“Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can liberate the future.”

Here is my thoughts and wishes for the New Year.

I try not to focus too much on the past anymore because of two important reasons: first I can’t change it, and second, either statistically or genetically, I have fewer years ahead of me than what I have behind me. So why waste time focusing on that which I can’t change when I’d rather concentrate on what’s ahead of me that I can influence.

That’s not to say I don’t have regrets or am not remorseful for things I’ve done and choices I’ve made. I believe I’ve made amends for most of them and have come to grips with the rest. Maybe there are those who’d rather see more of an expression of self-penitence. My reply is that you have no idea how much I’ve struggled with thoughts over my mistakes, it’s not important for you to know, I could care less about how how much others think I should punish myself, I’ve definitely learned from those mistakes, and I’ve moved on! Trust me I’m where I need to be by self-deprecation, analysis, and accountability. Most importantly, the truly only meaningful judgment lies after I leave this planet so I’m better served to get my crap in order! Bottom line is I’m fairly done with additional apologies for stuff in the past unless I feel I owe one, not because someone demands it because really, what’s the point?

Now for youngsters like my sons – you may think you have a lot of time to put all your “ducks in a row” and odds are you do. However there’s an abundance of information and evidence that should put you on notice that sometimes “we don’t have all the time in the world” so just plan accordingly. Now about your future and mistakes you’ll make. From my perspective, I only need one apology if it’s genuine. You also don’t need to make promises that it won’t happen again for a couple of reasons. First we are all human and not perfect. Second, it’s pretty disappointing when you break them so don’t make any you can’t keep. Finally if you learned the hard way from a poor decision or acting incorrectly, then I hope you took something from the consequences so that it just won’t happen again. I’ve said before I get no benefit from showing how right I was or by rubbing it in to show how wrong you were.

For the young, the past is so recent to really give it context or get an accurate measurement of its overall impact. For me, my past is made up of too many components to waste unnecessary time to separate and since it can’t be changed, I’m not going to bother. Still it does give us the best indication of how to chart our future. Although it may not unveil how it will specifically unfold, it does give us a better idea of what we may not be able to do and most importantly, what we should avoid.

So don’t dwell too much on the past because I’m not so sure what good it will do. We are heading into 2015 with this year coming to a close. Take the good memories from 2014 and cherish them for as long as you can recall them. As far as any mistakes, make whatever retribution remains to pay off your debt, learn from them, act accordingly, and just move on. Stop beating yourself up and anyone who wants you to continue to do so is doing it more for their benefit, not yours. I won’t because Lord knows, it’s hard enough focusing on my own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual growth, welfare, happiness, and harmony.

I hear a lot of people say that 2015 is going to be either a “good year” or “better year”, probably since it’s like the beginning of the MLB Season where all teams start with a clean slate. I love optimism since as Winston Churchill said, “I’m an optimist because it doesn’t make sense to be anything else!” However I have figured out that truly great things rarely happen by accident or mere chance. “Good” things happen to good people because they generally do good or correct things, or they have “good” people around them to protect them when needed.

I suggest we all take a moment today to at least take an overall look back on this year and then imagine where we see ourselves. If we want a better year, I suppose it’s logical to simply start by continuing to do what works but maybe doing it better. For those things that didn’t or haven’t worked, it makes sense to just simply change or approach them differently if we haven’t already learned to do so. Resolve to be consistent as the year progresses and just look back at the end of each month and see how 2015 is unfolding. Im guessing if we do so, we’ll get the year we’re looking for and probably a little (or a lot) more!

Along with your other New Year’s resolutions, please incorporate the following into them. “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”

I’m optimistic that we’ll all have a Happy New Year because it doesn’t make sense to envision anything else, you know?