Monday’s Meditation: On Resolutions, Society, And The Real Recipe For A Joyful Life
We’re one week into the new year and the resolution-chatter is going strong. Despite how much more mindful we’ve become, for the most part, I still feel as though there’s a lot of noise out there about the many ways you might aim to fix yourself this year.
The magazines on newstands claim to hold the secrets. They use words like “fresh,” “new,” “better,” in bold typeface and it isn’t so much that the resolutions they’re promoting are misdirected or not beneficial (get healthy, start exercising, start abiding by a budget, stop wasting money going out to lunch every day, etc. etc.), so much as that they’re bland. Generic. And they rely on–whether so stated or not–that most dangerous word of all–should. They guilt or shame us into changing our ways under the guise that obeying certain maxims guarantees happiness.
If you’re thin you will be happy. So you should start working out.
If you’re rich you will be happy and respected, so you should start saving and working harder or smarter.
If you’re old you’ll hate yourself and so will the whole of society so you should start trying to reverse the signs of aging now.
There are things we really ought to be doing in order to feel good and happy and fulfilled–it’s true. And things like healthy eating, moving our bodies regularly, and Living Simply are undeniably (anyone who does those things will tell you) linked to attaining such goals.
But media giants and mainstream publications and morning talk shows are only ever going to remind us of those things that are a given. Because they’re proven to resonate with the audience. Because they possess mass appeal and applicability.
No one outside of you is ever going to feed you the truly inspired, original, authentic goal you really crave.
If you want a joyful, fulfilling life, you have to get more creative than relying on external prompts. Or, at least, you have to go beyond those prompts, which will never surprise you, and always feel like a given.
If no one was suggesting all the ways you might potentially be a better you this year, what would you conceive of and elect to aim for, on your own? What internal desire would you choose to honor?
This year, go beyond the few changes and behaviors we all already know are good for us. Eating well and moving our bodies and spending our money responsibly are important in that they’re the basis for a well-balanced, happy human being. Each of us must do those basic requirements, and we must also do more. The best version of you is spurred on by those shared, basic human needs, but left incomplete without the unique solution tailored to your goals and desires.
Create the possibility that is right for you. Listen as closely as you can to what the feeling you want to achieve is, and then heed the way you believe will get you there.
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