Birthday Person #1: So it’s my birthday! Again! And I’m super excited! As I think back on the last year, all I feel is wonder, amazement, and gratitude for all that I have accomplished and how far I have come. I am very much looking forward to celebrating this very special day with all of my family and friends, as they, too, enjoy honoring me. Yes, ME! And I can’t wait! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! 😊
Birthday person #2: So it’s my birthday. Again. And I am so totally not excited. As I think back on the last year, all I feel is disappointment, sadness, and regret for all of the things left undone and how I am stuck in a rut. I am very much looking forward to hiding beneath the covers on this horrible day, avoiding all of my family and friends, as they, too, must surely see me as the failure I am. And I can’t wait for this day to be over. Happy. F’in. Birthday. ☹
Ok, so the differences between these two birthday people may seem obvious, glaringly obvious even.
Birthday person #1 is super happy and grateful and has achieved so much and has come so far, while birthday person #2 is the total and complete opposite; unhappy and ungrateful. And as you read each little story, you likely got a pretty clear picture of each birthday person; one is a success and one is a failure.
But doesn’t success and failure really depend on what measuring stick we use? For example, perhaps birthday person #1 is unemployed, broke, and single BUT just got told that the cancer that has been waging war in her body is in remission. Happy birthday indeed!
And what if birthday person #2 is employed, financially stable, and single BUT just got told that her company is downsizing and her job is in jeopardy. And her car, which she just paid off, has a TON of work that needs to be done and so a bunch of money that’s been in her savings account is now in the auto mechanics account. AND the guy she’s been crushing on just got engaged. Happy. F’in. Birthday indeed.
Obviously, birthday person #1 is doing good. No fixing needed there. It’s birthday person #2 we need to worry about.
So how can birthday person #2 turn it around? How can it be fixed?
Well, what would happen if she stopped for a second and looked back at where she was exactly one year ago today. Is she in the same place? Nope. No way. Change is the only constant in life. So if she is unhappy with where she is on her birthday, it’s really just an opportunity to do two things.
First, she can think about her expectations and goals. Perhaps it’s time to make some changes to her game plan and to set herself up for success for the coming year.
Second, she can think about all of the good things that HAVE happened. Perhaps it’s time to start practicing gratitude for the plays in her game plan that have worked. Because they are there.
Birthday joy or misery is really all about where you thought you would be on THAT day. Think about what you thought your life would look like at 30. Or 40. Or 50. Or whatever the number. If you are where you THOUGHT you’d be, you’ll have a fantastic, even magical birthday. If you are not where you THOUGHT you’d be, you’ll have a depressing, even miserable birthday.
Notice that all of this has to do with thoughts and expectations. So if you are dissatisfied with where you are, at any time, it means it’s time to start making some changes. Start by figuring out what you REALLY want. And then move on to good goal setting.
While these things may seem daunting, they are totally, totally possible. And you, yes YOU totally, totally deserve to be where you want to be in your life.
Nothing stays the same. Nothing. And the power is truly in your, yes YOUR hands.