What will this year be like? How will I show up in my own life this year? During the holidays, my brother-in-law made the statement that there are pretenders and contenders in life. That stuck with me. I don't think any of us want to end up like Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront," ruminating that "I coulda been a contender."
Being aware and being present don't sound like very lofty goals, yet those two characteristics have everything to do with the quality of life we experience. How many times have you sent your "representative" out into the world -- going through the motions -- instead of really showing up yourself? Have you stopped to think how you might have cheated yourself out of a richer experience?
Lots of times we have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, and we're missing the present. We're either too busy worrying about something that happened in the past or projecting into the future. While we're doing this, we're missing out on our lives today.
I'm not saying we don't need to plan or have goals. Certainly, we need structure. It's just when the process starts to overcome the end result that we may need to take a step back. Hurrying through life really has no purpose -- and is certainly not very fulfilling.
Our speed of life has expanded exponentially in the past decade. That doesn't mean, though, that we have to hurtle through space just to keep up. After all, what's the point? If we're always striving, we're never arriving.
That's what gives this day such impact. We get to take stock of the year we're saying goodbye to and to welcome the one that's ahead of us. I like to refer to it as "the year in review and the year in preview." A foundation of gratitude helps to set the stage for things seen and not yet seen.
Enjoy your clean slate. Anticipate the palette you're bringing to it and the rich tapestry you're weaving. As author Carlos Castenada said, "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."
Linda Arnold, MBA, is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications company specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments are welcome and may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301, or emailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.