“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In an effort to improve and learn, I often spend a great deal of time in self-reflection and musing about the past, especially around the turn of a new year. I thank my parents for instilling this value in me; growing up we’d always take 1/2 Jan to plan for the new year, set goals, and reflect on the past year’s ups and downs. The ability to keep the bigger picture in mind is a mark of maturity as well as a safeguard against selfishness. It creates a posture of gratitude. Oh, how I fail sometimes at seeing past my own worries and issues. Don’t we all.
I want to be useful, honorable, compassionate, and make a difference. I am endlessly thankful for those in my life whose support allows me to try my hardest day in and day out. Coming up from the grind is something I hope you are able to experience this holiday season – the power of travel, a change in scenery, luxurious afternoons of drifting fun and conversation with your loved ones… coming back to Texas is always a treat. This place has shaped me in ways still yet to be discovered and when I come back, the things I’ve picked up in the places I’ve lived (all with their unique cultures and quirks) are more easily identifiable. It gives me pause to realize I’ve been subconsciously affected and a habit has formed just because of my environment. Case in point – I officially cross streets like a New Yorker. It’s actually quite unsafe in places like Dallas and Austin, where this past week unsuspecting pedestrians would blindly follow me without doing their own checking of the road.
Self-improvement, goals, dreams, the long game — all worthy and important. I have big plans and hope you do too. But I pray I am present in the moments and places I find myself. 2016 is looming, again with only a set plan for a portion of the year, but I embrace the challenge, adventure and growth that is bound to come my way. I love those of you reading this. Those of you who come alongside and stand in my corner. Keeping in touch with you is one of my truest joys and I happily put in the time. Please reach out to me if it’s been a while.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. Cheers to a new year.