At the beginning at 2013 I wrote down my list of goals for the year. Personal goals, business goals, goals for my family. I achieved some areas, made progress in others and in a few I managed not to go backwards. As I look back on the year I realize that whether I crushed it, took or few steps forward, or just managed to keep my head above water last year was a win. A huge win. Life is hard. It is fun and funny. It is beautiful, exciting, surprising and hard. I am thrilled to be living it and looking forward to whatever comes next. One goal in particular that I set for myself was to read one book a week for a whole year. That is one of the few goals that I crushed. I read 63 books in 2013. I was reviewing my list this morning and looking at some of the notes and marks I made in some of the them. The first book I completed in 2013 was A Brief History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Last night I finished Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. Two widely different books but as I was perusing my notations I pulled out two quotes that struck me.
From Bryson’s book:
“It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of the intoxicating existence we’ve been endowed with. But what’s life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be , is every bit as strong as ours-arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don’t. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment’s additions existence. Life, in short just wants to be.”
From Frankl’s book:
“And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing the freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.”
We are survivors who are never without choice. What are you going to do in 2014 that will live up to that legacy? You are gifted. Just because “you are.” Do something. It doesn’t have to be world changing. It doesn’t have to be mind blowing. It just better not be more of the same stuff that you were already sick of last July. You are by nature a survivor. You have by being choice. Do something with it.
Happy New Year.