As 2022 kicks off, and we reflect on the past year, some thoughts come to mind as we consider our plans.

Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

What’s past is prologue.” Shakespeare wrote that line in “The Tempest” over 400 years ago. It means history sets the context for the present. Everything that has transpired over the past 22 months or so has set the stage for right now. Whether you are where you want to be—or not—let go of previous expectations and give yourself credit for what you have done amid the stress and uncertainty of this volatile environment.

Resolve to keep moving ahead. The word “resolution” comes from “resolute,” meaning determined and unwavering. Maybe you do the whole New Year’s resolution thing or just, as Matthew McConaughey says, “Take some time to check in with yourself.” Either way keep learning, growing and pushing through discomfort and you’ll be continuing on the path of personal and professional growth.

“Stop thinking about the wall, there is no wall, there are only bricks. Your job is to lay this brick as perfectly as you can.”

Will Smith

Take it step by step. Try not to be overwhelmed by the big picture. Instead, approach projects with a mason’s mindset as Will Smith explains in his autobiography: “Stop thinking about the wall, there is no wall, there are only bricks. Your job is to lay this brick as perfectly as you can. Then move on to the next brick and lay that brick and then on to the next one.” Focus on laying each brick and the wall will take care of itself. Try applying that approach to all of your daunting endeavors.

Continue to course-correct. “Improvise, adapt and overcome” is an unofficial slogan used by U.S. Marines who have to make do with second-hand or non-existent gear and deal with unforeseen circumstances. You don’t have to be a marine to know what it is like to slog through all of the challenges we have had of late. You have shown how strong and resilient you are — often making it up as you go — and it’s not surprising, as such resiliency is hard-wired into who we are as humans. Take heart that we have have survived for millennia through changing circumstances and we are another strong link in that ancient chain.

Keep a positive perspective. Of course, this is easier said than done, but we can help enhance a positive mindset by what we read, who we associate with and follow and the content we consume. As for pining for the past, perhaps re-frame that, too. As Billy Joel sang, “The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow’s not as bad as it seems.”

“Keep the faith” and let’s see what we can do this year!