I can without doubt say that 2011 was my best year ever, and I am grateful for a lot of things which happened this past year. As we all move ahead into the new year 2012, I want to list out ten things which we all should not do in the years and decades ahead. As human beings there are so many habits ingrained in our behavior which we don’t even realize. Some of these habits help us in moving forward, while others stop us from realizing our true potential. It takes a lot of conscious effort to break free of these habits or patterns. Hence this list of ten points below are those habits which I am going to stop doing –
1. Stop Running From Our Problems
It is very easy to shut our eyes during a problem, blame someone else or the situation and look in the other direction. In the new year, we should face these problems head on and stop running from them. We should aim to learn, adapt and solve the problems over a period of time. But we shall not close our eyes and assume the problem is no longer there. In the process, we will realize that we have become a better human being.
2. Stop Try Becoming What we are Not
Do you think you are stuck in the wrong job? Or are you trying very hard to please your parents or your spouse? Or are you working day and night to match up to your peers? Stop that. NOW. Each one of us is unique, and the sooner we realize that it is better. It makes no sense in trying to become a person that someone else wants us to be. Instead, let us realize our own uniqueness and do what we love and in the way we want to do it. Break these chains, and only then will we experience freedom.
3. Stop Holding on to the Past
An event which happened one second ago is as much in the past as another which happened ten years ago. Whatever has happened is over and we never have any control over that? Good or bad, success or failure – past is past. Period. There is no point feeling guilty or repenting over past mistakes. Similarly, there is no point boasting over our past successes. What matters is what we are doing now… So let us stop living in the past in 2012, and take the steps to make the most of every moment.
4. Stop Being Scared
Pluck those ‘ifs‘ and ‘buts‘ out of your life (and your vocabulary) and act brave, for a change. Most of our fears are over estimated while at the same time we all have a tendency to under estimate our own capabilities. So stop being scared as nothing bad is going to happen to you if you go ahead with your dreams. The only thing that will happen is that you will feel alive, maybe a little discomfort as you expand your comfort zone, but you will experience what it is to really live.
5. Stop Wasting the Best Years of our Life
I am 28 now, and I know these are the best years of my life. This is the best time to do anything as the body is still young while the mind is mature and more wise from the past mistakes and lessons. So I am not going to waste these years working in a job which I don’t like. Don’t postpone your travel plans around the world (or any other dreams of yours) to a later time. Let me tell you, later never comes. Fix a date, and go do it. We can never get back any time we let go. So buckle up and do what you want before your body gives out.
6. Stop Waiting for Big Things
Are you waiting for that promotion, or for getting that big idea that will change your life? We all live our lives planning and dreaming about big success, but the real joy is in the small things while we move towards our goals. We must always aim big, but should never sacrifice happiness for achievement. The journey is the real reward and not as much the destination. So take a moment to realize the world around you, the people in your life, and make sure to give the best of yourself to everyone around you.
7. Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
Enough of feeling sorry or crappy about ourselves. Complaining and feeling we are not capable is a very easy way to escape our responsibilities. It only gives us a reason to not work and not being accountable for our own life. Instead realize that everything that happened has made you the person that you are, and so will everything in the future. Don’t have any regrets because life didn’t turn out for as we wanted, or a certain person didn’t act out as we expected. Only when we let go of the life that we have planned for ourselves we can be ready for the life waiting for us.
8. Stop Trying to Control Everything
We human beings take great joy in controlling things and situations. But life in its most inherent form has always been unpredictable. We have controlled a lot of things in the modern society for our ease and comfort, but trying to control everything is a futile exercise. We can never control (after an extent) how life will act out, and life’s beauty is in its unpredictability. Stop trying to second guess the future, because you will not be happy when life shocks you, which it will. In 2012, let us be ready with open arms for the surprises in life, both the positive and negative ones.
9. Stop Blaming Others
What has happened in our life, what we did or did not do, happened because of us and not because of any him, her or the situation. Let us take responsibility for our choices and decisions. We must always be ready for the consequences of our decisions and stop putting the blame on life or on someone else. Your life starts with YOU and it will end with YOU.
10. Stop Being Unthankful
Each day is a gift and nobody knows how many more we have. In the pursuit of our big dreams, we should never forget the joy of being alive. Be thankful of each day, of each breath we take, and of the various other small things in life which often go unnoticed. Say thanks to the people who have made a mark in our life and who we know will stand with us no matter what.
So make this new year count. It doesn’t matter if the previous years counted or not. It doesn’t matter whether we are young or old. The only thing that matters is the present moment, and your resolve to make it count. So go out, and do what you like. Make mistakes and learn from them. Enjoy the richness and beauty of the world, even if it means getting hurt sometimes. We all have only one life, and let’s not save anything for the next one. Happy New Year!!