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BOSTON (CBS) - As we approach the end of a tumultuous calendar year, I'm thankful.  Certainly not for the practice of 'party till you drop,' or the anticipation of a fresh start based on nothing more than how I date a check.  What I have come to appreciate is the vital, intrinsic part of the human condition that enables us to keep on keeping on, moving forward despite the most challenging moments in life.  If it weren't the case, we humans would have folded our tents or sealed up our caves thousands of years ago.  We possess what I believe to be an inspired ability to live through varying levels of pain, process it (and that takes some hard soul work to be sure) and wake up the next morning to start anew.

2012 has been a rough year for many.  From natural disaster victims to innocents subjected to senseless violence here at home and abroad, we've had our share of horrible moments we would just as soon forget.  We witnessed derisive shallow politicians, corruption, debt and deceit, an economy that has taken it on the chin and struggles to thrive, and the uncomfortable sense that decency has been on the wane as the culture crumbles.

It was a very challenging year for me personally.  A serious health crisis affecting a loved one kept us operating in overdrive for much of the year.  Adrenalin was the elixir that carried us along through much of it.  It's a gas that will only fill one's tank for so long.  I'm sure most of you are familiar with feeling.

Enough already, I'm starting to bum myself out, which is easy to do if you just read the morning headlines!

So I choose to check out other sources, such as the book "Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think," by Peter H. Diamandis the founder and CEO of the X Prize Foundation and co-founder and chairman of Singularity University.  He is a serial entrepreneur turned philanthropist who has started more than a dozen high-tech companies.  He has degrees in molecular biology and aerospace engineering from MIT, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.  Mr. Diamandis lays out a convincing case that as a planet things are getting better all the time.  We enjoy better standards of living, we're better at conquering disease, even better at making peace.  The stats back it all up.  I too am convinced the world is getting better; people's attitudes that it isn't heading in the right direction shields us from recognizing it.

So my New Year's wish for you is to practice a bit of that mindful living that the New Age types rave about.  This very moment is ours, a universal divine right shared among all six billion plus who call this little green and blue spinning ball home.  Our failures and setbacks will never dissolve completely away.  They'll always be an important part of who we are.  Thankfully, the master programmer who designed our magnificent internal hard drives provided us enough extra space and a pretty cool 'Resilience APP' to keep things moving.  These are all free downloads, so make the most of them won't you?

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