The new year is upon us and with it comes a flooded timeline of resolutions and reflections upon the year that has just passed. Though I do believe there’s a lot of value in checking in and taking inventory over one’s life, I find too often that goal setting (and reflecting upon previous goals) lacks substance and sustainability. For me, I see the new year as an opportunity to take a hard look inward and take note of the areas which truly need to be addressed in order to both grow as an individual as well as a contributing member of society. Most often this will require asking the hard questions, not of what you want, but rather what are your whys– or to put it more precisely: What is your purpose? What are your processes? How are they failing you?

When I was younger, I found a lot of inspiration and motivation in developing vision boards. Not because I believed in chasing tangible goals, but rather because I used it as an exercise in creativity in order to develop a visual manifestation of my processes. As a lost twenty/thirty-something having something meaningful to anchor to allowed me to keep my head down and eyes forward, ultimately developing the character and integrity that I’ve found strength in as a now still lost, but for different reasons, forty year old. The problem with progression, especially when it comes with little friction, is that you often forget to nurture and maintain the relationships & skills which allowed you to be in a position to grow as an individual in the first place.

Fortunately, I chose a career path that has a humbling mechanism built in. Dealing with, and learning from, failure is a prerequisite to pursuing poker in any sort of serious way. It’s only natural that as I transition from a young, pie-eyed, anything is possible twenty-something into a grizzled, battle tested forty year old, so too does my year end process evolve. Doing the hard work meant looking back on the hurdles and missteps with an objective eye and taking ownership over past failings, ultimately compiling a failure resume of sorts. In the past this was something I just journaled, as it was heavily skewed toward personal short comings, character flaws & failures among interpersonal relationships. I still have plenty of failures to highlight in those areas, but I’ve done enough work to where I don’t feel exposed by identifying my missteps and creating a corrective course of action.

Here’s to getting off on the right foot entering 2023. I wish you all happiness and health with just enough resistance to make the journey one to remember.

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