1 Jan 2013

Happy New Year 2013

First, I'd like to wish all my regular readers and fleeting visitors a Happy New Year!

May 2013 bring you the success you desire, and deserve, as a result of your own efforts.

Yet another year starts full of promise, potential and good intentions. I can offer no other message than to suggest that you are the master of your own good fortune. Set reasonable goals for yourself which will provide realistic rewards for the effort invested. The higher you aim the greater the degree of luck required to  achieve anything. Luck is a variable over which we have absolutely no control. So don't blame your lack of success on bad luck. Lady luck never asked you to trust her in the first place. If you are really honest with yourself  then she is rarely guilty of the crimes of which she is most often accused.

Conversely, setting your goals too low will make them all too easily achievable. The rewards may be too slight even to impress yourself. While constantly pushing your own limits you may surprise even yourself.  

Negative changes can be the result of poor emotional reactions to set-backs. Particularly in youth. Often with completely unforeseen results. Life can hinge completely on choices made under temporarily difficult circumstances. With consequences which may stretch into the distant future. Few choices are completely irrevocable. Many can be undone by a more positive approach and determination.

Not everybody can stand on the winner's podium of life. The rest of us can only meet the accusing eyes in the mirror and accept that we did the best we possibly could. Either by using the skills and abilities we have earned by hard graft. Or were given in the random lottery of our genes and social and geographical circumstances at birth.

I am not a great follower of sport, other than cycling, but 2012 gave us a great many examples to admire. Their courage, incredibly hard work and determination pushed them to the very top of the medals tables and rostrums. Often despite their shortcomings. Luck played almost no part in their many successes. Their secret seemed to be enjoying positive support for all of their efforts and truly earning the respect of their highly skilled team of supporters. These were not cowardly yes-men supporting some evil despot. But providers of honest encouragement for their athlete in trying much harder than even they thought possible.

If nobody is cheering you on then you have only yourself to blame. Either you aren't working hard enough, in a constructive sense. Or your fan club, of one, has completely forgotten their primary task: Encouraging their hero to achieve even greater things.

Be kind to yourself. Praise and encourage others openly and honestly for their own successes and improvements. If your praise is rejected then they are clearly unworthy of your support.

The Internet has proven that critics are literally as common as muck. That cynics are two (billion) a penny. Alas I am horribly guilty of both crimes but promise to try and be more honest and realistic this year. This is my only New Year's resolution for 2013.

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