It’s crazy how quickly the New Year comes along. I mean, one day you’re writing resolutions and then, BAM!, the year is over and you’re left trying to determine if resolutions can “roll-over” like cell phone minutes. A while back I decided not to make resolutions based on an absolute result such as, “lose 10 lbs,” or “get all A’s.” Instead, I chose to focus on values or lifestyle changes like, “live healthier,” or “work on prioritizing tasks.” My change in mindset allowed me to accomplish more because, instead of focusing on those 10 lbs I wanted to lose, I made smaller choices. Each choice led to a much happier, healthier me and seemed less daunting. My success rate skyrocketed!
I’m a firm believer that the universe presents you with things exactly when you need them. Just as I was considering next years resolutions, I ran in to a sociable older woman at a film screening. I’d like to believe that she’s always personable but, in truth, I think she’d succumb to a crush on a male friend I’d brought along =). At any rate, this 70-something year-old woman started a relatively unprompted discussion about self-doubt. She’d overheard my friend and I talking about career paths and was eager to chime in.The first thing she said was:
“When I was your age I was waiting on my carriage. Now, I’m waiting on my coffin.”
Of course my initial thought was, please let this negativity lead somewhere enlightening. Well, I asked and received! She went further to explain that, early on in her career she worried about what her family expected of her, what would happen if she made the wrong decision and how each and every step she took would help to manifest her dream life. At that point, she was of course waiting on her carriage. There were endless possibilities available to her. However, now she can, admittedly, only see her coffin. Due to this, her mind that was once clouded and slowed by self-doubt is now clear and swift. She makes decisions confident that they are the right ones, and sure that, if anything ill befalls her, there is always another choice to be made. The things that aided her self-development were no doubt, her experience and realization that death is an absolute.
Now, while looking to one’s death may be too heavy an image to consider when making decisions, I felt that this woman shared a valuable experience with me. In truth, in her youth, she failed to realize her own mortality. Because, we are all no different from her. The coffin is in view for each and every one of us. It may be 6 months, a year, 5 years, 50 years or more away, but it is still a guarantee. At any point in our lives we choose to focus on the carriage or the coffin. Endless possibility or looming finality. What’s important to remember is that it is all possible at any given point in time, no matter how short or long we’ve lived. Whether you’re 25 or 75, you can accomplish goals, learn, grow, love and contribute. So, my answer to the question above: BOTH. Our limited time means that we must make decisions based on our goals, values and strengths and, at the same time, try our best to throw away self-doubt. We must be clear and swift so we can have as many carriage rides as life allows.
So, what’s at the top of my resolution list?
- Approach my decisions with confidence and clarity.
… the rest of the list will soon follow.
Today I’m thankful for those willing to share their experiences.
I hope that your resolution lists are going well! If you have any to share, please do.