The final weekend of 2013 is upon us. It’s the weekend when several of the news and entertainment shows do a “year in review” program, highlighting the year’s best and worst events. Many of these events will likely show up in history books and maybe future generations will learn from our mistakes or be inspired by our successes. In theory, the world should be a better place because of the lessons of history, including the history of 2013.
These end-of-year shows are interesting to watch but I’m always surprised by the number of events from the year that have already become distant memories. Clearly, the things that don’t impact us directly quickly fade into the background. But how about the things that do impact us directly? How about your life and the lives of those around you? Maybe the events of your personal life didn’t make a news reel, but they’re still part of history and their lessons are important. The life you lived in 2013 has the potential to make 2014 better…if you take the time to reflect. So find a quiet place this weekend and ask yourself the following questions (suggestion: get a journal, record your answers and make it an annual event):
- What do I want to remember…good and bad?
- What am I most proud of?
- What would I have done differently? (hindsight is a gift)
- Who do I wish I spent more time with? Less time with?
- What did I do too much of?
- What should I have done more of?
- What do I want to change in 2014?
The answers to these questions will help center you and position you to move into the new year with confidence. Whether 2013 was a good year or not, doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you do with the knowledge you gained by living through it. You matter. Never underestimate the impact you have, good or bad, on the people you meet and the paths you cross.
Because of 2013, together, we can make the world a better place in 2014.