Friday Dec 30, 2022
IMPORTANT End of Year Message - No Goals for 2023!
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You are the World video: https://youtu.be/dOzIZjMMwnQ
Today I want to share a few insights from my personal journaling sessions and introspections.
I used to be really big on goals; I would always say: if you don’t have a target, you are shooting blanks.
Lately, I have changed my opinions and tried it for myself. The year where i had the most “success” (whatever success might mean for me or for you) was the year where I had not set a single goal. Here is a quote from my personal journal, that I then went on to set as a daily reminder during my morning rituals:
“Track your progress so that you can adapt your processes - do not set a goal because it will either limit your potential or set you up for failure. Focus on finding out where you are in that very moment and how you can break the wall”
That doesn’t mean that I “go with the flow” every day, and see what happens. I have huge clarity on what I must do and who I must be. I also contemplate that each day multiple times. I know which virtues I need to prioritize and what actions I must take to uphold these virtues while continuously chizzle my character in order for me to live the good life, with a good soul, and in service to others and to the common good.
I just focus on my impressions, on what I can control, on my purpose, on my duty and I listen to my heart. Outcomes will be, maybe, a byproduct of going deep and focusing on substance. It’s very much like in meditation. You don’t meditate to obtain enlightenment, else you are too focused on the very ego you are aiming to transcend. You also get stuck in expectations of something extraordinary that you have never experienced before. You wouldn’t crave an apple if you had never had one and dind’t know what it tasted like, would you?
It is the same with the goals that we often set for ourselves in the new year (and forget mid-january):
I want to earn more money —> forget the money, focus on doing your best work and money might come. Focus on making more money and nothing will come, guaranteed.
I want to lose weight —> forget about losing weight, rather focus on what you are putting in your body every time you open your mouth. Is this a healthy choice? are you eating out of hunger or greed? When is the last time you have truly felt hunger? Focus on your energy, your vibrancy. Focus on perpetual movement within our sedentary lives, work on functional movements, focus on the waves between strain and recovery.
I want a family / a relationship —> if you focus on what you want, you won’t get it. Focus on giving love, every day and to everyone you meet. Work on empathy, on compassion, on encouragement. Give love, and maybe, you will receive love. Crave love, expect people to give you love, be a “love-entitled person ”and you will be alone. Because love is not about you, it is about the people you give love to.
I want more, I want better, I want different. Ok, but could you be happy with less? Could you be joyful in simplicity? Could you take what you already have AS granted as opposed to FOR granted?
We live in the age of entitlement. We are cold? we turn up the heat without the blink of a thought. We are hot? turn on the AC. We are not hungry but it’s diner time? we eat, often too much. We have a night off? we drink, often too much. We don’t like our jobs? we quit and find a new one in a day. We are sick? we have a small headache? we take a pill. We want to travel? book a cheap flight.
But what about your heart in all this, what about your soul?
And so in 2023, do me a favor and delete all the messages you get with new goals and resolutions and “achieve great success” plans and blueprints.
Number 1: Focus on your character. Prioritize virtue. Don’t act like a coward, face adversity with courage.
Number 2. Simplify. Get rid of what doesn’t matter. If you knew today was your last day on earth, would you do that task? would you give that phone call? open that email? talk to this person?
Number 3: Focus on your work. Purpose should be led by duty - for you have no purpose if you are not in service of others. Serve with all your heart, and maybe you will reap the benefits as a byproduct. People pay for value, not to validate your ego. Work is something you can control. The outcome of that work is not.
Number 4: Think of the common good. Take this quote by Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome and tatoo it on your forehead (don’t do that):
“Life is short — the fruit of this life is a good character and acts for the common good.”
Number 5: Take it easy. Relax. Focus on virtue and value and all that, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a goodie goodie all the time. Engage in distractions. Make mistakes. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember Goethe’s quote we talked about previously:
“It is a great failing to see yourself as more than you are”.
It doesn’t mean you are not awesome, you are, for you are the world (watch this video to remind yourself of that fact.) But leave the ego aside for a bit. It probably needs a break anyway.
Number 6: Remember death. Memento Mori. You could leave life right now. This task could be your last. Make it count. This day might be your last, do what is important.
Number 7: Let the f go. If it’s not something you can control, and you rarely can, then don’t waste your energy on it. Epictetus reminds us:
“From the very beginning, make it your practice to say to every harsh impression, ‘you are an impression and not at all what you appear to be.’ Next, examine and test it by the rules you possess, the first and greatest of which is this—whether it belongs to the things in our control or not in our control, and if the latter, be prepared to respond, ‘It is nothing to me.’”
That’s all folks, I will probably not be in touch again until the new year. Don’t put too much importance on that day. It is just a new day, like each day is granted to us as new and fresh, with opportunities, challenges, and everything that makes life, life.
Take care of your loved ones.
Take care of strangers.
Take care of Nature.
Remember that if you are not serving, well you are not very useful. Joy comes from making other people happy, and helping them in their life journeys. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a health care provider, a guide, a cleaner, or a guardian of the peace; think about the people you are serving, and be proud of that. Well, not too proud.
Love + Soul HUGS!
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