As you read this piece, chances are you are still wishing your friends and associates 'Happy New Year'. In the first few days of a New Year, we say these three words countless times. The problem is that we say them almost mechanically. The result of such ritualistic wishing is that it loses its meaning and potency.
Last month, I was one of the privileged few to attend Dada J P Vaswani's first discourse after his return from the US. In his full element, Dada stirred the audience with his trademark wisdom that is at once profound and simple.
The topic of his discourse was, "In 2012, all will be well" and while sharing one of his many beautiful ideas, he said that while 'Happy New Year' is a nice greeting, there's a more beautiful and inspiring way to wish others: "Happy New You!"
Those three uplifting words convey that New Year is an occasion to leave behind our frustrations and disappointments and step forward without the excess baggage that's weighing us down. It's the time to renew ourselves by shedding the accumulated negativities of the past—anger, jealousy, pain or plain stagnation. It's also the right time to relinquish thoughts of fear and failure.
I quite liked Dada's idea. After all, New Year is a time of resolutions, and most people resolve to work towards a new, improved self. But in most cases, the resolutions are forgotten even before the New Year wishes begin to fade out.
But, if we heed Dada and break away from the customary wishing, and wish people "Happy New You!", not only will our wishes be refreshingly different, but they will also inspire people to make a real change.
And for those of you who are wondering what to change, Dada has a simple suggestion: write down all the things that you don't like about yourself. every single one. It could be small or big, easy or difficult—doesn't matter, just write them all down. Putting it on paper brings clarity of thought, which is the first step towards bringing about any change.
So this New Year, let's wish each other "Happy New You" and then continue that trend all through the year. Each time you wish others, you will be reminding not only them but also yourself to leave behind the sad and the old—because it's time for being Happy and New.
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