Positively Speaking: Take stock: Reflecting on 2021

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By Toby Moore

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of man named Toby Moore
Toby Moore

Another New Year is upon us. It’s amazing how the years keep slipping by, each year seemingly moving faster than the year before. As I take stock of 2021, I encourage you to do the same. 

New Year is a mixed bag of emotions for me. As I reflect on 2021, I think of many things — I think of the people who helped me, I think of the people who harmed me, I think of the goals I gave up and the goals I didn’t give up.

As we move into 2022, I have to wonder, have I headed in the right direction? If not, how can I change course? Do I positively impact others? Am I surrounded by people who positively influence me? How am I performing at work? Am I giving it my all? Am I aggressively pursuing my dreams? Am I helping others accomplish their dreams?

I am thankful for those who helped me in 2021. Many positive things occurred this year that couldn’t have happened without the help from friends, family and strangers. Thank you all — you make me feel gratitude that should last a lifetime. I need to make sure I let you know how much I appreciate you and help you in any way I can in 2022 and beyond.

This year I want to focus on helping those who helped me and those who haven’t helped me. I want to become a blessing in as many people’s lives as I possibly can. It reminds me of a quote by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

As I think of those who harmed me in 2021…

I want to say thanks to you as well. Thank you for making me more robust, aware, flexible and diplomatic. I’m tempted to feel anger and revenge, holding onto this poison forever. As I’ve written in the past, it doesn’t do any good to feel that way. It will only cause more harm. Please forgive my trespasses and anything I’ve done to impact you negatively. Let’s move into a place of mutual respect this year. 

“Don’t go into the new year holding a grudge from last year; we cannot move forward if we are stuck in the past.” That’s excellent advice by Pastor Joel.

I should feel satisfied with the goals I did accomplish in 2021. When I achieve a goal, the good feelings are quickly replaced by acknowledging that I’m still not where I want to be, and the sense of accomplishment quickly fades. This year I will take the time to feel good about my successes, whether they be little or big. I don’t know who said it, but I think it’s true: “Success is a series of small victories.”

The hardest thing to think and write about are the failures of 2021. Many things I wish I had done differently, goals I didn’t take seriously enough, times I snapped at loved ones while under pressure, the food I ate that made me feel unhealthy, the negative thoughts I harbored for too long, the days when I was lazy and let procrastination take hold.

There were more failures in 2021 than I can count. I wish I could go back and fix my mistakes but it’s just a fantasy, the only thing that can be done is to focus on change. Changing my personality, my habits, my thoughts, my words and my actions.

I guess Winston Churchill said it best: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Every day the sun rises again, reminding us we can start over. Every year gives us another chance. If, at first, you don’t succeed, try again. If you’re still alive, you’re still a contender.

Let’s be resolved to become better people, do the things we ought to do and let the pieces fall where they may. Hold firmly to our dreams yet be relaxed about how they occur.

In 2022 let’s be determined, happy, flexible, free from worry, free from doubt, free of anger and hatred. Let’s choose to feel optimistic and seize the New Year!

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.

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