2024 January 2 Making 2024 the best it can be!

Jan 02, 2024

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life. Thanks for joining me today to talk about another way to look at the new year. So let's get started.  If you like what you hear today, please leave a like and tell your friends and send me a message.


First off, I want to wish everybody a happy new year for 2024. We're in this in-between season. It's kind of a free pass for many writers because many of them just do some sort of recap of the previous year, and that's followed by what you can do for the new year, in one form or another, and then the requisite predictions for the coming year. This is all well and good, but it's kind of up to us as to how we interpret reality, and the new year is no different.


This year in particular, there were a lot of kind of Debbie and Danny Downers. Pick any topic, and they'd say that last year just sucked. Oh really? I don't particularly agree with that. I'm not saying it was a cakewalk. There certainly were a lot of positives that came through the year.


A lot of them were interesting, overlooked by the mainstream news. Good news doesn't sell newspapers, it doesn't get eyeballs on TV or social media feeds. The regular news fare is typically the worst that can be found. But it goes beyond that: I saw many stories of people enraged and carrying on about pretty much everything. What always strikes me as interesting is that often, the most vocal demonstrators are from the most affluent and peaceful areas of the world. I follow the war against Ukraine closely, and there are many posts and stories over the Christmas season of the Ukrainian people celebrating Christmas. Oftentimes, even on the very front lines of the war zone (and you could hear the ordnance detonating in the background), they were within harm's way, and still, they were going to celebrate Christmas. 


Meanwhile, just before Christmas, Southwest Airlines was heavily fined hundreds of millions of dollars, for last year's cancellations as a result of the big winter storm that happened over Christmas. They were criticized again this year for putting safety before convenience when there was weather related delays at their US hub in Midway in Chicago. How dare they let fog come in when people wanted to go on vacation?  As we always talk about, it comes down to how we want to interpret and react to what happens in the world around us.


The people in Ukraine weren't going to let anything, even a maniacal terrorist in Russia, take away their Christmas. They were obviously painfully aware of the reality, but chose to focus on the good that they still had. Meanwhile, many of the pundits in the US looked past all the amazing things that we have, both as a country and generally as individuals, to focus on the small annoyances.


To be clear, I'm not saying everyone is eating cake while driving in their BMW. We aren't getting bombed though. We have food in the stores. We have numerous functioning social nets, and there's a lot of positives all around, pretty much for everybody. This isn't a criticism of anyone, nor is it political.


It's just a reminder as to what degree each of us can influence our own interpretation of the world. I'm certain the people in Ukraine would much rather have had a beautiful and quiet Christmas in cities that were not bombed out. Similarly, the people writing the complaints in the US actually were enjoying, and probably often thankful for, the many good things in their lives. 


We have to remember two very important things about the effect of what we say and write, though.  The most obvious is that what we say to other people clearly affects how they will perceive the world. In other words, what we say changes the world around us. We are a social species, and we can't help but be influenced by what's around us, including what is said to us. Even if we're feeling upbeat, when we are bombarded by negative perspective, we naturally have to drift to that same opinion or find ourselves mentally defending our own differing opinion. 


Equally powerful, and even more insidious, is that when we spout constant negative blather such as all the cancel cultural mantras. Not only do we taint others, but we're also conditioning our own mind. When we speak and write negative things, we're embedding them into our own subconscious as our own reality. We're becoming our own negative future. It's a sort of negative manifestation. Remember, manifestation is when we try and bring desired outcomes into our lives, either by aligning with the energy of the world, or by our own vision of the future. 


There's a lot of different ways to approach it. Basically, it's trying to create the best future possible.  We can do that either way, because manifestation really works both ways. You can also manifest a negative future, and most better life coaches warn specifically against that. If you expect the worst, you'll probably be right.


This brings us back to the new year. I've read all these articles bemoaning how bad 2023 was. No, it wasn't. Hoping 2024 will be better, and I quote, "Hope is not a strategy," a saying attributed to James Cameron. I'd suggest that if you want to have the best 2024 possible, first start off by being realistic about 2023. 


Did it have some pretty big bumps and potholes? Sure, just like every other year. But there's a whole lot of space between perfect and awful, and few things are either one of those. Look at the challenges, embrace the lessons, remember the good, and move on.  Then what to do about 2024? Well, hope's not the best place to start. 


You already know what the drill is. Make your life vision, develop your SMART goals. Make daily progress on them, and work to control as much of your life as you desire. Remember SMART goals? They are specific, measurable, achievable/actionable, relevant, and time based. There will always be things outside of your control, but try as much as you can to accept the challenges as a lesson and use the knowledge to move you closer to your vision. 


Some things may happen that are difficult to move past, but try to draw upon your vision to keep you on course, and perhaps change intermediate goals as you need to keep heading towards that vision. Is the new year an opportunity to change the future? Yes, but so is every other day of the year. But the best time to implement a positive change is today. Not next month, not next week, just start today. 


Most importantly, take charge of your own future. Don't be a Democrat or a Republican. Be yourself. Be true to your life vision. If you're aligned with feelings from two or more different groups, proudly be yourself. It isn't always easy, and many people assume if you agree on one thing in any particular platform that you support it all. 


It's okay to hold a set of values that make sense just to you. Judge the world's situation from your perspective, your own set of coherent positive values. If you think there's opportunity to be had here or there, and others cannot see it, don't immediately assume that you are wrong. When you have the confidence to have faith in your own perspective, and if that is consistent with your own positive light vision, then the world starts to look a lot better, even if it's far from perfect. 


That's it for tonight. I hope you can see that while there are many very negative reviews and predictions, most of them are really just driving an agenda to get more interest in what's being written or to make more money.


You should have your own agenda, which is to be comfortable with your own set of positive beliefs and to view the world through that perspective within your own viewpoint, within your own goals, with all the things that make sense to you. Your job isn't to be true to some group defined by others, it's to be true to your own positive principles. 


That's what leads you to happiness. Your homework (always optional) is to think about some 2023 reviews that you may have seen, heard, or read, and note some of the negatives. Then make counterpoints to those negatives with positive things that you know happened during the year. If you're having any trouble finding positive things, do a search for them. Dozens of lists came back with anywhere from 5 things to 20 things and more. You will start to realize that these good things that you knew about got set aside or washed away by the negative things.


Be aware of that negative influence in your life. Extra points, if you can then lay out some positive goals for what you'll accomplish in calendar year 2024. As always, they can be big or little, but they should be SMART goals - a gold star if you start on one of those goals today.


That's it for the evening. As always, remember the war in Ukraine and the war in the Mideast. The list of links towards the Ukraine is at UKR7.com, and the World Central Kitchen is at WCK.org. They get food to people. 


Remember, if you can think outside of yourself, it gives you a different perspective on the world. If you can do something to help somebody, just do the smallest of small things. You see somebody walking by on the street, just say, Hey, how's it going? Smile to them. Just something simple like that. I see people who are in a bad mood, and when I say something nice to them, I can see them cheer up. It just adds a little brightness to their day. 


 Again, Happy New Year to everyone. As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along.


Please hit that like button and if not, drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dream of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you. 


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