Did 2016 actually suck, or was it just you?
As the year comes to a close, the general consensus is that 2016 was a bad year. The reality is that this year has been like many other years. It’s had its good points and bad points. But that’s how life rolls. The things we go through are lessons. And we either learn and become better, or we sit in the muck and stagnation of “this stinks I guess I’ll go eat worms.” Its ok to have a bad day or two but don’t let the trials and tribulations of this year define you.
What I see happening over and over is one person complaining while everyone else throws in their two cents about why 2016 was a bad year. This is focusing in on a lot of negative energy that keeps building on itself. Right now we have gale force winds that are slowly but steadily trying to work their way up into a Class 5 hurricane. And its hard to keep a ship on course in those kind of conditions. So what’s our new plan to turn this thing around?
There’s always 2017 right? If your way of thinking has led you to believe that you just have to wait for the clock to tick over to January 1st for your troubles to end you might want to think again. A new beginning or a fresh start can only come from within you. Not the date on the calendar that will magically reset your life. If you don’t like where you are, start by taking an honest look at yourself and what is going on around you. Only then can you begin to make next year amazing.
Let’s look at how you can turn things around…
What about your life is making you unhappy?
Here’s where we need to start taking some inventory. For me, I’m a big fan of lists. I like to write everything down where I can see it. After you make a list of what you don’t like, you should make a second one with things that actually do make you happy. Then compare the lists and see what it is that you’re doing with your time. Balance yourself out accordingly to undo the negative energy that has worked its way into your life and set up camp in the backyard.
What sorts of things in your life have been pissing you off the most?
Let’s do a little shadow work here shall we? When we are constantly upset about something in particular that is happening, or that someone does, there is a strong correlation between that and something we actually don’t like about ourselves.
For example: At one point in my life I found myself working in a place with a bunch of caddy, gossipy women. I would get mad and irritated every day at these girls. Until one day I noticed myself doing the same thing. And I caught myself doing it more than a few times! It was embarrassing to hear myself speak like that. But the reality of the situation is that I was mad at myself for the same things other people were doing and I was misdirecting that energy. Once I realized what was happening, I took some time to work on myself and surprise, surprise…the anger I had for these girls went away.
What about the world right now is happening that you don’t agree with?
Get involved in actual change instead of complaining that you don’t like the way things are. This is especially true if we look at what has happened with the elections this year. Even though many are upset at the outcome, I see this as the perfect time to get involved in causes that matter to you. Actions speak louder than words. Volunteer, give your time, give your money, give your support. These are the things that create change. Not just in your communities but also in your life. Make things happen! There are a lot of opportunities out there waiting for someone just like you. Use your special skills and talents to make a difference.
What are your goals?
Do you have things you are working towards or on? It’s necessary to have some sort of direction in your life. If you are feeling unhappy or unsatisfied, this is a great place to start digging and making some changes. This can be professionally directed towards your career or be applied to your personal goals and self-growth.
A good example would be adding classes, training or perhaps even expanding your business into other areas of work or service. If you are working on yourself instead of your career, focus on what habits or personal traits you dislike and would like to work on. Maybe you find you are more pessimistic than you would like, or you want to create a new healthy lifestyle, or that your spiritual practice needs some more work. All of these things fall into this category. Pick a few and get to work!
Are you having a hard time with the famous artists who have passed this year?
We lose a lot of great people every day. Famous or not. However I think from year to year we tend to forget how many greats have left us previously. And it is sad. These are creative entertainers who’s loss will be felt in every area of the arts. But I do see a lot of epic celebrations of these artists and their life’s work which I think is amazing.
But please don’t be sad. The truth is not that you will not miss these people as friends because you didn’t actually know them. The loss is felt more so as a contribution that was made to a part of your life by the artist. And experiencing pieces of your history dying is the grief that you actually feel.
The bright side to this is that we have many new artists and creators coming up and in every year. Instead of being upset, get inspired! Explore new entertianiers and their projects. Contribute your own artistic works to the mix. Make some music, take an acting class, write a screenplay or a book, paint and draw something unique that speaks to you and share it with the world. We all have something of value to add.