As I reflected on 2017 with my family this morning over breakfast, I realized we had endured and overcome so much this year together. I felt a sense of responsibility to remind us all of the trials we faced and how proud of each of them I was for having such a strong and resilient bunch to call family.

Someone I admire greatly asked me a question a number of weeks ago that sparked much introspection – “you seem to be a very positive person. How do you do that?” I thought about it while driving her home and said “I’ve had a lot of challenges and seem to always come out on the good side of things”. As I revisited that conversation in my mind countless times , I wondered why I didn’t answer her question and arrived at the fact that I don’t think I knew the answer; I hadn’t thought about it.

So here is my final answer:

I’m resilient. Every member of my family is resilient so thankfully, we are immersed in it. Being resilient means you have to be a positive person. You can’t let the moments when it appears that all hope is lost consume you. You must remember it could always be much worse and so, I am thankful for my reality whatever it is at that moment and figure out how I’m going to make it better.

I’m aware my family has been lucky – both my son’s have dodged death when countless others have succumbed and they continue do better than anyone could have imagined. My daughter is stronger than I ever dared to hope she would be and spoke out in her #MeToo moment at an age that would make you cry. My husband continues to show our children and I what an amazing human and real man is every day with his kindness and support all the while still learning and building towards his own goals. And I, I proved to myself this year that again, when faced with adversity, I look it in the face, say no thanks and move on to make my mark on the world the only way I know how, with goodness in my heart.

So is this luck? Maybe not. Maybe I have to look to my final answer above to get to the true root; that positivity attracts positivity and even though life may serve up hard times, you can’t appreciate the light if there is never any darkness.

Wishing everyone in 2018, the ability to know life is what you make it; you have the right to choose. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it and what we’ll do next.

To making 2018 the best year yet – Happy New Year!

Anita Sutton is a Serial Socialpreneur and Fierce Do-Gooder. With over 15 years leadership experience in the Tech world under her belt, Anita chose to get off the corporate ladder and dive two feet in to social entrepreneurship where she is focused on reducing bullying, juvenile suicide and crime and severing the cycle of poverty through the delivery of social and emotional intelligence training.

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