4 Ways to Start Your Year Right

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

Be grateful and move on.

As Ariana Grande so eloquently put it:

“thank u, next.”

This is going to be my motto for the entire year, because it captures the act of gratitude so well. Being grateful and moving on doesn’t apply only to your exes, but rather any situation in life, whether good or bad.

No matter what happens in life this year, promise to yourself that you will say thank you as a mark of respect and gratitude, and let it go. No matter how good or bad. No matter how happy or sad.

Be grateful and move on.

Call your friends.

It’s the new year! Go out and be social! You’re only going to be able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve of 2019 once, so please don’t waste it by saying you’d rather spend it all alone. I’m all in for peaceful solitude, but only when human interaction becomes too much. If you feel like this on NYE, find yourself a group of friends who make you feel better.

No matter what you do, DO. NOT. BE. ALONE. Not when people matter.

John Green once said, “What you do doesn’t matter as much as who you do it with.”

Do yourself a favour.

Listen to John.

Be okay with boring.

Too often we find ourselves in a heightened state of emotions, and we believe that this is how our life is going to be forever. On a high. Full of adrenaline, and things to keep you up at night and wake you up in the morning. But the moment you see that life isn’t always as exciting as you expect it to be, you go into a state of withdrawal. And that can be painful. Really painful, if you believe that being boring is as good as being, well, not alive. I’m not saying that being boring is the way to live life.

I’m just saying that being boring is okay.

This year, choose stability over constant uncertainty. Choose balance over too much of one and too little of the other.

Dream as big as you can.

Being boring doesn’t mean you need to make your dreams down to earth too. As much as possible, make sure that your dreams are so big, that they even scare you sometimes. Make your dream the most real, most beautiful version of your life you could think of. And please don’t be afraid to dream big. I’m not sure who said this, but they said, “Most dissatisfaction in life isn’t because people couldn’t reach their goal. It’s because people thought of a goal and people only reached that much.”

Don’t try to justify your dreams to everyone. Just don’t forget them.

Our Giant Robot Suits — Online Power is Still Real Power

Featured Image: Power Armour by Blitz-Wing


Patrick Rothfuss, the author of The Name Of The Wind, came up with a very cool analogy that I think is worth sharing.

In his imagination, all the people on the internet are in this strange place where everyone is talking, having discussions with one another, arguing, basically just living their normal life, except the fact that everyone is wearing a robot suit.

The robot suits have different sizes, shapes, strengths, colours and abilities. No two suits are exactly the same. And all this is cool, ’cause it just feels like a comic con on steroids, but here’s the catch:

You can’t see your own suit. If you looked at your hand, you wouldn’t see a robot glove, you’d just see your bare skin. You can only guess what your suit is like based on others reaction to it. You can’t see or perceive it in any way, but it’s very much real. And if you had a particularly heavy suit, you could be walking on the road, cracking the pavement as you move your feet. Or someone might be screaming at you in a desperate attempt to get your attention, but you might be wondering why this person wants to spit right in your face so much. Ok, that just feels like an extremely uncomfortable situation to be in.

Your suit might make you look extremely buff and super-powerful, and people might be tempted to throw rocks at you, thinking, “Oh, this ain’t gonna hurt her. It’s just going to chink her armour, eh?” When, in fact, you might feel like your head just got caved in. Ouch, right?

In retaliation, you might throw back what seems like a small rock to you, but in fact, is a large boulder, and you might end up seriously hurting the other person. Way more than you wanted to. Way more than you’ll ever fully realize. Your robot suit could hurt millions of other people, and could even hurt you.

But, come on, this is a robot suit we’re talking about! This is amazing! You get to live a life that you want to live, whatever it is, you get to broadcast your message to millions, make money off of it, change people’s lives, and most importantly, you get the chance to create history with power that you can’t even comprehend.

On the flipside, as mentioned before, you could do more harm to yourself and others than you will realize. And if you make mistakes that are public, people talk about you. Often in ways that you don’t like. They think that you’re strong enough to deflect any harsh criticism coming your way, and you can handle it, but in reality, you don’t see yourself as the cold, heartless monster that they do. You CAN’T see it. And the responsibility of constantly trying to do right by the people you’re visible can be a big weight for you to carry.

But the good stuff doesn’t come without the bad parts.

The power to do things that change the world comes from the same giant robot suit that also gives you the power to cause immense harm to others. This power, especially on the internet, is extremely volatile, and the people who attain it, equally so.

So, while genuinely asking everyone on the internet to peaceful, assertive and kind, we also need to acknowledge that powerful people have power, and they should know to use their power for the betterment of everyone online.

There is no single way to do this. But there is one thing that we need to remember to do, as said (rather eloquently) by Hank Green in his video on this:

Look in the mirror of other people’s eyes, and see your power for what it is. Let it give you the confidence to handle criticism without feeling victimized, even if that criticism is not kindly meant or kindly delivered.

And let it remind you to be more careful-not to stop moving, not to cease engagement-but to step lightly, take care, and be kind.

As my own online spotlight is growing (relatively, I mean. I’m still pretty small), I have started to think more about my own robot suit, and the power I have given myself through this blog. And I have started to see that in the future, my spotlight might get bigger and brighter. And with this increase in power, there’s going to be an almost disproportionate increase in the amount of effort I put into making sure that the image of myself that I put out into the world is the right image, not only for all of you but for me as well.

I thank all of you for letting me have some power over your life, even if that power just means that you read my blog every time a new post comes up. I promise that I will always use that power to build you up and make you stronger.