Happy New Year! It’s 2012! For some people 2012 came around too quickly. For others, it couldn’t come soon enough. Whatever your take, 2011 is history – 365 days of memories. In the Virgin Islands we had an emotional year – a record number of murders, ranking us the 8th most murderous place in the world per capita; unreliable water and power service, salary reductions and threats of mass layoffs for government service employees. But we survived. Couples got married, babies were born, students graduated from schools, the list goes on. If you are within the sound of my voice, it means two things at the very least – you are alive and you can hear. We have so much to be thankful for.
2012 holds infinite possibilities. It’s a blank slate. You have the power to create your own destiny and shape history by the choices you’ll make. What choices will you make in 2012 to better yourself, your family, your community and your world? It all starts with you. You have the power to excel above and beyond your wildest expectations. But you must believe. And you must act. The journey of a million miles begins with one step. Now– the start of 2012–is the perfect time to take that first step. The choice is yours.
Today I challenge you to write down you goals, dreams, and desires. Write them in a journal, on index cards, or on a poster board and include a plan for accomplishing them. Visit those goals often, so that you don’t lose track. Success doesn’t happen by chance. Success isn’t based on luck. Success is based on a great deal of preparation, hard work and persistence. You can do it. You have the power to succeed. The choice is yours.
It doesn’t matter what hand you were dealt in life. Remember the young African American girl born in Jim Crow Mississippi who was raised in a single-parent home and abused by a family member. Those were the beginnings of Oprah Winfrey – who is today, one of the wealthiest, most celebrated and most influential people in the world. Life is not about where you start, it’s about where you finish. You have the power to finish strong. The choice is yours.
So maybe you’ve had some setbacks in 2011. Don’t let those things keep you from realizing your full potential in 2012. Remember last year’s NBA finals. The Miami Heat was considered the super team with arguably three of the best players in the league. But the Dallas Mavericks were not intimidated by their opponents. They played hard, with all their heart, and left the Heat hanging their heads. Likewise, don’t be fearful of you opponents – known or unknown. You have the power to win. The choice is yours.
Perhaps you had an excellent 2011. You accomplished all of your goals, found your purpose, became a better person and contributed to the community. Why stop now? Even if you had the best year ever, 2012 gives you the opportunity to make your best even better. The choice is yours.
Let us welcome the hopes, opportunities and possibilities of 2012 with open arms. We have the power to make it great!