As 2022 winds down, I know many of us are yearning for a simple and selective range of life experiences right now—the happy holidays, the normal times, the settings and experiences that make us feel comfortable. And yet, the full range of our reality is often quite different. This year continues to give us an extensive array of experiences that evoke feelings ranging from sadness to struggle to pride to growth to hope, and more.
So we have a choice today. We can revolt against the unfairness of life—the unfairness of having to deal with discomfort, having to cope with uncertainty, having to feel lonely and uneasy and upset. Or we can embrace every experience life gives us, including all our highs and lows—all the blissful moments and painful ones and everything in between. Life is not just happy and comfortable 24/7. It’s well-rounded and it’s real.
Embracing the full range of life’s experiences this holiday season means embracing every moment with our full presence, being open and vulnerable to reality, being gentle with ourselves when moments are tougher than we expected, and practicing sincere gratitude whenever possible.
It means accepting life as it is, and accepting ourselves as we are.
It means not expecting the best to happen every step of the way, but instead accepting what happens with each step, and making the very best of it.
This isn’t easy of course, but it’s worth working on, together…
Making Progress Up Until the New Year
Yes, 2023 is rapidly approaching.
Let’s make a pact to enter it with a more open and resilient collective mindset.
By committing the right ideas and intentions to memory before we get there.
Over the past decade Angel and I have written various “notes to self” like the ones I’ve listed below (most of which are now excerpts from our books), and then we’ve read and re-read them until they became ingrained in our minds. These memorized notes help us stay on track, by empowering us to make the best and most effective use of the ever-changing reality in front of us.
And we’re always passing these notes on to our course students and live seminar attendees too, and many of them have thanked us for doing so. So I hope YOU find value in them as well. I challenge you to memorize at least a few of them before the New Year. Turn these notes into wallpaper on your phone, or simply write the words down on Post-it notes and leave them in the areas where you can see them for the rest of the year…
Cheers to a New Beginning
Although none of the aforementioned “notes to self” immediately force you to do anything different, they represent a timely shift in perspective, and perspective is where peace and happiness begins. From there, you can change your posture from one of tension and resistance to one of acceptance and opportunity.
Ultimately, the goal isn’t to get rid of all your negative thoughts, feelings or life situations as you close the year out. The goal is to gradually change your response to them.
The days, weeks and months ahead—both before and after the New Year—will be filled with incredible highs and stressful lows, for all of us. But in any case, we can train our minds to make the best of the present moment as it unfolds. Just take it one “note” at a time, and please know that if you’re struggling with any of this, you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track. This is precisely why Angel and I wrote our books, built our course, and hosted our Think Better, Live Better 2022 live event. These invaluable resources are filled with proven guidance on how to do just that. And believe it or not, Angel and I review a lot of our own material on a regular basis too, just to center our minds on these proven principles.
We sincerely hope you will join us as we spend the next few weeks preparing to begin anew in 2023. 🙂
Now, it’s your turn…
Before you go, let us know:
- Which “note to self” above resonates with you the most right now and why?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.
Hi Marc & Angel,
I love how the general premise of many of these notes to self pertain to self-care. Because self-care is something I used to struggle with desperately. I actually found your work about 2 years ago when I was stuck in a bout of depression. Between stressful career responsibilities, and difficult personal obligations, my tank was utterly dry. I was stretching myself too thin…I was giving all of myself to the projects and people I care about and leaving zero time to nurture my own inner wellness. After reading your blog and emails, I signed up for your back to happiness course and started coaching with you. The daily rituals we designed and implemented for dealing with my self-neglect and balancing my time so that I’m now nurturing both myself AND others, has been an true life-saver.
Although it’s been months since I checked in here and left a public comment, I do often read your newest emails when they arrive in my inbox. The email that took me to this blog post was so good, I just wanted to jump in and leave you a long overdue “Thank you!”
Marc Chernoff says
Thank you for checking in with us here. As you know, Angel and I truly admire your progress and growth over the past few months. Looking forward to even more great things ahead. 🙂
Such solid wisdom to reinforce the positive opportunities at this moment, as we prepare for the year ahead! I sincerely appreciate each note, but the first one made me take pause. I do have enough right now, and I am enough. Yet so often I forget it. Thank you.
