2017 is gonna kick ass! “or kick butt” as my friend Eric corrected me when I offered this at the end of a New Year’s toast in front of his young kids! I didn’t have the heart to argue at the time, but 2017 actually IS gonna kick ASS. He can kick butt if he wants to, but he better stay out of the way of my buzz-saw. I’m killin’ it over the next 12 months.
Sometimes I feel the need to justify my optimistic nature and comments. Maybe people think I’m just a slick salesman peddling my goods. Now that I think of it, there are worse things to be peddling than optimism!
I’m wired for optimism. My mom and dad told me over and over again when I was little, and still today, “you can do anything”. That’s a powerful idea. And I believe it. It’s true.
I’ve received my share of “you aren’t good enough”, “you will fail”, “don’t do it” messages in my life; just like you. I’ve felt downright bad and worthless from time to time. We get bombarded with negative and restrictive messages our entire lives. Unfortunately, we absorb most of it and it becomes part of what we believe in our subconscious selves. If the average person received half the encouraging and positive messages as they receive negative and discouraging messages, the average person would also be able to do anything! Besides, most discouraging comments are bullshit: they’re just plain not true!
I admire people that continuously learn and grow. I use the New Year personally as an opportunity to re-up on goals and commitments to myself and others. I’m not reinventing myself or making wholesale changes because I don’t need to. I believe in steps.
Think of someone that you admire. Someone that accomplished something amazing might come to mind. I assure you that whatever they accomplished, if in fact it is worthy of admiration, it was the result of perseverance and hard work. Big things are accomplished step by step, often boring and repetitive steps. Rewind and study the 20 years prior to any amazing accomplishment, and I’m certain you will find thousands and thousands of seemingly unimportant and insignificant actions taken by a person or people. On any given day, week or month it didn’t feel to them like they were getting anywhere, but because they believed, they knew they probably were getting somewhere and that was enough to keep going. And they believed because someone taught them to.
Just because it’s a New Year doesn’t change that. All I can do today – still amounts to taking steps. What I want can’t be had in a day! I am on track in my life. I am constantly tweaking slightly, but most of what I hope to accomplish and experience is already in my path ahead. The big work is to keep going down that path diligently and believe when the world conspires to convince me I’m wrong.
Often I am thinking specifically about routines and habits at the beginning of a new year. What we do day after day automatically pretty much predicts what’s going to happen in our lives. If I am intentional about my habits, I can do things that take years or decades, or maybe even requires future generations to pick up and finish or move forward.
It’s possible that today’s “everything at our fingertips” culture overemphasizes the right now and the new and flashy and underemphasizes the importance of the sometimes boring, plodding work that makes things happen. I’ve been blessed enough to latch myself to something fun and growing that gives rewards along the way; little signs that we’re kicking butt 🙂 and accomplishing big things one step at a time.
It’s true that I say every year is gonna kick ass, but every one so far has been!
This year, consider changing something, but more importantly consider staying on track. Commit yourself to persevering on a course you already believe in and are already on. Yes, my message is to kick ass one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.
And encourage someone in your life today that needs it. We all need it.
It’s sure sunny outside,