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2017 was absolutely trash but here’s three major keys I learned

Nostalgia always seems to be thick this time of year. It’s inescapable; as the aura of Christmas fades and the reality of life sets in, it almost feels wrong to go into the new year without taking a a glimpse of the one that has gone by.

While the whole ‘those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it’ saying is a bit dramatic, there is something to be said about reflecting on where you been to better gage on where you’re going.

No matter how shallow the scope of your review, having one oddly feel like you’re giving the year a proper sendoff. It’s closure to make headspace for a fresh start.

With that being said, 2017 has indeed been a doozy.

It’s the first full year under the new Presidential administration, countless big-name celebrities were exposed for sexual misconduct, and it has to be the most one of the worst years we’ve seen for natural disasters.

Even still, I believe there’s a lesson in everything. Without diving too much into the cliches of glasses being half-full, I feel that no matter how bad your year was, there is always a takeaway worth reflecting on.

Though we all lead different lives, learning from each others experiences gives us the opportunity to see life in a new lens. So here are five lessons 2017 taught me in hopes of shedding a new light on yours.

#1: Do Not Chase Distractions  

Sometimes the biggest threat to your success is the person standing in the mirror. If we’re not careful to establish disciplines in our life we leave ourself susceptible for self-destruction.

Think of Kevin Hart this year. The Jumanji actor issued this public apology to his wife, family and fans after footage of him cheating leaked.

While Kev was able to salvage his relationship and silence the extortionist demanding millions, it proves that, in a second, whatever you have going for yourself, no matter how small, can be taken away in an instant if you’re aware of your weaknesses.

In an interview with New York’s Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club he tells Charlemagne how the scandal was a ‘gut punch from God’ and how he’s since change his lifestyle. He continued,

“There is no more come and go and do as you please. It’s over…you’re not bulletproof. At the end of the day all this can be over. It’s not guaranteed,” Kev said. “This was wrong because I had what I wanted. I had what I wanted in a foundation at home, in a family, in a comfort zone. I work so hard to get here, I built this brand, we sit on the fruit of my labor, I, oh my God, I’m as happy as I wanted– what the f*** was I doing.”

For Kevin it was a matter of realizing he couldn’t move the same, for you it might be unplugging your device or learning to say no to a night out. Either way, distractions will derail you from whichever path you think you’re on if you’re not careful.

#2: Sacrifice

I’m of the belief that American culture has convinced the majority of us that we can have our cake and eat it too. Even myself; while I don’t believe I can get away with what I want without repercussions, the concept of giving up something, anything, in order to obtain greater, was foreign to me before this year.

Sacrifice didn’t become real to me until I understood that in order to get somewhere you’ve never been, you must do something you’ve never done.

Once that idea permeated my mind I began changing my habits up: less of the vices, getting up earlier to get a jump on the day, even just learning to sit still and be patient. In less than a month, I began making serious gains on goals I’ve been stagnant in reaching for years.

Chance, The Rapper recently took to Twitter to debate what it took the be a successful independent artist after Apple Music’s Carl Chery stated that Chance was “an anomaly” within the game; that, “He’s special. […] But the success is misleading,” in a recent episode of “Everyday Struggle”.

“Now you have all these other aspiring artists thinking you don’t need a label. Chance is special, he’s charismatic, he’s smart as hell, he’s just special,” Chery said.

Yet, Chance maintains that all it takes is some sacrifice of time. Here he is responding to DJ Booth who published an editorial piece premised off Chery’s initial thoughts.

Time, money, comfort, a romantic life — no matter how you slice it, success is going to cost you. And until we accept that a little must be given up to attain a lot, a little is all we’ll ever have.

#3: Do Not Hustle Backwards

The easiest way ensure progress is not going backwards. While our focus should always be on whats ahead — worrying about what’s not working is detrimental — if we’re not serious regression, it’s going to be serious with us.

Hustling backwards is working against yourself; against what you’re working toward, what you want for yourself and what you’ve accomplished already.

People like Lil Peep and Tyrese Gibson really put that in perspective for me this year.

The former passed this year due to a drug overdose and the latter, due to his extravagant lifestyle — he has a benihana-style restaurant, coffee shop and nightclub in his backyard — went to social media to cry about the upcoming Fast and Furious being pushed back, saying the delay will put him a financial bind.

Ladies are our Queens of the Earth….. This is not about Men vs Women…. This is about Men and FATHERS vs LIARS I️ love you…… But like you who always show UP and stand UP for each-other I’m just trying to be a Voice for the unspoken…… The silent protest…… For fully committed and evolved father…… Rather Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, Italian, Dominican or Puerto etc……. rather you have 2 dollars to your name, millionaire, lawyer or the president in the end we all have one thing in common….. None of us as fathers or grandfathers wanna go home and NOT see or have “access” to our angels….. boys make babies real MEN and FATHERS will do whatever it takes to RAISE our angels……………….. I️ know I️ know…. this all looks a way….. Just know this.. God is really really UP to something and I️ have already accepted what God has told me to do…………..

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Peep tragically lost his life and Tyrese his credibility because both had lifestyles that were in contradiction to their hustle. They’re both examples of how, no matter how hard you work, if you have habits that are working the opposite way you won’t reach your desired destination.

For some every year is the same. They aren’t expecting anything, they’re content with where they are and they don’t want more for themselves. If that’s you, by all means, don’t reflect on your past year; don’t fine tune the way you approach life.

But if you want to make the most out of the energy you use everyday to become what you’ve always wanted, find some lessons of your own and go into the new year with a new purpose.