Other Articles from Pauline Odhiambo
New-Year-New-You? Not Everyone is Rooting for You
Inevitably, it’s that time of the year again where virtually all our time lines are invariably flooded with declarations. Some along the lines of “new-year-new-me”.
Yes, the first month of every year has for decades been dedicated to new beginnings. A fresh start from last year’s lousy job, traumatic break-up, and any other emotional baggage better left in the past.
Though well-meaning in their tunnel-vision ferocity, many of these ‘new beginnings’ will hardly survive past the first six weeks of 2017.
That new gym membership acquired at the start of the year, may stay largely under-utilised as the euphoria of a new year gradually wears off. And it’s no one’s fault, really. The human brain is peculiarly wired towards cause and effect.
This means that if no immediate results are detected, we get discouraged then revert back to old behaviour. Also, every day is opportunity for a new beginning, no matter the time of year.
In my experience, some of the best transformations happen unexpectedly, and especially when no one is looking.
Let’s be honest: we as humanity are sometimes extremely judgmental. The moment we learn about someone’s resolve to do better for themselves; we’ll scoff and secretly watch for them to fail.
That’s another thing about humans – not everyone is rooting for you, and that’s also OK. Some of us even know this as a fact, and have this New Year, posted blatant variations of quotes and memes to that effect.
“This year I only want to be around people that love me, not the people that pretend they do,” so read somebody’s status update about a week ago, and still along the lines of new-year-new-me.
Much as I’m all for cutting out toxic people, some things have more impact when left unsaid. No great chess player announces their best move. It’s the element of surprise, the flourish in delivery at the end of the game that leaves everyone speechless over their prowess. And like chess, life can be a deeply contemplative game devoid of the clutter brought on by unnecessary utterances.
Actions, after all, speak louder than words, and nine of ten times no one really cares what you intend to do. It’s the actual doing of a certain thing and the living of it that really matters.
Therefore, announcing to the whole world your intentions for the New Year (however well-meaning they may be) is in many instances counterproductive. First most people only pretend to care about them. Second the barometer for achieving your resolutions is inadvertently set and gauged by the many ‘followers’ on your Instagram who will undoubtedly (and sometimes even unpleasantly) hold you accountable to your new year declarations.
And because the internet never forgets, it could even get nasty as far as mockery goes. This may further veer you off the path of your well-intended resolve. Which is why certain things in life should be kept private; your next move being one of them.