Happy New Year 2016! Though it’s past the first of January the year is still fresh with optimism, new resolutions for improvement and accomplishments that could happen in the next twelve months. December 31 still seems so far away and that makes many, including me, feel there’s so much time to make “it” happen. Many are caught up in a dreamy state of mind. Maybe it is dreaminess that shoves us boldly to list resolutions that are ambitious. There is nothing wrong with ambition and the inspiration that drives it. And if you want another chance to make resolutions and change ambitions you can go for February 8, Chinese (Asian) New Year of the Monkey! I can tell it’s going to be a barrelful of “monkey shines” in the upcoming election year <laughing out loud>.
A lot of people started looking for a new job at the beginning of 2016, including me. I’ve been very lucky to not have a formal nine-to-five for the nearly three years and survived financially and most importantly, creatively. It’s very difficult to see myself saddled with a rigid schedule and projects that are assigned to me by another… not a choice of my own. The view of being “back-in-the-saddle” looks very uncomfortable, though I cannot deny a generous salary would make the saddle much more comfy.
The “ride” should be enjoyable and – if I am to stay with this reference for a bit longer – as the rider, I am an experienced one who must trust the horse I ride and it trust me. As an expert rider, I know how to guide my horse to where I want it to go, stay on it and experience the ride successfully together. It’s essential that the ride is an expedition of wonder and joy. Whether this metaphor magnificently translates into a new job for me is still a possibility. Like many people, I watched the 2016 Rose Parade, where there were many equestrian groups parading and the theme “Find Your Adventure,” I’ve adopted for my 2016 year. Applying the theme to the job market is challenging and tricky. Landing a job that’s an adventure I can enjoy and where I can be creative and creatively independent is the only new resolution I’ve made, so far. Certainly I am going to compromise and adjust my expectations and direction as I ride forward in my search and as the adventure develops.
Apprehension and disappointment are common and creeps in with the commitment and formal resolve to “keep” New Year’s resolutions. Eventually circumstances beyond our control occur or do not occur in the days ahead. How does a person deal with that? One helpful way to keep going in the face of challenges is to keep changing. Viewing every day as a New Year’s day – although that means every night could be a New Year’s Eve, but perhaps we should not get wasted and party till dawn too often – but if we do start anew every day we can change directions, start a new resolution or just keep going the way we have. This is a way to reduce the number of regrets we can accumulate that weight us down emotionally and intellectually.
I watched Steve Harvey on his TV talk show a month ago and he mentioned he does not make “New Year’s” resolutions. Steve Harvey just makes a commitment to change or begin a goal to achieve anytime the idea or thought comes to him, it does not have to be a special day. However, we can make any day special designating it as such when we have an epiphany or some sort of great idea that makes us say, “Yes, I am going to do this thing now because I am excited!”
Leading up to 2016 I had many fine improvements and serendipitous discoveries in the last few months of 2015. One was the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo. I discovered Marie’s book when my book, “You’ve Heard These Hands,” the biography of Don Randi, was published and I searched to find out what the current number one book was on the NY Times best seller list. I was a little shocked that a book on tidying was the competition my book had to beat to be number one, so I bought the book and pretty much helped it stay my number one competition. After reading Marie’s book, I understood why it was popular and it indeed had the magic to begin a change in my life that has brought me joy, tidiness and realization that sometimes changes you have been working on for many years, without success, can still be attainable with the right inspiration and resources. I wait for the day that “You’ve Heard These Hands” is the number one book and Marie Kondo decides to buy it to find out why it knocked hers off the top – Marie, you will enjoy my book and be amazed by the life of Don Randi and how he has been a part of the music you love even if you didn’t know it at the time.
I also found through an Audible (audio books) recommendation, “10% Happier: How I Tamed The Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works.” For the sake of not having to repeat the whole title I’ll write “10% Happier,” by Dan Harris. I bought the audio book and listened to it until I finished it in about a day and a half. This book came to me by fate or something like a divine destiny because a week before seeing the recommendation from Audible, I was going through a personal emotional turmoil over a disappointing, inexcusable and downright disrespectful treatment from a close and trusted friend/colleague of mine. The same kind of explosion of nastiness had occurred twice before and I had forgiven but told the friend I don’t want or deserve to be treated in such a cruel way. This disrespectful behavior seems to be a part of this person’s nature and is coming out in the open now that we are more familiar with each other. Anyway, I can say with conviction that Dan Harris’ book is an inspiration that led me to a deeper healing and improvement in how I can deal with situations that were hard for me to understand and move past. Fortunately, I am still able to remain “friends” with the person who disrespected me, because I can put their behavior into a perspective of mindful thought. I have adopted habits and a mindset from “10% Happier” that will stay with me for life and will certainly help me be a much more calm, stable and resilient person no matter what assholes – people – might throw at me!
I found inspiration, helpful ideas and leadership from many different sources over my entire life. I hope I could do the same for others someday… a pay it forward and back for all that has been a benefit to me. If I can give just the tiniest bit of inspiration going into 2016 without plagiarizing the great thinkers and doers of all time, my experience has taught me to trust what naturally comes to you, change is the only way to be happy and successful so love it, don’t fear it. After all, this day and date will never be repeated. Of course not every day is like winning the lotto, but a lot of days are so try to be positive, kind and be proud of you and the life you live this year and I wish you a very happy year!
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