2018 can be a new year, or it can be a new kind of year.
In part, it will be shaped by patterns and rhythms of the past.
It will also be shaped by events outside of our control, some of which will be good and some will be bad.
And a great deal of it will be shaped by our preferences and choices – more than we know.
Okay, midnight on the 31st December is an artificial line drawn into time by humans but why not make it count for something bigger than simply turning over a new leaf?
365 days of exploring your curiosity inventiveness and artistry? Come the 31 December 2018, you’ll be in quite a different place. Not bad for new.
‘You can decide you want some new habits.’*
If new possibilities come your way, it’s likely you’ll need some new habits.
Habits create spaces for us to be imaginative and innovative and creative in. Who thought that getting up earlier or finding some space to be alone or turning some pages of a book each day or just getting out of the usual space (the list is endless)? Yet it’s in these very places the future forms.
(*From Seth Godin’s blog: New habits.)
‘Profluence, in brief, is about flow. It means movement, tension, propulsion, unexpected twists, and resolution. All good stories whether narrative or documentary, are profluent because they create an experience of starting somewhere, and by the end of the story we arrive somewhere else. We are moved. Profluence is the narrative connective tissue that transforms moments into scenes, scenes into stories, and stories into connections.’*
RecogniseD or not, each of us lives our life within a story.
We can continue in this story or we can change it for another. Story is powerful, a way of understanding ourselves and the world around us. The most powerful stories are transcendent – this is really that – and therefore transformative. As Kosuke Koyama encourages us to see:
‘Beauty is beautiful when it makes non-beautiful beautiful. Rich is rich when it makes poor rich.’**
Story moves us from functional life to artistic life.
(*Anthony Weeks, from Drawn Together by Visual Practice.)
(**From Kosuke Koyama’s Three Mile an Hour God.)
‘The wanderer becomes one with himself or herself and the universe. We connect with the energy of all living things. We live according to our inner nature.’*
A few things about desire.
There’s a desire for building a safe place to be – a hygge place – and there’s a desire to reach out and explore. We need both.
There is good desire and there’s bad desire but we cannot live without desire.
A bad desire can become a prison for our heart, whilst a good desire can be the expression of our heart with benefits for others.
Bad desires aren’t helped by the fact that the speed of desire, from wanting to getting, has increased in ways we couldn’t imagine twenty years ago.
Slowing down helps a lot to notice our greatest desires, the ones that will define our lives.
(*From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
“I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down, but I get up again
You are never gonna keep me down”
Long before Tubthumping sang their lyrics over and over again, Theodore Roosevelt was encouraging us to keep getting up:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Every story has a beginning and an end. In between, there’s the middle bit – providing us opportunities to write some different possibilities.
2018 is a whole year of such possibilities.
So that was 2017. How has it prepared you for 2018?
Because it will have, whether you know it or not.
Life involves a lot of discovering that we have more to give than we often imagine. The difficult pat is bringing it out.
There comes a natural end to this none of us will escape. No-one wants to arrive at this point and for it to be said, “They could have given more.”
Yet for a thousand and one different reasons, we hold back. But take who we are further and not only will 2018 be quite an adventure but 2019 will be even more so.
It’s like being in business, the business of being the best we can be. (There’s a natural connection between life and business.)
Seth Godin reminds us that the best businesses exist for others just like people:
‘Kindness ratchets up. It leads to more kindness. It can create trust and openness and truth and enthusiasm and patience and possibility.
Kindness, in one word, is a business model, an approach to strangers and a platform for growth.
It might take more effort than you were hoping it would, but it’s worth it.’*
(*From Seth Godin’s blog: Kindness scales.)
‘Be ready when you get there. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for good things to happen – make good things happen.’*
Rather than who, make it you.
Rather than when, make it now.
(*From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)