New year, same (but hopefully improved) me.

I have been getting some emails about life advice, new year resolutions and success. I assume they think Ive been doing "well". I've also been getting quite some backlash for reasons I am still yet to understand. I assume they think Im doing horribly. Its all perspective after all. To be honest, when it comes to success my guess is as good as yours. Even success is about perspective as it is only YOU who can define, and achieve your 'success'. For example, some people might define success as fame and fortune, some people as family and friends, some people as achieving a certain goal or completing a certain mission, and some people have no idea, they're just ticking boxes and crossing calendar days. 
Personally, I have no idea what the key to life success is, I'm on a journey and I still have wayyyyyyyyyys to go. Just like you.
Im still trying to navigate this world that is full of injustice and confusion. Trying to navigate the praise, the backlash and the indifference. I wish I had some answers, just like you. But even though I am not claiming to have any foolproof methods for you today, I thought I would just share some experience and hope it resonates with somebody.

I just had a birthday a couple days ago, which I had completely forgotten about until the day before.
"Oh yea! Tomorrow is the 28th already?! I totally forgot about it!" -Me every year.
However, whether you remember or not, you get older each year. More wrinkles creep up, responsibilities grow, your energy levels go down, stress level goes up... We become more and more critical of others, more disillusioned with the world, less impressed by its beauty...
Why? Are we just jaded? Are we just 'tired of it' and 'over it'? Have hardships finally gotten the best of us? Too many heartbreaks? How can we defeat these feelings of disenchantment? Well, here is some food for thought.

- Be grateful. When you see a person who is grateful, you are naturally drawn to them.  When you are grateful, you are humble because you appreciate every good deed and every blessing. When you are grateful, you are naturally selfless because you love without expectations. When you are grateful, you can naturally love better because you take nothing for granted.  But we are jaded, we are angry, we are ungrateful. We carry so much weight and so much baggage. We are divisive and critical, we've gotten hurt too many times. So we become grumpy, mad at people, mad at this generation, mad at the "system"...
Gratitude is my new years resolution.

- Be kind. Please don't be the grumpy pants, sad Sally, pissed Paul. Give me a break. There is nothing less attractive than someone who just looks for the worst in people. Please don't be the internet troll, do yourself that favor. You are only making yourself unhappy and angry when doing that, you are comparing and judging and wasting your valuable time talking about what you think someone else is doing wrong. Start focusing on being a better person yourself! We are supposed to encourage one another, lift each other's heads, respectfully disagree, lovingly persuade...
Redirecting perspective is my new years resolution.  

Know who you are. I have to admit, Negativity and bad sentiments don't really get to me. I am pretty decisive and I know who I am, people's words can only affect you if you don't know who you are. Unlike a punch in the face, somebody's bad comments about you will only affect you if you give them that power. But don't think I woke up one day at 19 years old and I knew exactly who I was. It is always a process defining who you are and it can be found out in many ways such as passions, talents, callings, faith, end goals... I think it can all be summarized as VALUES. Your values define who you are.
If you struggle with comparing or finding purpose, if you haven't yet been able to figure out what you want to be and where you want to go, I advise you to start with your values. This new year start drafting a list of your values. Spend some time on it, its so important. Try to add to it as you live your life and think of more things that make you tick. Big things such as 'I want to marry someone of character', not like "I need Mike to be my husband because he's so cute and I am 13 years old". Im talking about life direction, long term dreams that you hold dear. Do it before you get jaded. Find out who you are.
Defining who I am is me new years resolution.

- Be patient. Nothing happens overnight and nothing changes overnight. Studies say that just to create a new habit it takes minimum 21 days. We are stubborn, opinionated and set-in-our-ways. Quite annoying if I must tell ya. We want it our way and we want it now! We follow people on social media and think we know them and the work that goes behind someone else's "success". Everybody who is good at anything works hard. Nothing happens simply by luck. People have to put in hours, put in work, put in sacrifice, put in TIME. Years, decades, a life time. It takes time to perfect a craft, there are no short cuts. It also takes time to build character and its something we all must work on until our last day on this earth.

People spend too much time worrying whether who gets the worm is the early bird, the bird that knows the sleep pattern of the worm, or the bird that has bigger wings... I once heard someone say that it is all of them. The bird that gets the worm is the bird that knows itself well enough to work within its strengths to get the worm.

Put yourself in a position of advantage this new year. Be grateful and get a fresher outlook in life, be kind and stop wasting your time on the negative, find out more about who you are and what you value, work hard and have enough patience to see the fruit of your hard work. 

xoxo

Es