Whether you like them or not, New Year’s resolutions are great to create a positive change in your life.
Maybe you always wanted to start a business, read a book a week, get a sixpack, or meditate more. The start of every year is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button and do things differently.
But I bet you’ve read all the articles and research that say New Year’s resolutions are useless and that they hardly work. Some say 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Others say it’s even 92%.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean New Year’s resolutions are bad. It means that most of us don’t know how to successfully keep our resolutions.
Ever since I was little, I worried about many things. My favorite topics were money, health, and my future. What’s your favorite topic to worry about?
And don’t tell me you never worry or fear nothing. Because if you have zero fear, that means you’re a robot!
Everyone spends time thinking about things that will never happen. Because that’s what fear is. Michel de Montaigne, the 16th-century philosopher, said it best:
“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.”
We all know that fear is meant to save us from trouble. But in the modern world, that’s simply not true anymore. These days, fear is only something that occupies your mind.
Our thoughts are so cluttered with fear, worry, and stress, that we can’t focus on our goals. In my personal experience, living a full life has nothing to do with the resources or opportunities you have.
I love practical advice that you can immediately apply to your life. And Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism, is full of practical wisdom.
When I tell my friends, colleagues, and people I work with that I like reading about Zen Buddhism, they often make remarks like: “When are you going to grow your hair, walk around bare feet, and talk about yoga all day?”
That’s the hipster way of life. Not the Zen way.
What is Zen, actually? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s not a religion, belief, or piece of knowledge.
Remember the times when creativity was only for artists? And that creativity was considered a waste of time? Even though that mentality still exists in education, creativity is one of the most valuable skills in today’s complex world.
- Businesses look for creative employees.
- Artists all over the world step up their creative game.
- And entrepreneurs are basically artists in suits.
Creative thinking is a well-respected skill these days. And with enough practice, everyone can think more creatively. But I still meet people all time who say, “I’m not a creative person.” That’s bullshit, and you know it.
Where you are in your life is a result of your habits. Will Durant said it best:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I think that’s also true for the opposite of excellence. It goes like this: Bad habits? Bad life. Good habits? Good life.
I used to be a complainer. I said stuff like: