Dr Rajan Philips
motivational article was published in Oman Observer ,
one of the leading Newspapers in Oman. The article is
reproduced with the permission of the author )
End of the Year Musings
we get ready to bid goodbye to 2009, we tend to look
back at the days gone by and then look forward hopefully
to the dawn of a new and blessed year. It is a time some
of us experience a sense of deflation or even depression
— the year-end blues. It results from a reflection on
our failures and unfulfilled plans and lofty
resolutions. These may have included a plan to go on a
diet and exercise combo to shed kilos, manage our
finances more resourcefully, land a more satisfying job
or shore up our personal relationships.
We started off the year
with great hope and fervour, but as days rolled by,
things didn’t shape the way we hoped for. We are thus
left with a burnt out feeling, having overworked but
making no real headway in life. On a global front too
things look rather dismal — disappointing climate change
conference, unrelenting rise in violence and unrest and
the economic crisis showing no let up. The graphic media
reports and threadbare analyses add to our anxieties.
The good things that happen do not make media headlines.
It is up to us to avoid getting immobilised or crushed
by failure and setbacks.
We can benefit from
failures too if we view them in the right perspective.
Thomas Alva Edison had to try again and again before
tasting success in making one his several inventions. He
remarked “I have not failed. I’ve just found 1,000 ways
that won’t work.’ That is the spirit we need to move
forward. The insight into what works and what doesn’t is
itself a great positive lesson. Failure might be because
of setting unrealistic goals or resorting to escapist
methods like drinking or taking drugs.
Similarly, putting all
the eggs in one basket is not only an unsound investment
option, but also a flawed approach to everyday life,
particularly in personal relationships. We should not
let one person or interest dictate our happiness or well
being. Likewise, our fear of change and a closed mind to
issues create tensions that stunt our growth.
Many of our failings
can be traced to our poor time management skills. Today,
there is a general perception that life makes more and
more demands on our limited time. We seem to be always
working frantically and under pressure to meet
deadlines. This is obviously bad for our health and
diminishes the quality of our work. Why does this
happen? Calm introspection would reveal that
unproductive and avoidable work takes away a good chunk
of our valuable time.
To prevent a sense of
frustration seeping into us on this count, we need to
budget our time efficiently (much more than we budget
our money), by setting clear priorities. A simple but
well thought out list of things- to- do is a good idea.
A periodic check on how we carry out the tasks will help
us meet deadlines with less anxiety.
Most of us realise that
negative thoughts are counter productive and harmful.
Yet, it is not easy to cut them out. We must learn to
bring them under control through a conscious positive
thrust. I recall here reading about a simple strategy to
avoid succumbing to the negative stream of thoughts.
Just walk down the memory lane of the year drawing to a
close, and think of all the good things — big and small
— that you did or which happened to you and note them
down on paper.
Keep out assiduously
all unpleasant items. It could be a special holiday trip
that came through after years of wait, a dining out
experience with a loved one, your child winning a
coveted prize or an adventurous trek to a local
mountain. I tried this out for 5 to 10 minutes and I can
say it works. What is more, good memories trigger
further pleasant reminiscences.
You are filled with joy
and a sense of gratitude towards those who made these
possible. What more do you need to provide you with a
renewed zest for life and the spirit to meet the
challenges of the New Year? As the year 2009 fades out,
the message is clear and simple. Let’s celebrate our
accomplishments and not dwell long on our failings. Let
us move forward with the perseverance and optimism
expressed in the concluding lines of H W Longfellow’s
famous poem ‘A Psalm of Life’
‘Let us then be up and
doing, With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labour and to
A few Quotes:
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
and next year’s words await another voice. And to make
an end is to make a beginning. — T S Eliot
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a
going on, with all the wisdom that experience can
instill in us. — Hal Borland
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells,
across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out
the false, ring in the true. — Alfred Tennyson
Many people look forward to the new year for a new
start on old habits. — Anon.
Back to Main