Life is a continuum of new beginnings strung together in time. The birth of a child, coming of age, and marriage are some examples of new beginnings that cultures across the world celebrate with joy. One new beginning that started during the time of the Romans and continues to be celebrated across the world is the New Year. The Romans celebrated the New Year by honoring Janus – he gives us the month’s name, January. Janus was the God of transitions. He represented the bridge between what was and what will be, the old and the new. For this reason, Janus is represented as the God with two faces, one facing the past and the other facing the future. While the traditions honoring Janus have ended, what endures is our enthusiasm for new beginnings. Each year, come January, new memberships at the gym hit the roof. Losing weight, saving money, and quitting smoking are among the most popular resolutions. We hope the new year will give us the extra boost we need to become better. But by January 19, we hit what is called Quitter’s Day, the day when most people choose the face of Janus looking into the past. They quit.
This January let’s change that. A world healing from a pandemic needs more resolve and less quitting. Our victories, no matter how small, spread hope and positivity.
How can you ensure success this time?
When researchers studied why people struggle to keep their resolutions, they found that most people either forget their resolutions or simply lose track of them. Test this for yourself. What was your resolution last year? And the year before? The chances are you have forgotten. Usually, you will forget something because it isn’t important enough. It doesn’t warrant your interest. So, this year, make resolutions that interest you deeply.
Interest fuels resolve. Interest gives the impetus to act. When you are interested, you will set positive intentions and prioritize better. Take a moment to revisit your successes. You will find that interest ignites your efforts. And what happens when you lack interest? Do you try to make up for lost interest with willpower? Well, it doesn’t work. When there is no interest, the joy is gone, and self-improvement becomes a sandpapery affair. So, the key is to create interest.
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Scott Shute is a pioneer in creating workplace mindfulness programs and advancing the discussion around compassion at work. He blends his experience as a Silicon Valley executive with his lifelong practice and passion as a wisdom seeker and teacher. In his recent role at LinkedIn, Scott was the Head of Mindfulness and Compassion programs, and he is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The Full Body Yes. Here, he is interviewed by Emilie Mogensen.
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Judith Nelson introduces a new series for 2022, which will highlight and explore ways to integrate different perspectives on various topical issues.
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You Deserve Bold New Beginnings
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EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE
JEREMY GILLEY is a British director and actor who founded the non-profit organization Peace One Day in 1999. Jeremy’s creativity was sparked early in life, and he has spent over twenty years passionately committed to peace, sustainability, equality, justice, diversity, inclusion, climate action, and the mobilization of youth. He is the producer and director of four annual global digital experiences – Anti-Racism Live, Climate Action Live, Peace Day Live, and Space Transformers Live, an experience for young changemakers. With his signature enthusiasm and humor, in part 2 of this interview, he shares his vision for enabling young people with JUDITH NELSON of the Heartfulness Institute.
THE ANIMAL-HUMAN CONFLICT
RAJESH MENON is a wildlife photographer and environmental conservationist living in North India. Here he shares some ideas for solutions to the animalhuman conflicts that are apparent in all regions of the world today.
What Makes a Person Attractive?
Dr Ichak Adizes shares his experience on what we find attractive in other people, and the importance of humor in relationships.
I take laughter for granted
MAMATA VENKAT looks back over the last year, which has been full of tragedy, and finds the moments of light and laughter that bring joy and celebration to life.
Love, Non-violence, and Truth
DR. PRAKASH TYAGI is the Executive Director of Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS), an NGO dedicated to working in impoverished rural regions of India, including the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Bundelkhand. In part 1 of this interview with KASHISH KALWANI, he speaks about applying the Gandhian principles of love, non-violence, and truth to support communities in need.
Lunch, Dinner, and a Loving Baker Dressed in White
By the end of the 1960s, Westerners were traveling to visit the spiritual teacher, Babuji, in India. Among the first were the Danes, who all fell in love with Babuji and were instrumental in bringing the spiritual practices of Heartfulness to the West. One of these pioneers was THOMAS MOGENSEN, who first visited Shahjahanpur in 1971 with his wife and some friends. They filmed their conversations with Babuji, took many photos, and Thomas later wrote two books about these precious experiences. Here is a small vignette from one of his books, written with his signature humor, joy, and tenderness.