Our choices, not achievements

Things change, but more things stay the same. What changes is the circumstances. Changing circumstances make us look at the past, present, and future from a different perspective. This leads us to make different choices than we would otherwise make – and perhaps even surprise ourselves with the decisions we make.

In my opinion, what is more important on New Year’s Eve than laying out rigid plans for the next year is thoroughly understanding what happened in the previous year, and why.

This will be a cliché quote, but as Albus Dumbledore said, “it is our choices (…) that show who we really are, far more than our abilities” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, page – certainly one of them). If he is right, it doesn’t matter how many languages you learnt to speak in 2018, how much more money you earn, and how many pounds you’ve lost; it matters what choices you made. And these choices do not necessarily have to be obvious and easily shown off to others.

You might have decided to care more about your friends, old and new; you might have chosen a career path that pays less but brings more good into the world. You might have been given an unexpected opportunity and given up something you had to go after that new, uncertain thing.

Whatever choice you make, it speaks of you as it reflects your values and priorities at a given moment, and shows changes that may be happening within your personality.

Things change, but more things stay the same. If you still live in the same place, go to the same school or university, or do the same job, if you still love coffee and Quality Street just as much as you loved them one year ago, you might be thinking that nothing has really changed.  But remember that all change is relative and not all changes take a year or less. Maybe you’ve dramatically changed over the last two years. No matter what the time bracket is, let New Year’s Eve be the time of reflection on your choices and values to start off 2019 on the right* foot.


*That is, whatever you find right at the very moment. “Right” is a relative word, too.

Published by kotersey

Graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a First in geography, and from the University of Brighton with a Master's in history of design and material culture. Probably drinking iced coffee and thinking about buildings.

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