Monday Column: Now that the year 2023 is here

Opinion Sunday 01/January/2023 18:09 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday Column: Now that the year 2023 is here

Another year that has dawned on us and perhaps more plans. But personally, I don’t anymore go ahead with plans that are born from the optimism of the moment. The rush of the blood, in my own experience, leads to personal disappointment. I now try to stay calm and let ideas mature before I take action. In the past, I used to waste a lot of resources with plans that were hastily sealed that turned out to be a complete disaster.

For me, this year will be just a reflection of the past. I will have no urgency of beating the time or being there first. I have learned that putting a decision on a fast train has always taken me off the track. It takes quite a while to come back where I started, not to mention the time I wasted.  I am not worried anymore of getting it right all the time. I am not infallible as I thought I was and the admission has removed a lot of load off my head. I try to polish some rough edges in my life but I make no attempt these days to come out sparkling clean. Yes, I resist temptations and succumb to some because I know I am only human.

I also don’t over indulge on lost opportunities, either. They come and go. Opportunity, the word itself, has been excessively exaggerated by educators who themselves stick to just one discipline in life, that is teaching.

Look at it this way, a cleaner may struggle in the financial aspect but it does not mean they missed the opportunity to lead a successful life. They usually raise law-abiding children and that saying a lot more than the word ‘opportunity’ can express.

Anyway, grabbing opportunities does not always make you clever, or fulfilled, for that matter. A businessman bought all the livestock from the market traders. Then he asked the same traders to sell the animals at 20 percent profit, splitting the gain with them. As it turned out, just half of the livestock found buyers and the businessman lost money. The traders made profits both ways and they were supposed not to have seen the ‘opportunity’.  

Good ideas never come with the rush of the blood. They slowly simmer and take shape in good time. As they mature, it gives you the ‘opportunity’ to spot faults and correct them, instead of taking the plunge to the deep end, as the livestock businessman did. The brave thing, I have learned the hard way, is to courageously abandon the plan when there are too many faults, instead of trying to save face. There is always the next time.

Dreams, hopes and desires all mean the same thing, leading to the same destination. Write ten of them on a piece of paper that you have been expecting to achieve in the past five years. How many of them have come true? If none, perhaps you have been rushing them, instead of giving them time to flourish. If the tick goes to a couple than you must feel good about it. In a wider net, you caught a few and you should be grateful. Perhaps you should ask an eighty-year old man about the achievement in his list. What he would have to say must be reflected. After all, the philosophy of taking one thing at a time is part of the life’s wisdom. It has got nothing to do with any opportunity that flashes by in a runaway train.