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New Year's Resolutions

This article appeared in www.IndiaTimes.com on 1/1/2003.

Four thousand years ago in Babylonian times, resolutions were made with the intention that what was done on the first day of the New Year would be reflected in the remaining days of the year.  Incidentally, the Babylonian New Year was celebrated in March to coincide with the planting of the spring crops.  The Babylonians were in touch with the rhythms of the seasons and farming.

Even today, four thousand years later, we can draw upon the similarities between harvesting of crops and bringing forth fruitful results into our lives - resolutions are the seeds; a mind full of good intentions and solid beliefs is the fertile ground; positive thoughts are the tending of the grounds; and the process of obtaining desired results is in the seasons with new beginnings, tending, harvesting and resting.

If one has become so obsessed with keeping up with the fast pace, one will have created a gap between Nature and oneself.  One experiences a high level of enthusiasm in the beginning of the New Year that springs forth resolutions with high spirit, but shortly after the year has begun, the resolutions fizzle out, and one is unable to sustain the enthusiasm.  After the seeds have been sown, the newness of the season moves into hot summer and now it is time to tend the grounds with positive thoughts.  Instead of tending to the farm, what happens in the real world is one gets busy doing other things and the tending is ignored.  The very resolution that got one enthused in the beginning becomes a cause for inner struggle and dissatisfaction.  The struggle exists because one is unable to take the resolution any further due to impatience, lack of commitment or lack of understanding of the natural process of bringing desired results to fruition.

The underlying intention is the force, and the belief in oneself is the focus that will tend the farm and carry the enthusiasm to fruition.  If the force and focus are not aligned, the target will almost always be missed.  Therefore, more important than the resolution itself is the intention and the belief behind the resolution.  The question to contemplate is how does one eliminate this obvious yet subtle discrepancy?

The process of eliminating the discrepancy requires COURAGE, HONESTY, INTROSPECTION and SLOWING DOWN.  These four ingredients will see one through the four seasons.  Let us take a closer look at each of the four ingredients:

Courage:  For instance, one makes the resolution to manage his/her temperament and stay calm in difficult situations.  It takes great courage to find out why the anger exists in the first place and what the underlying unresolved issues that keep igniting the anger could possibly be.  Or, if one is looking to quit smoking, the question he/she may ask is why does the addiction exist in the first place?  What unfulfilled need is one replacing by the addiction to nicotine?  Before one desires the results, one should have the courage to know and understand why the desired result is non-existent in the first place?

Honesty: On has to be true to oneself and own up to the self discoveries made through courageous acts of introspection.  When the process of self discovery points at oneself for sabotaging one’s own success (inevitably it almost always does), then one must be honest and own up to self sabotaging beliefs, thoughts and behaviors.  And then one must be willing to take responsibility to change those behaviors if one wants to see the set resolution come to fruition.

Introspection: Introspection is the most powerful tool.  One has mastered the art of examining others – when one masters the art of examining one’s own thoughts and feelings, then one would be able to differentiate between the enabling and disabling inner beliefs that facilitate or hinder the process of achieving desired results.

Slowing Down:  Too much running around to keep up with the fast pace canb only guarantee two things: Stress and Errors.  Down time is a must to gain perspective and generate strategies for the following round of the Four Seasons.

The discrepancy will be resolved when one gains the COURAGE and takes the TIME to HONESTLY INTROSPECT one’s own inner thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Resolutions should not be a weak commitment made in the excitement of the New Year hype.  Each commitment delivered makes one strong and each commitment undelivered makes one weak.  Therefore, resolutions backed with thought out intentions and carried through the seasons will bring fruitful results and make one a stronger person.

Before you make a commitment to keep a New Year’s resolution, take some time and answer the following questions with honesty:

  • Am I setting the resolution to please myself or others?

  • Why is the desired result missing in my life?

  • What underlying fears are contributing to inner disabling beliefs?

  • Am I suppressing an unmet need by setting resolutions in order to feel better about myself?

  • Do I truly believe I can achieve the desired result?

  • What are the other possible factors that are stopping me from achieving the desired result?

With COURAGE, TIME, HONESTY and INTROSPECTION one can be sure to achieve any resolution a mind can dare to conceive.

Rhythm of Success
Neerja Bhatia
37 Island Heights Circle
Stamford, CT  06902
203-602-1174
nbhatia@rhythmofsuccess.com
http://www.rhythmofsuccess.com

 

 

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