New Year’s resolution
I love this ritual of setting a resolution at the beginning of every year. So many people committing to something new and powerful that ends up making each of them a better person – makes me feel happier about the world.
This year I’m targeting a long-standing bad habit: failing to follow a fixed schedule consistently.
We all talk about working on something we’re passionate about. Thoughts on passion, like Confucius’ quote ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’, are decorated and celebrated. But when you do follow your passion, you’ll realize that it’s not enough. You’ll quickly start to see that things like discipline, hard work and perseverance are way more important. Passion does make it easier to attain these other bigger qualities, but they’re still very hard and need a lot of effort.
I choose discipline. I think it is what I need to work on the most, out of all. Discipline was once explained wonderfully by W. H. Auden, one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Here’s how he put it, so lucidly:
Do what you do with iron regularity. Decide what you want or ought to do with the day, then always do it at exactly the same moment every day, and passion will give you no trouble.
That’s my new year’s resolution. Hoping to be able to do it consistently for a long time. Discipline is the differentiator after all.