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Have a great ’14…no matter what

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Read below for Anuja’s January 2014 column in the Ann. The Ann is the informative, critical, and inspiring magazine distributed monthly in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and annarbor.com.  



It’s a fresh year ripe with reflections, renewals and resolutions.  What will we achieve, acquire, affect, assuage?



The new year offers a blank canvas for children and children at heart.  We can choose to gaze at the world with wonderment and warm to the magic around us.  We can commit to the ideas and ideals that truly illuminate us from within.



For every resolution adults inspire children to achieve and every demand we make of our leaders, we have an opportunity to model the world we wish to create.  It’s fun to think of all the cells in our bodies, members of our family, citizens of our country navigating the year together, the same roots of humanity evolving from a common core to a breathtaking branches in 2014.



Here’s a snapshot of my commitments for 2014 and dreams for my family and my world:



“No matter what.”



Self: A friend and coach, Carol Anderson, guided me to adopt this mantra when I expressed frustration that my professional leaps had not had my desired impact in the past year.  She challenged me: If failure was not an option, what would you choose to do this year?  I realized I have been allowing myself a way out.  Feels better to fully commit versus the one-foot-in, one-foot-out dogma that breeds fear.



Family: I will echo Carol’s advice to my kids when they are frustrated by their performances in a sport or subject.  If you want to be a better basketball or tennis player, commit to it and train harder, practice more and make it happen this year, no matter what.



World: We can breed a more humane society if we commit to the promise of “no matter what.”  I hope to help children beyond my nuclear family in some way.



“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never…”



Self: Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz recounted the words of Winston Churchill in a recent Oprah interview. Competition and critics cannot creep up and challenge my conviction this year, as I will glow with this resolve.



Family: Even if the other team is up by 20 points in your basketball game, never give up and continue to close the gap point by point, I will tell my kids.  Be inspired by the U-M vs. OSU game where our players were so bold.  They lost by far less that they were projected to and brought themselves pretty darn close to winning it all.