This upcoming year is the time to get real with yourself. Even our greatest heroes and icons sometimes fall short of the standards we set for them as a society, and so do you. Even Kobe drops the ball, even Kanye forgets his lyrics live, but the reason they stay heroes and archetypes in our eyes is because they dust themselves up and get back up again.
How many times have you heard, “I should’ve been doing this, so next year I totally promise that I will” only to have this claim completely abandoned within a week. So maybe your diet won’t stick, maybe you aren’t actually qualified for the promotion you thought was locked up when you were ten drinks deep on new years eve, and odds are the common resolution of “be nicer” goes out the window the second we get back on the plane home from this holiday and are reintroduced to the TSA. None of that matters.
Fuck your resolutions, start learning from your mistakes instead of ruminating on them. Here are five things that will make life better in the coming year. Call them anything, methods, resolutions, goals, just fail at a few and don’t stop until you’re winning more than failing.
No More Modesty
It’s time to put you first. Hard truth, the one thing keeping the corner office and supermodel from you is every time you downplay your achievements. When revising your resume, list the important positions you’ve held and tasks accomplished in bold font/language, make sure that what you’ve done is understood and appreciated.
This translates into the days when you’re holding the door for some friends at the movies or while people rush into the same restaurant you’re in and take the good table. Don’t let it happen. Do not worry about being an asshole because assholes get ahead. Just know if you are being one.
Learn An Instrument
It has never been easier to learn the most universal language on the planet; music. Between Youtube, Interactive Learning Programs and some of the lowest prices for mass produced entry/student level instruments in recent years, there is no reason not to pick up a guitar or something and learn a few fun tunes.
Even if it’s just a few chords to impress a date or fulfilling a lifelong desire to tackle the piccolo, just try and don’t give up when it gets frustrating. You will appreciate all the music you listen to a lot more. Go right now, pick an instrument, buy a little instructional book and a metronome and tape yourself on the device you’re reading this on...it’s that easy, so give it a shot.
It can be a few hours at a soup kitchen, a monthly check to your old school’s scholarship fund or tutoring some local kids, but this year, try to give back in some way. Teach your nephew how to ride a bike, the two of you will be closer and he’ll have a memory that will last all life. Give some old records to a local DJ, pick out some clothes that maybe don’t fit you or are too out of season to be worn by a non hipster and give them to Goodwill.
A history of donation reflects positively on one’s character and legacy while also being a genuine and necessary means of investing, making the most prudent investment possible; our future.
This is meant both literally and metaphorically. Not everyone can or should own a house in this climate but have something you own with your name on it, a pink slip for your car, keys to somewhere no one else has keys, a business, a website, because if you own it, you’re the boss. On the less literal side, knowing that you have pure ownership of at least one possession or successful venture will embolden you in every other aspect of life! It’s that simple, know what is yours and own it.
Learn What Scares You, Embrace It
A brilliant man once told me that “fear is the only thing holding any of us back, it wasn’t until we gave it a name and started raising it up as an excuse that people even understood being scared.” It’s okay to be afraid of some things, if you fall from a great height you probably will die and fire may burn you and water may drown you but we all have these anxieties. This year, to really go the distance you need to ask the hard question of what scares you the most.
It can be as small as laundry or as life changing as a parent dying and you coming to terms with it but it is imperative that you identify what is scaring you and embrace it. Let it in and be terrified, get too drunk, shout things at random people and think about it again a week later. Suddenly your fear doesn’t feel so justified and you feel kind of dumb, worse than that, you realize there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place.
If you’re even on this website you’ve already got a head-start on more than 99% of the rest of the internet. Talk to the friend you’ve been avoiding, call your ex and apologize for what you said and forgive yourself for ____________. It’s time to move on and start again, so learn that fear and put it on the shelf where you can watch it closely.
Sam Braverman | Elite.