Monday, February 15, 2016

Gung Hay Fat Choy “Happy New Year,” so what about resolutions?

It’s February, the first of January already seems ages ago.  I’m screwed, so it seems.  Super bowl has come and gone, even Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras has come and gone.  Now the Chinese New Years is here, it has come and now is gone like a flash in the pan and it is over.  Time flies before you can blink an eye.   Where does it go?  I’m still trying to catch up on late birthdays and Valentine greetings.

I used to spend days - weeks planning and sharing my New Years resolutions.  How much have you’ve stayed on track?  I’ve flushed those ideas down the drain three years ago.  Do we do ourselves a favor by making them and not sticking to it (rhetorically speaking), or should we just be honest with ourselves and go overboard with everything to maximum carnality on Mardi Gras; confess our sins and begin the quest of conscious sacrifice through a forty-day discipline of abstinence to deny the flesh of earthy indulgences beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter?   Every turn, there is a reason to celebrate which serves as an excuse to get side-tracked from plans for discipline; like loosing thirty pounds, not drinking brown liquors, eating more salads, not smoking, getting more exercise, eating out less frequently, saving money, getting the car repaired, cleaning out the closet, etc.   In the western world, we fail terribly in the art of making New Years’ resolutions.  The practice does not have to be confined by religious doctrine, not to say that religion doesn’t help.

So who’s to blame?   Maybe the idea of New Year resolution is a misconception about change when the focus for success should be adaptability: change, adapt, grow and improve.   George Bernard Shaw said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
Here’s a bit of Adinkra wisdom contributed by Nana who was inspired by the story about the lichen spider told him by his sister on the ability to adapt.   Enjoy.  
Sonja Brooks

Reflections on Adinkra ADAPTABILITY
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. ~Darwin

1. Manual skills
2. Physical Fitness
3. Creativity          
4. Critical Thinking
5. Communication 

If I were to make a top 5 list of the traits that are traditionally seen as MVTs [most valuable traits], you’d probably see those 5. One or two might be switched out, but a lot of people talk about those 5 traits but consistently leave out the most important trait of all. This trait that allows some people to excel in whatever they do while others flop. This trait that lets people enter completely new arenas of knowledge and not only survive, but thrive like the lichen spider that is able to camouflage itself and feed uninterrupted. If you have this trait, you can do just about anything. So what is this trait that will open doors of opportunity and create more chances for growth than you could imagine?

Why Adaptability is Essential
Being adaptable is like walking into a pitch black room. At first you can’t see anything and everything looks foreign, but soon you’re able to start to make out shapes, and objects. Pretty soon you’re able to see everything and keep functioning as normal. Anytime you walk into an unfamiliar setting, subject matter or area of interest that you’re not familiar with, at first you don’t recognize anything but once you DECIDE to ADAPT and CHANGE things begin to appear less fearful and more manageable. Simply decide to have an adaptable attitude regardless of the situation you find yourself in (like the lichen spider) and you will be amazed with what life gives you back. Keep smiling at the person in the mirror.

You don't need a reason to be happy just a choice. It's a beautiful world, enjoy it. Dream. Explore. Discover.
Contributor: Nanna Abban "Reflections of Adinkra."
Graphics: Graphic image:  Stuart Miles