One of my all time favorite thinkers is Joseph Campbell who said “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” One of the bravest things you can do is let go of something you thought was important to create room for something better. This is hard because at first you can’t clearly see the trade-off. You might have to give up the security of a job for the chance to start your own business. “You can’t steal second if you won’t take your foot off first” - attributed to so many people I don’t know who originally said it. You can’t know for certain what the outcome will be, but if you don’t take the chance, you may “lead a life of quiet desperation.” (Thank you for your eloquence, Thoreau.)
It may not just be job related, but relationship related. You may hang on to certain people (family, friends, customers, etc.) because they are there, not because they bring you anything of value. Letting go of the mediocre (or even the bad!) creates room for the extraordinary. Are you thinking, “Better the Devil you know, than the Devil you don’t know?” I say, “Quit hanging out with Devils, you blockhead!” I bet you already know what or who to let go of, you’re just afraid to do it. Joseph Campbell also said, “Follow your bliss.” Not your guilt. You have a year, you gonna spent it on first base with a bunch of Devils?
The most commonly made New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. If this was your last year, would you spend it worrying about your weight? Or would you get so absorbed in living that your weight didn’t matter? Many of the reasons for overeating - boredom, loneliness, stress - wouldn’t be problems if you were living an exciting, engaging, Devil-free life. The best way to lose weight is to get a life that’s more exciting than food. (Yeah, you can attribute that one to me too.) So instead of trying to find that new diet plan or that amazing new workout routine, know thyself and turn your attention to something that might actually work - alleviate your boredom, loneliness, and/or stress.
Ah - here’s a great one: “Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius.” - An Wang. Think how successful we’d all be if we just used our common sense. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Treat other people the way you would like to be treated. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t text, drink, or go seatbeltless when you drive. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Someone who lied to you yesterday will probably lie to you today. But no, we cast common sense to the wind - spending money we don’t have, texting while we drive, and believing those who have repeatedly lied to us. Fire up your good old common sense - you might be amazed where it will take you.
All the years that have come before are over. There is a bright new year awaiting you. Are you going to live it or just get through it? Your year will be as exciting, as successful and as fun as you choose to make it. And if it’s the last one, let’s go out in a blaze of glory - running to second for all we’re worth, leaving the Devils behind!
Have a happy, happy 2012 everyone!!!! And thanks for reading!