Celebrity deaths. Natural disasters. Controversial politics. Whatever recent history has witnessed, 2016 has it all in spades. I’ll tell you something this year has not been: easy. For any of us. If 2016 were a book, it would be a 5000-page narrative of negativity, an abyss of the blackest black, sucking all that surrounds it into its pit of darkness as everybody stares in hopeless despair from the other side of the library.
It’s safe to say that most people are ready to close the book on 2016. After all that’s happened this past year, we need to ask:
Where do we go from here? How can we do things better?
Thankfully, we have a way up and out. We can harness the power of transformation. Transformation is the spark, the energy that drives humankind, the universe, and the endlessly complex web of interactions between the two. It works tirelessly and endlessly behind the scenes on both the most minuscule and majestic of scales, and for that reason I argue that transformation can be the single most powerful force in our universe. However, we as a collective must leverage it responsibly.
We have all witnessed (and some sadly fallen victim to) the results of negative thinking and behavior, especially this past year. I don’t care if you managed to keep yourself 100 miles away from the nearest television, computer, or smartphone, 2016 has affected you in some way. We have seen the destruction we can cause. This is the yin, the dark, the tails side of transformation’s coin. However, we can and should use this upcoming new year to see some light and positive transformation instead – empathy, encouragement, a unity of purpose – and flip that coin back to heads.
Travel. Take up a new hobby. Everybody has a story; talk to a random passerby and let them share their story with you. Do whatever scares you, whatever you’ve been putting off for years, whatever makes you feel the most alive. The objective is to transform something: your mind, your body, your habits, your surroundings, your life. Positive transformation, before it can benefit others, must start with the individual:
You. Whoever reads this, wherever you are, whatever your story – I hope that you and your 2017 become the most spectacular of transformations.