Happy Lunar New Year! We are now in the Year of the Green Wooden Horse and I’m excited about the possibilities. Already I am feeling more focused, GreenWoodHorseenergized, and committed. I’m not entirely sure this has to do with the Chinese zodiac, but from everything that I’ve read it seems as though the year of the horse holds great promise for success. That is, if we’re willing to put in some diligent effort!

Which makes me wonder—Is it really any different than any other year? Commitment plus focus plus diligent effort usually brings success, doesn’t it? Well not always, but it does greatly increase the odds of success. I do, however, feel a difference in this year’s energy. I wasn’t kidding about the intensity. If you know me well, you know that I am prone to bursts of sustained intensity that makes my normal highly-motivated state seem like sleepwalking. So let’s just say that the last week has been foot-to-the-pedal crazy. Doing what? Learning!

I don’t think there’s anything more exhilarating than throwing myself into a new situation and racing to learn everything I need to learn in order to make it all work. The urgency  motives me more than the esoteric love of learning could ever do. Once committed there is no other option but to learn what needs to be learned and do what needs to be done. That’s the secret to self-confidence.

In my opinion, there is a distinction between confidence and arrogance.

Self-confidence stems from our belief that we can learn. We may not have it all quite together, but we have an unwavering belief in our ability to pull all the pieces together and succeed. We have tapped into our history and found evidence of fortitude and resourcefulness. We believe in ourselves, so we project that confidence out to others. Since we are energized and motivated, we pass that along as well. Self-confidence attracts people to us and fosters a state of energized harmony where everyone can win.

Arrogance stems from our belief that we already know all there is to know. It’s as if we are standing at the pinnacle of our field waiting for others to look up in awe. We don’t need to learn, we already know. We don’t need to become, we already are. Of course, sometimes this really is the case. We might actually embody something close to perfection for a particular task or position. But even if we did, this arrogant attitude pushes people away. It says, “I don’t need to learn from you. I don’t need to work with you. I have it all taken care of all by myself.” While self-confidence fosters energized harmony where everyone can win, arrogance incites unnecessary competition where those with ambition fight to climb higher and those with doubts sink to the bottom.

Too many times we are presented with opportunities that we are too afraid to take. Why is that? Because we aren’t perfect and we’re afraid that others will discover our inadequacy. Think about it: Isn’t it easier to have confidence in our ability to learn than it is to believe that we are already perfect? When we take that pressure off of our shoulders, everything looks different. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be willing to commit and to do whatever is necessary to get closer to the ideal.  We have to be willing to work!

And that brings me full circle to 2014, the Year of the Green Wooden Horse. Happy New Year, everyone. I hope this year brings you the energy and focus to manifest your goals with joy and satisfaction!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!  Congratulations and Prosperity to All!

HeadShotBeachTori Eldridge is the author of EMPOWERED LIVING EXPANDED EDITION, adapts books to screen, writes a monthly muse-letter on mindful living, and is currently writing a multi-cultural thriller series. She has performed in such Broadway shows as CATS, was a series regular on the television hit THE LOVE BOAT, performed the motion capture for the lead in FINAL FANTASY: SPIRITS WITHIN, and recorded with music legend Brian Wilson. Tori is a 5th degree black belt NINJA and has taught empowerment across the country.  v href=”” target=”_blank”>Follow Me on Facebook!

Tori Eldridge
Tori Eldridge is a Honolulu-born writer, a 5th degree black belt ninja, and a former actress, dancer, singer on Broadway, television, and film. She writes action-packed, culturally-rich thrillers and mystically intriguing suspense, empowering non-fiction, and has taught ninjutsu and empowerment across the country.
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