Universal Resolutions

Every New Year, do you make resolutions ? Is there something that you want to change or goals to achieve ? Do you find that your old habits die hard and your resolutions that you made were not fulfilled ?

Firstly, we don’t have a clear idea knowledge of who we are, secondly, we don’t have a clear picture of where we want to go.

It takes more than just deep understanding of one self and of the principles, processes of growth and change, not just some simplistic success formula. Accountability breeds response-ability, commitment and involvement produce change.

There are 3 powerful restraining forces at work to pull down your New Year resolutions. They are –

  1. Appetites and Passions
  2. Pride and Pretension
  3. Aspiration and Ambition

Appetites and Passions

Overcoming appetites and passions, we need to exercise self-discipline and self-denial. Being an ecosystem, having an imbalance would affect all other systems in place. The principles of temperance, consistency, and self-discipline is the key foundation to a person’s whole life. Either we control our appetites and passions or they control us. Getting permissive and indulgent with ourselves, overeating, staying up late, not exercising, this will result in our personal and professional life severely affected.

Pride and Pretension

Overcoming pride and pretension, we need  to work on character and competence. The world is image conscious and the social mirror is a very powerful tool that creates a sense of who we are. The pressure to appear powerful, successful and fashionable causes some of us to become manipulative. If our definition or concept of ourselves comes from what others think of us, that came from the social mirror, we live our lives to meet other peoples’ wants and their expectations, and the more we get engrossed into it, the more weak, shallow and insecure we will become.

Effective people lead their lives and manage their relationships around principles, ineffective people attempt to manage their life around priorities and their tasks around goals. Effectiveness is related with people and efficiency is about handling with things.

The roots of anger, hatred, envy, jealousy, pride and prejudice, lies in the desire to be accepted by, approved of and esteemed by others. Therefore, do you desire to SEEM rather than to BE ? The opinions and perceptions of others should not be discarded because we can be more effective by learning from them. However, we should refuse to accept the opinions as facts and act or react accordingly.

Aspiration and Ambition

Overcoming aspiration and ambition, we need to dedicate our talents and resources to noble purposes and providing services to others. Do we focus on what is in for us, power, wealth, fame, position, dominion ? Do we have other agendas inside ? This does not promote stewardship at all. Humility is the mother of all other virtues.

Aspiring people that seek their own glory and that are deeply concerned with their own agenda, the obsession on being possessive in their life, affects their relationships too, not just their work. Having double-mindedness, having two conflicting motives or interests, would result in our inner-self having internal conflicts as well as war with others.

Having a sense of self-unity or integrity, we eliminate double-mindedness. By dedicating ourselves to selfless service of others, we achieve integrity.

With the Three Universal Resolutions shared above, keeping them will accelerate our self-development, change and growth, thus improving ourselves and with people, thus potentially increasing our influence with others around us that we love or work with.

(Adapted from Chapter 3 – Three Resolutions, from “Principle-Centred Leadership” by Stephen R. Covey)

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