Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year's Realization, Not A Resolution

Who you are and what you do today is most likely who you will be and what you will do tomorrow. That thought occurred to me the other day, and it kind of stuck in my head. This can be a positive or a negative thought, it’s up to each of us to decide. I choose to think that it is in my power—now, at this moment—to work on becoming the person I wish to be.

Too often we make our path in life more difficult than it needs to be. We set ourselves up for failure by demanding of our future selves what we are incapable of achieving today. We set unrealistic goals for ourselves because we do not wish to see ourselves as we truly are. Our true selves, we tell ourselves, the ones that we are destined to become, are out there somewhere in the future, and we wait for them as we would a knight in shining armor.

But that knight in armor never comes. He does not exist because we have not been working on developing him. We have alienated our true powers, the ones that we possess in the here and now, the power to work with the time and talent that is immediately before us.

We often do not wish to see ourselves for who we truly are, and instead create an ego ideal of ourselves, some flawless creature that will someday emerge from the cocoon that we currently are. When we do not live up to that impossible idea of ourselves, we then create another image of ourselves: that of a worthless sinner who is unworthy of any success or happiness. Both images are false, both equally damaging. They tend to work together, alternating in a cycle.

It is a cycle we must break if we are to achieve any real self-satisfaction in life. We are neither the helpless child nor the fully arrived adult. We are somewhere in the middle, in a constant state of becoming more, but never quite arriving. We will never be perfect since as we approach our goals we will see more goals beyond them. There is no promised land, no end point, but there is the constant opportunity to go further than we have before, perhaps further than we even believed possible.

It takes a degree of faith, I suppose. We need to believe in the process before we can fully commit to it. We need to taste a degree of success before we understand how it can come about. Or else we can learn about success by watching the behavior of another and learning from it. Lastly, there may be someone in our lives who believes in us even when we ourselves cannot. I don’t imagine that anyone can go through life being successful without a mix of all three of those factors. And once we have earned a degree of success ourselves, we are in a position to inspire and believe in others. If there is a promised land, we will have to work together to get there.

So I have not made any New Year’s resolutions. I am merely trying to live this day the way I would like to see myself living my future. The opportunity is there, why not take it? Oh, and let me just end this post by saying: “I believe in you.”

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