Taking great pains to change your life

Graphic by Philip Su

Whenever the new year rolls around, I hear of my friends, my acquaintances and my family attempting to change some aspect of themselves that they find to be negative.

They may also be trying  to change some form of their circumstance to a better one.

While this happens at all times throughout the year, January is the when I am reminded of this desire to change.

The new year looks like a blank slate. It looks like a chance to start over.

“I’m going to lose weight.”

“I’m going to get a higher GPA.”

“I am going to ask that person I like to be my significant other.”

The reason why some people scoff at new year’s resolutions is because they never seem to get done.

Surely, for people who seek these goals, achieving them would be positive and beneficial.

So why don’t they get done?

If you ask a person who wants to achieve a broad goal what it takes to achieve that goal, they may list many factors.

However, I believe that individuals not dealing with circumstances out of their control know exactly what it takes to achieve their own goals.

What’s holding us back has not been set.

Honestly, do we really need to lose weight, get a high GPA, or find a significant other?

Not really.

We are happy in our complacency because our mediocrity is not a bad ordeal.

However, when pushed into a corner, we do things that we believe to be beyond our range of ability.

We are able to achieve when we are forced out of our comfort zone. We are able to achieve only when we have to.

An individual who survived a heart attack will be more than eager to hit the gym and shed pounds.

An individual who entered academic probation and is on the verge of academic expulsion is more than eager to use all the resources available to stay in university.

An individual who realizes that the most important thing to them is not money, social status, or image, but interactions with fellow humans, will be more than eager to be more social and more altruistic towards others.

The most painful part of it all is that we know exactly what we need to do to achieve our goals.

We were complacent in our mediocrity until it was too late and that trigger was finally released, resulting in pain.

Eventually, your opportunity to achieve your goals will be missed.

Some people never fully end up finishing all their goals and becoming the person they truly wanted to be.

That may be seen as sad, but it’s just the truth.

There is no one who knows our faults like ourselves, but there is also no one who will lie to us better than ourselves.

Why does pain have to be the force behind our desire to change?

If all of us were perfect logisticians, we would surely recognize that our goals are worth pursuing and pursue them.

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