to make a definite and serious decision to do something
Okay. Breathe in. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Breathe out.
First things first. You are writing this not for other people, but for you. And stop second guessing everything you write, stop thinking ‘is this written well?’ because you know once you start thinking that, the words stop flowing.
You are here to just be.
Okay. So far, so good, self.
Wait. Stop. You were just about to read what you just wrote. Don’t do it. Exhale. Stop obsessing if what you wrote was “good enough”.
Go back to what you came here for. Remember why you wanted to post this.
Ah. That’s right – you were getting antsy. You were sick of inactivity, of stagnation, of the lack of change.
You have not been growing as a human being, lately. You’ve noticed it for a while.
Noticed it for years.
So, enough, you decided. The circumstances of this sudden bout of motivation is rather sketchy. You can’t remember how you acquired this peculiar vitality, just that you crave it.
You’re sick of who you are – who you’re becoming.
You want to change.
So you’ve resolved to do it. Resolved to undergo the arduous task of remaking who you are. And as you write this, the fear creeps in. You are once again attacked by doubt, insecurity…
You don’t know how this’ll turn out.
But you’re just so sick and tired of not being able to look at yourself in the mirror.
Sick and tired of being not good enough – being never good enough.
Sick and tired of how your neck is always bent down when you walk (because you’re terrified of looking ahead, and you’re terrified you might stumble and fall down, down, down…)
And you feel all that, but mostly you’re just sick and tired of hating yourself. You want to stop being your own most dedicated, spiteful, and never-impressed hater.
It’s time you start to love yourself. It’s time to change.
Okay. Phew. Take another breather. You’re nearly at the most important part: your resolution.
Think for a while. Ruminate (wait, pause: the word just jumped at you but you’re not entirely sure it means what you think it does, so you go check the dictionary – okay, it’s legit – continue) on what you want to achieve.
Take it once at a time. Push back the fear, the thought of how dauntless this task will be.
…Okay, wow. You have a lot of issues. Er, you don’t know where to begin.
So just start anywhere. Jump right into it.
What do you want to change about yourself?
What do you want to improve on?
What do you want to achieve?
What I Want to Change
1. Your constant, automatic, ingrained, self-destructive habit of comparing yourself to others.
Okay. This will be a tough one, because, somehow, as you went through puberty you started to acquire this habit. It’s automatic now. When you see a girl you automatically rate yourself against her. STOP. PLEASE. It’s mean and demeaning. It’s not healthy. It’s sick.
2. Your inability to forgive yourself.
Yes, you know you screwed up. You know you won’t ever be able to face certain people or go to certain places without running for the hills, but, you know, they’ll forget you – and what you did – eventually. They may occasionally remember you as someone unpleasant, but at least if you ever do encounter them someday they’ll be sure to notice you’ve changed.
3. Your jealousy.
Green is not an attractive look on you. In fact, it’s downright ugly. Just let these people be. You will grow at your own pace, and you have your own strengths and weaknesses. If you still find yourself jealous, then meditate on Luke 12:48b:
Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
4. Your fluctuating inferiority-superiority complex.
Stop thinking that you are better than others and feeling perversely good about it. Inversely, stop thinking that others are better than you and feeling bad about it. Look at people through eyes with more than your own rubrics – people are worth more than your own criteria.
5. Your crippling fear of being judged.
Lately you’ve noticed that your voice has grown quiet. You are afraid of saying things that will get other people to think badly of you. What other people think about you is not your business. Whoever said that said it well.
6. Your hypocrisy.
Mean what you say. Practice what you preach. Live by example. Be sincere.
7. Your being a spendthrift.
PRACTICE MODERATION. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? CONTROL YOURSELF. You’re still spending your parents’ hard-earned cash.
8. Your being a liar.
You lie. A lot. White lies, lies to protect yourself, lies to make people think you’re not as pathetic as you really are. Stop it. You know it’s wrong. Speak truthfully from now on – especially if you did something wrong.
9. Your inability to finish what you start.
When you start something, be faithful to complete it – especially the stories you write and the books you read. And now, this very resolution.
10. Your self-hatred.
You are not perfect, okay. Accept that. You also don’t think you’re pretty, that’s fine too. But you have to know that just because you’re not pretty, it doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. Well. You may not be beautiful now, but you will be. You have to believe that you are a work in progress, a masterpiece in the making – you are still growing. Stop being your harshest critic and your own bully – don’t bash or degrade yourself. Accept who you are.
