Like me, you must be sick of hearing the usual beginning of year motivational speeches that only make you seem like you haven’t done your best so far. Everyone with a keyboard writes like their own life is perfect, admonishing you to do more and change this and stop that, as if any of that guarantees success. If success was so easy then one single route to it would have been exposed by now and we would all simply follow the steps. But as is clear, there is no single route to success, and also success is subjective by definition. You might want the active social life of international travel and exotic locations while success to me is peace and quiet in my village house with 20 children and a local chieftaincy title.
So why do we all wait till this time of the year to reflect on where we are going and how far we have come? What is this pressure to give ourselves renewed direction and act like whatever we decide in this one single day will determine the rest of our year or even the rest of lives? A lot of people have attributed this to the human need for continued hope. The theory is that human beings need to feel relevant for their continued journey to make sense. They need to feel wanted and to be striving towards a given purpose. Otherwise we feel obsolete and fall into depression.
If you look back at your life however, how many of your new year resolutions have you faithfully kept, and even where you kept them how many of them actually mattered in the grand scheme of things? When you dropped that bad habit that you thought was holding you back, did your life actually change for good? When you stopped having sex or drinking alcohol, did you become wealthy beyond measure? The likely answer is no. The reason is that we attach the wrong resolution to the wrong outcome. We want to stop the easy things and hope it translates to the biggest things even where there is no correlation between the two.
And so you will find people who aim to stop the cycle of poverty but read self help books instead of networking and finding people who actually know the ropes. You see people who stop fornicating and assume it will translate into money because God will reward them for avoiding sin. No, avoiding sin and stopping bad habits is for yourself, you are not doing God any favours. The wages of sin is death so you are simply choosing not to die. That does not translate into better financial management skills or suddenly becoming employable, for that you need to gain a specific set of skills and access to capital. Otherwise you will find that all your promises to stop habits are not translating into a better life, they just translate to a more wholesome soul.
What you then need to resolve for this year, is to be less whimsical and more practical. It is to stop running away from the difficult conversations in your life and face it head on. If someone in your family is abusive, it is time to end it by speaking up. Don’t worry about not being liked anymore. If your job is killing your spirit and morale, take firm steps to start looking for another one. If you need new skills to move ahead, start pursuing educational admission or learning the new skills your next move needs. Don’t say ‘God will do it’ as the answer to problems that you refuse to confront. You know what is lacking (and if you don’t, then ask older ones to give you feedback) and what you need to do to change things but you don’t want to offend people or scatter the peace you think you currently have. That “peace” is not letting you move, and sometimes you need chaotic movement in a forest for the fog to scatter, revealing the path forward. I swear you are this close to figuring it out, keep going…
You’ve got this.