What Was The Best Year Of Your Life?

Some years ago, I sat in my Spanish class together with three other students. The teacher asked the question:

What was the best year of your life?

My answer was clear within a second, yet I had to wait until it was my turn. The first person to answer was a blonde woman sitting on the right end of our circle. She was in her early 20’s and said: “The best year of my life was when I was 15 years old. I played a lot with my friends and was outside in the nature.” Suddenly, there was joy in her voice. A man in his 50’s answered: “The best year of my life was the time when I studied. I was regularly going to parties and had many friends. I was free to do what I wanted.” His eyes turned radiant for a moment. A woman in her 40’s remembered: “Well, I had just fallen in love with my husband. We did many activities together; we danced and went to the cinema. It was lovely. We also made many weekend trips to visit places all over Europe.” Her eyes gleamed while she saw Rome and Paris in her inner mind. Her voice was full of love and her gestures vivid.

It was great to listen to their answers, yet I also felt a touch of sadness. While remembering these nostalgic moments, their facial and corporal postures had changed completely. Suddenly, they transmitted a level of joy and happiness that seemed forever lost in everyday life. Silently, I asked myself:

What do they need to do to make this year the best year of their life?

Then it was my turn. For a second, I hesitated to say my answer because it was different and did not fit. Finally, I said: “The best year of my life is the current year.” The years have passed by, and this statement is still true. It does not mean that everything in my life went perfect, I faced some unexpected twists and turns. And with all that, each year is the best year of my life. I am 41 now, and I look with positive anticipation of what the future will bring.

You can make each year the best year of your life, too. The following practices will help you on your journey:

  • Practicing gratitude: Sometimes, we get distracted by all that what we don’t have and forget about what we have. Keep a gratitude journal and write down each day what you are grateful for. Notice the small steps you make, notice a sunny day with a beautiful blue sky or the loving smile you have received while waiting for your train. What are you grateful for?
  • Taking care of your emotional health: Don’t numb your feelings. In our society, it is usual to numb our feelings by different behaviours, such as using alcohol, online games, excessive shopping or eating. If you numb your feelings to avoid pain, you also won’t feel joy and happiness. Grief your losses, maybe it was a project you especially loved or a relationship. Allow yourself to feel the sadness, allow your tears to flow. They will clean your soul and help you to move forward. Every emotion that shows up in a specific moment has a meaning for your life. Connecting with your emotions and expressing them is a vital ingredient for your well-being. On a scale from 0 to 10, to which extent do you currently connect with your emotions?
  • Spend time alone in silence: The noise from the outside world is very loud, it offers us a huge range of distractions. Your partner, your family and even society may want to tell you how you are supposed to live your life. The urge to fulfill all these different expectations is tempting, however, is this your path? Does it feel right for you? You can find all the answers you need within yourself. What feels right for me, might not feel right for you. There is no right or wrong way to live your life; important is that you find the way that feels right for you. Take a time-out, and sit some minutes each day in silence, just you and your breath. Live the question and trust that the answer will arrive when the time is right.
  • Cherish the relationship with yourself: The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will have in your entire life. It is also the longest relationship you will experience. Make it a good one. What can you do to cherish your relationship with yourself today? Do you see yourself as being good enough? Do you consider yourself as being worthy? Let go of the negative conditioning you might have received. Create a loving, cheerful and respectful relationship with yourself.

Now, take a deep breath and set your intention to make this year the best year of your life. Close your eyes and see yourself living the best year of your life. You are the magician of your life and have a magic wand. Change is always possible.

What is the first action that comes to your mind?

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below.

Do you want to find out more about taking care of your emotional well-being? Read this article about emotions.

Natalie Jovanic

Natalie Jovanic is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Shiatsu Therapist. As a counsellor, they pass on what they believe in, but it isn’t just knowledge, theory, and professional experience. It is also their wisdom gained through their own transformative journey of healing abuse. Natalie is trained in trauma-informed practice and EMDR. They are the author of A Brave, True Story.