Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 24th 2014 Contents A33
Wednesday, December 24, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Like me, you probably find it hard to believe that
2014 is coming to an end. Where has the year gone?
It truly feels like it was only a few weeks ago that
I was making plans for last year s holiday season.
It is still unbelievable to me that this calendar year
is about to end. I am just not ready for a new year.
But I know that ready or not, here it comes!
"Out with the old, and in with the new," I have
heard many say as one year ends and a New Year
looms on the horizon. It is exciting and yet scary in
many ways, because none of us know what is really
around the next corner for us.
We just don t because we can make all the plans
we want and things can turn out so differently, taking
us in directions that we could not predict. I always
say that is probably one of the most frightening things
in this life---we just don t know what s coming---and
I will add that this terrifying, yet exciting thought
should propel us into wanting to be better people,
not just at Christmas time, but throughout each day,
of every year.
It is way too late to change the past and correct
all the mistakes that we have all made along the way,
but I think the best way to overcome past mistakes
is to pick ourselves up and try to do better as we
plod or run ahead to what each day will bring -- after
Christmas. Last week, I talked about giving quality
time to those we love and I reminded you to try to
Dr Starke is a psychotherapist/Life skills coach
and OD (Organisational Development)
consultant who provides workshops/seminars
for employees and supervisors. E-mail
take care of one other important person -- you.
I also know that as the year ends, you may be
thinking of making a few changes as you reflect on
all the days and months that have disappeared. Be
reminded that if we want others to change, we have
to strive to make changes ourselves. Sometimes, we
just have to model the change that we want in the
other person. For instance, if we want to be respected,
we must first give the gift of respect to all those
around us and to those we encounter as well. We
never know when we will cross paths with someone
with whom we have been unhelpful or unkind. People
can turn up in odd places and at odd times -- when
we least expect it, so avoid those awkward times by
being kind and respectful to everyone.
This does not mean that you have to let people
walk all over you -- strive to be assertive when people
offend you as opposed to being aggressive. Being
assertive means that you will use your words and
actions to exude self-confidence and a no-nonsense
attitude without yelling or cursing at the other person.
Being assertive actually brings better results and gain
us more respect and we can walk away from difficult
situations, usually getting the results we want and
with our pride and self-esteem intact. This takes
practice but this can be accomplished if we practice
to treat each person we encounter with the respect
with which we want to be treated as well.
So, what I am saying is let change begin with you---
and what better time to reflect on the positive changes
we want to make than right now---when we are forced
to have some free time because so many places have
shut down for the holidays.
Reflection is good for the body and for the spirit
because it means that we can forgive ourselves for
the dumb things we did in the past and pick ourselves
up and strive to do better. There is nothing as uplifting
as self-forgiveness and the rekindling of a self-deter-
mination to move on and do better.
Whether the desired change is for work or whether
the change is personal, be serious and change from
the heart or the change will not last and soon, you
will be back to your old way of doing and being. So,
be honest with yourself and remember that we all
have this inner strength that we sometimes forget
Let me remind you again that taking care of yourself
physically, emotionally and spiritually is the greatest
gift that you can give to your loved ones this year
and always. Taking care of yourself is an unselfish
act because it is only when your cup overflows that
you can give to others! Happy Holidays.
'Out with the old, and in with the new'
For instance, if we want to be
respected, we must first give
the gift of respect to all those
around us and to those we
encounter as well. We never
know when we will cross paths
with someone with whom we
have been unhelpful or unkind.
People can turn up in odd places
and at odd times -- when we
least expect it, so avoid those
awkward times by being kind
and respectful to everyone.
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