It’s a new year.  What will you do?  Resolutions, eh?  Things will be different?  Things will be better?  Not going to do that thing?  Will absolutely do that thing this year?  That’s what goes through your head, right?  One of those things has an emotional impact on you, and based solely on that you choose.

Either you find some pleasure in one of those coming true, or terrible pain/fear to be avoided if one doesn’t.

That’s what it comes down to.  All the complex planning, reading all the posts and personal development books, all the following of Luminaries and Thought Leaders – none of it matters because the choice is based on that simple binary criteria.

I’m sick of this happening, I can’t take it anymore – something has to give.


Wow that would be really neat – that’s what I want.  I deserve that, I need that.

Then you decide how you’re going to make that happen, and the self help books and notes, and the posts and the people – you read and absorb all of it looking for them to confirm your desire to get, or your desire to avoid.

And when you do – zing!  You jump on it, and your brain releases endorphins rewarding you for this pursuit.  And in your mind you’re satisfied, comfortable and confident in what you just did and the outcome you are going to experience.  No more bad thing, shortly – no more mistreatment by your boss because you’re switching jobs, no more sadness because of this relationship, no more embarrassment and unhappiness over looking in the mirror.  You’ll have that good thing shortly – great job, new boyfriend or girlfriend, new healthy rockin body, more money and control over your life.

Does this sound about right?  Does this sound exactly what you do, every year?  Maybe more than once each year – especially if you pick up the latest book by one of the big motivational people out there.  Or maybe you attend a seminar, and the same thing happens.

Then it’s the next year.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  But don’t forget to remove a sizable amount of money from your bank account in the process.

You try, and you fail, in various degrees.  Sometimes they are minor, and nagging reminders that you’re stuck in the situation you’re in – or that you’re they type of person you think you are and there’s no changing that.

Or you fail epicly and it sets you back considerably.  You quit.  And you regret the time, energy and resources you spent on trying to change this, or get away from this.  It’s destiny, it’s your lot in life.

Or worse, you say why does this keep happening to me?  And you surround yourself with a bunch of people who all say the same thing.  And you have drinks, and meet regularly, and yell at a screen with a lot of bulky men running into each other.  There are good snacks, and we might win.  So, that’s OK.

Then you go home.

What’s really happening

All the while this epic cyclical journey of repetitive fail something real is happening.  The sliding puzzle that is your life grinds a little, back and forth.  Some of the squares you shoved violently in different directions work their way back.  Sometimes slowly, almost always painfully.  The reality of life; the mechanics of balance and equilibrium work their mystical movements.

Remember when you shoved a bunch of squares out of the way so you could work out?  You said you’d work out three times a week (there was a dammit in there too).  That happened for exactly one week, and the pressure of the squares moved them back – they had nowhere to go.

So, it’s over, only one week later.  Maybe you’ll work out once a week, or find a partner.  Maybe it’s that gym and a gym is not what you need.  Yeah, that sounded good to your pleasure center.  A teeny bit of endorphins leaks out.  You’re on the right track!  You can avoid this gym thing.  Yoga. So then you sign up for yoga, but you don’t quit the gym because who knows, right?  Lets hedge our bets.  More endorphins.

Yoga requires the same squares be shoved, so there’s really no difference as far as time, effort and resources is concerned.  Now in the same rebound, you convince yourself you like it, and yoga turns into talking about yoga.  And you’re still paying for the gym.


About Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford developed a system to achieve goals, manage your energy and understand and strengthen your path - it's Alchemy For Life. He writes, coaches and speaks on the subject. For more information, tips and tricks, like Mark Bradford on Facebook, follow Mark Bradford on Twitter. Schedule a 15 minute chat. Articles are posted regularly on AlchemyFor.Life, and LinkedIn.