“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein
Happy New Year! Coming into another year is a gift many people didn’t get the chance to experience. Before we talk about resolutions, goals, and dreams, let’s be grateful for the gift of a new year. The uncertainty and fear that have gripped the world over the past two years are palpable. I believe one of the best ways to quench fear is with gratitude. In addition to reminding us of what matters, gratitude helps us remain open to the possibilities while keeping hope alive despite fear’s deflating nature.
Possibilities appear endless in a new year because it feels like we have a new lease on life. Another chance not just to do better but be better. The ushering of a new year is not only about turning the calendar but being intentional about living a life that matters. A new year doesn’t automatically mean a different year. It means a new opportunity to choose a better quality of life.
Becoming better should never be in comparison to others. Using other people as the measuring stick for our progress either makes us prideful because of our progress or discouraged when others are doing better. I believe becoming better this year should be against the backdrop of who and where we have been. By making incremental changes daily, we ensure that we are getting better than last year. Are there areas in your life you want to become better? One reason to identify areas to become better is to improve your field of view. Identifying these areas positions you to make changes that turn a new year into a different year.
Field Of View
Described as the extent of the observable world that is seen at a given time, your field of view (FOV) is crucial to what you observe. Our eyes have a maximum horizontal FOV of 135 degrees and a 180 degrees vertical FOV. In life, your field of view is key to making the necessary improvements that constitute a better year. Without the right FOV, we are left with blind spots that restrict our spectrum of awareness. Lack of awareness is perhaps the biggest obstacle to change. What you are unaware of has the potential to harm you. The National Highway Association attributes 840,000 accidents in the United States to blind spots.
Many blind spot accidents occur during lane changes, keeping motorists from reaching their destinations. Similarly, blind spots can keep us from reaching our goals in life. How do we eliminate blind spots? By improving our FOV which makes us more aware of our current position. An improved FOV also gives a view that is greater than ourselves. We become observant and attentive to others with the aim of helping and adding value. I’ve discovered that fear restricts my FOV, making me more self-centered and less others-centered. How do we improve our FOV? With a better lens. We acquire better lenses by asking better questions. And no question is more paramount than why.
After identifying the areas you desire to become better, inquire why you want to get better in these areas. Most people simply make changes because of others. This is a restrictive FOV. Why move us from the reasons that we all find on the surface like, it feels good, or everyone is doing it to the real cause for making improvement. According to writer Simon Sinek, “to inspire start with the clarity of why.” Change is sustained and realized where a strong why exists. It serves as a point of inspiration when excitement expires. Do you know why you want to be better? My reason for wanting to be better is that I can be of more value in building up people in my sphere of influence. My goal in life is to incrementally and effectively edify others through my words and actions. This is my why. What is yours?
Coming This Month
Once we establish the why for the change we seek, we can take the journey towards becoming better. To kick off the new year, we will take a microscopic look at four keystone words that can make a new year a different year:
Desire (January 13th)
Decision (January 20th)
Discipline (January 27th)
Here is a short caption for each topic:
In the area of desire, we will pursue the understanding of desires and why they are essential to living differently. In decisions, we will seek out the value of decisions and how making the right decision and managing it with smaller decisions can change the trajectory of your life this year. Finally, in discipline, we will learn that the change we want cannot become reality without this piece of the puzzle in place. Discipline is the key that transmutes desire and decision into the delight of realizing a goal, dream, or resolution.
Final Thought: Can this be a different year? I believe the answer is yes. It’s the reason we all come into a new year with hope, even if it’s only a glimmer. By improving our FOV and clarifying our why, we turn the embers of hope into a burning flame amidst fear. This action is worthwhile because the actualization of the change we seek is always on the other side of our fears.
Keep on keeping on!