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  • Writer's pictureShailja Chandra

New Year Resolutions - 'To Make or Not To Make'

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

"The Invisible Cages of Us"

The human mind is hard-wired to find a sense of purpose, pride and prestige in our existence. These are like ‘coordinates’ that we create for finding the ‘Mighty Mountain of Meaning’. And I believe New Year resolutions, amongst many others things, become the easy ‘flagposts’ of this process – only to come down by, say, 14th February?!

Our desire for control and to influence our destiny today is as permanent as the impermanence and uncertainty of tomorrow.  This is a heartbreaking paradox of humanity.

I have loved making New Year resolutions in the past and have also felt terrible for not being able to sustain the discipline and focus these require. But with time I got more fascinated by how the course of life can change without any warnings, preemptions, and how things just happen when the 'time’ is right – despite all our planning, efforts and yearnings before the ‘right time’.

Whilst our faculty for forethought, deliberation, planning is vital to our existence and important to keep our minds and energies occupied and whilst it can bring great – often life changing – results, mostly it brings a false sense of control over something that cannot be or doesn’t need to be controlled.

Life and time will keep flowing and falling incessantly – to the right place and time. Can we be in 'free fall' with them?

Free fall is not about being a fatalist. I strongly believe that taking action is a great human prerogative. I just think resolutions can make us myopic – to outcomes and timing that may or may not be within our circle of influence. Setting up resolutions can sometimes set us up for disappointments and despair, despite our best efforts and actions, and often it may take the joy out of our activities.

Whilst ‘free-fall’ may seem to be an easy way out in life. It is not. It is very hard to let go of that sense of control that is so innate to us.  While it may sound like easy outcome to achieve. It is not. A constant awareness and consciousness of the ‘now and here’ without a desire to change it, is vital to this free fall…

Can we not burden the nascent new year with our monumental desires and mammoth expectations and just 'be' in it instead? 

Oh, but wait. Why does my mind want to achieve this ‘free fall’ right now, or latest by June 2017? Why is this sense of achievement important? Why am I tempted to make it my top resolution for 2017?

Darn that hard-wiring! Ah well, I think I will just stick to quitting sugar this year – a resolution rolled-over from 2016! And definitely more giving this year – to those in need. These two should set me well for 2017! And one day free-fall will just just happen...

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