Yes, a brand new year of Hope is bursting upon us. And as we hoist our glasses in search of optimism, I propose we may discover our expectations in that stack of holiday life-sharing letters which our friends and relatives take time to send.
Christmas letters tend to be a remarkably accurate bellwether of what folks thought of the last year – or at least what feel they should think about the past year. And so many of them (our own excluded) kick off with the expected litany of horrors…yes we do have a dire plague haunting the planet; yes, our nation has one major political party so desperate to keep “the other side” from looking good, that they are disparaging all vaccines, precautions, and remedies. Yes, climate change is wreaking havoc…it all gets painfully listed. But then, when global social concerns are duly met, the letters get down and personal: We took 93-year-old Aunt Jenny on a birthday balloon ride…Christopher hit Dean’s List and is taking his junior year abroad…Ann’s homeless shelter charity just raised $1.2 million…Linda and John got married…Martha and John, now 83, are joyfully celebrating their first anniversary…(all actual quotes from our card pile.)
In short, despite all the distant clouds of hovering gloom, our lives are still riding on, often quite merrily. Individually, we are making our marks, caring for others, improving ourselves, and delving into new accomplishments. Interestingly, in this period of personal resiliency, of all our books, CEO of Yourself has experienced the greatest interest. So this New Year’s Countdown – as the ball falls while the bubbly and our hopes rise, perhaps we might resolve to focus on ourselves, our hearts, and our own eagerly creative hands. After all, nothing pierces outer darkness like inner light.
Wishing You Every Success and a Joyful 2022,
– Bart Jackson
Life swirls on all about us unrelentingly. Perhaps it is the ceaseless exposure to television dramas, novels, and cinema that have us viewing our lives in a series of episodes. Events hurtle upon us – we struggle – face down the challenges, then it is over. Behind us. We move expectantly to a new chapter. But Life with Covid refuses to wrap up so neatly. In the fugue of our lives, this plague storms on as a dark, dominant theme, then gets pushed into the background as other dramas unfold and take center stage, capturing our attention. Couples unite, love triumphs, man’s inevitable inhumanity rages against our compassion…the layers of life pile on. Yet the plague keeps re-emerging, varying, but it never quite resolves. It remains one of several stubborn scowling characters, spurning all calls to exit, that we must push to the fringe of our thought. And, marvelously, we do just that!
This November 2021, I stand struck by the resiliency of the people around me. Be the gathering real or virtual, after a quick news swap of booster benefits and fears, the mood invariably shifts. Folks bubble with that verve of celebration. Hope is joyfully expressed to me constantly from masked mouths; and for the first time in too darn long, I listen to words of gratitude. Last year, I recall penning a post comparing our times with the Pilgims’ example of hopeful thanksgiving as they entered harsh winter with more than half of their numbers lost. It was meant as a plea to seek out whatever reeds of hope we each could muster. This year, I find that message as obsolete as diesel fuel for a Tesla.
With so many expectations shattered, we seem to be gathering up shiny realizations of thankfulness from the pieces. And that feeling of gratitude, I truly believe, is not limited to this man’s narrow experience. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Humankind’s unquenchable quest to celebrate with joyous thanksgiving defies circumstance, and is as innate and natural as any of our “inevitable” sins.
So this Thanksgiving, allow me to raise my glass to all of you harboring hope and gratitude. You raise our spirits as we face the next chapter, and we will pass it on.
Wishing you Every Success,
– Bart Jackson
Bart Jackson’s second edition of CEO of Yourself – Getting Down to the Business of Your More Rewarding Life has hit the top of Amazon’s Best Seller in three categories as well as being listed in the top 50 in other Self-Help and Business categories. Tonight, Nov 12, Bart will be hosting a virtual book launch featuring a gathering of notable guests sharing their insights on this work and aspects of self-mastery…with many participating in a joyful roast of the author.
CEO of Yourself is available in hard copy and digital forms on Amazon.
Would you like a guide that gives you personally the ability to – Grow like Google? – Bounce back from failures like Microsoft? – Profit from compassion like the marvelous Pope Francis? – And find all that fun that no one else seems to be having?
CEO of Yourself arms you with a set of old-fashioned solutions that have been neglected too long.
All those proven elements – Character, Principles, Endurance, and Unbridled Enthusiasm – help you roll up your sleeves, blow away today’s fog of devices and distraction, and set the Enterprise of You on an honest & joyful path.