AP / Kin Cheung

Happy 2012, everyone! It will be a monumental year ahead, for several reasons. We are entering a time where everything that we once believed to be truth, reliable, and secure is now in question. TIME Magazine named its 2011 Person of the Year “The Protestor,” which is telling of our overall desire for change: for something more tangible, something more honest and better reflective of our unique value to this world.

Everyone wants to have a voice, and in 2011 the voices that had become so quietly obedient began to speak out. Indeed, those protests were not for naught – last year brought about a lot of changes, both in our personal lives and in the world at large. From natural disasters spanning from Japan to Missouri, to the capture of Osama Bin Laden and Gaddafi, the resignation of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the September 11th memorial, the NBA lockout and Occupy Wall Street, Prince William’s royal wedding and a host of publicized divorces (namely Kobe, Katy, Kardashian, and Kutcher), these events had us thinking about our own mortality, lost fairy tales, and what this life really means (as it doesn’t last forever). It was a tough but empowering year and at the very least, I feel that we came out of it knowing what we value and having a stronger understanding of ourselves. If not, we knew that it was time to start seriously thinking about those things.

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Nonetheless according to history, tragedy often precedes a revolution. That means that 2012 will be a year of rebuilding and realized dreams for those who want to take advantage. My suggestion as we embark on the New Year is to lead by example. In our own little bodies we have enough power, creativity, and influence to move mountains, or better yet, move ideas. If we can change the way people think and how they perceive themselves in this world, we can impact their behavior and pull together a movement toward a common cause. So what is your cause? What belief do you hold that, if shared, can improve the lives of others? Are you already living that belief in everything that you do?

I know that we have gotten so caught up with sharing our lives through social media, but this year why not promise yourself to do less talking and instead allow others to watch and follow your lead? That is a powerful way of connecting – by not only talking about shared values, but by building something together. And essentially it’s a movement that you led.

After all, 2012 is the end of the world as we know it: the end of conformity and the beginning of expression; the end of repetition and the beginning of innovation; the end of doubt and the beginning of acceptance. It is the year of you – and the world is finally ready to embrace it!