My mother still has the habit of prodding me on every New Year’s Eve as to whether I have decided on a resolution for the upcoming twelve months. You’d think that considering the generation gap that exists between us, I’d be the one chalking down a diary full of aspirations. Instead, it has been some time since I took up the mantle of deciding what is best for me. So, it saddens me to witness the resolve in her eyes, every time she looks up to me with the belief that my life can take a better and more comprehensive shape if I set down goals for myself.
My reasons for not partaking in the concept of resolutions is not a cliched realization that life is unfair and unpredictable. Of course, that argument holds true to an extent, but to use it as a defense is acceptable only when one has done his best to make things work. This might lead you to think that my life has been a series of un-achieved milestones that has driven me to the brutal conclusion that setting goals is a futile process. And to be honest, the true reason is anything but. It is just that I haven’t figured out the concept yet.
It does not elude my senses that setting a goal for oneself makes us more driven and determined. Neither am I ignorant of the fact it helps you overcome a lot of obstacles which you otherwise would not have, had you not promised yourself the same. The truth behind a goal being a success or failure emanates from the process of setting up the goal in the first place. Sky is of course the limit but one needs to delve deep into one’s own capabilities to figure out a goal that is both realistic and achievable. To merely overwhelm oneself with the idea of resolutions and forget entirely about rationality is not a wise approach. Because unless you know how high your sky goes, you’ll never know how long the fall is. So, it is essential to set goals based on a through understanding about oneself. If not, it just leads to more heartbreak and the world is unfortunately too full of that.
A few months ago, my father had a stroke of luck when he managed to cross a bridge in South Kolkata moments before it came crashing down. That incident, besides putting things into perspective, made me realize that luck plays a huge factor in one’s life. I am in no way trying to highlight the uncertainty and inevitability of death and it being a reason for not making oneself resolute. My point is that life throws us new and unforeseen challenges every day and those should never be looked at as bad omens or signs from the angry Gods questioning the path you’ve chosen.
Incidentally though, this fallacy had been part of my understanding for a long time because every time I went about my work, something cropped up to hinder the process and unnerve me to the extent that I stopped believing in myself. Time has made me realize how wrong I was. Because the entire point of having a resolution is in accepting from the get go that external forces will try to derail you at every possible junction but you have to remember the promise you made yourself and keep going no matter what comes your way.
It is easy to set up goals. But it is an entirely different ball game to see through the whole process and come out victorious. Most of us give up mid-way and settle for something lesser instead. And we spend the rest of our lives with a deep buried burden of not having done the best we could when we still had time. Perhaps this is also why the majority, myself included, has stopped taking resolutions seriously. Because we’re so used to seeing them unresolved that we’ve stop believing in them. This in turn leads to the analogy that if we all lose hope because the people before us did, the people after us might do so too just because we have. This will keep the vicious cycle going to no meaningful end.
So, it is time we bear the weight of resolutions with renewed promptness and dexterity and show, if not all, then at least the ones around us that what seems far-fetched is achievable too. The world around us is already too full of despair for us to lose faith too. Let’s revisit the first pages of those lost diaries to see how far we’ve come and how far we’re yet to go. And you’ll know you’re there when come a new year, your mother won’t have to prod you anymore.