Sometimes, the greatest change we can make in life is our perspective.
Enter Your Details
Keep up to date with my recent posts.
The Hogmanay Perspective. A new year can be a ‘funny’ time of year for all of us. It’s a time where many of us will reflect upon the year gone by, and consider how we have conducted ourselves throughout the year, and whether we’ve moved forward in some way, or otherwise.
I spent most of my 20’s travelling the world, some of which was done while serving in the military, and the rest of which I done on my own terms (which was slightly more liberating). In my experience, I’ve found that the Scot’s celebrate the New Year (or Hogmanay) with revelry and passion that is unmatched by any other nation of people.
Many of the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were originally brought to Scotland by the Vikings in the early 8th and 9th centuries. These Norsemen paid specific attention to the arrival of the Winter, the shortest day, and historically celebrated the passing of these days with some serious partying.
It may surprise many Scot’s to learn that Christmas was virtually banned in Scotland from the end of the 17th century to the late 1950s. Until the end of the 1950s, most Scots worked over Christmas and celebrated their winter holiday at New Year when family and friends would gather to party and exchange presents. This became known as Hogmanay.
There were many cultural traditions, and that should be taken care of before the midnight bells on the 31st December: these included cleaning the house, emptying out the ashes from the fire, clearing all your debts, and forgiving anyone who’d wronged you throughout the year.
The underlying message of Hogmanay was (and still is) to finish the old year well, to clean out the old, and embrace the new year to come with eager anticipation.
As I consider the year gone by, I have taken greater risks in the last 12 months than what I have ever done before, historically, throughout the extent of my lifetime to date. I’ve made more significant mistakes than I’ve ever historically made, but yet I’ve learned some critical life lessons that I can carry forward and share with other people for many years to come.
As I reflect, I’ve spent most of my life trying to ‘build’ something. Until recently, I’d never considered what I wanted to build; I’ve always seemed to have this ‘internal driving force’ pulling me forwards towards an undefined final destination. I never knew what this was, or even where it was.
One of my main revelations in the last 12 months is how imperfect and selfish I am. I often say hurtful things to others, I offend people, and frequently don’t ‘practice what I preach’. I am very good at being a hypocrite, and ironically, I don’t like hypocrites.
This year, I have seen over 25,000 students from all around the world subscribe to one (or more) of my courses. Some of whom think that I’m an excellent teacher (which is great), where others are of the opinion that I’m an opinionated, arrogant and self-consumed man (which can sometimes hurt).
I guess that regardless of how hard we work and how hard we try, there will always be those who jump to unfair and incorrect conclusions about who we are and what our motives are.
My reason for writing these words at the start of this new year is to encourage you to live this year without fear, without indecisiveness and limits. Live without fear, don’t hold back, and give everyone you know the opportunity to know you for who you genuinely are – opposed to who they might just think that you are.
On Hogmanay five years ago, I attended the funeral of my girlfriend, Marie. I loved her. She died in my arms a few days before Christmas 2010, after losing a lifetime battle with Cystic Fibrosis. On the morning of her final day, she sent me a text message that I’ll remember for the rest of my days: “Kain, please come, I want to live.” Marie genuinely wanted to live. She valued the life that she had.
At 8 pm that night, she breathed her final breath, fell asleep, and I lost my best friend in the world. She was a best friend to me; I wasn’t a best friend to her. I’d spent the last few months of her life working my ass off, attempting to make some money. To cut the story short, I got the money I wanted, but I no longer had her. I had messed up – talk about misplaced priorities!
Marie’s passing broke my heart, and at the same time, I learned a valuable life lesson that I vowed I would share with as many people as possible who are interested enough to care.
The quality of our lives is always determined by the quality of the relationships that we have. For some people, life ends way too soon, and once someone’s gone, there’s no getting them back – there’re no second chances when it comes to bringing back the dead.
At the start of each year, most people consider making their New Years Resolutions and setting some goals for the twelve months that follow. And while setting goals is always a good thing, my main purpose of writing this note is to encourage you, this year, to appreciate the people you have in your life, more than you have ever done before. Put people before things.
Because money comes, money goes. Houses come, houses go. Job’s come, job’s go. Project’s come, projects go, and your priorities will continuously evolve for the remainder of your days. But once people go, there’s no bringing them back from death – and none of know when our (or other’s) last day will be. I offer you here, a perspective for 2016 and beyond.
Don’t make the same mistake that I have made, don’t take the lives of those you love for granted. Don’t sweat the small stuff and never let fear or greed become the master of your life. The cost of this isn’t worth it. This year, run your race to win, give away more than what you have ever done before, and become the kind of person for others that you would love to have for yourself.
This year, take a massive and give life everything that you’ve got. This year, make your life count. Stand for something, become someone better, someone more, and show the World that there are still people who care. Let this way of life become your legacy. Give this year your all.
I wish you the best for the twelve months that follow, and if any of you plan on visiting Scotland (Dunfermline or Edinburgh), give me a shout, let’s go for a chat, and I’ll be more than happy to pick up the Starbucks tab 😉
Happy New Year … Kain xx
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
Also, you might find my other Free resources helpful? Why not have a look…