A new year brings time for reflection — a chance for us to examine what makes us happy, to be proud of our successes and to recognize those areas in which we wish to grow. It allows us to make resolutions to better our lives and those around us. Most importantly, it provides us the opportunity to “wipe the slate clean” and to make a fresh start.
This year, during my time of reflection, I found myself pondering over the true meanings of success and happiness. After careful thought, I decided to define success and happiness as loving what you do and being at peace with yourself. I don’t believe that success and happiness are defined by money or status, but instead by loving who you’ve become, being passionate about what you do and being proud of how you have arrived where you are today.
As I sat there thinking about my definition, I realized that it’s OK if my life isn’t perfect. There are things I hope will never change, and things I wish could be different. But the greatest thing is, during 2014, we are given the opportunity to wipe the slate clean 365 times.
Each one of these times provides the opportunity to take on the day with a fresh mind, body and soul. That frees you from the troubles of yesterday and prepares you to take on the world today. You can make a conscious effort to learn from the events that transpired, to acknowledge the mistakes that were made and to move on.
Each morning, you can ignite the passion within yourself: passion to do what you love, passion to help those less fortunate and passion to make a difference in the world. Life is too short to go through the motions; take time each day to figure out what makes you come alive, and use that energy to spread light.
Each morning you wake up, you are given the power to conquer the day. There will always be people who challenge your dreams or try to tear you down. Don’t dwell on their negativity; let it be your motivation to make your dreams become a reality. Remember, this day and every day is your day.
Each morning you are granted to chance to create your own story, your own destiny. Be bold in what you draw on your slate, as it will be viewed by many. Make a splash in the world; spread cheer, love and gratitude. You are lucky to be given this day, so use it to your advantage.
Lastly, let each clean slate grant you more patience and understanding. Know that everyone is in the process of creating their own story, and everyone’s journey is different. Be patient with others and, most importantly, be patient with yourself.
This year I challenge you to consider wiping the slate clean each morning. What will you draw on your slate today? What changes will you make?
Marisa Vicere Brown is president and founder of Jana Marie Foundation. This weekly column is a collaboration of Centre County Communities that Care serving Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and Philipsburg-Osceola area school districts, and Care Partnership: Centre Region Communities that Care serving the State College Area School District.