NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS (#1 You Will Fail)
It is the last day of the year and there is really no reason not to be excited about it. Everyday above the ground is a good day! Anyway, let me take your mind back to some statements you probably heard in 2019 that brought a smile to your face and lifted your shoulders high: 2020 is your year for success; you are a star; you are unique; the best things in the world belong to you; if you believe you can achieve; you’re a child of God, chosen by God; believe and you’re halfway there; and the endless list of positive affirmations telling how badass. Possibly, it was against these backdrops you smirked, rubbed your palms together, nudged the tip of nose and mapped out an astute personal development plan or new year resolution that was going to be your key to greatness, or a better life, or your first million naira. How did it go, dear young Jeff Bezos?
Okay, there are lots of excuses for this peculiar year. Maybe you wanted to travel out to establish or effect your plans and the COVID-19 pandemic struck and you were not only caged in your country but in your house for a lockdown that lasted months. And maybe you even lost a loved one to the virus or other situations; that can have a deep effect on a person’s motivation level to get stuff done and so you’re excused as well (and I wish you a soothing recovery from your grief). All the same, if you’ve been able to get to the end of this year still breathing and able to chew a piece of cake like I am now, that’s a big win!
If we check our lists, few of us had new year resolutions that required us to travel abroad, neither did we lose a loved one, nearly everything was in place. If you resolved to wake up before 5am every day, you probably failed like I did. Maybe you achieved only half of what you said you would, or three out of ten, or even none. We all had our share of failure. I failed. You did too. Well, doesn’t that make us failures? What’s the need of writing a new set of resolution or things to achieve? We will still fail, won’t we?
WHAT IT MEANS TO FAIL
Basically, to fail is to be unsuccessful at achieving one’s goal. It is to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted or desired. Let’s think of it this way, when a toddler falls down while trying to walk, he has failed. When a child wears a pair of slippers incorrectly, he has failed. A teenage girl gets pregnant just before her exams for college, she has failed. When an adult gets a sack letter for always getting to work late because of clubbing at night, he has failed. Failure looks different in the various stages of life. What is similar about failure in all stages is that, while a successful act is a way to get it right, failure is a way that won’t work. Failing isn’t our problem, losing is. Losing is refusal to try again. Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Jack Ma, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, JESUS CHRIST; they all failed but didn’t lose, because they tried again. Make every failure count by trying again.
Who enjoys playing a video game without challenges? The next level has to be more challenging than the former. Hence, prowess and mastery only come from consistent repeated failures. If you got zapped by going east, (the way that won’t work) you try again and go west instead. Just as with a video game, life without this adventure is boring. It is said that the greatest tragedy in life is not that people aim too high and miss, but that people aim too low and hit. Because you failed at your previous resolution is not enough reason not to make new ones. New Year’s resolutions give us a sense of purpose and direction. Without this, you would just blow like a wind and help other people who have that direction fulfil their purpose. You will fail because you will try something outside your comfort zone, and that’s were growth takes place; outside your comfort zone. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Every failure counts as part of what makes us, only if we turn those stumbling blocks to stepping stones. You may even fail on the 2nd of January, but resolve to enter 2021 as a gamer, ready to try again and find out what works best. Notice how you went from being a failure to a badass gamer, it’s all about your mindset.
A FEW NEW YEAR RESOLUTION TIPS
Among the many benefits of failure is that it helps us remain humble, enables us to empathize with others. But one key benefit is that it reminds us that there is room for improvement. You may be on a winning streak of successes and suddenly you fall again. It’s simply a pointer to a loose end you need to tie. But many people have given up on the self-improvement plan and even on life because it is feels so futile; ending in death. We all love loud parties and enormous achievements. Let’s weigh this, can you compare the joy you experienced throughout your years of schooling, to just that day of graduation when they hand the degree over to you? No, obviously. The best part of life is the journey, in the little things we ignore and under-value we will find greater fulfillment.
Imagine if you had just one resolution every year. That’s 365 days to try again at just one thing. Keeping your list of resolutions small will enhance your focus and commitment to them.
Also, whilst having those bigger goals, find a place for these smaller ones that makes the world a better place: a smile, a kind word to a stranger, a listening ear, an honest compliment and appreciation for every favour received no matter how little, and there are a lot of other little things to embrace.
So Chika, you mean I should go ahead with my ‘new year, new me’ project? Let’s take a moment to laugh. You wish. That’s a lie, there’ll be no new you, make it, ‘new year, pro me’ instead. The aim should be to make progress. That implies that you will need to retreat and reevaluate your resolutions at various points of the year, not just at the beginning of the year. Make your new year’s resolution; hope for the best, prepare for the worst, expect nothing, savor everything and whatever happens, don’t forget your identity “a badass gamer” enjoy trying again and again.