You may have figured out by now that I love my Italian heritage and any time I can either quote The Godfather movies or tie something back to Roman history, I’m all in. Today is no exception, so here goes! Did you know that ancient Romans dedicated the first of January to their god, Janus? Janus was considered the god of gates and doors. Early Romans believed he could see both the past and the future at the same time which is often why he was depicted with two faces. With a new year upon us, it’s a great time to reflect on our past and look forward to new experiences. How often have you faced a new door in your life?
The Great Unknown
The paratroopers in the photo above await their orders to jump during a mock-door training exercise. During an actual jump, they’ll leave the security of the aircraft behind them and pass through the doorway into an uncertain outcome. The certainty they have, however, is that they take with them their past training and experience. You have that same advantage in every endeavor you choose to pursue in this new year. No matter what door you decide to open, you bring with you a wealth of experience and knowledge. So what do you want to do?
Open and Close
The cool thing about doors and gates is that they open and close. Some may be locked and require a key to get in while others swing freely. I believe that every experience in your life and every person in your life is either a room or a door. A room is somewhere you stay while a door is something you pass through to get to another location. You may apply this visual to every aspect of your life, from your health, your fitness, your career, your friends and your personal development. Are you comfortable in your current room? Is it cramped or cluttered? Is it time to change things around or move into a whole new room? Here are three steps you can take starting today to jump into a better January.
- Evaluate your Rooms — take an inventory of each “room” in your life to see if there are areas requiring improvement. For example, if you want to renovate your health, start by cleaning out your refrigerator and pantry*. Eliminate unhealthy foods especially those laden with sugar and saturated fats.
- Take a Step Forward — you may feel like you don’t have all the information you need to make a change but I’ll bet you’re 80% there. That’s good enough to get going. For example, I learned to play the piano as a kid but didn’t keep up with my lessons over the years. My goal this year is to relearn the piano so I’m starting with what I already know from past experience and building from there. I know how to find middle C on the keyboard and how to place my fingers. I may not be playing Mozart any time soon, but I bet I can play chopsticks before the week is out!
- Find the Exit - Sometimes you just need to get out of the room and that means creating an exit strategy. Maybe it’s time to set some new career goals or even change things up entirely. Have you thought about taking some additional college or vocational courses? How about developing some new skills or hobbies that you may turn into a business either this year or some time in the future? That way when the opportunity door knocks, you’ll be the first to answer.
*Stay tuned to my next article on a fresh start for your fridge.
The End is Just the Beginning
The origins of the word January may have originated from the Etruscan (ancient Tuscany) word Jauna, meaning “door.” Consider today your doorway to the life and lifestyle changes you want to make this year. Rather than focusing on resolutions that fade as quickly as they are made, keep your focus on what’s in front of you. Have the confidence to know that whatever door you choose your experiences hold the key to your success. Just as Don Vito Corleone promised, today “make (yourself) an offer you can’t refuse.”
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“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.