Friday, December 30, 2011

Lose Your Way to Winning

You will probably be inundated with information about resolutions this week - how to set them, and even more importantly how to keep them. I have no doubt that it will be well meaning and wonderful advice that we should all pay heed to, but sometimes I find it more relatable to hear someone else's personal story, the good, and the bad rather than the 'how to'. This past year I made a conscious effort to be better, to work harder, and to find my way. This blog is my journey (which is still ongoing) and the effort behind my resolutions and what they meant (and mean) to me.

This time last year I was in Thailand celebrating my sister's wedding, and I'm ashamed to admit that I wasn't looking forward to this trip. We not so fondly referred to it as the 'Amazing Race' - three flights, two taxicabs and a ferry ride all to get us to a small island in the middle of nowhere, that no one had ever heard of. To put it in perspective, it was like a night that you didn't want to go out but your friends managed to convince you, and against your better judgement you did ...and ended up having one of the best nights of your life. I don't think I could have had a better time, with a better group of people - nothing was as I had anticipated in the best possible of ways.

You may wonder why this is relevant, and how it relates to resolutions. There are moments in life, they don't happen often, that inspire you to realise that you're more than what you are or have become, and when they do, you have a choice. In the words of Paulo Coelho:

When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.

That trip was one of my moments. I came back inspired to change. It gave me something that I didn't have before, a clear picture of the person I wanted to become. It made me realise that I could control my life, as long as I had a good grip on what I wanted and didn't let it flow under me. I sat down with this vision to start planning my next year and what I had to do to get closer to who I saw myself becoming. Caught up in the excitement of planning my life, I was sure that a year was more than enough time with hard work and effort to get 'there'.

What I failed to realise was that no matter how clear the direction you're headed in, you will still have to battle life for what you want. It takes more than recognition, or the writing of resolutions. What you want must be strong enough to pull you through the toughest of times and your worst days. It must be able to stand tall in the face of self doubt and you must understand that no success comes without self sacrifice. You'll need to find your vision, write your resolutions and prepare your plan of attack understanding it's going to be a longer, harder, and more grueling battle than you had anticipated. Knowing you will lose, but that you're never as far away from victory as you think, because losing is how we learn our way to winning and become who we see ourselves being.

~ Sasha

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