly, I don't really need another reminder. Many days I wake up, as the days and weeks just seem to fly by, wanting to yell, "Can someone please slow this place down?" In light of these observations, I want to continue this writing about making the most of every day.
Myself and 17 contributors recently published a book entitled, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life. In a lot of my reading and research, it is evident that quality of life and happiness remains evasive for a great percentage of our American population. As a matter of fact, when I wrote the book, I chose to name chapter two, "We Are All Tortured Souls." In our book, we each discuss our search for quality of life, our years spent as "tortured souls," and what we learned over time that enabled us to shift our thinking so we can have a better life. Our stories were intended to help others not make the same mistakes we had made and to empower readers to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move forward -- hopefully saving them some years of being a "tortured soul," and hopefully to give them a "spark" or an ability to learn from our lessons learned so they could enjoy life a little sooner.
So, what am I getting at? All of us are here for a defined time. None of us lives forever. The point is that I believe it is up to us to choose whether we want to embark on a self-destructive behavior: to live our days feeling badly about ourselves; to live our days hating others; to live our days in a job we hate; to remain in a living situation that is toxic. With these examples I am sure you get the idea and can, hopefully, identify something in your life that is, perhaps, bringing you down or holding you back from the evasive "quest for happiness." I believe it is up to us to change our thinking, to set some goals, and to make the most of every day.
Unfortunately, life does not come with an instruction manual, but that has become my mission. As a past "tortured soul" who spent almost 40 years "blaming others," I have rededicated my life to helping others discover that it is truly up to us to create our lives and to accept responsibility for our destiny. It is up to us to have an alarmist outlook that makes us feel badly, or to make up our minds that we are responsible for our own happiness. It is up to us to decide if we want to make excuses about why we can't succeed or move forward to be all we can be creating a hard life, or it is up to us to make things change and happen to shift our lives for what we perceive to be better.
As I close this excerpt, I'd like to utilize an analogy of life as money in a wallet. Without our knowing how much, a defined amount of "money" automatically comes out of our wallet each and every day. That is a "payment" for one day in our life. Unfortunately, we don't know how much "money" is actually in our wallet or how much "money" still remains after each day. With this visualization, how do you want to "spend" for your day? With this visualization in mind, I believe it is up to each and every one of us to spend wisely. Act as the "chairman of the board of directors" to determine how your "money is spent," and "spend" to enjoy your day -- every day -- and to change things in your life in order to do just that.
Time ticks by so quickly. I challenge you to make what you "spend" every day in this "new year" of possibilities count.