We’re 45 days into 2018, so there’s the possibility you’ve veered off course a bit with those new years resolutions. But don’t worry, all is not ruined. There’s plenty of 2018 left. Actually, we’ve only just begun. If you get back to your resolutions, you can still get an awesome grade. Yep, that’s what I said, “You can still get an awesome grade.”
I’m a weird guy who sometimes has to make sense of things from a numerical standpoint. For example, I frequently think of the 9 years I spent incarcerated as a percentage of the years I’ve lived, like, when I was released at 25 years old, the 9 years meant that I’d spent 36% of my life in prison. Now, however, at 41 years old, the percentage of my life spent in prison is 22% (21.95% to be more accurate). And, if I’m blessed enough to see 100 years then, yep, that’s an easy one, you guessed it, I will have spent 9% of my life in prison. I know it doesn’t sound like the happiest thing to think about, I mean, 9% of one’s life is a huge portion, true, but I’m the type to focus on the 91% of life I will have lived (to that point) outside of prison, as a free man. Even now, at 41 years old, I’d rather be thankful that I’ve spent 78% of my life outside of prison than to become bitter over the reality that I’ve spent 22% of it, nearly a quarter of it, inside.
So, you may have broken away from your new year’s resolutions, but if you look at the numbers the way I do, then, instead of beating yourself up over not having the strength to hold on to your resolutions for 45 days, you’ll say, “Okay, I may not have given my best effort for the first 45 days of 2018, but, there are still 320 days of 2018 left.” You see, 45 of 365 days is only 12% (12.32% to be more accurate), so, if you hold fast to your resolutions from this point of 2018, from today, until the end of the year, then you still have a chance to award yourself a grade of 88%, and that’s a very good, respectable grade.
This post is about more than just new year’s resolutions. It’s about the way we perceive things. I’m a glass-half-full kind of person, but I don’t believe that’s the norm in our society, which is unfortunate, because our perceptions shape our reality. If you’re a person who constantly chooses to view things from a negative perspective then it should be no surprise when you’re angry and depressed. Your emotional state is a reflection of your perceptions. You never have to have a negative reaction to anything. We react negatively because we choose to and, at some point, after reacting in a certain way for so long, it becomes a habit, it becomes our default response, negativity becomes the lense through which we view the world. On the opposite side of that, you can choose to be optimistic, even in the gravest of circumstances, though difficult, I know, you can choose hope over hopelessness. For instance, as I stated earlier, I’ve been blessed enough to have spent 78% of my life as a free man. And even when I think about that 22% of my life spent inside, I can’t help but see the good things that came as a result of my incarceration, the things I learned, the books I read, the “unique” experiences I had.
Keep your head up.