In The Year 2017: Prayer, Humility & Discipline.
I know it’s pretty commonplace for almost everyone to do a sort of review of the year about to expire and make plans or projections for the new one and I am certainly of the opinion that it is a very helpful exercise with lots of benefits. It provides clarity and helps growth amongst other things.
Personally, 2016 was a harrowing year for me. I’m aware that it was definitely much worse for some and even better for others but generally I think we recorded way too many losses in the year.
I’m not here to moan, whine or grumble about how horrible the year was or give a comprehensive list of my losses during the year; I remain forever grateful and what’s in the past is in the past. The growth took place (painfully), the revelations were made and the lessons learned. I’m not saying 2016 was all bad either, there were spots of happiness within the year but the bad definitely outweighed the good.
At the beginning of the year 2016 (again like most of us), I set goals (lots of them) some of them were silly, some wise, some imperative. I then promised myself to always have at the back of my mind something I had learned in the previous year: In a nutshell, to focus more on the journey or path to achieving my goals and focus a bit less on whether I’m able to tick it off my list at the end of the year because goals evolve and I might actually gain more while making moves to achieve a certain goal than the actual goal itself. Going through my list later on, I discovered that a few things I waited to add to my list of goals for the New Year were things that I could have easily done in the previous one but it was like I was waiting for this momentous occasion (the New Year) to start afresh and get things done. Now, I know that a new year gives one a feeling of novelty, a chance to begin anew, rid oneself of the mistakes and failures of the past and a fresh start but now I realize that there’s really no need to wait for a ‘momentous occasion’ to get things done. If something needs to be fixed, fix it. If something needs to be done, do it. If you have something to say, say it.
At the end of the first quarter of the year, I was struggling to get through my list (I’ll confess that this was chiefly due to my possibly award winning laziness and procrastination) but it also didn’t help that I was drowning in the demands of several commitments, principally school. This usually comes first as I am the child of Nigerian parents. I didn’t want to let those things discourage me so I decided to live by two watchwords: Prayer and discipline, to help me move forward.
Constant prayer for divine providence, his wisdom and guidance for what I need to do? What I need not do? How to go about certain things? Etc. and discipline; I needed to create a certain amount of order and control in my life because truthfully, God will only help you if you honestly desire to be helped and you help yourself first.
It was REALLY difficult to implement those watchwords in my life but when I managed to, I got very positive results and I was able to retain my sanity (by my standards).
In the year 2017, my parent goals and watchwords are: Prayer, humility and discipline. I already shed some light on prayer and discipline. I added humility because I saw a quote from Mother Teresa that moved me:
“Humility is the mother of all virtues; purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.”
In all my years, I’ve never seen or heard humility explained this way and I strongly believe that anyone whose words and actions are undergirded by the sort of humility described by Mother Teresa will flourish in all areas of life.
I know they are pretty abstract and this doesn’t mean that I do not have more concrete goals but I want to practice and apply this triad in everything I think say or do. I would give away some of them but I happen to be one of those people that like to plot quietly.
2017 is here along with all our hopes, dreams and aspirations. It is my prayer that we grow in all spheres of life, have strength to face the challenges the year will bring (because they are going to come whether we like it or not so best make peace with that) and know peace, love and genuine happiness.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Peace and much love to you,