By Sun Lee Chang
Northwest Asian Weekly
Coming fast on the heels of the Year of the Snake, the Year of the Horse is stampeding through to a ruckus start on Jan. 31, 2014. There are five elements which are associated with each Chinese Zodiac animal for any given year, including wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. For 2014, this will be the Year of the Wood Horse.
For many, the end of the Year of the Snake could not come fast enough. Having endured all manner of things this past year, the Year of the Horse brings with it a fresh, vibrant outlook. This brighter perspective will surely invigorate all with a renewed sense of purpose.
The spirit of the horse nudges us along to better ourselves and push the limits of our boundaries. New horizons are within reach this year, provided that one puts aside conventional wisdom and finds a more personalized path.
To that end, the following are predictions of how the Year of the Horse could make for a very interesting ride in the areas of work and love.
The seeds of change are right before your eyes. It will only be a matter of time before you are a part of the movement.
Work: Having honed your skills over the years, you are a master of your craft. A new challenge awaits you, if you choose to accept it.
Love: Recent events shed light on where you have been and are headed. If you want a different outcome, take action soon.
Like a runner racing on a track, you are firmly focused on crossing the finish line. Remain steadfast in your resolve until your quest is complete.
Work: Don’t be surprised if you need to kick up the volume a notch. It’s no secret that in order to be heard, you must speak up.
Love: The synergy between you and your partner could produce a net result that is much greater than either of you ever imagined possible.
You are used to seeing the world in one way and are now realizing that it is by no means the only way. This newfound insight can only serve to help you go forward.
Work: In order to achieve true growth, be willing to listen to critiques that help you find a better way of doing things.
Love: Disagreements aside, you are now able to empathize with someone whom you clashed with before. Understanding is the first step in bridging the gap between the two of you.
Ever wonder about what might have been? It’s time to stop daydreaming and turn your dreams into reality.
Work: There are tradeoffs to security and stability. You may think that you know what is going to happen, but there are no guarantees.
Love: After analyzing from all angles, it is to your advantage to realize that theory can be very far off from actual practice.
With additional resources opening up to you, there are a wealth of options to choose from. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, so allow some time to let it all sink in.
Work: Steering your own ship can be as daunting as it is freeing. Knowing that you are ultimately responsible for your own successes, and mistakes, it’s worth it.
Love: Though skepticism tempers other areas of your life, when you love, you love unconditionally. In turn, that devotion will be mirrored back to you in kind.
Although you want to bring everyone with you, some journeys are meant to be done solo. Bring mementos with you to remind you of what is waiting for you at home.
Work: Don’t ignore your health in the rush to get ahead. Make an effort to balance your lifestyle, so that the sole focus isn’t just on accumulation of material wealth.
Love: The generosity and tenderness that you show to those closest to you will be remembered long after the actual deed is done.
Excitement is mounting as you can already tell that this is going to be a watershed year for you. The places you will go and the people you will meet along the way will define what follows.
Work: Having operated within a certain framework for quite a while, here is your chance to travel in entirely different circles and network across borders.
Love: Letting go of someone who once meant so much to you can be difficult. However, once you have allowed yourself to move on, a special person is waiting for you.
While you can hope that circumstances work out well, hope is not a plan. Put a strategy in motion, so you take an active part in what happens next.
Work: Carry forward the momentum you have built over the year. Don’t let up until you have cleared the hurdles that have been laid before you.
Love: Unless you are upfront with what you really want, the guessing game will continue. Avoid resentment and be honest about your feelings.
Let bygones be bygones. The longer you carry around the weight of animosity, the heavier it will grow. Cast it off and start fresh this year.
Work: It’s fair to say that people respect your unique abilities. Know your strengths and don’t be afraid to capitalize on them.
Love: Your capacity to care for others is not in doubt. Allow yourself to be pampered and taken care of for once.
Finding your true passion involves a soul searching process. It is not something that someone can dictate or hand over to you.
Work: The best and worst days are probably skewed from the rest. If not, then it is a sign that you should look for satisfaction elsewhere.
Love: Attracting attention has not been a problem for you. Just remember that a deeper connection is preferable to a superficial one.
It’s never too late to start doing what you have always dreamed of. Don’t waste another day with regret.
Work: Are you tired of playing second fiddle? Take steps to elevate your game so that you become a serious contender.
Love: For a healthier relationship, cultivate pursuits — outside of the things that you do together — that speak to you as an individual.
Leave the calculations aside and rely on your instincts instead. Your gut will tell you when you have ventured too far.
Work: There is no doubt that you are good at what you do. However, branching out a little could be beneficial to your career.
Love: A good friend could turn out to be much more. It really depends on whether you want to risk the friendship to find out what that could be.
Sun Lee Chang can be reached at email@example.com.