2013 is under way; the old year is gone and the new is here. In the spirit of edging our way to a better life let me offer these small wisdoms to live by this year.m
Be kind to yourself. You must take care of yourself in this world, nourish your being – physically, mentally, spiritually and most of all, don’t beat yourself up over stupid mistakes – let others do that for you (and they will!). Forgive yourself, pick yourself up and start again. Remember you are a good decent person and we all stuff up from time to time.
Listen to music that makes you feel good. You’ve got your own list of feel good songs so make up a play-list and play them often! Start your day with something cheerful, that makes you feel strong and powerful. Take pleasure in the music – from the music. I think of Love is in the Air – John Paul Young, it makes me smile every time I hear it.
Pick your fights. We all have battles we must fight and that we need to win. But to spend your time in conflict is highly detrimental – to your work, your family, your well being and your health. Learn when to stand firm and when to give way – a little loss is not the end of the world. The tree that bends in the high wind is the one who stands tall the longest. Sometimes you have to render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s, while remembering it’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees. Tricky but you need to work it out. Don’t waste your energy on battles you can’t win – withdraw when need be; thrust and parry when need be.
Make achievable plans – only a little way in the future. Small achievable chunking of things is what keeps us going and gets us through. Having something to work towards is good on many levels – it keeps us working, it keeps us focused, maintaining our motivation and it keeps us sane. How much easier to cope on Monday mornings knowing we have a week in Venice coming up in six weeks? How much easier to go to the gym knowing the kilos are falling off and the next size down is but a week away?
Have something to look forward to – similar to achievable plans but more in the small pleasures zone of life. This is can be a simple or elaborate as you like – such as a drink with a friend, dinner out with your lover, the pictures and popcorn with your children, a long walk with your dog. Of course, this is where chocolate treats come utterly to the fore. We all deserve a treat in life – at least once a week to keep us going, to remind us of the sweetness in our lives.
Do something for yourself (and others) at least once a week. I’ve talked about this before and it is similar to being kind to yourself and to others. Here I refer to your passion, your reason for being. So make sure you spend some time each week writing or painting, or playing your sax. You can do or make something that makes you feel good and could be shared with another – baking is ideal here, or dancing.
Love the ones you’re with – just like Crosby, Stills and Nash sang years ago – take care of the ones you’re with. Cherish your friends, near and far (thank you FB once more), look after your colleagues and your lovers. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Do not – EVER – under-estimate the importance of human contact, of relationships. When we are gone, it will be our friends and loved ones who gather to farewell us, who will remember us and carry us in their hearts. It won’t be your work, your boss. Love the ones you’re with while they’re here, while you’re here. Don’t leave it too late.
Stay small, but act big with integrity and honour – that will make the world a better place this year, for you and for others. Happy New Year. (Images courtesy Google Images)