The Hidden Trap of New Year’s Resolutions

 

“You might have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Margaret Thatcher

 

The Christmas and New Year’s binge-eating have taken its toll on our clothes. Every single piece we own seems to have shrunken significantly.

Or maybe was our wallet what suffered the excitement of the holidays. We might start to suspect we didn’t need that 60 inch TV after all.

But luckily for us, the beginning of a new year is exactly what we need to turn our lives around.

Our New Year’s resolutions are the opportunity we have been waiting for the whole year, right?

Start Building Your Dream Life Now

Some people say that we will have time to chase our dreams later. When the responsibilities are few and we get what we are currently lacking (money, time, courage, freedom, etc.)

Sometimes, who whisper these words are not others around us, but ourselves. We put a great deal of effort to trick ourselves into believing that “later” is always a good option or even the only option we have.

These are lies.

The Superman Complex

When we are young, even the most seemingly insignificant events can greatly influence our personalities. More often than not, many of the disempowering beliefs we hold as grown ups crawled into our minds from a very early age. In my case, the Superman Complex was by far the most damaging one.

 

While growing up I saw myself (or the man I want to become) as someone with a strong sense of truth and justice, someone who will not allow emotions to prevent me from doing what was right and honorable.

I worked hard to achieve this vision of myself, and I knew anything else would make me feel like a failure.

It was easy to envision my future self this way because I already knew someone who was an example of each one of these qualities: Superman.

Anatomy of a Happy Life

Happiness is pretty much subjective: What makes me happy, might not work for you. In the same way, what makes you happy might make me feel miserable. The conditions I have to meet in order to consider that I’m living a happy life are not any better than yours. We simply want different ingredients in our pie.

However, happiness seems to be a sneaky fellow. Everyone wants to be happy, whether they realize it or not. I actually believe the pursuit of happiness is a natural impulse and independent of our will, just like breathing. But if everyone wants to be happy, and we pursue such goal whether we want it or not, how’s possible that unhappiness seems to be far more common that its opposite?

The problem lies in the definition of what a happy life means to us, and not so much in our physical circumstances. As we have said before, happiness is a choice, but after you choose to be happy, you must define what “happy” means to you. Not doing so is like going out on a quest without an objective. You will just wander around forever, not knowing if you will ever find what you are looking for, and not even knowing what you are looking for.

The Roads to Happiness

 

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

Whether we realize it or not, every single thing we do is done in the pursuit of happiness. Even altruistic behavior, charity and philanthropy, embody a search for happiness at its core. Some people simply feel happy when they make others feel happy, but personal satisfaction is the fundamental motivation behind the way they act.

If we all want to be happy, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve happiness, why there are so many people struggling with happiness? If you ask others if they are happy, most people will not know how to answer. How can they not know if they are happy?

If you have to think about it, then you aren’t.

If the pursuit of happiness is such a generalized goal, how is that we are so bad at finding it? The reason is because we are looking in all the wrong places.

The Discipline Manifesto [eBook] Release!

Hey folks! I am very proud to announce that The Discipline Manifesto: Conquering Procrastination and Harnessing Willpower in 5 Steps has a release date: July, Sunday 26th!

For those who haven’t read the previous post about The Discipline Manifesto, this is a project I’ve been working in for the past 6 months. The idea of the book born as an article, but soon became evident that in order to cover the topics of discipline and procrastination as I have envisioned, a single article wasn’t enough. So it evolved into a series of articles and finally into the book.

Even though this will be a self-published book, I have made sure to provide high quality information and presentation. I hired a proofreader and an editor in order to polish the several drafts written before the final version. The cover was also commissioned to a very good designer, and I’m very happy with the result.