It’s the beginning of a new year and like most people I am eager to see what it will bring.
A lot of us have written down our goals on paper and that’s good. I also believe in writing goals and aspirations for the year but this year I do not have a lot of goals written down mainly because I still have some yet to be fulfilled goals from previous years and also because I have discovered that it takes more than writing down goals for change to come.
We all want change to come, good change that is, but rarely are we willing to pay the price for that change and the fact of life is that anything that is good and long lasting will take effort, discipline and time and our wishing it isn’t so doesn’t change the fact from what it is.
My quest for a lasting change in my life took me to books. I have always loved reading but concentrated mostly on works of fiction however, when I started to read motivational books I discovered that there are sure and proven paths to living a successful life.
I must however say that the process of change is a very difficult one. We have been sold a lie when we think good things will come to us just by wishing that they will or by expecting that with the start of a new year or season the dice will automatically roll to Zero and start afresh. The truth is that principles are infinite and their effects are cumulative and show up whether or not the times or seasons change.
It’s been a long walk to where I am now and even now I know I am not anywhere near where I want to be but I am more assured than ever before of the fact that there are Rules to this life and that these Rules which are general in nature apply to and will work for everyone who gets a hold of them and puts them to work diligently.
I can assure you that I wasn’t always like this. I was very pessimistic in nature and a great believer in Murphy’s Law which states that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance,” or more commonly, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”
I always expected the worst from life, thought it was specially unfair to me and was convinced that other people had it better than I did.
Unbelievable, you will say because I was and still am a carefree, full of life and seemingly confident person but appearances can be very deceptive for I doubted my abilities, felt very inadequate and was unsure of my path in life. I envied others who seemed to have mastered the rules of success and living.
My first discovery was that I was who I thought I was and secondly, I become who I think I am. A lot of us are familiar with the saying” as a man thinks so he is”.
I came to the realization like many others before me that my thinking stank and was partly responsible for my circumstances. The books and speakers I listened to told me to change the way I thought but I wasn’t shown the process nor was I told that it is one of the hardest things I will ever do and that the process will last a lifetime.
In changing the way I thought I had to be willing to scrutinize my thought process and investigate the reasons why my thinking was the way it was. It turned out that my pessimism was rooted in my feeling or perception that I was not good enough. That feeling pervaded my thinking and colored how I saw myself and my relationship with others.
It took years of being self aware, self minded and constant affirmations to get me to the point where I was able to recognize my thoughts, intercept them as they were being formed and choose the thoughts I wanted to dwell on.
My second discovery was that I and no one else alone was responsible for my actions. I had a choice to determine how I acted or reacted to people, circumstances and situations. It didn’t matter what was done or not done to me, the main determining factor was how I thought about the issues and how I reacted to them. In doing this I have learnt how to control my actions and by so doing I am able to disallow anybody to make me react in ways that are contrary to my beliefs and values.
Thirdly, I learnt there is a process for everything in this life. Change doesn’t just appear with the wave of a wand. It takes time to change so give yourself room to fall, crawl, hobble and sprint to the finish line. The most important thing is to ensure that you are always moving forward.
The fourth was that there is a price to pay for everything in life. Nothing is free even in Freetown they say and it is true. We must be willing to pay the price of discipline and consistency for change to become evident and sustained.
We are in a time when people want everything immediately and if things are not happening as fast as we want them to there is the tendency to aid it. Examples abound in get rich quick schemes and fad diets.
A new year is a time to reflect on the changes we want to see in our lives but we must know that parroting clinches or trying to shortchange the system wouldn’t bring the desired change.
Change is hard work and not for the faint hearted but the rewards more than compensate for the work it entails. At first it would seem that these principles do not work and there will always be the temptation to give up but don’t, persist and you will one day find out that you are becoming the change you desire. And nothing absolutely nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment one feels knowing that one’s dreams and goals are being realized.
Here’s to an eventful and impactful new year.