Happy Almost New Year — A few thoughts before we jump into 2016

By Avi W. Levine, Commercial Finance Professional and Entrepreneur

For most people a new year means just another 365 days of the same old challenges, crappy playlists, and broken resolutions. Do you think 2016 is going to be any different? I do, let me tell you why. 2015 was a rough year for a lot of people. There were social and political movements, terrorist attacks and major tech advances with how we shop, buy, share and communicate. All of these major changes have one thing in common; they make people seek comfort in what they are familiar with. The events that occurred and the changes that took place just may actually inspire people to take control of what they want and who they want to be. 2016 is going to be a year when people slow down a bit, and focus on what matters most.

For me personally, I learned a lot in 2015. Maybe I’m getting older and more aware, or maybe the year was just a tipping point. Here are a few of things I learned in 2015:

1. Coffee causes cancer — but it also cures it. Um, I guess it’s a wash?

2. Anything is possible — I saw an Orangutan build a hammock, it was insane. There are some humans that can’t even change their own sheets.

3. If something is worth doing, then it’s worth doing today — Oh, you’ll start next week? NEWS FLASH, it’s too late. You are still spending more time liking funny videos on Facebook than you are trying to reach your goals. Put the phone down. Want to invest in real estate? Get on the Blooming Sky mailing list. Want to lose weight? Throw out everything in your fridge and start fresh, today. Sometimes it’s baby steps, sometimes you need to go all in. Don’t be scared, go and take what’s yours.

4. There is no such thing as “Work-Life Balance” — It just doesn’t exist. It’s not about balancing and separating work and life anymore. If you are trying so hard to separate the two then one must really suck. At the end of the day it’s about life, and doing things you enjoy personally and professionally. If it’s an either/or scenario for you, See #3 above and start taking control.

Stop the Work Life Balance Fight!

5. You are never too old to make new best friends — Surround yourself by positive people doing positive things. Be open, meet new people, and invite them in. You never know who is going to step in one day and change your life.

6. The Bystander Effect is off the charts right now — Yes, it’s a real thing. Go look it up. People are so into their phones and so scared of what other people think that they lose sight of basic human obligations like letting a pregnant woman sit on the subway, saying thank you when you hold a door for them, and stepping up to the plate when they have the opportunity to help someone.

Looking forward to 2016, I don’t have many predictions. Of course there will be some absolutely mind blowing tech and medical discoveries. The most meaningful changes will be in how people interact with each other. People will be more interested in searching for meaningful experiences to enjoy with people they care about. There will also be a decreasing focus on material things. Interestingly enough, it’s the Millenials who have always felt this way. Now that they are older and starting families they will be leading the charge to reverse some of the effects of this “always on” culture. 2016 will be the year of the relationships. We are going to pull our heads out of the digital clouds and the real ones and be more focused on being present.

Make time for what matters in life.

It will be the little wins for society that make us all better people. Get the ipad away from the kids at the dinner table. Enough with the participation trophies, if we are all equal how do we celebrate our differences? In 2016 more people will be holding doors, smiling at strangers, and taking time to appreciate what’s important in life.

So with that, my goals for 2016 are quite simple. Spend more time with family, experience new things and appreciate how lucky I am by giving back to those in need. A major commitment on my end is to make sure my clients, colleagues, and those around me have everything they need to be successful in the new year.

Here’s to a great 2016!

Avi W. Levine

Avi Levine provides working capital to small and medium sized businesses at Star Funding, Inc., a Manhattan based Purchase Order Funding and Trade Finance company. Visit www.starfunding.com to learn about purchase order funding and other trade finance solutions.

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