Paraphrasing some insights from Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens:
Nietzsche said, if you have a why to live, you can bear almost any how.
Happiness is not the surplus of pleasant over unpleasant moments. Rather, happiness consists in seeing one’s life in its entirety as meaningful and worthwhile.
A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.
Over the holidays I spent time in a developing country, and my observations matched Harari’s. I witnessed life, love, gratitude, singing, laughter, support, forgiveness, and a willingness to always be helpful, despite daily physical difficulties and challenging living conditions. Also despite virtually no prospect of seeing circumstances improve in this lifetime.
I returned to my home in Colorado looking around at my American lifestyle, truly an embarrassment of riches.
That’s why my intentions for 2023 have centered on seeing my life in its entirety as meaningful and valuable. All my work colleagues – past and present; all my family – first family, extended family, my life partner and my children; all my friends and acquaintances spread across the decades. You are my tribe, whether we are currently in contact or have fallen out of touch, and I enter 2023 grateful for what we have been to one another. I am excited for what is to come, liberated from my own expectations or preferences of how it ought to be, and ready to lean into the work and the play that makes it all a life worth living.
May we all prosper in the coming weeks, months, and year. Welcome 2023!