“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw

 To me, New Year always feels like being given a clean sheet of paper on which to write a new chapter of my life.

Somewhere, amongst the festive busyness, I managed to find some time and quiet space to reflect; to revisit 2013 and to think about what 2014 might look like. Reflection is something which even the Queen advocated in her Christmas speech this year.

On reflection, 2013 was a year where I’d given myself a bit of a kick up the butt and actually done some of the things I’d wanted to do for ages. It’s felt great to do this. Here are a couple of examples.

During my summer holiday I started writing this blog, which is proving to be a real joy. I am truly humbled, privileged and gratified when readers share their own thoughts and experiences with me.

Recently, I applied to be a School Governor and I am very excited to report that I have been successful. I can’t wait to get started !

 “We cannot teach people anything. We can only help them discover it within themselves” – Galileo Gallilei

As you know from my previous blogs, I am a huge fan of Seth Godin’s books. If you want an inspirational, short read to set you up for the year ahead, my recommendation would be his book “Graceful”.

In “Graceful”, Godin summarises a speech made, at a Princeton graduation ceremony, by Jeff Bezos, founder of

Graduates are at the start of their careers, facing a blank sheet of paper and choices about how to fill it. Bezos poses the following questions, to help them develop their storyboard.

  • “Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions ? Will you follow dogma or will you be original ?”
  •  “Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure ? Will you wilt under criticism or will you follow your convictions ?”
  • “Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling. When it’s tough, will you give up or will you be relentless ?”
  •  “Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder ? Will you be clever at the expense of others or will you be kind ?”

Bezos’ questions can only be answered from the heart. “When your heart speaks, take good notes” – Anon. The answers provide a reference point for creating life’s storyboard; a set of values and principles to guide our decision making.

“Sometimes, on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one” – Lisa Hammond (Permission to Dream)

 All good stories contain surprises and unexpected endings. Along the way our path will twist and turn. In response, we’ll “ad-lib” and to do so, we need to have a strong set of values in our armoury.

 “For my part, I know nothing with any certainty. But the sight of the starts makes me dream” – Vincent Van Gogh

 None of us knows what the year ahead will bring.

My New Year’s resolution is to squeeze as much as I can out of 2014; to live life to the full, to put my energy into realising my dreams.

I know that to be truly happy I must live life in a way that is in tune with my beliefs, values and passions and this will be my guiding principle.

Perhaps you will, like me, spend some time over the next few days distilling your New Year’s resolution and from it, creating your 2014 storyboard.

I hope that you have a happy 2014.

PS – I would love it if you feel able to share what you come up with. If you do, please post it as a comment at the bottom.


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