April 16, 2008

My New Year's Resolution Is To Not Have One.

I don't understand the concept of "resolutions". Really, a resolution is nothing more than a few gathered words, brought together to emphasize one's determination to overcome the deliberation of an action towards a "better" position in one's personal life...but words fall flat 99.9% of the time. Why talk about all the things that you should just do? Action requires no prerequisite of thought or explanation...it demands no elaborate plan, and it does not adhere to any set schemata (other than those set in place by the individual). Personally, I feel the tendency towards resolutions personifies this society we live in; it is simply true that most people never get past the planning stage of goal-setting. I think a lot of people use goals and ambitions as mere surface-level talking points - you know, when you're out to lunch with a friend you haven't seen in a while, or in the beginning stages of a relationship. Those big goals you have set for your future just sound so pretty, but be honest with yourself - do you actually see yourself following through? There are two problems here:

1. You are setting unachievable goals.
2. You are superficial and lazy.

First off, 1. You are setting unachievable goals: Are your sights too high? I don't personally believe that horse manure about "if you can dream it you can do it", and "shoot for the stars"; those are pretty words (to most) that hang in your mind like party streamers. Tear them down, the party is over. Look, I can and did dream about becoming a famous musician in a band, and I spent years working towards that goal - it wasn't even a surface-level desire in my situation, I went all the way with it. I played to audiences of tens of thousands of people, and wrote and released albums of music, and I look back and realize I still came about as close to achieving my goal of inflated impossibility as an infant comes to reciting the "Declaration of Independence". I'm not saying that the experience I had was worthless...on the contrary, the goal I set was worthless and unachievable by my efforts from the start. It's a near act of God to become a famous musician by your own steam; I was unaware at that time that most famous "musicians" and "artists" are nothing more than a pretty face, a stage name, and a skilled producer. I was making music in the hopes of becoming a well-known artist when I should have just been flat-ironing my hair and polishing my octave chords. I have since re-set my goal to a more attainable level: to always be involved in songwriting and instrumentation. I am happier now, because I know that I am reaching my goal, and that I am setting realistic and productive goals. 2. You are superficial and lazy (a victim of modern society): Ok, you know what I mean here. I know too many people who enjoy talking about all the things that they aren't, and somehow that leads them to the realization that they need a complete makeover of personality and character, on a spiritual and emotional level...I say, good luck Gandhi. I think they figure if they say it enough, it will eventually somehow manifest itself over their lives, and they will awaken transformed and forever changed. I ask, who do you know whom this has ever happened to? Do you think that if you ask God enough, He will sorta just "zap" you into the new you that you've been envisioning? Since when has action become so obsolete? I think with the onset of the digital age, people are beginning to realize that they don't have to necessarily "do" anything to get what they want. If you want music, you don't go to the store anymore - you just go to iTunes, and there it is, $9.99 per album, $.99 per song; if you want a relationship, well, Myspace is free, and Match.com should do the trick. Here's a question: do you claim to know something because you know how to use Google? Well...why should goal setting and character-building be any different? It won't be long before someone somewhere claims to have the answer for all those who feel the need to change themselves overnight, and I can guarantee whoever that is will be retiring early, because who wouldn't pay someone else to do all their work for them? Maybe once humans are equipped with CPUs, we can begin writing scripts that will upgrade and/or create the desired firmware for the individual (don't laugh...soon, this may not sound so funny).

I may not have enjoyed everything I have been through, and I have made many mistakes and seen many hard times, but there is nothing replacing the concrete knowledge, the wisdom I have obtained through knowing and choosing to work towards what is undeniably right in this life, no matter how much work is involved in that. Work will never cease in life, no matter how much we all might want it to; action will always be necessary on our part. A clear vision is an indispensible ally. You don't have to pay for the good things in your life, and you sure as hell should not be sitting around waiting for them to ascend over you. Set your goals small and achievable, and up the ante each time you see one to completion. This creates a snowball-effect of goal setting and completing, and will at the same time drill into your head the proof of the joy and reward of action.
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