As the calendar flipped to the end of 2017, I found myself enveloped in a sense of deep gratitude. This past year has been a journey filled with wishes, many of which were graciously fulfilled. It’s a tradition, as each year draws to a close, to set new goals, but I’ve chosen a slightly different path.
Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions
The dawn of a new year often brings with it the allure of setting concrete goals. However, I find the concept of New Year’s resolutions somewhat self-defeating. The practice of declaring goals for the sake of social accountability has never quite resonated with me. Instead, I prefer to delve into introspection, focusing on my core values and priorities, which, in turn, shape my responses to life’s myriad situations.
The Uncertainty of the Future
One of the most intriguing aspects of life is its inherent uncertainty. I like to envision it as overlaying a probability curve of likely events with a curve of contentment. The intersection of these curves is where wishes come to fruition, a sweet spot where expectations align gracefully with reality. It’s about recognizing that certainty is a spectrum, not a binary concept, even though we may shy away from vocalizing this truth.
The Art of Wishing and Hoping
Rather than imposing rigid goals upon myself, I find solace in the act of wishing or praying. This approach acknowledges the dynamic nature of the world and the complexity of probabilities that govern our existence. It’s a humble acceptance of the unpredictable, coupled with a hopeful optimism for the best, while maintaining resilience against the worst.
Self-Programming and Value-Driven Choices
I’ve discovered moments of profound clarity when I engage in self-programming, especially in situations where choices aren’t dictated by objective metrics. In these moments, introspection on my personal values becomes essential. This process of defining and ranking values has brought me significant clarity and reduced dissonance, as it offers a clear reference point for my actions and decisions.
The Importance of a Conscious Value Hierarchy
A consciously defined value hierarchy simplifies decision-making. It’s like having a compass that always points you in the direction of choices that resonate with your innermost beliefs and principles. On this ‘temporal landmark’ of the New Year, revisiting and reflecting on these values feels particularly pertinent.
The Autonomy of Mind and Body
The autonomous parts of our mind and body function much like an organization, capable of being steered by abstract guidelines set by our value system. There’s no need to enforce artificial goals; a healthy mind continually suggests short-term and long-term goals that align with our overarching values.
Reflecting on 2017 and Looking Ahead
Reflecting on 2017, I acknowledge the hard work I’ve put into my job and personal projects, the time and energy invested in nurturing relationships, and the resulting sense of fulfillment. However, I also recognize that I somewhat neglected my health in favor of other priorities. As I look to the future, I want to balance this by focusing more on health and well-being, not through grand gestures like gym memberships, but through a sincere acknowledgment of its importance in my life.
Gratitude and Meta-Cognitive Capacity
As I stand at the threshold of a new year, I am immensely grateful for the uniquely human capacity for meta-cognition – the ability to think about our thinking. This gift allows me to experience a sense of subjective autonomy that is both empowering and humbling.
Happy New Year
As we welcome another year, let’s embrace it not just with new goals or resolutions, but with a renewed commitment to our values, a deeper understanding of our desires, and an open heart to the endless possibilities that life offers. Happy New Year to all!