I first heard of Janus when I was in the tenth grade during a welcome back address from our vice principal after the Christmas break. Considered the god of gates and doors, this Roman god lent his name to the month of January and had a rather unusual appearance. He was depicted with a double-faced head, each face looking in opposite directions. It is believed that he was depicted in this fashion because of the notion that gates and doors face two directions. In this way one of his faces was able to look backwards while the other looked forward; representing Janus’ contemplation of the happenings of the old year while looking forward to the new one.
A time of celebration
We all possess the dual face characteristic of this ancient Roman god. It is a quality I whole-heartedly endorse. As we close out the old year with family gatherings and festivities we usually spend time musing over the happenings of the past year while considering the paths that we want our lives to take in the coming one. The end of the year is primarily about celebrating; and while it is fitting to celebrate the season, you should also take time to celebrate all the hard work you put into attaining the goals you set over the past year. And, if for whatever reason, the year did not turn out as well as you anticipated, you should still celebrate the small victories you enjoyed along the way.
A time for contemplation
Although this is something you should do throughout the entire year, this is traditionally the time of year when most people give thought to the direction they want their lives to take over the next twelve months. They contemplate the goals they want to achieve, the lives they want to impact, the personal relationships they need to cultivate, the business contacts they plan to establish, the changes they need to embrace, and ultimately the person they must become in order to make it all happen.
A time for new beginnings
In his role as the guardian of exits and entrances, Janus was also believed to represent beginnings. He was frequently used to symbolize change and transitions. These include the progression of the past to the future; the transition from one condition to another, or of one vision to another. It is no surprise that he was worshipped during the planting and harvest season, as well as during other important “beginnings” such as marriages and births.
You play an even more significant role in your life because you are the creator of most of the events that take place; not only on January 1st, but every single day of the year. Janus could observe the happenings on either side of the gate, but I am sure you would agree that he was powerless to affect the change necessary to ensure that the future would be different from the past. Unlike Janus however, you have a mind that allows you to recall past events, analyze them in the present, and project them into the future. Through this incredible endowment you have been given the ability to do more than just observe your life like a historian or a fortune teller. Like a sculptor, through vision and painstaking hard work, you can shape your life to your will.
A time for self-evaluation
As you emerge through the door or gate of the old year to enter the new one, do so through a process of self-evaluation. Don’t rest on your laurels. Refuse to be complacent, for that will only breed failure. Rather, seek ways in which you can improve your level of effectiveness.
What habits did you develop over the past year that served you well?
What current habits do not support the goals and aspirations you have for the coming year?
What was the biggest challenge you overcame last year?
What was your biggest setback?
What lessons did you learn from them?
Awaken the Janus within and start planting the seeds that will help you to create an abundant harvest and a new beginning. Do it today.
Keep On Pushing!
About the Author
Devon Harris is a member of the original “Cool Runnings” Jamaica Bobsled Team which competed in 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. He has also competed in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville , France and the 1988 Games in Nagano, Japan. He is currently a Motivational Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator and Author. Visit his website at http://devonharrislive.com