The three words I’ve chosen for myself in 2022, along with the ironically fitting phrase they produce.
I’ve never been much of a New Year’s resolution(s) kind of person. In part because—perhaps inevitably—they lead to much consternation and disappointment, but even more so they take away from what should be our real goal each year: to find motivations to continually improve ourselves Similar in concept to the philosophy of Kaizen or continuous improvement, which can just as easily be applied to our personal lives in addition to the business world. Wikipedia rather than focusing on what we feel is horribly broken. Astute readers will notice my use of the word feel in that previous sentence, and make no mistake that was intentional. All too often our search for perfection puts even the slightest perceived fault under a gigantic microscope. Our mental efforts of self-criticism would be better put to use as constructive evaluation instead. It’s easy to shine the spotlight looking for things that are wrong, while that whole time missing those things we did right.
Nicholas Bate’s recent article about choosing a word for 2022 inspired me:
Choose a word. Any word. One word. Make it yours. Whiteboard it. Write it every day on your planner, put the word on a handful of 3 by 5 cards and place them in strategic places as an ever-present reminder. Make it BIG. Write it BOLD. Get a personal T-shirt printed with it. Learn it in some other languages. Start considering now. Decide soon: meditate on it, reflect on it; live it, breathe it and nurture it. For 2022.
I love this idea. It creates intentionality to our goals for the year, without trying to be too specific and giving us more excuses to nitpick ourselves—something I’m highly good at, just ask my wife. While one word is fantastic, I decided to put a different spin on this suggestion. Like many productivity methods that suggest highlighting your three most important tasks that need to get done for the day, and concentrating on just those, why not apply this toward words for the new year? If you get extra tasks done by the end of the day, it’s gravy. But the whole concept behind this practice is not biting off more than you can chew, and if you always focus on what’s most pertinent or important, you’ve accomplished a great deal.
Thus I’ve chosen my three words for 2022:
Ignoring the fact these words form a description of what I want to achieve in my life regardless of the year, the meaning and goals each of them espouse is very true to heart for me as I look to drastically improve myself and the person I am.
This one took no time at all to decide, and I would’ve added it to my list even if Nicholas hadn’t mentioned it. Nothing is more paramount for me than achieving a state of happiness. Between what’s now our third calendar year spent in the grip of a pandemic, the passing of my father while remembering what he most wanted for me that he himself lost, and having spent so much of my life dealing with mental health issues and the lack of feeling a positive momentum, it all needs to change. I long for greatness and happiness in my life, and while I have moments with smiles, laughs, and love a plenty, that fire needs a bit more kindling tossed onto it.
I’ve been actively tackling my anxiety head on over the last couple of years, and made tremendous progress. Things like starting to write on this very blog were impossible for me a short while ago. I didn’t have the mental fortitude available to tackle what felt like a monumental undertaking, nor would I have been able to concentrate long and deeply enough to write anything of substance. Now I’m coming to realize that I yearn for purpose and greatness. To live my life aspiring for a lasting legacy to be proud of. To be bold, try new things, and not let anxiety and doubt hold me back any longer.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a dream of becoming an accomplished—and with luck, published—writer. I even had the daughter to a friend of our family mention seeing one of my poems up on the wall of my old elementary school she herself attended. Words have always been the oxygen in my blood, and my personality made manifest. I brandish them like a heart on my sleeve, and willingly share them with the world. When I’m writing I feel a calming focus, and an energizing motivation to create something beautiful, memorable, and lasting.
The words found in your heart and soul, are the strength to draw upon when life challenges you. If you need to right yourself, you need to write your self.
Writing is my medication, and my inspiration. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.
Happy, fearless, writer.
Bring it on 2022, I’m ready.