My New Year resolution is to not be a fraud. And that means that my resolution should have kicked off by now. As we stepped into the final quarter of 2018, I should have already started doing the new things I want to see in my life. One of the reasons I say that is because January 1st isn’t some magical portal that makes people’s behaviors change. The other reason is quite technical.
There’s a popular song by Victor AD -you know the one, it reigned this year – which says something about not repeating the things that were not profitable this year, in the new year. To me, that is a reflection of the desire of most young people to achieve success as fast as possible. Let’s be real; how many worthwhile activities can you begin in January and nurture to success or profit by December? A business, an educational programme? No way! In the case of an educational programme, you would only have completed a phase (maybe).
The idea of abandoning something you were doing which didn’t make a profit after 12 months is dangerous because it suggests that you abandon efforts which you put in over time. It means that you wasted your months of discipline and dedication. You’re conceding that you’re not going to become excellent at that thing, unless of course you return to it years later as some advanced beginner. It takes some of us a few decades to see this truth. And mind you we’re not talking about people who abandon activities because of a need to sort out urgent responsibilities. Are there really urgent responsibilities?
I say no, because a responsibility by definition usually has time constraints. And there are always going to be responsibilities. Furthermore, the crash programmes that we get into are usually (not always) as a result of irresponsible behavior. Enough of that philosophical rant.
I believe that what we need to do if we are thinking of improving on 2018, is to change our habits. Or build new ones. This may be one of the hardest things to do but again it takes patience with oneself. The first thing you will need to do in order to form a new habit is to build discipline; the ability to stay with a task when you’d rather be doing something more in your comfort zone. And do it again. And again every single day.
This philosophy on habits has become quite popular in recent years. While a lot of the motivational stuff seems like snake oil, this is one that you’ve seen work since you were a kid. Just look at all the kids from your school days that made it through academics. Were they known for putting in hours of study time on a daily basis? Chances are, they were. They were not smart. Smart is being able to sneak away to hang with your buddies and then somehow passing the exams. Those guys made it because they did the dumb work of sticking with something difficult overtime.
So, in 2019, try not to look for clever ideas and schemes because any idea that doesn’t involve good work done consistently is probably illegal. No, you may say. People get lucky. Well research shows that luck and serendipity come more to those disciplined folks who keep plugging away. Are you still reading? Get to work.