The new year is upon us, just like all previous new years. Most people spend this time in more or less the same way – in keshas, in clubs, at home with grandparents, on holiday etc. Then, soon after the first few days, they buy note books and diaries. You will then miss them from from your eye in some moments, as they will have found quiet places to sit and ponder upon what to write on these bank pages. And when they finally flip the cover open to write, their nostrils are hit by a fresh smell of new pages that seems to invigorate them. And, on the new pages in the new year, they start to scribble new plans with incredible resolve. Later on, their social media page shall feature posts not so much unlike “New Year New Me..” But only a handful of people who write new year resolutions follow through with them.
There is nothing wrong with resolutions. And whether or not you follow them through is really a business of your own. But, there is everything wrong with the feeling associated with over planning and over fantasising. It usually goes something like this:
You imagine your desires. They excite you. You lay out your plans, feeling highly spirited towards working on them. Somewhere a long this process your Pastor says something that’s really motivating… something like “this is your year of bountiful harvest”. You say a spirited “Amen!” Then you go on to the internet to find out “how to reach my goals/make more money/be a better person etc”. You get nothing short of a couple million results for you to drown yourself in. One video, podcast, blog after another. Soon you buy a book that was recommended by one of those guys who tweets things like “I made my first million in 2 weeks, here’s how I did it…(then proceeds to lie to the greatest extent possible.” Unknowingly, you become hooked to the high the motivation gives you that you forget to move.
Also Read: Contending
At some point you will realise this and you will try to “jump” as the inspiring podcaster insisted. But your realities and their’s are different. As you struggle through the fear, doubt, rejection and frustration, you ran to what you know – your motivation. And you overdose. Now all you do is consume motivation from monks, self-proclaimed billionaires, your Pastor and a couple of other people who make a lot of money motivating people like you.
The side effects of all this is that at some points, on your lows, you will feel worthless. Nothing you touch works. You are not strong enough. This dream was just a dream, nothing more. You will think that you have put in a lot of effort even while you have not, and the futility you face will discourage you and leave you at a worse place. All addictions behave the same way.
My advice to you as you start this year is this: read books that help you improve your skills. The more you know, the better your chances are at manoeuvring your way towards the goals you set. Being skilful and getting things done has a high too. A productive high that keeps you out looking for more challenges to conquer. This year, take a break from motivation and actually be better at something.