“New Year, New me”… and other lies we’d spin in 2017.
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Hello. Happy New Year.
Did you put on weight over the holiday period?
I’m pretty certain I did. And I have no intention of climbing the scales to confirm, till I’ve had at least one month for my weight to go back to sanity.
Fact: During the one week holiday period, I ate everything in sight.
(Ok, almost everything. I could not bring myself to eat humans)
It was as though all the terrestrial and aquatic animals slaughtered worldwide for the festivities took my diet with them to their animal heaven. There was no ‘carbohydrates’, no ‘fats’, no ‘protein’. Just FOOD.
But, like most good things, the holidays have come to an end.
I will take my church’s annual prayer and fasting this year very seriously. As you guessed, not just to pray that any African remote controls from my village blow up even before take-off. I might as well begin to drop the weight.
What better way, than to praise the Lord while at it??
There is this thing every New Year does.
The moment the clock hits 12 on the morning of the 1st of January, the New Year resolutions are reeled out. Everywhere you turn is a long list of things people will or will not partake in this year.
The mantra I find the most amusing is the “New Year, New Me” jingo. As though with the chime of the clock, the person has been transformed into a Cinderella, suddenly dropping her/his old garb.
It is a lie.
Yes, it is a New Year. But it is the same you.
Slim you. Fat you. Short you. Excessively short you. Beautiful you. Wicked you. Naive you. The New Year did not cart away your “you-ness”.
But… it is a lie we like to sell ourselves that with the New Year, we have suddenly changed; suddenly, dropped some bad habit in the old year.
It is important to call out this lie to ourselves, because even as we push the responsibility of becoming better versions of ourselves to the year, we should know that this denial of responsibility is bound to fail.
Is it possible to become a better person this year? Yes it is. But it is (and should remain) an ongoing process. Not something that is flicked on like a switch.
We do not need to wait for January 1 of any year to identify our flaws, and work on them. This is something we should do from time to time. To just pause, assess ourselves, and keep working on us.
Hence, if there are things you identified and began working on last year, rather than throw away everything and begin with the “New Me” fad, continue to work on those things that you began to work on last year, at least, until there is measurable progress.
“I will not get angry this year”.
(Which is why the good Book notes that “surely, offences will arise”)
Unless you plan to build an island where no other animal will live on, something or someone is bound to cause you some vexation this year.
Even if you lived alone, without any roommate sharing your pot of food, or you worked alone, without any colleague annoying you with the smell of their N150 perfume, to the extent that you are part of a human society, someone or something is bound to annoy you.
Perhaps, it may be the Nigerian Government, and its selective amnesia exhibited in the President’s New Year speech, in identifying certain problems faced in the past year, without a word acknowledging the mass murders in Southern Kaduna, or Agatu, or Nimbo, vide religious and ethnic cleansing.
Maybe it is your boss who will annoy you. Or your daughter. Or your side-man. Or your Priest.
Maybe even a combination of all the above. But surely, you will get angry this year.
The important thing is to work on the expression of that anger, so that the other party may genuinely see their own fault. Let your annoyance be productive, in that you are able to make something tangible out of it by correcting the offending party (with as much control as you can muster), or make it a lesson to refer to in the future.
And, if like the Nigerian Government, the offending party is not one that would readily take correction, do not let it deter you.
After all, to who’s detriment would it be if you bottled up negative energy and anger?
“I will make money this year”.
But whether or not this turns out to be a lie totally depends on you and what you do, or do not do.
Yes, the economy is tight. However, this is the time to be innovative. Seek for products or services that members of the public require, and find ways to provide same.
Be careful with your time too, what you do with it. Excessive social media activity, which does not entail promoting your brand, can be time wasting.
Cut down on ‘hang-outs’ and ‘turn-ups’. It is both time-wasting and money-spending.
While some leisure is necessary to help you relax, remember that the Dangotes and Bransons and Winfreys did not make their wealth by being leisurely or casual about their lives. You are going to have to work a little harder, sleep a little less, wake up a little earlier.
Expand your knowledge. Broaden your horizon. Deepen your understanding. Read.
I don’t mean air-head sites that provide shallow ‘news’ on who snatched who’s boyfriend today.
Read a little something every day to develop your knowledge about business, or branding, or your chosen career path. You’d be surprised when the knowledge you acquire would come into play.
In all, remember that being a “New You” is not a walk in the park. It IS a deliberate decision, to be accompanied with conscious living. And even if you do not accomplish all you aim for this year, that too is ok.
It may not take just one year. But you can keep being better each day. One day, you will smile at the realisation that you have grown and become much better than the person you used to be.
May the odds ever be in our favour this year. Amen.
P.s. Innovation in no way refers to ‘money-doubling’ get-rich-very-very-quick schemes, with no rational or explicable basis for profit-making, but which purely thrive on their successful appeal to our inner human greed.