Happy New Year! Are you ready for 2017?

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At least three things should bring you relief and happiness in 2017, and I wish you the very best in your life for making an effort to shape your life. I. Family & Friends

Nothing will come to you on a platter unless you are a baby. You have to earn everything in life, and your results will be directly proportional to your efforts. Learn to walk away for a while if you have to, it takes time to heal, but don’t let anyone hurt you nor should you hurt anyone. Let go of it.

Work on building the relationships with family members. If you cannot make it better, don’t make a mess either. Listen to others; listen intently so you don’t have to hear it again.

Spend the time with each one of them, it is worth it. Learn to forgive. Humility builds bridges and arrogance kills the relationships.

II. Work & Finances

Nothing will come to you if you don’t work at it; you have zero chances of winning the Jackpot if you don’t buy the ticket. If you do win, just remember to share with me! Do more work but don’t expect gratitude, do it for your own joy.

Buy the lottery ticket.

III. Volunteerism The greatest joy comes from volunteering at least 2 hours a week.

Volunteer your services to people whom you don’t know.

If you want real joy, serve those towards against whom you are biased.

If you volunteer it for show, you lose the joy of serving others.

Nothing in the world has ever happened without the work of volunteers, you and I are the beneficiaries of the work done by someone else at a hospital, school, roads, public office, place of worship and the list is endless. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said that a good deed is like planting a sapling or a seed knowing full well that you will not be the beneficiary when the tree starts giving fruit and shade. Let’s not get stuck on the receiver of good, but also become a giver. The least of which is a kind smile or speaking up for the underdog. It brings balance in life, and balance is a major source of stability in life.

You can make your life purposeful, meaningful and enjoyable, and can choose to be the driver of your life or be driven by circumstance and others. The choice, as well as the excuse, is yours. I pray that we retain the ability to choose what we want in our lives.

You and I, like everyone else, spends considerable amount of time doing things for others, sometimes out of joy and sometimes reluctantly. We also spend time watching TV or just chatting with someone aimlessly, and sometimes we regret, oh what a waste of time.

What is Success?

Success is living the life you want to live with or without things. Success is not necessarily having a luxury home, yacht, or making a six-figure income. It is not about doing better than your friends, classmates, siblings or parents either but it is about living the life you set yourselves to live.

On the New Year’s eve and on the New Year’s thousands will die, in fact the Department of Highways predicts the number of deaths, not necessarily because of their fault but simply the circumstances. Just be careful.

A simple note about what should be done with your assets, insurance, burial, belongings and body parts should you be in an unfortunate situation. Who can make decisions for you, should you remain alive but cannot make a decision. What a relief it is! Scribble a note before you get out of the house, and email to a friend and stick on your refrigerator. It is your will.

Don’t forget to forgive all those who have hurt you – it will set you free!

Nothing in life is more important than knowing yourselves, who you are, what is it that you want, and how do you get it. Remember, no one knows you better than you.

I am pleased to share my experience with you, hoping that you can relate with it.

Once upon a time, I was an ambitious guy and was driven to conquer the world, and simply did not have the patience with people who lacked ambition. A divorce and the death of my mother had humbled me down, as other things have humbled others. I started understanding the varying ambition levels in people and decided that there was no need to drive oneself nuts. I have learned to respect the otherness of others and have accepted the God-given uniqueness of each one of us. This has brought peace, tranquility and happiness to me.

Today, I do what I want to do, it is my passion. Thanks to Steve Jobs for saying those words that have stuck to me.

Goethe’s words are etched in my heart, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy… Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.… Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

And Ray Bradbury’s words, “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

Dr. Abdul Hamid Abusulayman, “There is a clear distinction between doubts and problems. Doubts provoke obstruction, frustration and discouragement, where as problems inspire motivation, action and diligence.

Mike Ghouse, “Whatever you do in life, do it wholeheartedly, there is joy in it for everyone around including ourselves.”

Personally, I am committed to promoting goodwill amongst people, I believe knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of a different point of view. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others, and accept the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

I urge you to consider spending an hour with yourselves in creating a purposeful blueprint for 2017. Here are some clues: http://www.theghousediary.com/happy-birthday-to-you/ God bless you!

Mike Ghouse – everything about me is in 65 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and the work I do is at www.CenterforPluralism.com

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About mikeghouse

Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, Interfaith Wedding officiant, and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him (63 links) at www.MikeGhouse.net and www.TheGhousediary.com for his exclusive writings.