Assessing and Reassessing
Guest Blogger: Ken La Salle
Did somebody say 2012? Well, it’s happened. Another year has gone by for you with your dreams, and me with mine. This is the time of the year we’re told to make resolutions for the coming 12 months, to resolve to be better people, resolve to make things happen, and resolve… I don’t know… stain remover.
I’m not a big fan of this whole resolution thing. If you have things you need to do, it doesn’t make sense to wait until January 1st and all that resolving puts a lot of pressure on just one day. I say do what you need to do when you need to do it. My tradition for this time of year is to take stock, assess, and then reassess.
If you’re anything like me, you probably put a lot of work in this year and wonder where it all went. Well, this is a great time to look back over all that work and think about how you might have done things better, what you’ve learned, and what it meant. Pursuing a dream is never a part-time thing. You probably think about it at work, when you’re driving to work, and when you’re driving home from work. (And if you’re fortunate enough that your dream has become your livelihood, I bet that’s still the case!) The dreams we are passionate about are a large part of each of us and this is a good time to fondly consider all the hard work you put in as well as the victories and maybe even the defeats. Recognize them and ready yourself for another year doing that thing you love.
The other night, I looked at an email I had sent out on 12/31/2010, which mentioned all I expected to happen this year. Reading it, I took a minute to assess where my year had gone. I can tell you that things didn’t really work out as planned. I had signed a contract with a publisher and was looking forward to a year promoting my first published novel… and then the publisher had to shut down due to a rough economy. I hold nothing against him, but I think that does show that sometimes our expectations for the year are not what we experience. And that wasn’t a bad thing, either. After all, I had plays appear on stages in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York this year. How can I possibly complain? But it’s good to look back and see how far we’ve come.
It’s also important to look forward to a new year and anticipate where we might go. It doesn’t mean things have to work out exactly as we plan, but it’s good to look forward. It’s good to make plans because that tells you how much the dream is still a part of you, how much this thing you love is still active in your life. And, when you think about it, that’s pretty amazing. You are becoming the person you want to be.
There’s a very important point to each of these steps. Assessing where we’ve been and where we’re going reminds us that the dream we’re pursuing is something we love. And it must be love. Make no bones about it. Any dream you follow has to be absolute bona fide love because, if it isn’t, it doesn’t stand a chance. Life is too difficult and filled with challenges to pursue anything we don’t really want. And when you look back and project forward, you understand how much it’s all worth.
Right now, I’m working on the most important book of my life. That tells me my dream is still alive, still vital; it’s still essential to who I am and the life I live. I’m looking forward to a new year filled with challenges and rewards, disappointments and cool surprises. That’s what following a dream is about. In the end, you find you’re not really following it at all. It’s right there with you every step of the way.
About the Author
Novelist and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. He’s also very funny. His plays are often seen in theaters on the west coast of the U.S. and many of his books can be found in ebook format on Amazon.com (for the Kindle) and Smashwords.com(for all e-reader formats). Ken La Salle is represented by Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency