2021. New year, new chapter, new road, whatever we want to call it.
Have you heard this statement yet - ‘wow, 2020 sucked. I hope 2021 is a better year.’ (Maybe you’ve heard it, maybe you’ve said it yourself.)
Well, heads up, friends - hope is not a plan.
This is not to say that an optimistic mind set or having dreams is a bad thing, because they certainly are not. But, positive thoughts alone do not move the needle when it is time to go out and do the hard things In life. Well wishes do not carry the sick and wounded to safety at 2 am. Good intentions mean zip-squat without the action and follow through.
We simply can not hope and dream a better 2021 into existence.
What we should be doing is getting rock solid on our values, conditioning ourselves for resilience, setting high standards and taking consistent action.
Want a new paradigm for your next year? Start with the next 30 days, better yet, start in the next week - with what you control.
Let’s look at just how clear and present this concept is. Here is a short list of the things that you control.
This is the obvious one that we can sometimes look right past. This is simply what you do and how you do it.
Make bringing your best a personal standard. Your best is a dynamic state, it varies from moment to moment. You are not on the same level when you are tired, sick or worn down, but there is still a ‘level 10’ inside of you, relative to that moment. Under any circumstance, because life is so short, simply do the best you can, with what you have, right where you are; most especially when others are counting on you.
Your response, to everything
You know all those things in life that you do not control? They might not be your fault, but they are still your responsibility.
Check this out - everything in your life is there because you either created it or allowed it. Say yes, say no, say nothing at all and you’re technically still responding, by not responding. Either way, own it and don’t take it all so personal, because it’s not all about you. Life marches on, the weather changes, night is dark, rain is wet, there is always going to be another spontaneous moment, unforeseen crisis and beautiful sunrise. Every single one of them is individual to each of us, because we are the measure. We choose what any event will mean, we choose how we will respond and we choose where we go in the moments afterward.
Do yourself a favor and stop worrying so much how others might judge your chosen actions. The last thing you want to realize when you’re old and gray is that you failed to live life your own way because you prioritized what other people think.
Respond honorably and respectfully. Make your moments meaningful. Make a positive impact. You cannot go wrong with that.
Your level of honesty
Could the world use a little more of this? Easy answer.
Honesty is a key component to character and without a doubt, in our profession, a major component of everyone’s safety. Be true in your actions, be accountable, be a professional.
Important to note here as well, is the level of honesty that you keep with yourself. Self awareness is the ability to be brutally honest about your strengths, weaknesses, the situations that you are in, the times when you may need to ask for some help and the days when you are not living to your potential.
Being honest with yourself is measuring the ‘you of today’ against the ‘you of yesterday;’ never is it ‘you against everyone else.’
The weight and integrity of your word
Integrity is congruence between our beliefs, our words and our deeds. Say one thing, do another and we are out of integrity. Living out of integrity is stressful, it eats away at our self esteem and it dampens our impact on the world.
Get your beliefs and values in order. Say what you mean. Keep your word and place doing over saying as much as possible.
What you learn and how you will grow
All of life is adaptation. Get past the mistakes, obstacles, setbacks and hurt feelings in life by seeing them for what they really are - entry points into the stress/recovery/ adaptation cycle. They are the stimulus to growth.
Want to be exactly the same all your life? Avoid stress.
Want to be stronger? Embrace the idea that life is the hard thing that we sharpen ourselves against. Wake up and grind it out.
How much effort you will place into your actions
Yes, you can choose to coast or pedal. There is nothing wrong with putting our feet up and enjoying a little sun on our face.
That said, if you want something that you have never had, you likely need to do something that you have never done. When we break down even enormous goals into their singular components, the consistent requirement becomes effort and action. Again, deeds over words.
There it is friends, and it’s just a start.
Want a better year? Yes, we all do.
Maybe it is going to be better all on its own, maybe it will be another mental stunt show and we’ll need to adapt, yet again. Either way, we would all be much better off to take a few minutes and become aware of that space around us wherever we go, that sphere of influence that is always under our control. It is right there in that sphere, in every moment, where we have the power to improve the world, one choice at a time.
Stop hoping and go make a difference.
Thanks once again to From the Scene Photography for the excellent quality pictures! - Jim