It’s not the done thing to admit it, but every year for the last three years, I’ve started to look back on the year past and ended up feeling like a little bit of a failure.
Usual practice right about now is to focus on all the things you’re thankful for. A family who loves you. A warm home. Food on the table. A safe place to live. It’s easy to list off all the little things that make day to day life happy.
And of course I’m thankful for all those things and more.
I don’t believe every single day is meant to be wonderful but I do believe there are wonderful, smile-worthy things in every single day.
There is this thing eating at me, nudging me forward. A belief that there is so much more left that I haven’t done yet. Dreams and aspirations that are still untapped.
I know Christians are meant to say that if they died today, they’d be happy because they’d be in a better place but you know what? I’m not ready for heaven yet. If I died today, I’d be pretty cross with myself for not having done the things I really believe I’m meant to be doing.
That’s not to mention I’d be cross at not seeing my children grow up and all that stuff, that’s a given. But right now I’m talking about ambition and legacy.
Most days it doesn’t bother me but then we get to the end of another year and I can’t help myself. I look at the big picture and feel like I wasted it.
It’s easy to skip over all the little things that have gone together to make this year wonderful. It’s human nature to forget about or discount the small wins.
The massive thing that’s been pulling at me still hasn’t happened so let’s write off the whole of 2013 as a failure!
What if we didn’t?
What if it were possible to look back on the past year and remember all the wonderful things. All the cool stuff that did happen. All the smiles and the laughter?
And what if were possible future-proof the next 12 months?
What if we could do stuff that would ensure that this is the last December ever, where we end it feeling let down or sad?
If any of this sounds even remotely familiar, I have a challenge for you …
Grab your favourite notebook and pen (yes, you can go all digital on me and open a google doc if you like. The experts will remind you of the tangible nature of pen and paper, but I just want you to let the words pour out unedited and sometimes that’s a lot easier via the keyboard.)
Imagine that it’s a year from now.
We’re at the end of 2014 and you’ve had the best year ever.
What happened? What did you do? Who did you do it with? Where did you do it? How did you feel? What are you most proud of? What is putting the biggest grin on your face?
Think about it. Imagine it. Feel it.
And then write it all down.
Don’t edit yourself. Don’t discount or limit yourself. Don’t think about any limitations or exceptions or excuses.
Don’t even think too much. Just put pen to paper or fingers to keys and let it all flow out.
You can do this.
(Are you doing it in your head and have told yourself you’ll get to it properly later? Nope, I can’t read your mind. I just know what I’m like and I’m certain it’s not just me. Doing it in your head isn’t going to cut it this time.
Yes, I know, everyone tells you to do the exercises, that it’s important and you shouldn’t skip it. And you nod along but don’t actually do it. Do us both a favour and do it this time. You can thank me later.)
OK, are you ready?
Great! Close this blog post and get to it. You might wonder what’s the point. You might think it’s stupid. You might doubt this has any value at all.
That’s ok. Do it anyway 🙂
You have 24 hours. Part 2, where we dig into how any of this might help, goes live, same time tomorrow. And between you and I, I’m more than just a little bit excited 😀
Keep smiling 🙂