2023 Will Be a Success If

A friend asked me to complete the following sentence. “2023 will be a success if _______.” (He included “in my opinion” which released pressure.)

New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. Clarify life’s direction instead. You choose the right course after choosing a destination. Before asking, “What should I do,” ask, “Where do I want to go?”

Long-term destination matters when it impacts daily decisions. Do something – today – that takes you where you want to go. A dull relationship between action and destination disenchants your soul.

Ambiguous goals produce bland results.

A clear destination enables wise decisions.

A clear destination enables wise decisions. Image of a goose walking in the snow.

2023 will be a success if…

#1. If I live a simple life.

Practice contentment.

Eliminate clutter. Don’t buy it if you aren’t going to use it regularly.

Avoid adornments.

Complexity foreshadows catastrophe.

Invest energy in work that returns energy. Image of Newton's Cradle made from lightbulbs.

#2. If I enjoy my work.

Some work brings enjoyment while you do it. Other work feels rewarding after it’s done. Both are satisfying.

Labor increases value. The harder you work for something the more satisfying it feels.

Note: Easy isn’t evil. Sometimes easy work delivers disproportionate benefit. A kind word is easy. Noticing others takes humility, but the act of noticing is easy.

Tip: Invest energy in work that returns energy.

#3. If I improve my skills.

Self-improvement is hard work. Great athletes work harder before they compete than average athletes. Think of Michael Phelps or Kobe Bryant.

A few people get away with self-neglect. They succeed on natural talent. You and I don’t have that much talent.

2023 will be a success if I love everyone I meet. Image of a dog wearing sunglasses and licking its lips.

#4. If I love people.

I asked a friend to explain the secret to the good life. He said, “Love everyone you meet.” I’m going with that.

Self-serving kindness is manipulation. Love works to benefit others without demanding return.

How do you respond to, “2023 will be a success if…”

Still curious:

Stop Asking Dangerous Questions Before the New Year

How to Make (and Keep) a New Year’s Resolution