New Year, New Me
In modern times the New Year’s resolution has gained substantial popularity. So much so that many see it as a cliché. Even with the large amounts of people dedicating themselves to becoming better or changing ways, so very few will last the journey. Whether it’s the waning discipline of restriction or the thinning patience of kindness, many simply go back to whom they were. I know I have set many resolutions and have failed almost as many times. What is it about these vows that become so unachievable over time? Why can’t we become better?
For myself it took a couple of realizations before I could really change. The first was to stop carrying the weight of the past. Every day when we lay ourselves down to sleep, we must die. We must let the past die. I’m not saying to pretend it didn’t happen. Keep the lessons and the experiences, don’t keep the guilt or the pride. As long as we compare our today against our yesterday, we invite misfortune. If you wronged someone, don’t feel guilty. Make it right. If you did well, don’t boast or feel prideful. Take what made you successful and make it standard. If we can face each day fresh and pure we have a stronger capability to adapt to life. Let’s face it, sometimes life can suck. Maybe even most of the time. If we can go into the day without the expectations of yesterday, we have nothing to gauge our day against. The suffering will seem less when it’s not held against the joy of ecstasy. The lonely hours will not shake us if we don’t lose our thoughts in the ghosts of old love and friendship. Focus is the first tenet for a reason. If we can be here and now, we are stronger for it.
We must also not look too much to the future. If our eyes are locked on the goal, not only do we miss the journey, we can trip on every obstacle on our way there. The journey truly is the worthier part. Why? Because it’s our lives! The journey is our every day, our eternity. If we blindly chase a goal through the duration of our lives, what have we achieved? How much did we live? Now I’m not saying to not set goals or not to dream. But we can find better success in our journey if we pay attention to our footing. On the opposite side of this, sometimes we can be frightened by how far away the goals seem. How hard the journey appears. We ask “Will I ever be able to do this?”. One of the hardest lessons I have ever learned was that we are our choices. And we choose one choice at a time. That means that becoming a better person is simply making the right decision, one choice at a time. If you can make one good choice, you can be a better person. If you chose poorly, let it die and choose again. This is the truth of focus in the moment. Life is only what is going on right now and that is just one choice.
Regret and anticipation are a poison to our lives. A poison that we create and cure. It is truly our own strength that can make or break us. Personal accountability was the final realization. When we can fix what we have the ability to fix and forget what we can’t control we can succeed. We can adapt and flow. We can grow. Fear and pride and the other obstacles are also of our own making. If you can’t do anything about it, don’t fret. Adapt. If it’s something you can fix, do it. Adapt. Be the moment. Be the dream.