“We are where we are, however we got here.
What matters is where we go next.”—Isaac Marion
The New Year inevitably brings resolutions. Just as inescapable are posts about those inexorable goals for the next 12 months.
We generally hear goal statements or sentiments accompanied by words like “intention,” “focus,” “the best year ever,” “the dawn of new you,” “we’ll see what happens,” and “this year’s gotta be better than last.”
We hear of “to do” lists for the coming year. Richard Branson urges people to ditch that list with a “to be” list.
Isaac Marion’s quote above reminds me that my choices get me to where I am. And my next choice will move me toward where I want to be. Where I go next depends on what I do now. Today really is the tomorrow I created yesterday.
If we don’t like our today, perhaps we would do well to evaluate what we did yesterday. And the day before that. And before that. And then…zero in on where we go next—tomorrow. I’ve heard athletes say they quickly put a failure (strikeout, interception, missed game-winning shot) behind them and focus on the next at bat, play, or run down the court. If they didn’t, they would encumber themselves with needless baggage.
No doubt that events do happen to us. Injustice occurs. Cancer arrives uninvited. Death appears arbitrary. A natural disaster takes everything a family owns. An election turns a nation on its collective heads. In those situations, it appears disingenuous to say “focus on the journey” or “your yesterday got you to today.”
Events, people, or circumstances do play a role in our journey. So does our response. I can be upset with a day from Hell in the airport—and let it ruin my entire day (which, unfortunately, I have done too often for no good return). In that case, the airport is where I am and where I go next (in my mind) is up to me. I cannot take control of the airline schedules or weather. I can control me.
Someone recently said to me that he could not understand how I could be so positive given the condition of our world. (Pretty broad, I know.) I saw someone in the gym a few months back crying. She was upset about the direction of our nation. She said to me, “How can you remain so calm?” Well, what am I to do? Walk around tied up in angst?
I may not be able to change the world from my location but I sure as heck can make an impact on the people I meet—one person at a time. It comes down to perspective.
For sure, I am where I am. And I am going where I take myself. Unless I want to wait for someone else to do my work to achieve my goals. And do I want to be carried along on my journey by negative, pessimistic, fearful, and myopic minds?
What matters is where I go next.
Video recommendation for the week:
Make it an inspiring year and H.T.R.B. as needed.
For information about and to order my book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A number of colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).
(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.