The new year has just begun! How do you feel about it? Excited? Terrible? Fearful? Doubtful? For me, I'm excited! Perhaps last year was the terrible year for you or a great year for you.
But did you know that whatever we might feel about the new year, it could bring a lasting impact how were going to live the remaining years of our lives?
This year you might be hopeful to start afresh, whether it be starting your own business, starting achieving your goals, maybe losing weight, saving an emergency fund or opening an investment account, or even your dreams!
But sometimes, we are fearful achieving those goals. We fear because we risked before and it never happened, or we are doubtful because, for so many years, you haven't seen any progress in your life. We might even catch up ourselves saying Hey year, please be good to me!
While there's nothing wrong about that, it's a sign of hope and faith for the current year but as you begin this year, I want you to make it a better year, or it will be great if you will make it your best year ever.
How to make the year, a better year
Your last year perhaps the worst year ever, but aren't you excited? A new year offers you many opportunities to make it better. I don't believe that you can please the year and ask it to be good to you. That's a false ideology. To make this new year better, you need to change your mindset.
And it needs a paradigm shift. Changes cause friction to the lives of people. You either respond to it negatively and eventually give up or choose the high road, persist and adapt to it.
"Sure Dhenn, I can change and I am open to it but how do I make this year better?"
Here are three ways you can make your year better than your previous years:
1. Change the way you think.
There are many people who talk and think about negative things in this world. We had a lot of critics, but a few encourager. We had a lot of protests but few mediators and peacekeepers. We need you!
We need you to shift your thinking to become more positive. We need you to create value while others are consuming or destroying it. We need you to ship your art and make a difference in the lives of people. The world is hungry for talented, skillful and blessed people like you. The world needs you!
Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of America. In his autobiography, Franklin listed his thirteen virtues and develop a system to develop his character.
- Humility (Imitate Jesus and Socrates)
He built his character around that thirteen virtues throughout the rest of his life. Each week he goes throughout one virtue. If he's done with it, he then proceeds to the next one until he's done with the list and repeats it again and again. With that, he became a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.
Imagine he accomplished that too much in his entire life! But Dhenn, I don't like to be like him, I have a specific calling from God, or I just want to live simple and peacefully.
Alright, your call. Whatever your dream is, be a person of purpose. Developing your character is one of the surefire ways to make your year better.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
This year, I have also a version of my virtues that I want to follow.
2. Live a life that overflows.
You probably have seen how our world becomes self-centered. From the word selfie, you often see people taking selfie pictures of themselves anywhere. Too many articles and posts in social media talking about love yourself. Your newsfeed was probably filled with selfies.
While there's nothing wrong with sharing, it's great! But are we sharing our selfies in a right motive? Or do we like the addicting dopamine effect of people liking our photos or statuses?
Simon Sinek, one of the authors and speakers I'm following in TED Talks, he said that, if millennials are not addicted to drugs or sex, they are addicted to social media. To check if you have been addicted already and needs a rehabilitation program, you just can't live without your phone.
One of the reasons why millennials can't keep their eyes off their phone was the attention they are getting to it. And with that, you cannot live a life that overflows. How do you do that?
- Be purposeful in becoming a blessing to others.
- Create value.
- Treat your job as a calling to serve the world. You don't need to be a missionary or politician to serve the world.
- Be a problem solver. Develop solutions. Stop being a critic and a mere complainer.
- Don't just do what you love, love what you do!
- Leave everything else to God the things that are beyond your control and move by faith. Without faith, you won't be able to please God as He is moved by our faith in Him.
- Learn from failure and be brave when challenged. The world needs your experience from failure. You also need it to overcome challenges that you will face.
Living a life that overflows means:
- Living purposefully by growing each day.
- Choosing to take a step forward, whether you meet joys and sorrows along the road.
- By doing great for others even it's uncompensated.
Because to live a life that overflows will change you to become "others-centered" rather than "self-centered"
Want to know how selfless God is? The psalmist says it all:
...what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalms 8:4 ESV
3. Be grateful and count your blessings.
Our minds are programmed to think negatively as we grow up, Everytime we grow, our minds resist negative experiences, so we become fearful of anything that involves risk.
When I was a kid, I had no fear the electric plugs. I used to play with them until one day, to my curiosity, I accidentally touched a part of it that has no covering. I was electrified and unable to move.
Perhaps an accident happened while you were driving. Those negative experiences made our bodies to react fearfully and conditioned us to think negatively.
Have you experience a moment in your life that it seems everything a blessing was pouring out to your life? But one day, a bad thing happens. We think that bad things will continue to happen.
That's how life works. Life is unfair, but what you expect it will happen to you. It will be done according to your faith.
A lot of generous people I know are grateful and counting their blessings. If it is good, they praise.If it is bad, they still grateful because of the experience.
Whatever your goals for this year, I want you to say this to yourself loudly and repeat it as many as you want: "This year will be a better year!".
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