June 15, 2024

The Next 365 Days: The importance of Self Reflection



By: JP Ashedzi


On the 31st day of December 2022, for me, the craze for a new year was missing. The only difference was that there was more than enough chin chin and fried meat to devour, but nothing else prepared me for a fresh day 1 of the next 365.


To show how uninterested I was, I did not even attend any ‘cross over without carry over service’ but then, I crossed over any ways. The question is if I had any carry overs? Well, while I did not take time to take stock of my year or plan for the new one, nothing could have replaced the consumption of chinchin, chicken with kunu and plenty rice. Sad to say however that most times, most of us are like that, we get so carried away with the eating and drinking of the period and 365 days afterward we start wondering ‘how did I get here?’


The new year is a restart. Picture this, a plain page where you can begin writing that story again. The hope found in rewriting any story, however, is that you already have a template which you can tailor through and experiences to build on. Keep in mind that since you’ve lived through other Januaries, you already know that the month is allusively long. People say “there are three months in January”, you can plan ahead for the several months in caged inside January based on experiences.


Even the Bible says when there is a casting down, we will say there is a lifting but then it is because some groundwork have already been put in place. So in rewriting your story, the challenges you have faced before should be a walk in the park for you because you know what bridges to burn and the ones to just cross.


General knowledge says that you can start again at any time but the new year is the opportunity presented to anyone to start with everyone. At the beginning of the year, every sane human gets to sit down and analyze the wins, fails and the go-betweens of the past year, hence, we all take off together to start fixing, adjusting and perfecting.


The good news, however, is that there is a place for celebration in the new year, of course, chin chin must be munched and even the bones of that chicken must be smoothly masticated, but the celebration should not occupy the reason for a fresh start. Providence must have thought if the days just keep going, there will not be space for accountability and people will keep repeating their mistakes. Hence, a calendar should put a sense of accountability in the minds of men. Therefore, time.


This new year, do ensure therefore that you take time out to reflect backwards, it could be as hazy as a harmattan morning but when light shines on it, your vision will be clear. Do not be like me, who forewent important matters and concentrated on trivialities. When you reflect, it is like seeing a movie, you see the flaws clearly, determine what should be done to deal with every problem.


Truth is, some movies take a different turn from the plan in your mind, but, that means you get a bonus winning way anyhow. You are not completely caught off guard. Don’t just let life happen, be your scriptwriter today. Take experiences encountered (good or bad) as lessons learned and thrive on them.


If your past years have been calendar-full of mistakes, regrets and guilts, then congratulations because providence just gave you another opportunity to write that story again. However, if your past years have been excellent, then this is the time to graduate to better levels of excellence, until you attain perfection, there’s always space to grow.


As my scriptwriter, I can boldly say that on December 31st 2023, I was excited to eat and drink the new year in, but I was more excited about a new opportunity to do more.

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