Your emails, your newest book, and your coursework have made actually 2022 one of my most self-reflective and healthy years believe it or not. What you two share continuously moves me in the right direction. Also, I just bought a digital pass to your most recent live event in Orlando event for my husband and me to watch. We are loving it so far. Watching one hour per night. Cheers!
Marc Chernoff says
Thank you for the positive feedback, Nadia. Looking forward to hearing more feedback about the 2022 event. And note that we’re also trying to decide what to do about our 2023 event. More info coming to your email inbox in the weeks ahead. 🙂
Thank you! I needed this today. Numbers 1, 6 and 12 spoke to me the most, but all are great lessons and reminders. Merry Christmas!
Thomas Owens says
I agree with what Rachel said above, but I also deeply resonate with the way you opened this article, by challenging us to accept every life situation now and in the year ahead. Too often I find myself side-stepping situations, relationships, and realities in my life that aren’t perfect and ideal. I resist the truth far more then I likely realize, and quite frankly I think many others I know do the same thing. We avoid the truth rather than opening ourselves to the possibility of making the very best of it.
Anyhow, I’ve been a long-time reader of your work, and my wife and I sit down together every week and use your essays, emails and excerpts from your book to reflect on our lives. This piece here has allowed us do just that today as we press forward into the holiday season. Thank you, yet again. 🙂
Marc Chernoff says
You are welcome. Thanks for the extra kind feedback, Thomas.
Sona Tank says
I have been reading your thoughts for the past 7+ years when I hit a rough patch. Your words have helped me through the loss of both of my parents and a few other griefs as well. This current post is exactly what I needed to hear again. God bless you and your family and community.
Marc Chernoff says
Thank you for sticking with us all these years, Sona. 🙂 Prayers for you and your loved ones.
Hello Marc and Angel
Pretty much ALL of them resonate with me right now. I’m in sick a state of anxiety and tension…I dont know myself anymore. Thank you for your wisdom.
I get so much out of all these notes to self (and everything you do). But the one that I focus on a lot is the one to ignore certain people and things in my life and value inner peace instead of reacting.
You continue to guide me every day. Thank you and happy holidays to you both!
Karen Clifford says
I appreciate these notes to self. In October I felt like I hit rock bottom with all of my emotions. I read in our church bulletin about sending letters to assisted living/nursing homes to cheer them up. I started out slowly but now I have four residences that are asking for letters. I realized that I can get outside but many in these residences have terrible isolation and loneliness this year. It’s gratifying to know that I can touch someone’s life through a simple act of sharing poems or words of encouragement. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself and also now have energy to take long walks to reflect about my next letter! Thank you for reminding me I have the choice to do something positive or reflect constantly on the negative!
Diana Everett says
What an amazing gesture of kindness! I do a lot of volunteer work, have not heard of this before, will have to investigate in my own community.
RICK Cragg says
Thank you Marc and Angel for your heartfelt words that truly resonated with me. These are great words to live by and to create the life that brings the most happiness. Your books have greatly inspired me and continue to bring the best out in me in these challenging times.
Lots of ‘aha’ moments reading your ‘notes’ – but the last one particularly resonates with me about being 100% ready. I need to print ALL of those out and put them up on my inspiration wall in my office. I have LOTS of notes in my workspace to remind me about gratitude, centering, letting go, etc… One note I particularly love right now is ‘Never stop chasing things that seem beyond your reach’. I don’t know who said but it so resonates with me. Another one is ‘Accept what is, let go of what was & have faith in the journey.’ ~ It’s been a rough year for sure for me and so many people. But ultimately, I know that I have SO many things to be thankful for, my health being one of them for sure. I loved the comment above about writing letters to those in nursing homes. I’m going to look into that. I think the very best thing we can do right now is to be present for others. Even if it is just in a letter, over the phone or virtually. Anyway, I’m very hopeful there are some positive takeaways from this year for me.
Ferdinand van Niekerk says
… thank you…SHALOM!
“You need to do the hard things in life to be happy”
I’m currently learning to swim at the age of 50 and this resonated most with me right now.
It is so very hard but if I keep at it, it has the potential to be massively life enhancing!