The start of a new year also brings with it a deluge of advice and commitments to guide our resolutions. Mick Walsh, author and coach, believes that most new year resolutions are not fulfilled because they are too short-term in nature (i.e. knee-jerk remedies) and more focused on meeting the expectations of others rather than our own dreams.
To realize higher degrees of fulfillment, self actualization, and happiness, it can be argued that resolutions should be based only on long-term, life pattern behaviors. Walsh refers to a publication by Regina Brett, a journalist who celebrated her first fifty years of life by publishing an article listing the fifty lessons life taught her. The following sample statements from Brett’s article speak to the ideals associated with resolutions that could serve to frame our long-term, life pattern behaviors.
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
- When in doubt, just take the next small step.
- Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
- When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
- Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
- It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
- Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
- Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
- It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
- When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
- No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
- Forgive everyone everything.
- Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
- However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
- Your children get only one childhood.
- All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
- Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
- If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
- Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
So how does this connect to the start of a new school semester? One of the many facets that I appreciate about our profession is the opportunity to begin each semester afresh as part of a continuous cycle of renewal. The new relationships, new challenges, and new learning and growth opportunities offered during the school year bring us another step forward towards the self-actualization aspirations we set for ourselves, both as individuals and as an institution. The ongoing processes of setting goals and establishing resolutions, particularly those that are long-term life pattern behaviors that further our own and collective self-actualization and happiness, are directly linked to the ideals expressed through EAB’s mission: Learners inspiring learners to be inquisitive in life, principled in character, and bold in vision.
Jack Layton’s words further articulate these thoughts and our work as educators:
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
So, let us work to change the world through education, one resolution at a time.
Featured image: cc licensed (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) flickr photo by Toni Verdú Carbó:The Passage of Time; https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonivc/2283676770/