It’s that time of year once more! Everyone is looking forward to the New Year and thanking God for another 365 days.
As we all set our sights on the New Year, I’ve always thought December to be a fantastic blend of winter’s icy embrace on one side and year-end festivities on the other. And in such conditions, who wouldn’t secretly wish for an old man dressed in red and white, riding a reindeer-drawn chariot, to sprinkle some magic? In fact, most of the offices turn a sea of red, with Santa Claus making a cameo and distributing chocolates and goodies. This week, my colleagues and other teams enjoyed nice and cheery celebrations, and I am sure many of you have arranged lunch or dinner get-togethers…
This time of year is full of hope and enthusiasm, generating ideas about New Year’s goals and resolutions.
As December 31st approaches and the clock approaches midnight, I’m already picturing the delights that 2024 will bring. It’s as if you’re staring at a blank canvas, anxious to pick up a brush and paint it with more significant life events. This time period not only provides an opportunity to embrace the coming year but also to apply the lessons learned in 2023.
After the flurry of the holiday season has subsided, the final days of 2023 will be among the quietest of the year for many of us. Our ability to grow and evolve as individuals and leaders can benefit from the opportunity to reflect on the past and imagine how we want to affect the future. I urge you to set aside a few hours between now and January 1st to accomplish precisely that.
Reflecting at the end of the year allows you to identify what brings you joy, learn from your mistakes, appreciate your accomplishments, and chart a course for the coming year.
But among the jubilation and economic highs, let’s not overlook the serious crisis the globe is going through post-Covid. Despite the world normalising—hotels and airlines are crowded and airports all over the world are hitting new footfall records—economic concerns are genuine and political ones more than ever.
China, the world’s largest manufacturer, is slowing down, producing 2-3 products for every family in the majority of countries. And China’s problems have disturbed supply networks more than the opportunities it has offered other countries. High inflation, low growth, and geopolitical tensions caused by war will continue to buffet the world for some time. The concept of a greener future with lower carbon emissions is not currently feasible and will take years to achieve.
As we come to the end of 2023, here’s hope that 2024 will be a year of resilience and joy for all of us.
At WFY, we wanted to use the end of the year to reflect on what we all lived through and push ourselves—and you—to think about how it may inform the years ahead.
Let us examine the conflicts fought this year. The war on terror has indelibly shaped the lens through which the young, in particular, view their government’s decisions. It’s all warmongering, from Gaza to Ukraine and all the way around the world.
Did you notice that the internet became less entertaining this year? Why did it feel like the internet died this year for someone like me?
The extreme weather this year and whether the signal Mother Nature has been transmitting was finally received.
I believe everyone will agree that 2023 was a mixed bag. Not quite the rollercoaster ride that 2022 was, but certainly a mixed bag. One of the positive developments is that we have declared the pandemic mostly over, and we are now returning to some degree of normalcy.
The war between Russia and Ukraine continues, and Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, leading to a war that’s still ongoing today; anti-Semitism has risen in record numbers around the world, leaving many of my people feeling scared and alone; multiple mass shootings occurred throughout the year, leaving many dead who shouldn’t have died; the prices of gas and food have risen like crazy, which has made affording necessities more difficult than it already was; and more.
On a personal level, 2023 was also a mixed bag. On the other side, work was horrible this year, with many difficulties showing up throughout the year that caused my co-workers and I to work long hours and try to find solutions to cope with it. We’re still dealing with issues, both old and new.
So, yeah, it’s a mixed bag. But at least I can close the year claiming that there was more good than bad, at least on a personal level.
So, what’s next for 2024? So, I’m hoping to write, edit, and publish more stories, as well as finish my book.
I desire to embark on an extensive two-week vacation during which I do nothing but laze around and boo my brains out. I’m looking forward to visiting some of my favourite places and possibly capturing some of them on camera. Travel to unknown places with friends and loved ones.
We have scheduled the release of our India edition, WORLD FOR YOU INDIA, for 2024.
I also hope the elections in India bring good results in favour of the nation, and the Indian Diaspora may get their due—dual citizenship in India—as they have stepped up their campaign big time.
I’m sure you have fantastic plans for a new beginning, and I wish you all the best, but here’s a small suggestion: Try your hardest to eliminate plastic from your life and protect nature in any way you can. As the saying goes, “there is no planet B,” so let us try to protect what we have for free. I know it’ll be difficult, but let’s give it a shot.
As the year comes to a close, all you need is a few quiet hours and some key discovery questions.
Consider the following as you honour who you are by exploring what has been:
- What was your most prudent decision this year?
- What surprised you the most about 2023?
- What was a meaningful risk you took? What made it valuable?
- What do you need to forgive yourself for in 2023?
Consider the following as you look ahead to 2024:
- What three things do you want to do every day?
- Who are the people you want to spend quality time with?
- What is your secret wish for the year 2024?
- What advice do you have for yourself in order to have a successful year ahead?
New Year’s resolutions are ineffective. Intentional, deliberate action does.
Here are my top ten, plus two extras!
- Secure Our Own place: My wife and I have taken our time to discuss and agree on the fundamentals of living and being happy, which is exciting. We’ve found the perfect understanding of happiness!
- To be consistent: This resolution entails putting organisation and effort into elements of my life, such as writing, making films, and activism. While everyday writing may not be practicable, maintaining a consistent schedule is vital.
- Continue Reading: Set aside time to read more books to help you grow as a writer and rediscover the joy of leisure reading. Furthermore, we all know that in order to become a better writer, activist, filmmaker, and human, you must be an avid reader!
- Travel more: After seeing many places in 2023, the goal is to travel even further! Currently, we have planned our next summer excursion up in the mountains.
- Take more reasonable risks: I intend to be more audacious with calculated risks, such as investing in my business and launching new ideas, as I move beyond a conservative approach.
- Complete my pending screenwriting: A huge and mountainous task lies ahead.
- Launch a podcast or YouTube channel: My goal is to share Indian Diaspora experiences and build a community that can help the huge Indian Diaspora population spread across the globe.
- Limit the use of social media: Recognising the possible obstacle of excessive social media consumption, I plan to reduce it, allowing me to concentrate more on my creative endeavours.
- Be more mindful and deliberate in all relationships: Recognising the value of staying in touch with friends and family and making a concerted effort to check in more frequently.
- Launch a Community Film Club/Arts Education Outreach: Building on my love of films, art, and culture, I plan to establish an organisation and arts education programme to highlight the value of the arts in the community. The organisation, Bhartiya Kalakaar Sangh, has already been registered for this purpose.
- Explore More of the Arts: Diversifying our art consumption by studying diverse forms, attending plays, visiting art museums, and experiencing new art forms to get a fresh appreciation for creativity.
These are only a handful of the great plans I have for 2024!
The start of a new year is always an exciting time as we prepare to say goodbye to the old and welcome in the new with friends, family, and a mind full of great ideas and exciting goals to accomplish!
Happy reading, happy holidays, and a fantastic new year ahead!