With Chinese New Year rolling around, it’s been said that in the year of your zodiac animal the first half of the year is supposed to be unlucky and the remainder of the year will be full of good fortune. Yes, I know I sound like a talking fortune cookie, but it’s been surprising of how many people I know that actually believe in the truth of this prediction. Why am I even bringing this up? Well, it’s because this year is my year – the Year of the Snake. And in the wake of 2013, I was determined to prove that this old wives tale of tasting the bad before the good was not going to happen to me.
So with this belief system in tact, I faced January with resolutions that I was determined to keep along with great prospects in both my career and personal lives. I was ready to file 2012 away and was readily awaiting the promises that 2013 offered me. Little did I know, that I was going to be thrown several curve balls that left my plans in disarray and the stench of uncertainty and failure became overwhelming. A voice in the back of mind kept reminding me that I should just accept the fact that I had five more months of bad luck; I could not escape this prediction that had already ruined so many.
Then as I was dejectedly cleaning my room, I came across one of my favorite books. I’ve always been a firm believer of the idea that you make your own opportunities. This belief was reinforced with the book The Last Lecture written by Randy Pausch. Every person reads a couple of books in their lifetime that’s earth-shattering, life-changing, really makes you take three steps back and forces you to reexamine your life and your principles. This book was one of them and I was quickly reminded of why when I came across one of my favorite quotes, highlighted and underlined for good measure:
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”
Little did I know that I had become my own brick wall. I had turned this Year of the Snake ordeal into its own self-fulfilling prophecy. I can’t change the things out of my control, but I can change what I do have control over – my outlook. As the days went by, I kept my perspective in check and focused on the lessons learned instead of life’s ill-humored lectures. And like it’s always have, time moves us on and things have a tendency to work themselves out. So instead of looking at the rest of 2013 as a challenge to avoid all strings of bad luck, I have chosen to willingly embrace it – the best way out is always through.