I’m one of those people who always feels like a new year is a fresh start. A clean slate with no mistakes on it (okay, suddenly I’ve turned into Anne of Green Gables).
Sometimes better than making knee-jerk resolutions (I will never again eat chocolate freckles for breakfast … c’mon now, that’s just crazy talk) is the decision to bin certain beliefs or ideas that have maybe been holding you back.
I’ve got four. Four beliefs I’ve long held as truisms that I’ve decided are, well, stupid. So it’s sayonara to these old ways of seeing the world …
1. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
What am I? A ninja? It’s taken me 41 years but I’ve finally learned that life is too short to have negative, toxic people in your world. TOO. SHORT. In 2014 I’m spending less time with the smiling assassins and more time with those people who want what’s best for me. The friends who call forth my best, who challenge me, inspire me and delight me. 2014 is all about boundaries. And hanging with my tribe.
2. The louder you yell, the more likely you are to change someone’s mind.
Yeah, it’s taken me a while to get this one into my thick head.
What I finally realised this year is no matter how many facts you have, no matter how passionate you are – you really aren’t going to change someone’s mind when their mind is already made up. You just aren’t. They believe what they believe. And – who’s to say that they’re wrong? (Well, other than the police …).
You know what else? Shaming people – making them feel stupid or pathetic or shit – for what they have done or believe also isn’t helping. Twitter thugs are you listening? I learnt that this year too. Few people changed their minds about something because they were shamed into it. All that does is back people in a corner and make them more defensive. So from now on, I’m aiming for a more balanced approach … present the facts, try to understand the opposing viewpoint (or at least why they would think the way they do) and in the end – agree to disagree. And then try and bribe the person with Mint Slice biscuits.