Resolutions. We all make them. Usually we make a few at the beginning of each new year, as though Cosmic Forces are noticing whether or not we are willing to acknowledge the arbitrary measure of human existence called “Time” by declaring some new set of outcomes or activities we are committed to executing….
THIS TIME WE MEAN IT!
We don’t mean it…. We want to mean it, but we don’t really mean it. Because if we really meant it, we wouldn’t just think that the battle was largely already well-underway and almost magically half-accomplished simply by us declaring it as our “New Year’s Resolution”!…by God!
Why? Why do we insist on making these things… (not just New Year’s Resolutions, by the way, but all sorts of “resolutions” throughout the year)?
And what might they reveal about how “Good is the enemy of Great”?
Here is one perspective for you to consider as to how this seemingly rhetorical question may have absolutely life-transforming implications for you and those you are committed to helping in your life and business…
Resolutions are personal or group commitments to desired outcomes in the future. “I want to weigh 25 pounds less” (health improvement resolution); “I am going to increase my income this year by 25%” (economic improvement resolution); “We are going to go to Europe together next year” (relationship/experience improvement resolution); “We are going to improve our positive customer reviews to 90% this year” (organizational improvement resolution).
These are just a few of the infinite number of resolutions that we all tend to make, and they are “good” things for us to make! What is wrong with that? Well, it isn’t a matter of anything being “wrong”. But it is a matter of how “effective” it is to make these resolutions and assume (as we tend to), that the mere declaration of them is almost enough in itself to somehow magically change things…
Now, let’s talk about greatness… Let’s talk about “Resolve”. What is that? Resolve is a state of absolute, unconditional, no-excuses, no stopping, unfiltered and unending commitment (in thoughts, intentions and activities) to reach a desired state … no matter what and no matter how long it takes to get there. Think about that for a moment… How many people make a “New Year’s Resolution” to lose weight and get in shape? The whole planet, perhaps? And yet, how many people actually follow through with whatever it takes to actually get there?
Sadly… very few.
Health Clubs actually budget for the eventuality of failed “Resolutions” by putting the hard sell on people in December and January every year, selling more memberships than they can possibly service in the coming year, and counting on the up-front fees being paid and very busy gyms and machines and pools in January, knowing they will be 75% empty by March…. But the fees will keep coming in from the contracted memberships. (Actually, people are hesitant to actually quit paying the fees even if they can because they have to acknowledge that they have given up on their “Resolution” for getting in better shape).
Now, let me share with you about what “Resolve” looks like… (at least to me)…
I have a dear friend and long time client… Let’s call him “Jim”. Jim is a long time fitness buff who participates, and wins, Iron Man competitions. Once he turned 50, he finally realized a long time dream to be invited to the “Super Bowl” of Iron Man challenges by going to the elite Iron Man of Hawaii competition. He had worked for years (decades, actually) to get this opportunity, and as he was engaged in the bicycle riding portion of the competition over one of the massive volcanic-covered mountains on Kona, he began to have his doubts….
- He was already exhausted from the ocean swim… and half-drowned from the people around him kicking him in the surf;
- His bike ride was like riding through Hell, as the day was incredibly hot, the headwind insistently pushed him back as he rode forward, and the road was relentless in it’s mocking slope challenging him with whispers of doubt as to whether he could actually even make the top of the pass – and then run the final 26 mile marathon after getting off the bike!;
- He was now 51 years old and was passing a young man half his age broken in spirit and body over in the lava fields in tears, despondent with having given up… (he accordingly has a great story to tell as to why he decided to quit if he would have chosen to);
Yet… he rode through the pain, through the self-doubt, through the dark whispers of doubt in his mind begging him to give up and rest, get a cool drink of water, and revel in the glory that – even though he quit short of the finish – he had already accomplished far more than all but 1% of 1% of athletes who have ever lived by even getting here..
He got to the top of the pass… then down the mountain… then ran the 26 mile marathon and finished 6th in the world for men over 50 years of age!
How did Jim do it?
Why did the guy quit in the lava fields that was half Jim’s age? And, more importantly, why did Jim keep going?