Well, there are probably a lot more about yourself you wish to change, but focus first on these. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t rush. Be patient about these things. It will take time to destroy habits that you have been doing for years, and don’t be harsh on your lack of progress. To quote Confucius, “It doesn’t matter how slow you go so long as you don’t stop”.
What You Want To Improve On
1. Digital Art
You know you’ve wanted to improve on this since forever. You want to draw the worlds and the people inside your head and make them come alive in color. Faeries, people with supernatural powers. Whimsical wonderlands. Fantasy. Magic. Wonder. Anything and everything beautifully unreal.
So start drawing – scrounge the internet for tips, tricks. Immerse yourself in the secrets of the trade, then:
PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE.
And then, practice, practice, practice, practice and practice some more.
After that, practice again.
Do it over and over and over until you start seeing improvement.
2. Knowledge on Social Sciences
You’ve found the social sciences interesting since you discovered the concept of subjectivity. Philosophy. Political Science. Sociology. Psychology. It’s time to cultivate this interest and discover exactly what Aristotle meant when he said “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.”
So start by downloading free courses in iTunes U. They have lectures from Yale and other American Universities. Watch TEDx, take free online classes from that one website you saw once, read up on books on the topics in the library.
But remember to start small. Maybe, like, begin your foray into sociology by reading the more contemporary books that won’t make your brain dribble out your ears. Maybe ‘Freakonomics’ instead of immediately jumping into ‘The Utopia’. Or ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ instead of ‘The Communist Manifesto’.
ARGH. You know you can’t wait to finally stand your ground when someone makes a vague reference about the bourgeois or the discrepancies between the West VS the East.
Ah, pretty photos are pretty, and you want to be the one behind the lens when you capture one. So resolve to know your camera like the back of your hand, and don’t be afraid to grab people’s unwanted attention as you lug your camera around places in search of that elusive pretty photo.
Find beauty in everyday places and learn to have an eye for beauty where people find none.
Take inspiration from other photographers and discover what style you want to develop.
And remember, your first 10,000 shots will be your worst, so just keep at it.
^THIS. Your first love and your main passion. Rekindle your love for writing and set the page aflame with your words. You don’t know why, but you just think that there is something enthralling in the act of writing. Words just beckon to you.
Lately, though, the well of words within you has grown ever deeper, and it’s getting harder and harder to get some out.
So read. A lot. Not the things you usually do, though, as you know they’re not god for you, but literature that provokes the spirit of writing within you.
And remember – practice makes perfect. Write a lot. Write all over the place. Write when you’re sad, when you’re happy, when you’re inspired, during the best of times, during the worst of times… and stop reading your paragraphs and second-guessing your words, or doubting the appropriateness of whichever word you chose to use instead of the other one.
Just keep calm and write.
5. Your Relationship with God
God only knows how far you’ve backslidden. It’s time to get to know Him more. Everything, and you do mean everything, depends on how dependent you are to Him, because YOU KNOW that apart from Christ, you are nothing. Apart from God, you can’t. Apart from His love, you’re worthless. Apart from His grace, you’re lost. Apart from His mercy, you’re unforgiven.
And what’s more, you know that you want to experience Him in the fulness of His glory.
You vaguely remember being so close to Him that you wanted – needed – nothing else, and you want. that. back.
You want to be so close to God that he’d be whispering and you’d still hear Him.
So ask, dear self, and recieve. Seek, and find. Knock, and enter through the open door.
It’s time to work on your salvation with fear and trembling.
What You Want to Achieve
Okay, here’s this year’s bucket list.
Remember: DO NOT PUT YOURSELF DOWN WHEN YOU FAIL TO ACHIEVE ANY ONE OF THEM, OR EVEN IF YOU FAIL TO ACHIEVE ALL OF THEM.
Like you just said: you are a work in progress. Like Confucius said: it doesn’t matter how slow you go.
This year, I will:
1. Have a GPA high enough to qualify as a Dean’s Lister in any one of the 2 semesters.
2. Lose 15 kg!
3. Finish reading 40 books!
4. Save! (You know how much)
5. Be a consistent tither! (10% of monthly income/allowance)
It is DONE.
Now, what you’re going to do is you’re going to depend on God to guide you through this resolution, to bolster your spirit when you grow weary, and to prod you into action when you’d rather revert back to your old self.
Chronicle your progress. Write about the things that inspire you in order to lift your spirits and remind you of good things.
Don’t worry, self. You can’t. But GOD CAN.
After the year is over, come back here and read everything you’ve just written and see the changes.
And remember that HE is faithful to complete the good things HE began in you.