Inspirations for the New Year

Inspirations for the New Year

With a New Year comes a renewed determination in us to shun all that is undesirable and embrace the way of life that is beneficial for our wellbeing and happiness.

Some resilient among us observe the resolve steadfastly while the vast fickle-minded majority of us flounder no sooner than the New Year progresses. What does it take to be on the side of the strong-willed versus to be one with the weak-willed, is the moot question.

Culling out the wisdom of the strong-minded the art of making the New Year significantly better for us can be summed up in this three-pronged formula: Resist - Resolve - Respond.

Resisting all that is detrimental to our welfare is of utmost importance in the task of making the New Year work for us. Just as the initial work of removing weeds from a garden to provide the right ground for healthy vegetation is an essential step in reaping a green patch, resisting and removing all that is not in alignment in making our lives better will pave the way for the right ground for a brighter New Year.

As Epictetus aptly put it, "It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them." This art of resisting all that is fleeting and superfluous in life is easily attained by the wise, through constant and conscious practice.

Resolving to replace the unrewarding aspects of life with the more significant and relevant ones must follow to bring about noteworthy improvements. This resolution to improve on ourselves is more important than any other impetus we could get from anywhere or from anyone. Abraham Lincoln said it well, "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."

J Hawes, the renowned American photographer, who along with Albert Southworth, established the photography studio of Southworth and Hawes, which produced numerous portraits of exceptional quality in the 1840s-1860s, put it even more eloquently, "You maybe whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world and you will be something. 'I cannot' never accomplished anything; 'I will try' has wrought wonders. Thus, good resolutions become a pleasant crop to sow.

With the will to resist and the goal to resolve we must respond with concrete actions to the many challenges and opportunities that we will face and meet in the New Year. Taking on the challenges with courage and seizing the opportunities with enthusiasm hold the key to greener pastures in the New Year.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, the American author's words have nailed the entire idea so well: "Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself."