As a new year begins, I decided what we all needed more than another set of tired Resolutions is some positive Inspiration. The last two years have been difficult in our country. America is experiencing problems and unrest, as is much of the rest of the world. Each of us, individually, is feeling our own unique set of pressures, too. So I decided for my January blog to offer ten inspirational messages to lift your heart and spirit. Hopefully, these will give you new hope, new goals, and new wisdom to help you live this coming 2022 year with more joy and purpose.
- CHANGE IS NEEDED FOR CHANGE TO HAPPEN
A quote by Max Dupress says: “We cannot become what we want by remaining where we are.” Even when times are difficult, we need to move on, to live, to improve, to chase our dreams. For many of us we have let the events of the past two years immobilize us more than we should have, stagnate us beyond any imposed restrictions. We’ve used the difficulties of the times to stop in place. Well, now it is time to move on. To step out. Whatever has been in your story for the last two years doesn’t have to stay in your story for the year to come. As C. S. Lewis wisely wrote: “You can never be too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” There is always something meaningful you can do. You get to choose how to fill up the pages of the year to come. Stop waiting. Today is the day to go for it. Where you are a year from now is a reflection of the choices you choose to make right now.
- ONLY YOU CAN CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT
I suppose one of our greatest faults as human beings is wishing someone else would do it all for us—make us rich, do our work, plan our lives, love us without expecting much love in return, and make life easy and sweet for us. But life seldom works out that way, and even when it does, that route creates an emotionally crippled individual. In truth, if you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror. You are meant to find your own way and forge your own destiny. You are absolutely capable of creating the life you want and dream of. So stop sitting in front of the TV just watching everyone else’s life. Get up and make a life of your own. Make your own dreams happen. Within you is so much latent potential that you’ve never tapped into. Know that you are the artist of your own life. Don’t hand the paintbrush to anyone else.
- STOP LETTING FEAR, DOUBT, AND WORRY ROB YOUR POTENTIAL
Three of the greatest inhibitors to reaching our dreams and potential are the insidious little enemies of fear, doubt, and worry. When our minds are inspired with a wonderful idea, a new dream or goal, those nasty little critters come creeping into our mind—often before the day is over—saying: “What if you fail?… Who do you think you are to try that?” We’ve all heard their voices. They slip into our minds, rain on our parade before the parade even begins. They come from within and from without, from our friends, family, and coworkers, who see only the surface of us, the norm they’re used to seeing, and not the potential lying within. If you’re waiting for the world to inspire you and cheer you on, you’ll probably be waiting for a long time. Frankly, you need to believe in yourself. You need to make your way and follow your own dream. You might be limiting yourself, thinking “What if I fail?” … But, oh, my, what if you fly.
- STEP OUT AND DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
We spend so much time making excuses for why we’re not doing more of what makes us happy. We belittle our talents and abilities. We compare ourselves negatively with others. We point out our shortcomings and weaknesses and not our strengths. We bemoan that we don’t have enough money or enough time. We say we’re too busy when we could carve out a little time for happy pleasures or pursuing our goals and dreams more if we would. We let ourselves be limited by what others think and say. What is the point in that? In general, whenever anyone strikes out to pursue anything new, they are always criticized for it. But here’s the thing, the happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything. You can, too, this year, if you decide to.
- THE FUTURE IS CREATED BY WHAT WE DO TODAY
Often we spend entirely too much time rehearsing to ourselves the mistakes and lost opportunities of yesterday or dreaming about a utopian tomorrow that may never happen. Ernest Hemingway wrote: “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” Everything worthwhile happens little by little, step by step, in our todays. Our “todays” are the only days we can control and we all have the same twenty-four hours each day. We either use them wisely and well or we waste them. It’s our choice each day. This year, in order to follow your dreams and goals more, you may have to give up some things you do now to make time for things you want to see more of in your life. You may have to discipline your time and discipline your life. No one starts off being excellent and successful. Your future “You” is created day by day. Either you control your “todays” or they control you.
- A POSITIVE MIND IS A NECESSITY FOR HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS
We read and hear so much today about having positive thoughts and a positive mindset, but if you listen to most people talk day to day and read their posts on Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites, you will hear more negative, complaining, and critical words than positive ones. Much of it is unconscious habit, based on how we were raised, who we spend our time with, and our own mindset we’ve settled into. Truthfully, we all have to train our unruly minds and thoughts to be what they should be. We have to purposely train our minds to focus on the positive and good and to speak it. What if whatever you spoke came following after you every day? What would that be? It’s wise to think about and it’s wise to monitor our words more. When you begin to channel your thoughts and words to be more positive, your life will begin to change to the positive. You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.
- HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE, NOT A RESULT
Nothing in this life will make you happy until you choose to be happy. Happiness won’t come to you; it comes from you. Material wealth won’t make you happy, although it can make life easier. But we all know miserable people with more money than they know what to do with. People won’t make you happy either, although having loving friends and family in our lives is a blessing if we appreciate it. But many have that and constantly grumble and complain. You can look around at your life and be grateful for all the good that you have or always find fault. The happiest people are grateful people, kind people, people interested in contributing to the happiness of others. Happy people are busy working and focusing on what they have in life, the opportunities and blessings in it, rather than focusing on what they don’t have. They are happy and grateful for what they do have while working for what they want. They’re the people happily enjoying a hike or picnic in the park nearby rather than complaining that they can’t travel to lavish faraway places.
- EACH PERSON HAS TO FIND THEIR OWN PATH
You are the only person like you in the whole world. Your fingerprints are distinctly your own, your looks, your personality, the way you spend your days. Although others can offer you good advice and counsel, only you can change your life. Your path is your own in life. No one else can walk it but you, and no one can tell you your unique destiny but you. We all know that our opportunities in life are influenced by many factors—many of these within our control, others not. We walk the trail and path of our own life, like it or not … we can skip, hop, run, or bike—but it’s still our path. There are many rewards for living life well and hindrances for poor choices. We all experience problems along life’s way, but if you read the stories of happy, successful people, so did they. Our personal job is to try to seek and find our destiny and calling and to walk it every day with all our best. Be willing and eager to seek and work for that this year.
- IN THE END, WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS WHAT GOD THINKS
It is my belief that the greatest happiness, joy, life satisfaction, and pleasures come in a life sold out to God. As a believer that God created the heavens and the earth and all of us in it for His purpose and pleasure … the obvious conclusion to that belief is that my best purpose, my best life plan, my best life answers, my best way to walk and live every day is found in Him. That is the secret to my greatest joy in life, to my best contentment. I see myself as an Ambassador of God in the world, working for Him in all I do, trying to please Him in all my ways, and hopefully representing Him well with my time and my life—which belong to Him first. When you walk close to God, you tend to bloom more where you’re planted and are happier in your days. This, too, is something you can personally seek and grow in every day if you would.
In closing, I hope this coming year is a blessed and happy one for you. I hope you find more clearly what your purpose is in life, that you find more ways to bless and give to others, that you discover more ways to be happy and fulfilled in your day-to-day life. Like Fred Rogers’ quote below, you do make a difference in this world. You are more important than you can know. You leave something of yourself everywhere you go, with everyone you meet and interact with, and in everything you do. Work this year to make that legacy a good one that will live on after you. Live life with joy in your heart and love in your soul.
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And have a blessed new year …
Note: All photos my own, from royalty free sites, or used only as a part of my author repurposed storyboards shown only for educational and illustrative purposes, acc to the Fair Use Copyright law, Section 107 of the Copyright Act.