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Positive Talk

By Bill Hodges
Dec 18, 2008 - 10:49:16 AM

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At this time of year, you will be bombarded with advice on how to begin your new year. This column will be no different except that I have gathered the following words from some of the best minds in history to guide you on your way.
• Start out your new year with a glad heart. So says U.S. journalist Emily Miller, “Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer, with never a thought of sorrow. The old goes out, but the glad young year comes merrily in tomorrow.” What happy thing can you do to get your new year started off in the right direction?
• The new year is a time to dust off your dreams according to writer Edward FitzGerald. In The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyá, he said, “Now, the new year reviving old desires, the thoughtful soul to solitude retires.” Is there an old dream you have put on the shelf that, with a little refurbishing, could be a goal for tomorrow?
• Lord Alfred Tennyson advises us to let the old year pass away and to celebrate the new one. He says, “Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring, happy bells, across the snow. The year is going, let him go. Ring out the false, ring in the true.” How can you hold in your heart the newness that is implicit in each new year?
• These two Greeks agreed on the importance of a good beginning. Plato wrote, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Later, Euripides wrote, “A bad ­beginning makes a bad ending.” The Roman writer Virgil not only insisted the beginning be good, but he said, “Look with favor upon a bold beginning.” How can you ­ensure a bold new beginning for the year in front of you?
• Leonardo da Vinci, who to my way of thinking was one of the most brilliant men in history, warns us to be sure we do not fall into bad habits when he says, “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” What bad habits must you resist to make this a great year?
• Author Victor Hugo had these thoughts on facing the future, “The future has several names. For the weak, it is the impossible. For the fainthearted, it is the unknown. For the thoughtful and valiant, it is the ideal.” Keep in mind that what we perceive to be real is, in fact, our reality. If you believe something to be impossible, it will be for you. There will always be a reason you cannot accomplish something as long as you believe you cannot do it. As for the comment on being fainthearted and facing the unknown, keep in mind there is not courage where there is no fear. A sane man or woman will never face the unknown without some degree of fear. It is only harmful when you let fear paralyze you. You stop the paralysis of fear with careful planning and courage. How is your courage for the new  year, and have you planned for it?
Have you ever noticed the little statement on your rear view mirror that says, “Objects in this mirror may be closer than they appear”? Well, my friends, it has also been said -- and with some truth -- “Dates on a calendar are closer than they appear.” Are you ready to start your journey that will take you through the next 12 months?
These are but a few ideas for the new year that can make 2009 a banner year for you and all those around you. I hope they help. ­Happy New Year!

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

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Copyright 2008 Hodges Seminars International

© Copyright 2008 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

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