This is a small gift to you, with a New Year wish.
Every year, especially since I came to America in 1985 as a foreign student, I tried my best to focus on one thing: one goal. Nobody taught me to do it; I did it on my own.
Setting a year-by-year goal for myself has greatly helped me to accomplish meaningful, positive things in my life — achievements that otherwise would be simply out of my reach, given what incredibly humble social and economic background I rose from.
Some years, I couldn’t quite accomplish it in spite of trying hard; some other years, I reached the self-targeted milestone ahead of time. It is a reward that has no capitalist price tag: it is truly a spiritual experience.
Meeting the goal within a stipulated time-frame lifts your spirits, and it gives you confidence that even though you rose from dust, and even though it’s a miracle that you’re still alive and healthy and physically active and mentally alert, you know deep inside that you have lived your life the best possible, honest way, and you have shown to the world that if someone like you with no money, no family pedigree, no political connection, and no genius-like talents can accomplish so much, anybody can do it.
What you need is a strong desire to go forward, an unwavering willingness to overcome obstacles, and a never-ending belief in yourself. You know that your parents, your ancestors, your teachers, your loved ones, and your real friends and well wishers have their blessings and support for you.
All you need is make short-term, mid-term, and long-term, pragmatic plans. Think about your one, single goal, and the schedule you’re planning for it. Is it doable? What are the costs? Time costs? Money costs? Energy costs? Resource costs? Emotional costs?
Let me say this to you: If I can do it, brothers and sisters, you can do it too.
Look up. Live straight and tall. Don’t nay-sayers and critics and frogs-in-the-well pull you down: their attacks and insults and hurts have no impact on you. None.
Your life is your life, and your desire to live your life your way is only yours. Nobody can take that positivity away from you.
I wish you all a very happy, peaceful, and prosperous 2017. If you believe in God, may God bless you. If you don’t, let your divine soul guide you.
Brooklyn, New York