By Akash Gautam
Writing this on the last day of the year, I find my own title a tad funny. By virtue of my profession and passion as a motivational speaker, I have bombarded my audiences, fans, followers, critics and clients (they are all different!) with blog posts, status updates and tweets about how important it is to have a different year. The new year is that time when our social media gets filled with mindless forwards and heartfelt recommendations on doing better next year. I too am just being hopeful and trying to keep up my motivation.
But here’s why I think it is not going to work.
If there is one thing my fifteen years of motivational speaking have taught me, it is that ‘people do not change’. It is true. Okay, there is a 0.05% change after reading an article or attending a motivational session but ultimately, most of us have the attention span of a goldfish and we go back to square one pretty soon.
It is a matter of retention achieved by perception, selective distortion and attention. Have you ever noticed, how people promised themselves a better 2013, 2014, 2015, 16 and so on but, for most people, it did not happen. The reason is simple – 90% of them believed 100% in their ability to not be able to hold their resolutions past 31st January. Actually, it’s closer to the 3rd of January.
And Facebook and Twitter didn’t help either. If you follow the herd, you can only go where the herd is going. And guess what – most of them are clueless sheep who are not going where you need to go. Don’t get me wrong. Individually we are all great people. But collectively, a mob has the ability to bring down the intelligence of an average individual by almost 50%. It is the same as saying – individually, all my in-laws are great people. But collectively they are a nightmare!
The condescending posts on social media often lead people to believe that it is okay to not want to move forward, to wallow in self-pity and to be in a permanent inertia of rest. For instance, a lot of people hide their obesity and laziness to work towards fitness under the garb of the new trend of loving yourself the way you are.
Love yourself alright, but don’t become that overprotecting and overbearing parent who fails to allow their children to fall and harden themselves.
That’s how the caterpillar dies my friend!
Trust me, the collective momentum is so slow that intellectually, 80% of all who live on the internet might not be moving at all. With too many cat videos and futile memes to laugh at, it looks like a difficult task.
The point I am trying to make is that we all find it very very easy to give up. The inertia of rest is so high, that even the realisation of a whole year gone by and no increment in real income, health, skills or spirituality, cannot jolt us awake from our stupor for long. Only about 1% of people completed the 100 happy days challenge and they just had to post pictures! Collectively, as a population we are quite commitment phobic when it comes to our own lives and well-being.
I sincerely believe that how you live your everyday, is how you live your life. Until and unless you take stock of how your average days in a year have been, you will never know what to do next year. If your everyday has not been very important to you, your new year will not be that important. Life is not always in the Everest highs and Pacific lows. Your true growth exists in between those highs and lows, in those normal, mundane days – where you dedicate some time every day on becoming better no matter how routine it gets. It is like poetry – the real meaning exists in between the lines.
We are a funny race, doing the same things every day and expecting the same results. Just because the earth rotated 365 times around the sun, our lives will not change. The Earth is not expecting a different result. Its goal is not to rotate differently someday. But we have goals to evolve and improve. We want to be different. We want better days in our lives. The Earth made sure its everyday counted. Did you do that too?
When a new year begins, people sit up, take stock of their situation and then go back to their usual inactivity because they believe they have enough time to change. The truth couldn’t be more different. The time to live right is now. Suppose the calendar is hidden from you and you have no way of knowing the date, the new year will be a non-significant event for you then. And your 2017 will be no different. Just like what it is now!
Life isn’t in the dates. It is in the days. If you want your new year to be important, you need to make sure every single day is important. Ceaselessly, tirelessly, every day of your life is important.