Imagine traveling through space at 67,000 miles per hour. That is how fast this pale blue dot is traveling through space, making its yearly orbit around the sun. We all get very excited about the end of one year and the beginning of another. But, do we ever stop to think what this really means? It is very likely that you, along with millions of people around the world, have considered which things you can change in your life this upcoming year. In this episode of The Winding Stairs, we discuss the relationship between the "REVOLUTION" of Planet Earth around the Sun and our "Resolve" to improve our life.
- Are New Year Resolutions really worth it?
- If you make some, are you likely to keep them?
- Is there any way to increase the odds of feeling accomplished at the end of this 365 day cycle?
Perspective 1: The observation and recognition of our place in the universe.First, it helps us recognize the grandeur of our Creator. Through the study of Astronomy, we can recognize how incredibly vast the universe is and how small our role in the history of the universe is. This is not meant to be depressing or discouraging, it is however, a way for us to recognize the importance of working together and spending our time wisely. When we tune in and appreciate the natural world around us, we are therefore more connected and in tune with our creator.
Is there a purpose to our existence in this vast universe?We may never know the answer to this age old question. However, I believe that we should spend our days pursuing worthwhile causes and working on perfecting our life, so as to fulfill our purpose, if there is one to fulfill.
Perspective 2: The observation and recognition of patterns around us.To the prehistoric man, recognizing the patterns of the heavens and their relations to the seasons and the weather was a matter of life and death. To our ancient Brethren, understanding the cycles of the moon allowed them to travel safely on through a moonlit path to meet in Lodge for education and fellowship. Through the observation of the heavens and the cycle that accompany it, Mankind has been able to adapt to the changing patterns of weather and adjust their lifestyle accordingly. When we changed from a hunter-gatherer society to an agricultural one, recognizing the changing patterns of weather allowed us to be more efficient in our labor. This knowledge allowed mankind to increase the yields during harvest and dedicate more time to other intellectual and spiritual pursuits.
Pattern Recognition and our ability to improve ourselves.Just like the agricultural societies could observe patterns and adjust their behavior to increase their productivity and consequent harvest yields, when we pay attention to the patterns that govern our life, we also have the potential of living more fulfilling and fruitful lives. As we become more familiar with the virtues that we can acquire and the vices that might prevent us from attaining them, we can then adjust our life accordingly to become more virtuous and honorable men. Among the benefits of patter recognition we can find:
- Recognizing patterns allows us to make better plans for the future.
- You can modify your behavior wisely.
- Reduction of risk in future endeavors.
- Increase self awareness and higher probability of sustainable change.
Are New Year Resolutions Obsolete?I don't think so! Here is why. Although I believe that we should always have a malleable disposition to create resolutions, regardless of the time of the year, I believe that capitalizing on the cultural energy of "The New Year Resolution" can be very beneficial to us. As the year comes to a close, we are prudent to take advantage of that time and look to the past year with an objective mind and analyze what worked and what didn't. This should allow us to then make plans and implement these adjustments into our life. However, in order for this change to be permanent or sustainable there are additional mindful steps that should take place.
- Keep the number of resolutions to a manageable minimum. 3-5
- These goals need to be specific.
- Before blindly jumping to accomplish them, they need to be prioritized.
- More attention should be focused on those which will have a compound effect and perhaps resolve some of the other resolutions in the process.
- These goals need to be measurable. Track your progress in the pursuit of completing these goals.
- Are we repeating behaviors that are preventing us from reaching our goals?
- Are our initial goals too drastic and numerous to give them a fair chance of being reached?
- Are we focusing on the meaningful goals that will have compound results in our life?
- Are we sharing these goals with dependable and encouraging people in our life, as to in crease the likelihood that they will be achieved? (After all, accountability is a great motivator).