It is said that the most difficult thing in life is to choose which bridge to burn and which to cross. Indeed, the choices we make in life are rarely easy ones. For every choice we make, there’s one we must forego. I suppose that everybody does this every day (we simply don’t look at it that way, perhaps), but for some reason I can’t fathom why it becomes a significant thought during times like New Year’s Day. This year, New Year’s Day, if we look at it from a practical point of view, is just like any other Sunday. What makes it any different from the rest of the Sundays during the year? I think it’s a very personal point of view that each of us must deal with privately. But let me share with you how I look at all this.
Bridges in life, sometimes some called crossroads, are decision points. The big difference is that in a crossroad you can always return to it to choose a new route if you find the current route wouldn’t lead you to your goal. A bridge, once burned, is something you can’t cross again. In the simplistic world of management, these bridges or crossroads would mean decision tress which simply would generally refer to dualistic decisions such as the “yes” and “no” points on a decision tree. There appear to be only two branches, the “yes” and “no” branches. In real life, however, the decision points are much more complicated because there usually are more than two branches. One has to decide which of these to cut and which to climb to reach yet another node where there may be less or more branches to select from. We find it easy to make decisions when there are less to choose from.
These branches represent our options in our lives. When we decide to take one option (that is, eliminating other options), our ability to reach our destination through our selected option is focused; when we select more than one option, our efforts may be less focused. So it is with this thought that I engage in some kind of self reflection as a new year is born to my life. In the entire duration of the year that is ending, my tree of life has grown so many branches. I know very well that I’ll have to cut some so that those that will enrich my life might continue to grow and become healthier.
Which must I cut and which must I retain? That is to say, which of the things I have should I part with and which should I continue to hold on to as I move on to the new year ahead? This, of course, is a very difficult decision to make because everything we have, at some point, have enriched our lives one way or the other. The question is, should we continue to hold onto them or let go so that we might get another opportunity to enrich our current life?
I must say, however, that we all differ in the way we look at things; we differ similarly in what things we might choose to part with and what things we choose to live by the rest of our lives. Since I consider our choices to be extremely personal, I’m not one who would openly describe my choices to others. I shall keep those choices to myself. I’ll just live by them. One thing is certain, though. Whatever I now have in life that I choose to live by this coming New Year shall most likely influence the way I deal with others around me and the way I look at things coming my way. Some things will be fine, some will not be too fine (that is to say, I may have either positive or negative influence over others and others on me), but that’s what life is all about.
Ultimately, it’s hope that really matters. What we tell others we want to be this coming New Year may not always turn out to be what others expect of us. The important thing is, what’s our hope for ourselves and how is this hope going to improve ourselves to our own eyes and to the eyes of others? This is what we mean when we say, let’s hope for the best.
Have a Happy New Year.