As we come to the end of 2013 and look forward to a new year, we start to consider our New Year resolutions. Many such resolutions include joining gyms, taking more exercise or giving up or cutting down on excesses such as smoking or drinking.
Many certainly imply that the previous year was not one where living a healthy life was a top priority. Unfortunately, most resolutions target the outer body in the hope that it will improve the inner being. As we all know, most people are lucky if their resolutions last past the end of the first week or the first month.
What these resolutions do show is that people are clearly not totally happy with the way they are living, but wearing yourself out on a treadmill or smoking less cigarettes for a few days ins't going to change the glass from half empty to half full.
In a world where we have come to expect the 'state' or others to fix the problems and where we continue to blame others for the woes of the world nothing much is likely to change.
I have been working on an entrepreneurship project in a university and the difficulty of reawakening the creative spirit in young people who have spent many years on the education conveyor belt was immense. However, the eventual satisfaction in reversing the destructive education process was rewarding.
Yes, I know it was only a small gesture towards solving a worldwide problem, but we all know how to eat an elephant - one bite at a time!
So let's not look towards 2014 with despair and with comments like 'the government will never do anything' and 'what's the use"! Let us make 2014 the year when we all start to take responsibility for our bit of the elephant.
Let us encourage young people to try and not to be afraid to fail, let us listen to them more and lecture them less, let us discuss with them their failures and help them to learn from them and let us show them that we don't know all of the answers but that we will work with them to try and find the answers.
People worry too much about the way we waste the earth's natural resources. The resource that we waste most is that of our young people. Everywhere I work I am impressed and encouraged by our young people. We cannot solve the big problems that politicians have created, but we start to eat the elephant!
May 2014 be a happy and successful one for you and may we all end next year with hope in our young people and with a glass that when we raise it is half full!