Wow – 2014 was such a great year!!!!
That’s how January posts are supposed to start, right? It’s the beginning of a new year, so everything’s supposed to be happy and hopeful and filled with positivity. That was certainly the tone of the Christmas letters you got from your family and friends. “And of course we can’t forget cousin Stuart! He’s still in prison for money laundering, but he really likes his new bunkmate, and they’re putting more salt in the food these days, which he really likes!!!!”
However, if you’re like everyone else on the planet, then plenty of things didn’t go your way in 2014. I had a couple events this year that didn’t go as well as I would have liked, I had a rocky transition from Wisconsin to Michigan, and we lost some money on a bad business decision. (Note to readers: don’t buy a tank until you’re certain how it can be incorporated into your business. That has no bearing on why we lost money, but it’s good advice nevertheless.)
Don’t get wrong – I’m really happy, so happy that I FEEL COMPELLED TO SHOUT MY HAPPINESS WITH ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!!!! – but it wasn’t a perfect year by any means. Nobody wants to dwell on their failures and setbacks, but most of us tend to do whatever we can to ignore them. That isn’t healthy either. So I want you to think of something that didn’t go right in 2014. Spend a moment remembering what it was.
Then realize three things:
Your Successes Outnumbered Your Failures
I’m assuming you are not a chronic and irreparable loser, if for no other reason than because I’m not friends with chronic losers. I’m only friends with occasional losers like you. You’re welcome to take that as a negative, but try instead to think of what you really are – a frequent winner. Roger Federer is a occasional loser too, by the way, and he’s doing all right. And so are you.
Your Mistakes Haven’t Been That Bad
Unless you’re like cousin Stuart. But odds are your problems and mistakes are of the manageable variety. That isn’t to say you enjoyed making them, but it does mean that very, very few mistakes truly break us. One of the things that’s always impressed me about our species is our seemingly limitless ability to recover, regroup, and move on. Deer can’t do that, which is why they just stand there and let you hit them with your car. Silly deer. Don’t they know what that’s going to do to your deductible?
You Won’t Make the Same Mistakes Again
You might make similar mistakes, but they won’t be exactly the same. It is categorically impossible that you have failed to learn anything from the things that didn’t go your way in 2014, which means that you’ll never find yourself in exactly the same unpleasant positions. Repeat: you will never again deal with the exact same problems you’ve already managed to overcome this year.
2015 is not going to be perfect, any more than 2014 was. Things will go wrong. Mistakes will happen. But most of what’s coming to you is going to be successful. None of the mistakes you’re going to make are going to be insurmountable. And you’re smarter today than you were a year ago. There are some very real reasons for you to be optimistic about what’s in store for you.
So be happy, and have a wonderful 2015!