Most Resolutions revolve around either doing something that you don’t actually want to do – go to the gym, eat more salads and vegetables, drink more water…
Or, they revolve around eliminating something from your life – cut out sugar, cut out junk, cut out bread and wheat, reduce your intake of meat…watch less TV, spend less time on Facebook…
So you’re either running to a goal you don’t actually want, or you’re trying to run away from things that you really like.
Let’s be truthful here – everything that we do in our lives (outside of the really really obligatory stuff) is stuff that we do to feel good.
The faster we can feel good, the better.
This is what we have fallen into one way or another – put on the TV and watch your favourite show. Go on Facebook and noodle for hours. Play videogames. Eat cakes and fries…but maybe not at the same time. Pick your vice – I can guarentee that you do it because you get a kick out of it, one way or another.
And you know what? there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those things – as long as you’re not entirely orientating your life around your vice or it’s making you ill.
My vice? Videogames. I don’t buy many of them, but the ones I do buy, I go in deep. I want to know every aspect about it, and I will even happily ignore bugs, glitches and uncomfortable gameplay if it means I can get to understand the storylines, the characters, the worlds they’re in, their societies, cultures, prejudices and hopes. And for the first couple of weeks after a game I want comes out, I do retreat and dive into that world, putting in about a hundred hours of gameplay within a month (yes, really! And there are many, many more who can and do play double that within that timeframe!). My life will revolve around that game until I understand it and have gone through the story. It is a moderate addiction. Once or twice, I have made myself ill from playing too much over too many days – I’m talking about 12 hours a day for several days in a row. Yes, really!
It’s because I love immersing myself in another world – I get to experience the adventures that will (thankfully) never come to pass in real life, and it allows me to explore other aspects of myself – daring heroics, exploring someone else’s imagination (because all books, movies and stories are based on someone else’s imagination), and getting to think and feel about things outside of normal life. Videogames is just my preferred medium, over TV, books and movies for this.
What pulls me back out of it all? It stops feeling good – it feels just about bad enough to make me think, “Urgh, I love this story, but I need to come back to the real life! I need to do something else!”
We all do it, one way or another. We do this every day.
So, why don’t we do this with our bigger goals, like our New Year’s Resolutions, or our big, beautiful plans in life?
Probably because it doesn’t occur to us to do this. We’ve been conditioned to think that we want to get fit, get healthy, get our man/woman, get married, get our house, get our kids and the dog and the white-pickett fencing…
…and that it’s meant to be hard work. It’s meant to be unpleasant. It’s meant to hurt.
…and when we “get it all”?
We’ll be happy? We’ll feel good?
What actually happens is this:
Whoo! I did it all! I did all the things!
Let me ask you:
How do you want to feel?
Will any of your current goals or Resolutions make you feel good, either when you’re doing them or when you achieve them?
You’ll end up dropping them anyway at some point in the next couple of weeks, months of years anyway.
Run to your desires.
Not away from your fears.
You can’t run forwards properly if you’re always looking back.
Knowing, understanding and accepting your past matters.
So does having your eyes forwards, so that you can run towards your desires.