As we begin a brand new year in 2005, many of us will be searching for ways to make this New Year better than those of the past. What separates us from plants and other animals is we humans have the power of choice to either find a way to improve our lives, maintain the status quo, or regress backwards. We are not like a cornstalk or chicken on a farm whose destiny is pretty much laid out from its inception. We can dream, become inspired, plan and execute with great pride, in order to steer our life in a direction that's different than others of our specie.
At this time of the year, we all need to reflect a bit. Ponder a bit. Think and dream a bit. Engage in a healthy exercise to access our present lifestyle and accept it as it is. We didn't get where we are by accident. We arrived by years of actions or the lack of actions that took place in our life. However, as stated above, we don't have to settle for our present lifestyle if we are not happy with it. We usually can find some options and take some steps to improve ourselves in 2005 and the years ahead.
A few questions to ponder at this time of the year might be:
Am I living a happier, more fulfilled life than ten years ago? Five years ago? Three years ago? If not, why?
Am I proud of my plans and accomplishments in 2004?
Am I proud of how I live each day?
Am I living the lifestyle I am capable of living?
Do I just settle for whatever happens to me each hour, day, week, month and year or am I steering my life like the captain of a ship with a carefully mapped out route?
Do I know what new goals I want to accomplish in 2005? If so, do I have a plan to accomplish them? If not, why don't I have any new goals for 2005?
A few months ago, one of my consulting clients asked me the following question during a phone session - "What is the number one quality you possess - that MOST contributed to your lifelong success?" I had to think for a couple seconds - but then immediately responded with MY PRIDE! Taking pride in my actions and details relating to my life was always a top priority for me.
As we look around us every day, wherever we might be - we can almost immediately spot signs of pride. For instance, a couple of years ago we were visiting college campuses for my son to attend. As we entered the gates of a campus, we could spot pride or the lack of it almost immediately in the air. Some campuses were unkempt - from the buildings to the landscaping. Others had perfectly manicured lawns, beautiful flowers and polished floors that were shiny and bright. It only took a few minutes to see these vast differences in pride.
The same holds true when you first walk into a restaurant. Some are dark, dusty and have silverware that looks like it was purchased at an army-navy store. Then you'll walk into another restaurant that's maintained by an owner with great pride and find just the opposite. There are beautiful fresh flower arrangements on a starched white tablecloth; attractive dishes; shiny silverware and glassware; freshly painted walls and cheerful surroundings. Where would you rather eat and spend your hard earned money?
I believe your PRIDE plays a major role in your happiness, success and lifestyle. Your pride creates your attitude, displays your dignity, and strengthens your values and your self-esteem. It makes a statement about who you are to yourself and anyone who comes in contact with you. And it should never be compromised.
In my opinion the subject of PRIDE should definitely be discussed more often throughout our lives. If individuals took more pride in their actions, many of our problems in this world would diminish greatly. Individuals would be on time for appointments; pay their bills promptly; keep their promises; work conscientiously; treat their families and friends with dignity; help others in need; and earn the respect of their family, friends and peers.
If you're not happy with your answers to the questions above consider instilling more PRIDE into your life in 2005. It's the 2nd of January and you have 363 days left to make this year your best ever. Get excited about your future and get that adrenaline flowing through your body. Sit down and map out a plan for this year, keeping in mind that everything you do in life counts. Be proud of every moment and action you take and watch your life SOAR!