My 2014

This time round I have accepted everything about the previous year, good & bad.

This time round I have finally seen that it is not the end, but the acknowledgment of new frontiers.

This time round, I decided not to make new year’s resolutions, or think about it as a new beginning.

I have come thus far as a result of my flaws, choices, mistakes and successes…

This time round, I am much wiser. Something I greatly appreciate.

There is no better state of content than that of reflecting on how positively different you are; be it well learned, more capable, happier…

I have decided to make a commitment to myself. Its nothing new, but understanding that the ground work has already been laid in previous attempts, makes it all the more easier for me to see it through 2014.

Here are 5 commitments I decide to pledge myself to, beyond 2014:

1) Exercise more discipline in all areas of my life.

I have come to realise just how compartmentalised my life has been. Where I exercise discipline more sternly when it comes to work, even when it compromises my academic pursuits. Speaking of which, I have a tendency of only truly disciplining myself closer to the deadlines set out for assignments or for looming exams. I certainly need to be more consistent and look forward to the challenge.

2) Give more

I have learned, with my voluntary work, that people are very complex – especially young people. There are too many factors that can make one’s efforts straining and often painful. As time went by in 2013, I realised how important it is for me to give without expecting anything in return. I learned the power of understanding empathy and realising how great an individual I can be, just by giving. Be it a smile (which I’m still struggling with mind you), workshop, money or my story. What’s important is that I give, not because someone else might be in need or that I’m trying to fix someone; but because it is empowering. It is a blessing that isn’t exercised much, and after having observed the greats of Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Patrice Motsepe and Bill Gates give so much of their property, efforts, knowledge and time, it is certainly a priceless gift that makes one live a life out of pure love.

3) Be fearless

In as much as I might seem confident and quite the extrovert, I must confess that there isn’t a great choice or decision that I make with no doubt or hint of fear. I assume this is human nature and because I am an ordinary person, I must feel this. As a young person, if I allow for this to be a part of the process in articulating my gut feeling, I am denying myself the power of ability. I have learned to be fearless in the workplace, whilst driving and in general – but what I have not taught myself, is to eliminate the negative thoughts that impede my greatness. My 2014 certainly shall have less fear – a work in progress.

4) Learn more

I remember how disengaged I was as a student at the University of Pretoria. I lived in my own world and had a lot of day dreaming and aloofness about the life I desired. This not only affected my present living but also had effects in future job prospects, scholarship opportunities and a lot of friendships. I do not regret any of it and actually have had a 180 degree shift in my perspective on education. I’ve become more driven and wanting to grow and that is the beauty of life, where I can look back, see the difference with the now and be in awe of the surprising outcomes. Learning, not education, is the one vital aspect of life that must never stop. Who knew the skill of day dreaming often would result in innovation. I am constantly beaming with creativity bursts, especially when it comes to problem solving and finding out what can really work in the context I am living, working and engaging in. 2014 is going to put my skills, capacity and efforts to the test – since I have decided to take up the challenge of keeping up with my creativity and not putting it to waste.

5) Smile more

As I have mentioned, I find it quite difficult to keep my face on a default setting of smiling. I tend to have a serious face and find it difficult to smile unless I have a genuine reason to. This is a weakness that worked against possible hate speech, bullying and victimization whilst growing up. Now, being in the real world, I have come to realise it is through giving a smile, having a more enlightened demeanor, that it will be easier for me to have better experiences. It never seemed a problem for me as I could easily engage with any audience in any setting, but as I want to be better – it is a must that I change what I can control.

Here’s to a fantastic 2014!!!

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