New years bring new opportunities and challenges. We never know what lies ahead, and maybe it is good that we don’t know. We stand at the beginning of a new adventure, and the unknown tomorrow awaits. It is
unchartered territory, an unexplored world. The choices we make will result in the life we live, whether good, bad or indifferent.
How do you face the unknown? I have often been hesitant, careful, and tentative with the new and unusual. I want to “play it safe”, “look before you leap”, and “test the water” before committing to something I’m not sure about. I suppose to some degree this is good practice. There is no inherent wisdom in foolishly rushing into situations where we have no knowledge. It can be wise to do our research and be aware of what we are facing before we jump. We can learn from others and plan a better approach. Yet it is possible to be too cautious and afraid to commit. This can keep a person permanently stuck on the sidelines of their own life.
No game is won entirely from the sidelines. The players have to be willing to join the game. It takes wisdom and experience to find a balance between caution and action. If we don’t take action, though, we are likely to simply watch others achieve what we only dream of doing. A less qualified and prepared doer is still going to achieve more than the better qualified watcher. To be of any consequence, we must choose to act.
Maybe this is a reason to make a resolution. To make a resolution is to make a choice for ourselves. We make a decision to follow through on something. Deciding is power. To decide means to “cut off” something. As we decide to do one thing the option of not doing it, or doing something else, is cut off from us. When we have cut off our other options, we will do our best to make that choice work. It is like diving into a pool. Once that decision is made and we take the plunge, we are cut off from the choice of standing on the edge. We are now swimming. If we were to be really honest, we don’t have the power to do much, but we can choose. It is our choices, the decisions we make, that define us. It declares who we have decided to be. The choices we make take us beyond a passive belief in something and put us in action.
As this year starts, choose one thing you already have been wanting to do and decide to follow through on it. Decide who you are and who you are not. Old habits can die hard, but if you have decided that you are not the person who does that old habit, you can remind yourself that you don’t do this anymore as you struggle to change. In time your reality will become the same as your belief about who you are. Remember, though, just be patient and kind to yourself as you grow.