It’s my birthday. That bittersweet day each year when folks you hardly know send prefabricated well wishes on Facebook. Dopamine surge. Empty emotional void crash. Resume baseline tomorrow.
Though I don’t really celebrate my own birthday that much anymore, I do kind of enjoy them. Birthdays tend to about bring some reflection – a look at your life over the past year… and then also an opportunity to pull your head out of the sand and stare beyond the immediate horizon. A chance to look ahead – not in days, or weeks, or even months… but in years. How do you envision this day next year? Where will you be? Who will you be with? Who might you be without? It’s easy to get caught up in daily ‘life’ and drift about aimlessly… a directionless dog-paddle that keeps you afloat but gets you nowhere. So any excuse to gain some life perspective should be embraced.
Ask yourself some hard question, and be honest. What did you truly accomplish this year, what are you proud of? What were your biggest failures and defeats? When and where and with whom did you have the most fun? Who was the biggest pain the ass to have around? After 365 days of limitless potential, are you further ahead financially? In your career? In your hobbies? In your relationships? What about in enjoying life?
What about the next 365 days? Where do you want to be in all those same categories? People overestimate what they can do in a day, but vastly underestimate what they can do in a year. Write it all down, and chip away a little more each day. Then when you pull your head up out of the sand next year, you can not only look back and be proud, but even more importantly, you can look ahead with confidence.