“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”
Are you someone who is fed up with how things have been going for a while now?
Are you someone who keeps telling yourself that the pandemic world has shown you how important it is to get your life on track?
Perhaps you’ve had plans for yourself that you’ve just kept putting off.
Plans to improve your family situation and relieve yourself of that household stress.
Plans to improve your work life, to make changes so you no longer are clocking in numerous hours six or seven days a week, overworked, undervalued and not really compensated for your efforts.
Plans to finally get your finances under control, where you can try to save something a little for yourself, put a little something away to finally treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted or desired.
Plans to finally improve your health, start a checklist on your personal well-being, it’s time to get fitter, eat a balanced diet and get back into better shape as age is catching up and your lack of physical solidarity is taking a toll on your mental and emotional health.
Plans in motion to finally get cracking on that long overdue passion project and labour of love that can never see the light of day as you simply seem to not have the peace of mind or time for it.
Perhaps you have a long-nurtured idea to give up on some of those bad habits, to prevent yourself from ending up in daunting and frustrating situations, to keep away from toxic people who are a poor influence in your life, to maybe pull the plug on always going out and partying and being inebriated to the point that your closest friend in life is a hangover you nurse with such consistency – that you’ve traded clarity for calamity, bedlam for calm and stagnancy for productivity.
Let me tell you I have personally been there for many years.
Therefore, this isn’t some guy with a flare for verbosity and a penchant for bludgeoning others with reality just blowing smoke out of my glutes. I’ve seen and hit rock bottom in life and often stared so deeply into life’s abyss that it’s not only stared back but also invited me for holidays down there.
The last one for the year
I figured this will be my last column piece for 2021.
And while I have not been shy or strayed away from calling out those who deserve to be chastised and castigated from many an industry, the state, dogmas, society and addressed a myriad of sensitive, controversial and hard-hitting topics throughout the year… oh sure, I tend to mix up dark satire and black comedy with a touch of graceful poetic flare, a dash of subjective idealism juxtaposed with objective nuance -rubbing just enough people the wrong way as I think I have the right way, talking about stuff with some perspicacity and conviction that I felt very few people have the stones, inclination or impetus to shine some light on.
I have also made a cognizant stride towards penning pieces that hopefully have inspired and motivated others who’ve felt hopeless and helpless in life, those who feel disenfranchised, disempowered, outlawed and rebuked by cultural prejudices, linear social trappings, conventional imprisonment, suffering from grief, stress, loss, misunderstanding, betrayal and pain to find even an iota of hope in my words and experiences, choices and philosophies.
This last article should be something valuable enough that you can end the year with a righteous BANG! But also marked as a brief literary guide that might weaponise you for 2022, the year ahead.
Or else what’s the bloody point, if we can’t reach out a helping hand along this cataclysmic cosmic waltz, we’ve dubbed existence?
Changes, not resolutions
Why do our resolutions always start at a zenith or peak and then slowly crash and disintegrate after a short while?
I believe it starts with the word itself: resolutions. It’s become too clinical and cliché.
So, let’s have a healthy check list of changes that will help us get right off our languid rears and push ourselves to work towards becoming the best versions of ourselves that we can be. Maybe, setting the tone and nuance to how we kickstart the new year is what will lay the path and groundwork for the rest of the year as it unfolds.
These are changes we can set for ourselves with some ease and not mind-boggling resolutions with impractical benchmarks.
The best part is that I will be practicing what I preach with you in 2022.
- End 2021 happier / Start 2022 meaningfully: This double barrel opener is more significant that meets the eye. Think about how many times we end the year under the feigned ambivalence of a good time but instead end up high, busting loads of cash, being at the center of much needless drama and worthless attention finally beginning the year half merry, not so very jolly, with hardly a recollection of the previous night’s antics and broke. Make a conscious change this time to do things differently. I am not speaking about abstaining from enjoying yourself and spending time with people you care about. I am talking about doing so with moderation and balance, so you begin the New Year with some clarity, purpose and meaning so you feel good about yourself
- Start on a labour of love or passion: Doesn’t matter what it is, be it recreational or something that you feel can garner you a deeper more fulfilling investment and return for your time and effort. The key is to organise yourself, make time and get cracking on it without putting it off for another hour, day, week or month. Start on it at the beginning of the year and give it your attention and time every day even for a little while, trust me – it will grow and bloom into something worth your while
- Try out and learn something new everyday: Whatever it is from reading something or studying, learning a new movement and exercise while working out, watching a documentary or a lecture or podcast, or listening to a new piece of music… give something new a daily shot. The more knowledge we garner and gather, the more our capabilities and competencies evolve. Our learning never really stops, by pushing ourselves to be on our toes and to be intrigued by stuff we automatically begin to foster a mindset and an attitude to gravitate towards our self-growth
- Be kind, be generous, be happy for others: The truth is if we all make a greater effort every day to try to be kind and generous to someone else, we’ll feel good about ourselves in a way that no real personal accomplishment can make you feel. Knowing you have silently contributed to someone else experiencing joy and happiness can make you feel great and that adds to your overall mindset in life. Sometimes it’s hard to be happy for others when things don’t seem to be going too well for ourselves. But try, because learning to be sincerely happy for someone else’s successes and achievements will illuminate your character and self-worth
- Start every day with a positive mindset: I elaborated on this last week. In a nutshell it’s about dedicating yourself with discipline and aspiration towards kick starting each day by doing a handful of things that will prep you for the challenges for the rest of the day. You’ll be invigorated and motivated to face the day’s duties, goals and obstacles as a warrior and not a pessimist or cynic
- Make small necessary changes: You will not be able to make colossal changes overnight. It will come with consistency, frequency, sacrifice and compromise. Start with small realistic changes in your life, and build those in scale into making harder and more complex changes that you feel you need in your life in order to transform yourself into the best version of yourself you can be
- Don’t wait for tomorrow: Never to put off what we can do today, here and now for tomorrow or a later time. That later time may not come, or if it does it may pose many other challenges that life throws our way at that juncture. Procrastination starts with us putting stuff off. Just do what needs to be done in that moment and make the most of it
- Forgive yourself: So many of us live our lives carrying with us the burdens of the past and the concerns of the future. We do this often as we are unable to forgive ourselves of previous mistakes, failures and errors. The first step in letting go of needless baggage is in learning to forgive yourself
- Time is your greatest ally: Time while being our greatest scarcity in life is not our biggest enemy. That’s a matter of perception really. However, what we choose to do with the time we have, spend time doing meaningful things that add value to our brief stay on this planet can change time into a friend and ally. Make your moments in the New Year matter, so that means you’ll treat the time you have with more respect and value, and time well spent is time in which you can make your changes for 2022