The Road Ahead

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is traditionally the period when people say goodbye to the past and hello to the future. It’s one of those in between times when anything can happen. Where past and present meet to determine the future. People are beginning to think about New Year’s resolutions. We have a tendency to review a list of “never agains” and “I’m gonnas”. When I looked over my own list I started to realize that both the “I’m gonna” list and the “never again” list was the same thing. It was just two different ways of expressing regret. Perhaps a better way to say it is that regrets come in two flavors. Regret that’s rooted in what did and regret that is rooted in what I didn’t do. The more I examined and thought about my list the more I realized that it was reliving those regrets on a daily basis that was holding me to past. I would pick a few of these regrets and base my New Year’s resolutions on the feeling of regret. Here’s the problem. I carried the regret into the New Year and always wound up repeating that pattern. What I had was a self identity problem. I was viewing myself as the guy who always does the things that brings regret. I was defeating my own purposes before I could even get started. After a little more contemplation I decided that the feeling of regret should be treated like an alarm clock. It’s something that’s only supposed to wake us up but not something that keeps us awake. If we hold onto it then it becomes like an anchor that holds us to the past.

So, this year why not try to address this resolution thing not with a list of regrets but a list of opportunities. Opportunities to change the overall patterns of action/inaction by seeing yourself as the person who owns the moment and is capable of forging them into a bright future.

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2 thoughts on “The Road Ahead

  1. This is a very interesting take on it. New Years resolutions are basically just a list of regrets, our own regrets that we bring with us to the new year reminding us of our failures. By doing that, we show that we don’t accept ourselves. Hmm, it would be interesting to see how we could put a positive spin on it without pointing fingers at ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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