Going beyond your new year resolution in 2018

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New year usually inspires many of us to set goals and resolutions to become better, achieve more, improve yourself in some way, or seek something. Which is wonderful - nothing like some healthy motivation to get things moving.

Last year I did just this. I set myself a big list of goals I wanted to do or achieve and I achieved most of them. But the interesting thing was that it wasn't achieving my goals that brought growth and fulfilment to my life. It was all the unexpected things that occurred and challenges along the way that really left a lasting impact.

Reflecting on the year and my learnings I realised just how wanting or seeking more can feel like a bottomless pit. It was often my ego based desires and expectations that lead to my own inner suffering and prevented me from truly feeling grateful, content and able to embrace the present moment.

We live in a society that can't stop wanting or seeking more and when we get it we move quickly onto the next thing. This is often made worse by what we see online as it constantly reinforces our feelings of inadequacy and desire.

It could be desire for the next adventure, to reach that ideal body weight, find a new job or get a promotion, buy a better house, have a baby, to become enlightened, to possess the qualities of someone we admire, to not behave a certain way, to be perfectly balanced in all areas of our life...

There is nothing wrong with having motivation, goals or drive but it is our endless search for more that can leave us feeling unfulfilled and empty. Perhaps this year we can take a number of moments to pause and become conscious:

  • of where our wants or desires come from (is it from a place of fear or love)
  • that we do not undervalue where we are right now, what we already have achieved and our own unique qualities
  • that the desire for something does not blind us from seeing new or different opportunities that may present

I thought I would leave you with a quote from a beautiful book I read while away in Nepal...

“When someone seeks...then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.” 
- Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

May 2018 allow you to pursue your goals with a sense of freedom, flexibility and openness