These are some of the comments I’ve been reading on social media over the Xmas holidays.
It would seem that many of us were more than a little disappointed with the year just gone. In fact for many the word ‘disappointed’ is perhaps a vast understatement. I know quite a few people who feel the same way about 2016 as they do about Cruella De Ville at the end of 101 Dalmatians. Anyone would think last year had hunted us down, stolen our puppies and then mercilessly skinned them just to wear our sorrow like a fluffy coat.
You know…just for the lols.
I suppose in a way it did. I’ll confess to feeling a little exasperated at the seemingly arbitrary eradication of musical legends and the utterly senseless takedown of comedy and light entertainment icons. It seems 2016 genuinely had it in for the talented and inspiring. You could also add to that the three major populist votes that came from out of nowhere to knock many of us on our backsides: Brexit! Trump! Honey G!! As we dragged our broken and weary bodies to the finish line of 2016, we could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the last 12 months had been unusually harsh. As if some irretrievably warped, malevolent being had arrived in January for a 12 month mini-break of random havoc and chaos. If you are one of those people who regularly thank the universe for all the good things that come our way, who exactly are we to thank for this collection of horrors?
But let’s just wait a minute.
There’s a problem here.
As much as I would love to point the finger of blame at something, anything in some desperate attempt to make some kind of sense of the last trip round the sun, I’m also painfully aware that all the time we allow forces other than ourselves to dictate our level of happiness, we leave ourselves a little open to abuse. As long as what occurs in the world this year gets to decide if it’s a good or a bad one, then we relinquish all influence over the success or failure of our endeavours during the next 12 months. We become the branch in the ocean, helpless to influence our direction, tossed and turned as the tide sees fit. In short, if we blame anyone or anything else but ourselves for our degree of satisfaction with our place in this world we accept one role and one role only.
That is the role of victim. If that’s an uncomfortable thought, good. It should be. You are not a victim.
If we allow world events to decide whether 2017 is a good or bad year then we start with the premise that we have no control over the outcome. The problem here is allowing the chief contributing factors in our happiness equation to be things that we have no influence over. If we have no control over the input we have no control over the result. Ultimately however, it isn’t the death of an individual or the result of an election that stops us moving forward. It is our attitude to these events that causes the stall. Fortunately, our attitude is the one thing we DO have control over. Personally, I’ll let the victims curse 2016 for all it’s negative outcomes, I’ll allow them to blame other people for their unhappiness and quietly nod as they shout their derision for all of Facebook to hear as they tell the entire year to f**k off and don’t come back! The good news is, it won’t come back. It’s done. The bad news is, we have no idea if next year will be any better.
So let’s change this right now.
I KNOW 2017 is going to be awesome. I’ve decided it will be.
I also decided 12 months ago that 2016 would be awesome, and guess what?
I was right.
For me, 2016 was an awesome year full of joy and endeavour. I experienced great triumphs in my business and I continued to enjoy the most rewarding relationship I have ever been a part of. I had some good news and I had some bad news. I faced huge challenges and there were times when I felt beaten, and times when the answers seemed nowhere to be found. At times I felt like the only thing keeping me going was the belief that keeping going was the right thing to do (and of course it was).
2016 was also a year that consisted of a lot of celebrities dying and some very strange times politically. All in all though, progress was made, and even the bad things didn’t fool me into thinking any other force but me was in charge of the important things in my life or my own level of happiness. I know I will go through hard times this year. I might even face challenges that I start to think will beat me. I also know that if I remember to keep going then I will prevail. Ultimately I know I will triumph in the only task I am here to do…find happiness. I wish you all the very best for 2017 and ask you to always remember one thing. You are only in control of one thing in this world, and that is you.
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