Give Up Your Resolutions
2016 is coming to an end, in just two weeks. Time flies as the saying goes. And as New Years approaches, many of us will assess our new resolution(s) for the coming year. I would like to propose a better approach. Maybe, this is the year we need to throw away our resolution(s), and try something new. It's not that I am against resolutions, in fact, I think the general idea is great. If all else, it is a way to remind ourselves that there is more to grab hold of in life. More dreams to dream, and more accomplishments to fulfill. My inbox has already received a steady stream of messages regarding "How To" steps, in making my resolution(s) a reality in 2017. But the real reality is, over 3/4th's of the population will have forgotten, given up on, or will continue executing life in the same way just after one week after New Years. Thus preventing their resolution(s) from becoming anything more than a brief daydream. I am not going to say that the many methods proposed in creating lasting resolution results are ill-advised. But if the advice was solid and proven, why aren't more people sticking to their resolution guns? I believe the issue boils down to the cultural wiring of our minds, and our value system for the things we seek. And the relationship between those desires and our identity. This is far beyond New Year resolutions, and in fact, is a part of our life and goals in general. For example, Michael Jordan did not simply wish, dream, or resolute himself into being the greatest basketball player of all time (imo). He was that. He became that person. His talent, ability, and proficiency as a basketball player, was an extension of himself. It was integrated into his identity. If you truly want to accomplish your goals and resolution(s), you must become them (so to speak).
Let me propose a few questions to consider and ponder:
When you choose a dream, goal, endeavor, plan, or any other resolution(s) - why is this important to you? Why do you want this for your life? What is the outcome of having this? And if you were to see this fulfilled in your life, what would that mean to you? How would it change your life? Now let's consider the other side of the coin so to speak: What would it mean for you to not fulfill this in your life? What would you miss out on? How would that impact your life in it's absence?
We are motivated by one of two core/driving factors, pain or pleasure. And most any important decision we make in our life is to obtain pleasure, or avoid pain. There are other factors that influence this. The most predominate being our value system. The extent to which we value something, is the extent to which we will invest ourselves in obtaining it. As Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there is your heart also." Often times, we make resolutions based off "implied" values that truly don't exist. For if they did, we would likely have already taken some form of action to, at least start the process of obtaining/pursuing it. Without enough desperation, desire, or drive, we have only created an illusion. And that illusion is a deception of sorts. We are fooling ourselves into thinking that what we want, is really what we want. When in fact - when people truly want something, they take action to get it. The fact that we do not take action to get it, proves we do not really want it. Even though we resolved that we do in our resolution. This is due to a lack of understanding in our own value system(s). What do you really want in life? What do you really want to begin, pick back up perhaps, pursue, or carry on in 2017? How truly valuable is this to you? One way to gauge it would be to ask yourself this question, or one similar:
What am I willing to sacrifice to have this? And if I had even 75% odds of success, would I lay all my security and comfort on the line, and risk taking whatever steps necessary to see this fulfilled?
Security is nice, but it can create complacency, which can fuel fear. Because we want to maintain what we have, without risk of losing it, as we reach for something more. But that is not how life typically works unfortunately. No risk, no reward. And this too, is part of understanding our value system. Because if we value security more than growth, prosperity (not just materially), and learning by stretching, then we have committed the ultimate act of complacency. Which means that life will never be more than it is, and we will likely never experience more fulfillment than we have. And I personally do not believe that is what we were created for. So...
What do you really want that you value enough, to take risks for?
We need to re-think failure when it comes to risk taking. Failure does not really mean you have failed. It means that:
1. You are trying to accomplish something that is not inline with who you really are. And thus would be more disastrous for you to carry through in the long run.
2. There is a better way to accomplish what you are trying to achieve, that will reward you accordingly, based off who you are, and are becoming.
3. You have not yet learned all that is required to accomplish "it" successfully. So failure is just a metric to gauge how much you have learned so far.
Speaking of becoming: Who are you becoming? If you had to write two or three paragraphs to sum up your identity, what would you say that is? And would you find your resolution(s) written in those words? This is the secret that changes resolution(s) into realities. So you can give up your resolution(s), and simply become who you want to be, and have the life you want to have. That key is, become it. As I mentioned of Michael Jordan in the beginning, you must be unto (fill in your blank) as Jordan was unto basketball. C.S.Lewis probably never had a resolution to become a writer. It was who he was. Are your resolutions a part of you? Are they complementary to who you truly desire to be, and are becoming? It is much easier to integrate additional skills in an area of life you already master. If you are a master painter, it will be easier for you to learn a new brush stroke, than someone who has never painted and needs to begin with fundamentals.
Build an identity, not an object in place of one. Then you will become a true master of your own life and destiny. That is the key to seeing resolutions transform into realities. Don't waste your time trying to pave roads in your life, for a journey you were never intended to travel. Give up your resolution(s), and become who you really are instead. And who you really are, as you become it - has all the fulfillment included in the package deal, that you are seeking.