Your Counter-Intuitive Guide to Surviving 2015: You Never Know ...

John McManamy Health Guide
  • I just wrote “2015” for the first time the other day. The good news is, six days into the new year, I’ve broken no resolutions, nor am I about to. You see, I never made them. Why set myself up to fail?

     

    Nevertheless, I’m not opposed to taking time out to pause and reflect and take stock. We all want to come out the end of the year better off than we went in. Too often, life has other ideas, but sometimes things turn out right for any number of unexpected reasons. Instead of sticking to it and gritting our teeth and planning ahead and all the rest, we give up, let go, and allow things to happen.

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    Maybe this new year, we need to toss aside conventional wisdom and go counter-intuitive. A few examples from my past …

     

    Giving up completely …

     

    Sixteen years ago, I went into 1999 with a killer depression. There was no way I was going to make it into 2000, much less into February. All these years later, I’m still trying to deconstruct how I survived. It all comes back to the same answer:

     

    I gave up fighting. Once that happened, all the pretense, all the lies, disappeared. Then the healing could begin. I won’t say it was an easy process, I won’t say that 1999 ended up on a high note, but I can say I finished the year in much better shape than when I went in.

     

    Letting go …

     

    The end of 2007 found me exhausted, physically and emotionally. On top of some major life changes, I had endured something like 12 road trips. I steeled myself for another 2007 in 2008, but then I got smart.

     

    I cut my road trips down to one and took more time out for myself. I actually got a lot done that year, but I didn’t have to be a hero. Funny thing, my less frenzied schedule gave me the breathing room to focus on relearning to drive after 30 years.

     

    In the years that followed, never once did I regret all those missed road trips. Ask me how it feels, though, about being free to drive 2,400 miles on the spur of the moment in 2014 thanks to the critical choices I made in 2008.

     

    Allow for the unexpected …

     

    In February of 2011, I found myself unexpectedly making high-quality noise on my didgeridoo. This gave me the incentive to make a resolution I could actually keep - to practice an hour a day. Making room in my schedule required axing a previously planned routine. But that’s what plans are for, right?  

     

    The didgeridoo is now a major part of my life and my identity, plus the basis of a host of deeply rewarding human connections and experiences, not to mention the cause of things like driving 2,400 miles roundtrip to Oregon, my equivalent of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. Who knew?

     

    As for conventional wisdom …

     

    If you’re on Facebook, your friends probably post the same self-improvement memes mine do. By all means, use that wisdom to become the type of person you have set your sights on, but also keep yourself open to transforming into the type of person you never expected. The year 2015 may very well present you with that opportunity. You never know …

Published On: January 06, 2015