At this time of year, you might be thinking about your goals for the year and evaluating how well you did on your goals last year. Both can bring some angst. "What if I fail to meet my goals again this year?" "See how lousy I did on my goals last year?" "Really, do I have any control over my life at all?" "What's the point?"
Well, there is a point; and you have more control than you think!
Control simply means that you believe you have some ability to affect the outcome of a particular situation. It does not mean that you completely can guarantee the outcome. It simply means that you believe you can influence or affect the outcome.
It's sort of like the experience of having and raising children. When I was a new mother, I thought I could control every aspect of my children's lives; I was sure that my actions would determine the kind of person they ended up being. Well, now I know that's not exactly the case.
Do I influence them? Absolutely! Does what I do and say affect their choices along the way? You bet! But I, definitely and unequivocally, do not control them! And, as I have come to realize with maturity, that is a good thing!
I am sure you have already read or received from friends and colleagues all kinds of advice about what to do with this year's goals. Well, let me add another possibility.
Consider this formula for success in 2012. Engage in these emotional states and notice what happens!
Fear is a normal, frequent human emotion. And it is likely the one that prevents you from completely living your life. Ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?" "What is the gift in the fear?"
If you face the fear and keep on going, what will happen? Perhaps joy, freedom and peace are just beyond it!
Replace your disabling emotions with enabling ones. The opposite of fear is love. So why not learn to love your fear?
Allow yourself to embrace and learn from the fear you face. Greater love is the opportunity.
Through love you can accept yourself, your choices and your accomplishments (whatever they may be). You are not perfect, nor are your choices. Your accomplishments may not be as you wish they were. That is okay. Today is a new day. Go after what you want. Set new goals and start walking in the direction of those goals. Take one step at a time.
Peace is not about being passive. It is not about "settling." Peace is about continually moving toward a state of balance and serenity.
Fear keeps you from finding peace and acceptance allows you to face your fear and find peace -- moment by moment, day by day, year by year.
These emotions might just be the F.L.A.P. (Fear, Love, Acceptance, Peace); the flap that can sometimes hold you back and the same flap that can be opened to see the pathway to your future... the pathway to your dreams.
What are your dreams for 2012?
What are your dreams for your life?
Are you living your dream, in one way or another?
I was inspired by this video of a family who dreamed of travelling around the world in a vintage car. They are doing it. And they are finding a way to help themselves be able to do it. They are not focused on the fear, but are focused on the love.
They have discovered resources, strengths, resilience and joy that they would never have discovered had they chosen the "safe" route. It is in pursuing their dream that they have been able to discover so much about themselves and each other.
This might not be your dream. But, think about it now... what is your dream? What will bring you great joy, energy and connection? What would you do if you could?
Then ask yourself, am I living my dream? And, if not... when?