I have chosen a personal word for 2014: radiant. In choosing this word I am playing a little game with myself, using an indirect, or even a reverse-psychology approach.

What I really want, you see, is to get back on track, regain lost momentum, and accomplish something in the way of writing a book and other projects related to Congo and life in general.

Many wonderful things happened or got started in 2013, partly thanks to a really fine word I chose in January 2013: flow. But in the last month or so the flow has stopped, I’ve lost momentum and confidence, and motivation has ground to a halt. I have been feeling down on myself as a result.

The new year is a good time to press the restart button, so I was hoping to find a word that would work as well as flow did last year. But all the words I could think of had a slightly punitive cast to them, or, at least, a “should” factor that I felt might have just the wrong effect. Words like “momentum” or “pursue” or “resolve.” Yes, that is what I need but they do not inspire me like flow did. They require willpower and engage the inner parent rather than charm the inner child and the playful artist into cooperating.

I just spent 10 days with my three-year-old granddaughter and so I have gotten a refresher course in reverse psychology. Don’t eat the vegetables; they’re for grownups. It’s too far for you to walk; somebody should carry you. Of course, she saw through it, recognized it as a game, but she can’t resist games and she would play along, at least for a few bites or blocks, and everybody was much happier.

The no-you-can’t/yes-I-can game is one we play all our lives and I’m thinking it may have some merit. A little reverse, or at least indirect psychology, as opposed to the direct approach: You should do this. You must do this. We carry with us the three-year-old’s tendency to rebel at direct orders, as well as the three-year-old’s love of games. How can we harness these tendencies to continue to enhance our lives, become better persons, and even, maybe, reach a goal or two?

By choosing radiant as my word, I am telling myself I should concentrate on being rather than doing this year–even while I am hoping to do quite a lot.

The thing about concentrating on doing and achieving is it can turn you into a noodge and a grouch and a bore who believes that anything important happens as a result of your own willpower. Meanwhile, life can pass by under your nose and you don’t appreciate it, let alone pick up the energy that is available to you each day from your surroundings, your interactions, and your own soul.

The radiant person, by contrast, both radiates and reflects life energy, going with and contributing to flow. This is how I want to be this year. What happens as a result is anyone’s guess and my surprise.

A happy and radiant new year to all.

2 thoughts on “Radiant

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