Their Minds and the tapes they played within their respective minds worked to either complete their “Resolutions”, or not. In Jim’s case, his discipline of what he allowed his “Self Talk” to be was the critical difference in finishing the race…
Resolve…. Not mere resolution… not mere intention… not deferring to comfort, or past stories, or comparative analysis of how much better he was than others by even trying…. None of that insidious set of justifications in the cause of mediocrity..
He is a warrior….. and so are you…. if you operate out of resolve… and don’t merely settle for resolution…
And Warriors control what they allow to occur in the tapes of their minds so they don’t defeat themselves, as the young man unfortunately did. And he will carry that defeat with him the rest of his life, where Jim will now have a story of additional evidence of the power of intestinal fortitude and resolve that will support greater power and growth and accomplishment in his future.
Resolution is merely “Good” in that it creates an intention, a commitment, a feeling of progress that all too often (sadly), falls short. With resolutions, we hope to give ourselves credit (and get some from others) as to the nobility of our intentions and initial actions… But, then what happens? We hit the first barrier… (I miss a day of workout; she didn’t show up for an appointment; I got sick for a few days; I just don’t have time in my schedule; I’m just not good at this stuff; blah, blah, blah….).
We use that barrier to let our ego, our script, our comfort to throw its net of compromise over us to break our commitment a little bit at first…, then a little more… then a lot more… then we stop trying. Oh… we have magnificent stories to tell and tapes to play in our minds and in our conversation with others as to why we couldn’t finish it, but it falls on cynical ears within our Souls that we were fools for even have tried… We haven’t kept our resolutions in the past and lightning didn’t strike us… so what’s the big deal anyway… eh?
Resolve, however, is something different. Resolve is the unconditional commitment to do absolutely everything you can do to get to that which you have committed to… or die trying. That’s right… or die trying… But we don’t die trying… do we? We succeed! We get there.. Eventually.
And rather than “die trying”, we actually “live more”! Because now we have found a place within ourselves that is larger, more powerful, and not limited by our self-defeating comfort requirements of the past…. And the “magic” of that, is that we now open up our futures beyond the limitations of the past… through the “Resolve” we have experienced that makes it easier to experience it more in the future…
Yes, it was uncomfortable… it was embarrassing… we were judged and misunderstood along the way…. Others doubted us as we doubted ourselves… and our inner whispers constantly licked our ears with seductive and convincing arguments as to why we didn’t need to keep going…. Yet we did keep going.
- “I am just not smart enough!”?…. Tough… learn what you must to get smarter….
- “I don’t know what do to next!”…. Figure it out and stop bitching….
- “It’s just so hard…!”…. Life is hard…. Get over it and get your butt going again…
- “But what if I fail!?”…. You won’t…. But if you do… you will feel no shame as long as you did every possible thing to give your best in every way, as long as it takes, until it goes where it goes….and that’s up to God anyway… but you will know you did your part and didn’t sabotage what could have happened out of settling for mere intention…
Thus… Resolve is “Great”. It is what entitles you to being trusted with the power to manifest your possibilities by the Macro-Intelligence that guides this universe…. And it is what is demanded of you by your largest Self to be worthy of self-love and self-respect.
How do you convert mere resolution to resolve?
When you are faced with the challenges and setbacks that will absolutely occur within a “Resolution”, convert that moment into “Resolve” by asking these kinds of questions (to control and discipline your Mind to obey):
– Why would I quit?
– Have I done absolutely everything I could do, or learn to do with new information or support, to keep going?
– What happens if I keep going?
– Would I help or hurt my relationship with myself if I quit now?
– Can I convert my negative thinking to neutral thinking for right now… so I don’t quit?
– What if I just focus on my breath and be “in the now” at this moment, and not project what will happen next… to keep going.
Good is the enemy of Great. And Resolutions are the enemy of Resolve.
Which are you willing to stand for in your life? Are you ready to shift to your foundation of true power, rather than settling for the impression of power by settling for mere resolution?
May it be so…. I know you deserve it…. Now you get to decide if you know you deserve it…
“Do, or Do Not. There is no Try…”
– Yoda –
“It is not enough that we do our best;
Sometimes we must do what is required..”
– Winston Churchill –
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