By George Nyabadza
“IN exactly 12 months time the world will be celebrating the beginning of another New Year. Time ticks on resolutely till the end of the ages. I wonder where you will be and what you will
have achieved by then. You see many things will happen to you, some that you bring upon yourself and others that you cannot control.
“Despite whatever happens to you there are two things that you can develop now to give you a greater chance of ending the year as close to your desired end as possible: becoming goal-oriented and understanding and appreciating that no matter what happens to you, controllable or uncontrollable, you have the power to choose how you mentally respond to every stimuli, because ultimately your mental responses govern your behaviour and the kind of person that you become…”
This is how I began my New Year article in January 2003. As I write this article I am sitting in a transatlantic jet from South Africa to Atlanta, USA on my way to a personal retreat that I am using to celebrate the end of this defining year, reviewing the goals I had set for myself for 2003, marking off the ones achieved and the ones not, highlighting those which will be forever confined to the scrap heap of life as the context in which they could be achieved has since irreversibly changed.
I have no doubt that this year has seen many lives change in ways that could not have been imagined 12 months ago. I also have no doubt that in the cases that change has been involuntary or forced; the resultant journeys of personal change have been painful and difficult. One of the dangers of such cataclysmic change is that you may end up becoming or having a part of your identity defined by the overwhelming emotions that are aroused within that process.
While I am a big fan of allowing oneself to go through the process of change, never denying the reality of the change in status, always avoiding going into denial, I am cognizant of the fact that any change deeply affects who I am as a person. Painful and traumatic change has a significant defining effect on defining and shaping who we are at the emotional and spiritual level. As one accepts the process of change and lives and expresses the range of emotions that come with it, there will come a time when the painful emotions are spent and logic and reason rise up to rule again. When this happens, as it will, take some time to re-explore your identity, who you really are and make sure you have not become someone else as a result of the change that has taken place.
If you have, use some of the principles I shared in previous articles to ‘de-tox’ yourself, to redefine and refine your true identity and to let that be expressed in your new life. One thing I have experientially learned is that all emotion is energy and all we have to do is learn how to convert negative painful emotion into powerful forceful energy for positive growth. It’s a beautiful world out there and you need to have your fair share of living it. It takes time to ‘de-‘tox’ but work on it. It may be useful for you to reread the opening quote to this article and personally determine that you will give of your best in 2004 and that “despite whatever events make up your life over the next 12 months, you will remain goal-oriented”.