Oh my, 2023 feels already rich with promise and delight, wouldn’t you agree? The New York Times has set us up with the 7-Day Happiness Challenge, and The Brain Revolution Podcast shared the Harvard Business Review article “Why Purpose–Not Passion– Should Guide Young Professionals.” Between the two I am feeling that January will be an avenue toward brighter days. Sure, those House Republicans are (currently 10 failed Speaker Votes in) trying to undermine the functions of government. But let’s face it, anyone who actually voted for Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene in the first place, so that they could remove the metal detectors from the Capital building before doing their job, is getting exactly what they wanted. Pure and Total Chaos with a capital C. Maybe it’s the high school teacher in me, but their strategy seems like a recipe for disaster propelled by their narcissistic bragging rights first and foremost. I teach thinking skills coupled with empathy for others that these privileged folks clearly skipped over in their education. So, until those paid public politicians actually stop giggling over their antics and get to work, I will continue to shut them out of my daily and instead feel all the love and gratitude from the core of my family and friends who really do care about me and my best interests. Good plan, right? I propose a conservatorship of your own heart.
There are most certainly lessons to learn during the long days and night ahead, and I’m not fool enough to suppose they will all arrive tied up with a pink bow, but I’m committed to enjoying the sunshine when it shines across the whole horizon and sparkles like diamonds right through the shifting waves. Yes, that part is up to us. Grabbing the life when it appears in it’s wondrous ways crashing right up to the whole of us, that’s the goal. And along the way keep doing what you learned in Kindergarten: be polite, be honest, be playful and draw your feelings out with all the crayons in the box, on the daily.
“Character is forged in the face of adversity — there are no shortcuts. And when that harsh reality sets in, it can leave happiness-seekers feeling hoodwinked, empty, and rudderless. The very adversity we often wish to circumnavigate has the potential to produce within us the grit, resilience, and character we need to flourish as human beings in an era in which machines are rapidly replacing humans throughout the global economy… It is having the bravery to pivot in a different direction when your soul knows it’s time — when your soul demands that you live what Parker Palmer calls, an “undivided life” (Pearce). Find your purpose in your work and build your truth along the way.
Let’s make that our goal: a soul-driven exploration to find your purpose on this spinning and wildly fabulous planet while being a decent human along the way. Sure, many of your elected officials are just assholes, you might even have a few at your workplace, but you don’t need to follow them into their own desperate hells. Vote them out. And prove them wrong. Quit and find another place to showcase your talents. We are here for such a short window of time, let’s celebrate all the possibilities ahead. Here’s to 2023!