Out with the old and in with your new best self
Posted at 12:16:12 by Jacky Leonard
"If you want the best the world has to offer, offer the world your best"
Neale Donald Walsch
Well, here we are at the end of another year that I’m sure many will be pleased to see the back of. On reflection, overall 2016 has been good to me, with a number of personal and professional highlights such as getting my book written and published, picking up some wonderful new clients and helping relocate a Catamaran between Greece and Turkey. I’m grateful for my fabulous friends and family and count myself fortunate to have their continued support, love and kindness in whatever challenges life brings, or I choose to tackle. On a sadder note, I lost a cousin who was my writing inspiration. I will remember Evie with great fondness; her capacity for kindness, acceptance of people’s right to be different and her keen sense of fun.
Review 2016’s news and views and you’ll discover a year that had its highs, accompanied by perhaps more than its fair share of volatility, uncertainty and tragedy. One friend on Facebook described it as ‘the year that just keeps on taking.’ An understandable perspective given the bad and ugly events experienced around the globe, all of which have been well documented so I’m not going to dwell on them here. Instead, I’d like to end 2016 on a note of hope about the positive impact you and I can have if we continue to offer our best.
In a world that seems increasingly intolerant, quick to judge and blinkered to the many qualities that link and connect us, I hope 2017 will bring more understanding, acceptance and kindness. Instead of looking outwards and being quick to criticise, let’s deal with things within our control and think about what we think, feel and do and how this might impact on others.
I’m sure you all want the best for yourself and those closest to you, but is that where your goodwill stops? It’s easy to extend a helping hand to people you like, or those you think are like you. What about the ones outside your inner circle, or those who are different, challenging, or in need? What are you contributing to the wider community?
What about your behaviour; are you a drain or a radiator? Of course, we are all capable of both, but where do you spend most of your time and how does this affect you and those around you? It’s important to do the right thing, as well as to do things right. Never underestimate the impact of a seemingly insignificant gesture. A smile, your time, listening with empathy, making a charitable donation, every act of kindness, however small, counts. Perhaps, instead of focusing on differences, we can acknowledge and celebrate the similarities that bind us, look for people doing things right and be more appreciative of our own and others qualities, strengths and abilities. If the statement, ‘you get what you focus on,’ is true, we can all benefit from concentrating on being and doing our best in the forthcoming year.
Here’s a story that illustrates the power in a simple act of kindness, regardless of the odds.
A man is taking a walk along a beach, when ahead of him he sees thousands of starfish which have been washed ashore. As he continues along the sand, he sees a boy, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another, putting them into a bucket, walking to the sea and tossing each one gently into the ocean. “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asks. “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them into the water they will die.”
The man looked at the lad and sneered “Don’t you realise there are miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The youngster listened, then calmly bent down to pick up another starfish and gently threw it into the sea before turning to the man and saying. “I made a difference to that one.”
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy, healthy and successful new year and leave you with one question to ponder…How will you be your best and make a difference in 2017?