There was a wonderful little post on Facebook recently around New Year’s Eve with two characters sitting facing out to a sunset. One poses the question “I wonder what the next year will bring?” and the other responds quietly “365 days of opportunity”. I loved that and it struck me as so true.
It aligns beautifully with the John Shaar quote (one of my favourites) which expands the thought. He wrote “The future is not a result of choices among alternate paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”
So here we are again then with the year 2020 underway and the decade that it starts providing many days of opportunity ahead of each of us. How will you approach these days? With fear, and trepidation or enthusiasm and excitement? Anchored to the past and cautious about making a mistake, avoiding uncomfortable challenges or embracing every day as a chance to learn and grow? Living with constraint, complaint and closed to difference or opening your heart and mind to embrace the same?
If you can engage with Schaar’s quote and understand the value of living a life with intention and purpose, now is a wonderful opportunity to set up a practice that supports the creation of your desired future.
Defining a path for yourself i.e. how you want to engage with the world at large and how you want to be perceived or remembered; establishing and understanding your values – those few things that are your personal code of ethics and that shape motivation; gaining clarity on what have been and importantly what you want to be your key drivers to the future and why.
This practice takes time and requires effort and commitment as any developed skill does using simple things available to all of us like self-reflection, openness and sometimes the support of others.
The great thing is it’s up to you! Every day you get to make a choice about how you want to engage with that day. Overall there’s no right or wrong way to do that. Critically, there can only be lessons learnt and consequences accepted of decisions made and action taken. Review the day against your declared intention and defined purpose, identify learning, apply it and repeat.
I asked myself at dawn on New Year’s Day walking on our beach (and no I hadn’t pulled an all-nighter – those days are far behind me) how did I want to be at the end of the year and at the end of the decade. It wasn’t what or where but how. The answer seems simple; to feel that I have fulfilled the promise that the gift of life has given me.
I wish the same for you as you create your own future. Welcome to the 20s.