“Acknowledging the good that you have in your life is the foundation of all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle.
New decade, new me.
I’m kidding!!! This is absolutely not another article about all of the areas of my life that aren’t perfect and how I’m going to make all these big changes heading into the new year, and decade. And how this decade is going to be ‘my decade’ and how you should ‘watch this space’.
Quite the opposite…
Where were you when the clock struck midnight in 31st December 2009? And I don’t just mean physically, but figuratively, where were you in your life at this time?
Have you thought about it? Can you even remember? Perhaps not…
Over a decade has now passed since that moment and if you are reading this now, then it is inevitable that you have experienced some significant events in your life during this time.
And I’d also take my chances on hedging my bets that you have probably had some shitty times during this decade as well.
The point I intend to get across in this article is that just because we have entered a new decade (and a new year), we shouldn’t immediately revert to looking at what we can achieve in the coming years, or how we can improve. This is important, I absolutely do not dispute that, but the first thing we should do is reflect on the time we’ve had, our experiences, and just be grateful for where they’ve brought us up until now.
A moment of reflection.
When we take a moment to look back on the decade, year-by-year, starting at the beginning, we start to realise just how much has happened in this time.
Sometimes things happen that we do not really understand at the time, it might not make sense and it might even hurt a lot, but when we look back now from a wider perspective, it might not seem as bad. In fact, we may even come to realise that the event in fact lead to some of the best moments in our lives; although we weren’t to realise this at the time.
Fundamentally, we can use our life experience to learn and empower ourselves to create a better version of us in the present moment.
What I have come to realise is that we can never truly evaluate or value the impact of something at the time. We may never know the effect it has on our life for years to come, but when we reflect on our life as a timeline, we see how it came together in the end. That job we didn’t get; that relationship that failed; the game we lost; the decision that we made; it is more often than not when we look back on our lives we realise how meaningless they were, albeit at the time it may have seemed like the ‘end of the world’.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the multiplex of the mind and ‘daily’ compartments that we fail to look at the bigger picture of our life, our journey and our destiny. We need to take a moment to step outside of ourselves and then we might just notice that it was a series of fortunate events strung together that created our present moment.
The hardest thing to reflect on…
Sometimes it will be hard and challenging to understand the meaning and purpose of some events, this is simply part of life, so just do the best you can.
No matter how positive or negative we are, our outlook on life, or our levels of happiness, the one thing we will always find near impossible to reflect positively on, is those that we lost.
It sucks – period!
So, when we remember them, if nothing else, we can just attempt to be grateful for the time that we shared, the impact they had, and the lasting memories they gave us.
A time to be grateful.
On the topic of gratitude and reflecting on the events of our lives it is essential to us as individuals that we’re grateful for the meaning in our lives.
Gratitude is said to be the most empowering emotion in the human experience, and we can all find something to be grateful for.
Gratitude cultivates_ Happiness.
Just in case you needed some ‘prompts’, I have listed ten things below [in no particular order] that I personally reflected on, accepted, and gave my grace for this decade. They might not all relate to you, but just consider what resonates most with you.
- Family – a lot of individuals have the same families their entire lives, acquiring some new members along the way; we’re blessed they’re always there. Sometimes family members do not fulfil their moral responsibility, but we can be grateful to know that we know some things are wrong and that we will never allow ourselves to become that person.
- Education: Finishing and graduating from school / college / university – if with setbacks, even if you didn’t do as well as you wanted, you are where you are today, and you probably had some great memories from it.
- Relationships AND BREAKUPS – maybe you’ve been through multiple relationships, maybe you had one disaster, or maybe you’re still experiencing and incredible relationship you were in ten years ago; regardless each one taught you something and you experienced happiness at some point.
- Friendships – perhaps you have multiple friendships over the decade and that’s great, not all of them will last forever, but we had the opportunity to experience and get to know as many humans as possible; just take those that empower you the most along the journey with you; and make sure you make them thrive.
- Financial wealth – no matter what our financial wealth, if you are reading this then you have more wealth than a lot of people in the world and more likely than not, it has increased over the decade. And please always remember; the more we have, the more we should give.
- Health and fitness – maybe you faced some battles, maybe you’re in your best shape ever, just be grateful that this is something we get to work on our entire lives and inevitably we will find different ways to sustain it along the way.
- Career and job prospects – sometimes we have shitty jobs, sometimes we love our jobs; either way we’ve had the opportunity to learn and develop. And even the jobs we hated most, may have led us to something more spectacular later on, and helped us to learn what doesn’t make us thrive. And failing that still, some people have to walk ten miles a day for water; at least we had the opportunity to earn a bit of money and do some things we enjoy.
- Travel and adventure – we can see a lot in ten years, experience the beauty of different cultures and landscapes around the world, and in our own country; some moments we are likely never to forget. No matter how much we see, we probably feel like there’s not enough time to see it all, so let’s just see as much as we can along the way.
- Mental health – a topic that is undoubtedly discussed more than any other in this day and age; and if we find ourselves as one of the one-in-four who have suffered and experienced a mental health battle then there is a story to tell and some lessons to be learned. Maybe you’ve been through and come through the other side; be grateful you have and share your experience with others, is maybe it makes their journey a little easier. If you’re still on your journey, be grateful you still have things to learn, and there are some great humans who will come and walk alongside you whilst you find your way J
- THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE: simply all those little moments over the past ten years that have just made you feel great, they might not have a reasoning, but you know the ones I’m talking about – be grateful for as many of those as you can; for being here in this world.
Nelson Mandela reflects profoundly on the moment he was set free from spending a quarter of his life imprisoned: “As I walked out the door towards the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
No event, no circumstance, no situation in our lives ‘has’ meaning; we choose the meanings that these events have based on our imagination of how things should be. Our life will always come down to what our thoughts make of it, so spend some time seeing the best of this decade.
And if nothing else…
Okay, I know I said this post wasn’t going to be about new beginnings and all that; but just in case none of what you read above resonated with you, or maybe you’ve faced some challenging battles over the past few years (I admire you if this relates to you), then here is a bit a positive wisdom that undoubtedly will:
“Remember, as long as you are breathing it is never too late to start a new beginning.” – Buddha.
“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” – Buddha.