New year, new me : Re-designing self

Rev Fr Paul Lelen Haokip
“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves” – Bill Vaughn, American Columnist & Author. The thought of New Year excites everyone. There are anticipations that surround the unfolding of a New Year. In some remote form, everyone thinks of a “New Self” at the unfolding of New Year. The former will be tedious and ongoing, while the latter is a matter of count and replacing the old calendar with a new one.
New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” – Albert Einstein.
Tear the old: Life has different stages – Old, Past, New, Present, Future, Hopeless, Useless, Wonderful, Memorable, etc. Sometimes, it is possible that you will enter the New Year stage clad with Old Mindset of the Past year. Take care, you are attuned to the New Year’s up-to-date style of life’s expectations. Don’t carry the old and rubbish memories of the past year to spoil the new chapters of New Year. So, tear the old and write new rules with positive outlook. Travel free without the baggage of the old. Respect yourself by walking away from things and persons who are not helpful in anyway. This is self respect and self awareness. Let the Hopeless and Useless become a bygone past. Start anew. This is a personal decision. All the best.
New targets: Although we are not sure an iota about the future, it pays well to start a New Year with some achievable targets. The targets could be personal, interpersonal (relating to relationships or communication between people), intrapersonal (taking place or existing within the mind). Some set-dreams or targets to be achieved are forms of motivation that keep humans alive and active for that period of time. New targets keep us enthused for the coming days and months. Do not compare your target with others. Remember, you are ‘not others’. Focus on things that build you and give you energy to live this day so as to face tomorrow.
Design thinking: You have to care yourself if you want to care others and society. You begin to do what you constantly think and that becomes YOU. Just as the artists, engineers and doctors always try to come up with new ways of doing, designing and treatment, so also you and I need to design our thinking pattern. Most of the time, we waste our time in allowing ourselves to be affected by the views of others. This New Year, you have to begin designing your thought, your way of doing and your life. This new way of living can be a great self-gift to your well-being.
Many a time, we subscribe to the designs of others in clothing, gadgets, housing, automobile and the like. But there is an area so vital to yourself where you have to design. This is “designing-self”. You can either design yourself to be grateful, ungrateful, revengeful, inquisitive, lazy, hardworking, consistent, destructive or constructive, etc. It all depends on your decision. This is an area that needs constant care for self improvement that will lead to happiness while being alive. “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let each New Year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin.  Blooming in the wind: Do you expect perfect peace in your family, society in this New Year? Doubtful. Let me throw a pessimistic piece of meal into your mind. Things won’t change much. But I wish you to change your response towards those changes. To bloom in the wind, you need to first allow yourself to be planted amongst the wind. It’s a risk. But remember, “no risk, no gain”.
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind” – Bruce Lee.
Implementation period: After visioning, planning and designing your choicest would-be future, you have to implement your resolutions as practical as possible. Nothing is magical, you can only achieve by doing it and redoing it time and again. You need persons to help you, support you and critique you to grow. So, if these people come your way, welcome them as if sent from heaven. People may laugh at you for being different. But you should laugh at yourself for being the same for so long. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler. You are responsible for “New Year, New Me” process.
(The writer is pursuing MPM, JDV, Pune, and can be reached at

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