By Rod Moser, PA, PhD
Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall? Answer: To make up for his lousy summer. As I have mentioned many times in the past (Annus Horribilis), I had a lousy 2011 and have been anxious about the turn of the New Year, hoping that 2012 would be a better year for me. Today, I got my regular newsletter from my good friend and former neighbor, Shawn Anderson, a noted author and motivational speaker. Shawn and I have been sort of motivating each other for years, but I was particularly thrilled by his latest newsletter topic: Five Ways to Guarantee a Crummy 2012. I have taken the liberty of reprinting his tongue- in-cheek topic. It is just too good not to share.
1. Set less-than-spectacular goals.
Set your sights low. Who needs goals…right? Or…here’s an alternative option: Be bold! Create a wish list for what you want different in your life. Albert Einstein shared, “Imagination is everything. It is a preview to life’s coming attractions.” If your imagination is dull for what you want out of life…how can you truly live a life that you’ll love?
2. Be afraid of taking risks.
Want more of the same limited success this year? Then don’t jump. Don’t risk anything. Just keep walking the exact same status quo road. Or…here’s an alternative option:
Jump! Ray Bradbury wrote: “Sometimes you’ve got to jump off cliffs and grow wings on the way down.” Sure there are no guarantees, but if you don’t take risks, how is anything great ever going to happen for you?
3. Watch a lot of TV.
Want to be sure to stay stuck? Flip the TV on! Undoubtedly, there will be a ton of mind-draining shows on that will absolutely allow you to waste your time. Or…here’s an alternative option:
Kick it into gear! Take one baby-step forward on one of your goals every day. Maximize time, and remember that when you put yourself into motion and take action, you initiate the possibility of putting into motion something great.
4. Act like a victim.
It’s gotta be somebody’s fault you aren’t where you want to be…right? Go ahead and blame your boss for not paying you enough. Blame your spouse for you being unmotivated. Blame your parents for how you were raised. Blame the government for not having a program to help you. The reason you are stuck in life must be because of one of them! Or…here’s an alternative option:
Move forward! Quit blaming others for your “bad luck.” Instead, take responsibility and improve your life from the inside out. Start a daily self-improvement program: 1) exercise, 2) read motivational books, and 3) join an empowering organization. We become what we do and what we think.
5. Give up.
You’re too old…too broke….too everything to start over now, so don’t even try. Just quit. And point fingers. And watch TV. Or…here’s an alternative option:
Make your life count. As long as your heart is beating, you can still go for it! You can still make a difference. You can still influence others. You can still create adventure and success for yourself. It is all about choosing to make your life count until the end.
The biggest obstacle in creating more of what we want in 2012 is ourselves. If we don’t change attitudes, plans or actions…neither will the success we experience change. Hey…if your 2011 was crummy, who wants more of that? Right?
So what do you say? How about raising our glasses to a year of spectacular goal-setting, bold risk-taking…and our best year ever.
Cheers! Shawn Anderson
To these five great suggestions, I would like to add five of my own for my Family Webicine readers:
6. Ignore your health
Making lifestyle changes is perhaps the most difficult challenge that many of us will undertake. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Start an exercise program. Eat better. I suspect all or some of these were on your list of New Year’s resolutions. If YOU do not take the initiative to make these life-saving and life-extending changes, you should not expect it to happen.
7. Expect to Die
In the end, we will all die, so what’s the point? It has been said that “Good Health is the slowest form of dying.” If you are impatient to see what is on the other side, just keep doing what you are doing. Don’t break those bad habits that are killing you. Life is short, so let’s just keep it that way.
8. Pleasure first.
People smoke because they like it. They don’t stop smoking because they do not want to deprive themselves of pleasure. People stay fat, and even get fatter, because they do not want to deprive themselves of sweet culinary pleasures of life. If you exercise, it takes time and effort. You sweat. You stink. You hurt. Why do any of these things? They are not pleasurable.
9. Beauty is only skin deep. Ugly goes all the way to the bone.
None of us look the way we did when we were teenagers or in our adult youth. We can chose to age with dignity, or just simply let ourselves go. If you don’t like looking in mirrors, just get rid them. If you don’t like stepping on a scale, throw it away. Ignorance is bliss. We glance at our naked bodies and jump back with revulsion. We blame our clothes for making us look terrible, but it is what inside that needs to change. A positive attitude must occur before any positive physical changes can occur.
10. Think only of yourself
The most important person on this planet is you. Everyone else comes last. You have the right to deprive your family of a father (or mother). If you die prematurely, you will not to get to know your grandchildren. So what? Your spouse can just fend for themselves after you are gone. If your health results in disability instead of death, someone else will care for you. You have the right to be grumpy and to make other people dislike you because of you negative attitude. You do not have any friends.
No one really goes through life alone. We all started with two parents even though many of us grew up with only one (or none). We make friends and we form our own families. Our families are not necessarily blood related. Our families are our friends (and some relatives, of course). Friends are friends because they care about you. They do not want to be mourners at your funeral, but rather people that you can count on for help while you are alive. Life is rarely easy, and it is not something we can usually do alone. Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, you have friends or relatives out there that care for you, even if you think you do not.
Friends are good medicine, but they do require nurturing. You have to call them; don’t just expect them to call you. You have to tell them how much you appreciate them in your life. You have to ask for help if you need it, or even if you think you don’t.
Life is short and you do have the power to make it shorter and more uncomfortable if you want, but you also have the ability to make then necessary changes.
Be a better YOU in 2012 and your life will improve. I guarantee it.
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