THE REALITY CHECK - 1 January 2014
Seascape Sunrise - Piedras Blancas, California
Link to original file: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/California/i-zcV236M/A
Welcome to the new year. I think 2013 was a great year and think 2014 will be just as awesome. While I'm a relatively optimistic fellow, it's easy for me to think 2014 will be a great year. But, I know lots of people have a nagging thought in their heads that worry about the year to come because there are so many "troubles" out there. If you are easily sucked into the media (name your version here) you might believe 2013 was "the worse ever." Then, you look at all the different issues that dominated the news front and might think, "how can 2014 be any better. It might be the worse ever and only getting worse. Well, I beg to differ.
One thing that's never lacking is hyperbole in the media. What I mean is definitive statements that say things like "the worse ever" without really backing that statement up. We've all read such thing but really, can we truly empirically believe such a thing? When you look at so many other things that have gone poorly in America over its 200+ years, can anyone say 2013 was the "worse ever?"
You can look back just a few short years ago to 2008 during the last stock market crash. I think things that year were kind of less than perfect. Worse than 2013? I can't say but at least it's a competitor. How about 2001 with the strike on the World Trade Center? Go a little further back to Vietnam war years. Oh, how about during WWII? Or, the Depression years. I can go on.
I'm bringing this up because saying 2013 is the worse ever is a slippery pessimistic mindset that doesn't have much basis in fact. Sure, it was challenging, so is every year. They're all challenging in their own ways. Of course, some are more epic than others but still to say this last was the "worse ever" doesn't make much sense. And, to accidentally resign ourselves to thinking that does not give much hope for the coming year.
The whole thing we've probably forgotten is that not everything is easy and without issues. In fact, issues in daily life should be the norm. To have a year without any challenges might mean you have a year without any challenges. Certainly, if you're not trying to improve your situation you could have a year without challenges and issues. I hope you're trying to improve yourself and have your challenges and issues to show you're trying.
I promote the idea our conversations should be less about the failures and more about the successes where there might be. We have successes everyday that generally go unnoticed because the news tends to dwell on what's not going well. I guess someone could say good news does not attract attention while bad news does. I want to hear good news. I want to be able to acknowledge awesome things that happen as they do. I think this promotes a much healthier mindset that readies us for those times when it's really tough.
I wrote an article on the Flight To Success website. Here's the link:
The point of this article is how we commonly measure our successes in life to the perfect track vs just paying attention whether we're moving forward or not, even if it's only just a little bit. The more bad news--further off the perfect track--the harder it is to stay motivated when it gets tough.
As bad as 2013 was, it probably wasn't the worse. In fact, you might find it was a lot like many other years. On the other hand, as good as 2013 was, it probably wasn't the best. Still, as with any new year, there's always the potential 2014 will be the best ever. We'll see won't we? Welcome to the new year.
Happy New Year