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For many people the beginning of a new year is often a time reserved for self evaluation. It’s a perfect opportunity to see where you are and where you would like to be, a time for redefinition of one’s self, to measure personal progress by way of weighing out the past year’s victories and shortcomings. What I’m trying to say is that the New Year is a fantastic time for resolution.

Every year I come up with new resolutions as way to seek continual growth, to become the best version of myself and improve overall quality of life. Some resolutions include eliminating bad habits, living healthier, saving more, spending less, loving more, hating less, etc. After compiling all those things together I took a moment to look at my life in retrospect and I found myself feeling frustrated. Its not that my resolutions were wrong, rather it was my mentality of approach. I realized that I associated satisfaction with having “more”, that the route to success and happiness is attained by feeding the endless hunger of my needs and wants.

This epiphany is what brought me to a new resolution. It is to find happiness in wanting the things I have rather than having the things I want. As I mentioned, the New Year is a time of self evaluation, but instead of evaluating what you don’t have, evaluate what you do have. My faith teaches me to count my blessings, not my burdens. Even simple math proves that you can only count what is present and tangible.

After looking over all that I have, I realized that there is nothing more that I want. I have a family that loves me, I have a job that supports me and I have a God that watches over me. Surely, more can be attained by virtue of God’s infinite grace, but never again will I feel unsatisfied.

It is far too daunting a task to live a life always in unquenched pursuit, never reserving time to stop and smell the roses. Especially here in Canada, we often fail to see the magnificent beauties of our freedoms, to live in a society of endless opportunity and success. However I do believe in hard work. I believe that although God loves us just as we are, He loves us so much that He will not leave us just as we are. What I mean by this is that it is important to be content with what we have, but this should not eliminate the desire for progress and personal improvement. We were all brought on this earth to live purpose driven lives and we should still do whatever it takes to fulfil them.

If your purpose is to be a father, then be the best father that you can be. If your purpose is to be nurse, then be the best advocate to the patients under your care. If your purpose is to be a businessman, then practice it with honesty and integrity. If your purpose is to serve the church, well then let go and let God. All that matters is that you are always happy with what you have and that happiness will enable you to give more of yourself in fulfilling God’s purpose for you.

In the book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho he says, “The secret to life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” I think it’s a beautiful illustration of what real life is. It is ignorant to assume that life will always be easy and effortless. Remember that the element of struggle may be painful but necessary to experience the fullness of life! For as long as we stay away from complacency and continue to embrace our blessings, we will always be in paths of contentment.

JR Sevillano works as a recreation threapist in a Winnipeg nursing home. E-mail him at