“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” — Mother Teresa
If you are like most people, the prospects of a new year, of a fresh start initially may give us a burst of new energy to pursue our new year’s resolutions. But if history is any indicator, many of us will have to admit to ourselves that we rarely follow through to see our new goals completed. This past year for me the biggest struggle was sticking to my desire of writing more.
Why is it, that no matter how well-intentioned our desires are, they eventually fade away into obscurity? The main reason to me, is that it comes from a simple ignorance of how our own psychology works. We fail to see all the various thought structures that operate through our various personalities.
Our personalities are largely shaped by the likes and dislikes we pick up from our environment. Through these networks of likes/dislikes we develop many superficial wants’ we think we would like to have.
Around the end of the year a little voice starts whispering into our minds all the various things we wish to change in our lives. In the moment that we make these good New Year’s resolutions, we may feel that we are being completely sincere in seeing our intentions carried out, but we quickly run into a wall of established habits. These habits (independent personalities) never got the memo about your New Year’s resolutions, and especially missed the part where they would be needed to see them carried out.
How strong is your New Year’s resolution?
At the level of thought a wish implies a helpless desire of mind. A desire is a stronger wish that actually compels us to take some type of action towards our goal. An intention, is an even stronger desire, that goes deep and involves our total being. An intention has a determined energy behind it strong enough to overcome a few bumps in the road. But to really accomplish our life’s work, our mission, our really big dreams require an unceasing determination. This is where our conscious volition comes into play. Volition is our power to consciously direct our will.
Like I mentioned before, most of us lack this dynamic will because we are too inwardly fragmented. We have hundreds of contradicting desires, thus our will is very weak.
We must become inwardly integrated to direct our will with laser like focus. This requires that we incorporate some type of self-development discipline that will increase our self-awareness, such as meditation.
How Meditation will help carry out your New Years resolutions:
Unconscious habits dominate our day-to-day life. It may seem like they make our lives easier, but eventually monotony sets in, and we make life seem dull. We want change, but the habit has too much energy behind it so we remain stuck. You have a job you hate, but it is comfortable enough that it keeps you right where you are.
Awareness means being mindful of what you are sensing, thinking, and feeling moment to moment without judging/labeling your observations. If you can cultivate this quality of consciousness you would soon have an intimate knowledge of why your life is the way it is.
Having this clarity to see, many illusions would begin to fall away like dead leaves. This clarity would allow you to see what it is that you really need to pursue and discard the rest. When you can clearly see something, you don’t need to waste energy in trying to force yourself to change.
As you become more integrated you stop many of the leaks that were draining your energy. These leaks came mainly in the form of useless and constant imagination, day-dreaming, and expressing negative emotions. Stopping these leaks you actually begin to accumulate surplus psychic energy needed to consciously direct your actions and overcome your mechanical habits.
In the beginning you may only be able to maintain a steady and self-aware attention for a few moments at a time. But in time as meditation and mindfulness becomes your way of life, just like a muscle, it begins to get stronger. When you can direct your attention and keep it on an object lets say for 10 minutes – without your thought process wandering off – you have reached a major mile stone in self-development that most people won’t know of. With this level of mastery over your attention you will be able to accomplish many of your goals.
I am incredibly excited for 2014. In March me and my wife will be embarking on our long-term traveling adventure. Through the use of my dynamic will I was able to stick to my financial goals in 2013, which is now making our trip possible. I am also well on my way to setting the foundation for a successful year with my business. I look forward to stepping it up a few notches this year in several areas of my life.
So for this new year, I would like to encourage everyone to incorporate meditation into their daily lives. If meditation is new to you, start off with 5-10 minutes at the beginning and ending of your day. If you can stick to this one new conscious habit, I think you will be surprised at just how many of your New Year’s resolutions you are able to accomplish as a by product.
From the bottom of my heart I wish you many blessings In 2014. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Here is a short introduction into a simple meditation practice. For a more in-depth look into meditation, I recommend one of my favorite books on the subject called “In This Very Life”. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.
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