Tales From the Hilltop
An intelligent, yet Devil's Advocate view of the world

Episode Twelve: A Promise is a Promise…

The vicious cycle continues.

Well, we are descending out of the “first decade” of the new millennium (I say that cautiously. Technically, the first decade would’ve been from 2001-2010) and enter into the “10s”.  Other than the technological advances seen over the last 10 years, you know what else will change?

That’s right, absolutely NOTHING.

Not to be a sour puss about the whole thing, but millions of people everywhere will engulf a tradition of lying to themselves to improve their lives when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2010. Just as they have for God know how many years before, the dreaded New Years’ Resolutions will be flying out of the woodwork, ranging in everything from quitting smoking, to getting better grades, to stopping cursing, and the most infamous one of all: losing massive weight just in time for Spring Break….even when they’re 45 years old and have been away from college for 20 years.

Not that there’s anything wrong with wanting to improve oneself, it’s what make us go on in life. However, the usual slogan of “It’s (insert new year here) now, so I don’t have time for the games, and it’s time to get focused and stop BSing”, speech gets old and stale after saying it for the past 8-15 years. I mean, honestly; if you’ve been saying that you’re going to quit smoking every year since this decade started and it’s ended unsuccessfully every year before Valentine’s Day each time, maybe it’s time to rethink your stance. There’s a saying for this:

“Quitters never win, and winners never quit. But those who never win and never quit are idiots.”

This is not also to say that most of our promises to us don’t always go unfulfilled. A lot of people reach their goals they set when the proverbial ball drops. Some people get that house they’ve been setting on; some people get that job they’ve been motivating for, while others actually find a religion that brings them peace. These people get their dreams done because they do one thing better than the rest: persevere. That’s right. When others decide that they’ve had it with the promise they made and give up, the determined keep plugging, keep scratching, they throw the metaphorical middle finger to that voice that says “Stop” and will simply not take no for an answer.

So, why write about this? Hopefully, if I have done nothing else to the lazy folk with the clichéd broken promises they manage to roll off their tongues each year, I would have provided motivation for them. What I’ve learned in life is that people tend to do things under pressure the most is when other people say they can’t do it all. I’ve always wondered why that is? Unless said goal is super significant in the eyes of the rest of the world around them (i.e. winning a Super Bowl), why should whether a goal is achieve matter to anyone else but that person?

I believe that’s one of the main causes why New Years Resolutions flop to start with: people are doing them for all the wrong reasons.  I guess what that means is self-improvement ultimately should matter to only one person: themselves.  If that person can look themselves in the mirror after trying and know that they’ve satisfied their goal to their liking, nothing else is relevant. At least, that’s the idea behind a resolution anyway…to resolve any issue a person may have with their life and to improve it, or change it totally.

I guess my point it all this is simple: making New Years’ promises aren’t a bad thing if they done for a noble cause and if that person really has a desire to want to change whatever it is they’re setting out to change. If you are planning to make a vow to yourself to help yourself out, then do a favor, STICK TO IT! If you’re not 100% committed to the decision and are willing to sacrifice something in your life to fulfill this promise, then do yourself a huge favor – don’t bother. But if, you’re willing to make change, let change come and embrace it. Who knows, it may be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Happy New Year, everyone!



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