December 21, 2013

One year ago, we were told our world would cease to exist on this day.

The world is still breathing.

What was most interesting, to me, is that one year ago people across the globe started “living life to the fullest,” loving their neighbor unconditionally and finally making the most out of the seconds we may or may not have had left.

I’m certain that’s where the beauty of 2013 comes from.

I hear it time and time and again, “2013 was my year.” 2013 was the year people felt most grateful for their accomplishments, company and selves. I’m certain that this is because life was almost “taken away” from us. But, why are we waiting for someone to tell us we’re going to die to start living?

‘Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home

My challenge to you: take these simple steps toward making 2014 just as magical as 2013. Don’t wait for the next conspiracy theorists to do it for you.

Be Grateful

Take inventory of all the beautiful things in your life. One year ago, my mother was diagnosed with a very dangerous cancer. It wasn’t until this dark moment that I started to appreciate her for the endless hours of love and support that she provided me with. This brought us closer together, and I will never again let an illness remind me how important she is.

An activity I’ve adopted, credit due to my SpeechWriting professor, is writing a ‘thank you’ card every week to someone. Write it to a friend, a family member, a classmate, a teammate, a mentor, a stranger, someone who you are thankful for in the universe. If opening up and communicating with others is too difficult for you, keep a journal and write down one thing you’re grateful for when you wake up, and one thing you appreciate from your day before you hit the sack.

Be Positive

Despite all the hardships you and I have been through, it’s the power of positivity that keeps us moving forward. Countless obstacles this year had the power to hold me back from reaching my fullest potential. Adopting gratefulness and clinging to all the good that exists, I very easily pushed through.

The law of attraction tells us that “if you think it, it shall happen.” But, the trick is to really embrace the power of positivity to attract all that you wish and need for your personal life. The power of positivity is difficult to explain in short, but learning to harness it benefits your mental and physical health. And most importantly, improves your quality of living. Next time the universe drops a bomb on your lap, slap a smile on and pick yourself right up!

Be Purposeful

Finding your purpose in life will be the most important step to living a fulfilling life. No, I’m not talking about declaring a major and writing a plan for what the next 10 years will look like. I’m asking you to find what you’re passionate about, find what makes you happy and find the things that launch you forward in the most enjoyable way. Putting these thoughts together help determine your purpose.

Discovering your purpose helps guide you in the right direction. How do we really know if we’re making the right decision when presented with a tricky opportunity? Make sure it aligns with that purpose. Mine? Building bridges for people and finding ‘the good.’ I discovered, this year, that my place on this planet is to help place people on this planet. Using public relations as a vehicle, I help people and brands find what’s positive about them and I reveal this to the world, hopefully building a bridge between the two.

Be a Dreamer

It’s important to set goals and accomplish them to feel as though you’re successful. But, just as important, dream about the insurmountable potential inside you and the multiple directions your life could take. Eventually, these dreams start to become your reality and before you know it, you’re at the center. Bonus points if you get risky: by challenging yourself, you’ll find that you land in far more satisfying places. Besides, what better way to lift yourself out of a slump than doing something extraordinary?

At the start of the year, I dreamt about all the places I could go this summer and complete my internship requirement. The most feasible option was right at home, at the agency I already worked at. But, the dream? New York City. Publicity. Fashion. Broadway. I got it all. I didn’t get it because I was lucky. I got it because as this became my reality, there was no way I was going to let it slip away. I sent tons of resumes and cover letters out, interviewed for days, and then selected the most incredible internship experience I could have for myself.

Now, as you jot down New Year Resolutions, my hope is that you stray from shedding pounds and head toward establishing more fulfilling days of your lives. Don’t let sunsets remind you of all the things you didn’t do during the day. Don’t let a cold breeze remind you of all the warmth you let go in your life.

Start living today, because we don’t know how much time we really have on this earth.