In the New Year, Be Like Albert the Snow Camel

The New Year is often a time of looking forward and looking back. We review the year that’s ending and assess our highs and lows. Then, we free our imagination—or re-engage our taskmaster—to set goals for the year ahead. What would we like to accomplish? Where would we like to be—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—by this time next year?

Too often, though, when we contemplate the past, we focus on the “failures”—the times we didn’t live up to our own—or others’—expectations; the goals we didn’t achieve; our losses and disappointments. In my own life I think of my first failed attempt at an infomercial, going through a divorce, and suffering a detached retina that required me to keep my chin on my chest for nearly a month after surgery. But in retrospect, each of these “failures” were instrumental in propelling me forward to the life I enjoy now: the founder of a successful skincare company; a happily married grandfather; and a prolific artist—a passion I discovered only as a result of having to lie face-down for a month!

So this New Year, why not try a different approach to your “mistakes” or “failures”? Have you ever considered that maybe those experiences were exactly what you needed to get to where you are right now? And what if where you are right now is the perfect catalyst for you are going and who you are becoming?

As an example of why this might be a good idea, I’d like to introduce you to Albert, the Snow Camel. Albert achieved internet fame earlier this month when footage of his first snowfall experience went viral on TikTok, delighting over 3 million viewers in the first two weeks of its posting.

Albert was only five months old at the time, and his early life hadn’t seem destined for greatness. As my great niece, Shelly Murad, who posted the video, told Newsweek magazine, “We saw a baby camel for sale in Texas and inquired about him.” Shelly lives with her father, my nephew, the former COO of Murad, on a 200-acre animal rescue ranch in Ojai, California.

“A veterinarian told us he was unable to feed properly from his mom so he needed day and night bottle feeding. We were up for the task and had him driven back to Ojai, California, the next week.”

One morning a few weeks ago, the ranch got a dusting of snow. Albert “started jumping up and down and he could not contain himself,” Shelly reported. “He usually follows us to the back area of the ranch to help us get hay for the animals, but this time he would not come with us. He headed in the opposite direction to where the goats were staying huddled up in a barn and he started rounding them up.”

Shelly took a video of Albert literally dancing with joy at the snowfall and then leading the goat herd out to share in his excitement. The video delighted millions of viewers on TikTok, who posted comments such as, “Is this what heaven looks like???” and “I am having the WORST day and this video just made it at least 40 percent better.”

What struck me about the video, though, was that it portrayed Albert as a leader, not a follower like the goats. This orphaned camel, who started out “failing to thrive” and who’d had to immigrate when only a few months old, was now an example of confident, enthusiastic leadership. Who’d have predicted that from his rocky first few months? Albert is also a great embodiment of my Insight, “The best is yet to come; you just have to let it enter.” Albert did!

So, as you consider your own experiences in 2022, try to reserve judgment on those incidents that were a disappointment, or even an embarrassment. Learn what you can from them; grow as they inspire (or force) you to do; and then take comfort in considering that perhaps they were just the thing you needed for the next step to success as the hero of your own life’s journey. Be like Albert!

Wishing you and yours a year of health and happiness in 2023!

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