“Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. It is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. The song’s Scots title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago” or “days gone by”.
Speaking of “days gone by,” the latest statistics for New Year’s resolutions are in: 30% of all resolutions are broken within the first week. The rest of the lot fold like a bad hand of cards until more than half lie unforgotten by mid-year. Not very encouraging for those of us truly wishing for a permanent change in our lives in 2017.
But what are statistics anyway? Consider this… • Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was too stupid to learn anything. • Isaac Newton did very poorly in grade school. • After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM said, “Can’t act! Slightly bald! Can dance a little!” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home. • F.W. Woolworth’s employers at the dry goods store said he had not enough sense to wait upon customers. • Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded. • Babe Ruth, considered by sports historians to be the greatest athlete of all time and famous for setting the home run record, also holds the record for strikeouts. AND • Joanne Hoffman changed her life and career and dropped 4 clothing sizes in 1994. At 57 years old, she is still wearing a size 6.
None of us can let statistics or past failures become so important that they deter us from achieving our dreams. The new year will bring new challenges and new struggles, but most of all, it will provide us with a clean slate to write on. A new page on which to make our mark. A new year to beat the odds, rewrite the statistics … and make a change in the lives of those around us.
So let’s welcome 2017 with open arms and a renewed spirit. Get psyched. Together we CAN do it!
Come on … it’s YOUR turn now!