Anybody need a Sunday pep talk? A call to rally imagination and curiosity and go into the new year with hope and a sense of possibility. Ready?
Am I wrong or lots of us trudging up to the new year worn out and worn down? If ever a year kicked us when we were down, this was it. Or – did we allow ourselves to gradually be buried under relentless reporting that depended on our outrage and exhaustion until our spirits stretched thinner than we thought ever possible and still, more came, burying us deeper and deeper?
Well people, this won’t do. Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning after his life in a concentration camp in WWII, and he said:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
And so we are, challenged to change ourselves and this is where it begins. There is magic in the transformation from one year to another and you can ride that wave of strange but real energy. Today. Now.
You still have time. You have all the time you need if you are ready to take your one, precious life seriously. January will be the month for putting things into place and working out the kinks but first, you need to take stock.
Yup. That’s it. Take stock. Find a quiet place – if you don’t have a room hide in the back of seat of the car. If you don’t have a car, get up early while it is still dark and you have the world to yourself. Remind yourself that this is a present you are giving yourself and you deserve it and if not, when?
Now write these words at the top of a page: “TAKE STOCK”. What was it that happened this year that you did, discovered, tried, experienced, realised? You will know. Maybe there are painful things and that’s okay, too. This is you paying attention. If you are stuck, try writing in third person: “What happened in your life this year that stands out from everything else?” Then keep writing. Let your hand and the pencil or the typing start to answer the question for you.
This can be a straight-up list (I usually have between eight and 15-ish items) but you can also write it as a paragraph or page; as much as you need. This is your tool, not for looking back but for going forward.
But how? Ideas are coming in a special New Year’s Eve post but in the meantime the short answer is that this is a template to help you see what you want more of and what you want to change between now and when you do this again next year. So be honest in your stock taking. This is a very personal thing you are doing and a very powerful one. A map. Of you.
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life.”― Viktor Frankl