Each December I find myself engaged (sometimes in a frenetic way), determining what my New Year's Resolutions will be.
The first thing I do is go back to the last year's list and tick all those that have been achieved. Most of the times the result is somewhere between "ok" and "satisfying" and if there are a few non-kept resolutions, I just convince myself that those were the "substitute" ones, the ones that would just bring some extra flavour to the year's achievement.
Second step is to figure out what I want for the following year. This December, however, making my New Year Resolution list is somewhat different. For some strange reason, I keep asking myself "If you already know where you're heading, why do you need a list"?
Three weeks on holidays. After an exhausting year of work, work, work. Three books chosen. (Or, let to be chosen.)
1. One from the classics: The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway. (Actually that was a re-read. I first read it during my school years. Different eras, different perspectives, totally different insights.)
2. One from my favorites authors: What I talk when I talk about running, Haruki Murakami. (Or, how a writer can blow your mind, even if he's talking about his running marathons)
3. One from a random pick (someone's suggestions, somewhere in the web): A tale for the time being, Ruth Ozeki. (It turned out to be my first book written by a Zen Buddhist priest which didn't seem at all to be written by a Zen Buddhist priest.)
This is a story, a pattern which comes up very frequently when talking with my (expat) clients, but also with people from my environment.
Let us consider two different people making the same decision. No one knows if it's right or wrong. Both move to a new country for an unspecified period. The first one struggles with life there: doesn't like the place, the weather, the system, the people, the traditions, the mentality. And when comparing the new life with the former one, the latter is always the winner. At the same time, he keeps asking himself: “Did I make the right decision?" In the end, he moves back to his home country with a feeling of relief, but also bitterness regarding the time “wasted” there.
On the other hand, the other person adjusts pretty well to the new place. He anticipated there would be difficulties in the beginning, but is ready to compromise and to try. And above all, never asks himself if he made the right decision.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.