It has literally been a lifetime for me. In the first year of my life the University of Georgia played in the Rose Bowl. Its only appearance until tomorrow. I grew up in Athens with the legend of that year, that team, and that game. The Bulldogs went to the West Coast and won their first National Championship. They had lost one game that year, that was to Auburn but they came back and beat Georgia Tech. And then went to the Rose Bowl and beat U.C.L.A. And that victory led to them being declared number one in the nation.
As I write these words the Dawgs will still need to win two more games to repeat that feat, which they have done one other time with the 1980 team. But today we have a whole year of opportunity in front of us. What the days ahead hold we can only guess. We do have the opportunity for great things. Very few would have thought it possible at the first of 2017, that we would be talking about Georgia winning it all in football but it is all before us as we start 2018.
In a few days Dawg fans will know whether the dream continues or we wait till next year. But there are many more questions that the 365 days in front of us will answer. A new year is the opportunity to build on our strengths and change our directions where we need to in our lives, in our community, and in our nation.
A tradition for many as the New Year comes, is to make resolutions on what we are going to doing different in the New Year. Be honest with yourself for a moment. As you dust off the resolutions you have made year after year, have they really worked? Somehow they have not brought much change to your way of living. It may be you need another way to reach the goal. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result. Whatever the change you need might be, spend the next few days looking for a more creative way to reach your goal.
Ask yourself, why I have failed over and over again to reach this goal in my life? Perhaps instead of changing your goal, change the way you are going to seek the change. Perhaps you have sought to much change for the first step. Look for the part of the change you would want and create a first step. This might open the door to more change down the road. Better to be part way to success than failing again.
One key to success for the Bulldogs this year has been Coach Kirby Smart’s insistence that they focus on the game before them and not the season. That they focus on what they can do now. Ths past is gone and the future is not year their
The key is being convinced that what you are seeking to change really needs changing. One must only be convinced of the need, but to believe that if you can experience that change the results will be a real blessing to you.
Where you underachieved last year or the year before may be a great place to start. Make sure that you have allowed enough adjustment that success for 2018 is possible. I wish you a very blessed and happy New Year in 2018. May each of us find ways to become more like the person we were created to be. Be selective and choose the most important changes you need to make.
I am not saying not to be bold. J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, said, “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” Make your goals challenging but allow yourself to give each goal the focus needed. Allow yourself to reach for more than you ever imagined.
For us who follow the Bulldogs, this year has seemed to be a dream. Let this be a reminder to all that if one keeps trying there are those times that dreams will come true. Use those 365 days in front of you as opportunities to change where you need to change and to go where you should go. It has literally been a life time for me.
B. Wiley Stephens is a retired United Methodist Minister and author who now resides in Covington.