09/28/2011 12:30 pm ET Updated Nov 28, 2011

Stay Encouraged

A week into autumn is a clear catalyst for bidding adieu to another year. With winter ready to cast a cold sheet over the horizon, one must gaze forward, while looking back and consider whether the year past has proven to be substantial in your own personal growth.

Not mere predilections one way or another on our varied experiences, but rather an audit; unbiased and quite objective. Take a step back, or look down and take account of where you have come from in the past year and where you see yourself next year, or perhaps in five.

Will you continue to stammer on engaging the gym, reading that book, forgiving your enemies, appreciating your friends, getting better organized, spending less, eating more, or speaking up when required? Apprehension is a great tool when used properly, yet it can be crippling.Whether you know it or not you inevitably get to make a choice on whether your day will go well or not. One cannot shirk their responsibilities, however burdensome they may have become - bills, significant other, or that wretched boss (or professor). Consider that "a man (or woman) is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes." One might suppose that Gandhi had it right, we do have control over our thoughts.

Regardless of what you have been told in the past, and what you may hear in the future you ultimately have control. You control your smiles and tears, your hopes, and varied dreams. Yes, life does have it's way of throwing curve balls, but one must always remember to move forward, learn from the past, look to the future, and always stay encouraged.