To start the new year, Thomas Fiffer encourages you to reach for your dreams, no matter how unreachable you think they are.
Welcome to 2015.
It’s a new year. (In case you hadn’t noticed.)
And you have plans.
Plans to change the way you do things.
Plans to up your game and advance to the next level.
Plans to bring it and make an impact.
Plans to build your dream life.
Plans to change the world.
Plans that you conceived as dreams, gave birth to as hopes, nurtured into goals, and now have laid out in front of you on the table to guide you through the 364 days ahead.
And you’re determined that this year will be different.
That this year will be the year.
The year it will happen.
The year that changes everything.
You can taste it.
Well, almost. You can smell it, and it smells sweet.
And as you run your tongue along the roof of your mouth, you imagine the sweet taste of success.
So long in coming.
And yet, still somehow tantalizingly out of reach.
You had this same feeling, this same brimming enthusiasm and kick-ass motivation and conquering mindset at the beginning of last year.
And the year before.
And the year before that.
And . . .
And now, you’re determined. But you still haven’t figured out what’s blocking you.
You haven’t put your finger on it.
Haven’t isolated the moment when your renovation plans hit that load-bearing wall that couldn’t be removed, when your new regime slid first gradually then suddenly back into the old. Or maybe you do know when it happened, but you don’t know why. Or you know why, but you don’t know how to avoid the same fate this time. Or maybe you even know how to avoid it, but you worry you don’t have the strength to take action when you need to. I know. Because I’ve been through this year after year, too.
Just before Christmas two years ago, I was driving down the Post Road with my sons, and we passed our local Barnes & Noble. My younger son, J, asked if we could stop there. I had just picked them up from their mother a few minutes ago, and we were on our way to my house. I was hungry. And though we’d had a great time recently in the children’s section of the Barnes & Noble near my office on Union Square when I’d brought them into New York to see the giant Christmas tree – and loved the books we got there – I didn’t feel like stopping this time. J did his “Please, Dad” routine a few times, and I said, “No. We’ll go another day.” His response surprised me. Sometimes, he gets very upset about not getting his way. And sometimes, he accepts the bargain of later and moves on. But this time he said, “Awww, but it’s sooooo close!”
And it was.
It was right there.
One quick left turn away.
One decision away from happening.
One moment of overcoming resistance away from becoming reality.
One change of heart away from changing our whole day.
And perhaps opening up a whole world – through a new book – for J.
I didn’t stop.
We went home.
The boys spent the afternoon and evening as they usually do, playing on their iPads and XBox, making things with Lego, drawing a little, watching their favorite cartoon episodes and a movie.
I’m not going to get stuck in the loop of what if.
I’m not going to kick myself for not stopping.
But I’ve been processing the words “It’s so close” ever since J said them, and I’ve come to see them as a message to me for the new year.
A message I now share with you as you set out today with your plans.
It is, indeed, so close.
And a lot closer than you think.
Originally published on Tom Aplomb.