Your Next Chapter Is Here. Are You Ready?

Dec 29, 2021

As we close out 2021 and turn the page to the next chapter, it's important to reflect and take inventory before we keep sprinting forward. And that's what most - who are achievement oriented - are doing, sprinting. 

Let's take a second to collect ourselves and get clear about how to move forward in a satisfying, adventurous, and fulfilling way. That requires looking to the past, the present, and the future.

If you haven't figured out by now I love words, and I especially love word combinations. For my last blog in 2021 I'd love to offer you a powerful word combination and framework to close out this chapter, and easily move into the next.

Three words: grace, gratitude, and goals.

The Healing Power of Grace

Give up all hope of a better past.

That's right. I'd love for you to consider forgiving yourself and everyone else you've ever encountered for not meeting your expectations or causing you harm.  Let go of  old stories of insecurity, inadequacy and insignificance you might still be carrying around. You are not your past or your stories. Let them all go and fully move into the present moment. You can only change the past by letting go of the pain that you're still carrying around.

There's no sense carrying all that baggage into the next chapter. To be agile, flexible, and fertile, you'll need to be light on your feet. Carrying the pain and burdens of the past is optional. You are under no obligation to feel any guilt, shame, anger, resentment, or grief going forward. Let it all go. Your present and future self will thank you for taking off the backpack full of rocks that you've accumulated over the years. You've carried them this far. Put them down for good... 

And don't pick up any more.


The Endless Joy of Gratitude

If you are reading this then you are probably on a device that costs more than the yearly wages of many people around the world. In 2021 over 11 million people have died of starvation, 857 million are currently undernourished, and there are 785 million people today with no access to safe drinking water. If you are reading this you have much to be grateful for, and I'd invite you to consider making what you already have more important than what you don't have. You have everything you need right now, and for that you are already blessed beyond some people's wildest imagination.

You might think that if you become satisfied with all of the goodness of your life right now, then you've peaked. Maybe you think that if you enjoy life too much you'll become apathetic. Do you believe that you need to suffer and sacrifice to experience more in your life?

Here's the magic little secret that many know, but few practice: a life anchored in gratitude magically expands in all directions without force, struggle or stress. Dissatisfaction robs you of joy. What you focus on grows. If you focus on what you don't have, the amount of things you don't have will increase.  What you appreciate, appreciates. You've heard it all before. When you are grateful for what you have, what you have grows. You don't have to suffer to increase. It's finally time to let go of all dissatisfaction, enjoy the magic and beauty of the present moment, and finally feel how joyful life can be. 


The Exciting Game of Goals

We live in a society that prioritizes hard work, suffering and sacrifice over enjoying life while increasing our quality of life. Hustle-whores and grind-gurus create massive empires around convincing and encouraging you to trade your life now for the dream of a better future. Please understand that the future never comes. It's only ever now. There will never be a time when you'll feel like you have enough to enjoy life. If you don't opt to feel joy now, then never.

I'm not trying to convince you to not set goals. Goal set in all areas of life, most definitely. It's great to have a destination in mind to help us navigate life. But set goals that excite you, and ones where you get to enjoy the entire journey - not just the destination. Don't punish yourself through your goals, and don't feel like if it's not hard it's not worth it. That's age-old garbage philosophy taught by people who felt insecure, inadequate and insignificant. They just didn't know better.

Set goals that get you excited about the future as well as the activities you get to do to create them along the way. Trust your gut. Pivot, change, and be flexible according to your intuition - that little voice inside of you. Don't continue to force yourself to honor expired goals which no longer motivate you. And while you're at it, hold your goals loosely while you enjoy every aspect of life.

Expect nothing except the unexpectable. The universe wants you to have everything you want - but you need to expect miracles, not struggle and stress.

The real goal of life is to enjoy life and make a difference in the lives of others along the way - not to invite more struggle into your life or prove anything to anyone, including yourself. 


Putting it All Together

Forgive the past, love the present and get excited about the future. How can you go wrong with that?

I hope that provides some inspiration for bringing 2021 to a powerful close, turning the page, and creating an awesome life that you'll be excited to wake up to each day. But never give up another second of joy.

The only reason your life might not be awesome now is because you're still trapped in a painful past or you're stuck in the hope of better tomorrow.

Meanwhile you're missing all the blessings you have right now.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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