Right after midnight my social media feeds were flooded with wishes for a happy 2017, and inspirational messages comparing this New Year with a blank book with 365 pages, and urging us to write our story. Well, flooded may be a bit of an exaggeration. There were definitely quite a few of these messages.
Those that have been around me for some time know that I have an issue with such inspirational and motivational messages. They also know of my calm (mostly), logical, and rational outlook on life. A stoic even.
Now, these messages assume and assert that each new year offers the opportunity for a clean slate. For a fresh start in life. As if everything that happened over the past 12 months (or even longer) can be erased, and we are presented with an opportunity to redraw and reinvent our lives.
The way I see it though, this is far from the case. Yes, each new beginning offers the opportunity to move forward, to create, and to correct things – to the extent that this may be possible.
However, our lives do not arbitrarily get reset every 365 days (366 on leap years) on some random day. And it is random. Why couldn’t the same be true on one’s birthday. Unless each person gets more than one etch-a-sketch shake every year, which further supports the argument that the selection of the start of the year and this idea of a clean slate are arbitrary.
Instead, it would have been more productive (and I would accept the appropriate inspirational message) to argue that each new day is a fresh start. A new beginning.
With a caveat.
Each new beginning is not exactly a blank page. Instead, it is a page based on one’s past. Based on knowledge, experiences, health. Those are the things that will define the subject of each page. Because even if you leave everything behind (say you move to a new city) these are things you still carry with you, and which define you and what you will do. You can definitely try and ignore them, but they are still there. And ultimately, I find (empirically) still guide the content of each page.
Just like human history, discovery, knowledge, this too has a cumulative effect.
Now, what I am saying is not that we our future is predetermined. That fate somehow dictates our future. However, we must understand (and perhaps accept) the conditions through which we need to work in order to get to the desired result. Set (reslistic) goals, and go about reaching them.
So, go out there. Find out who you are and the resources you have to work with. Being always prepared to alter course. And write a new page in your lives. A creative page. A productive page. And do that. On each new day in your life.
Happy New Year everybody.