Since it is the beginning of another year, why not start out with a blog topic chosen by so many others. As far back as the Babylonians people have been making resolutions at the start of the New Year. I’d like to open dialectic/discussion on the subject as a few I had over the holiday period got me thinking. Not to mention a few quotes I read or heard throughout the day.
During one discussion it was suggested that new years resolutions, like making annual performance targets/objectives, was an acceptance that we were not good enough, that these things stem from self (or society) induced guilt for not being good enough; or something to that affect.
Yesterday morning on the way to the airport, a woman on the radio said, “change is inevitable, growth is optional”. I had heard this before and low & behold it is cited as coming from John C. Maxwell – someone I’ve read a bit from – and good stuff. I agree with this sentiment and yet it somewhat contradicts the previous perspective.
I also read something yesterday that cited Pfeffer’s Law – from Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford Business School – his law: “Instead of being interested in what’s NEW, we ought to be interested in what’s TRUE”. The premise behind this is to stick to what works & have the discipline to follow it through to mastery. One could argue that a resolution may only be reaffirmation of previously set objectives or paths already chosen & thus sticking with what is true, as opposed to that which is new.
So which is it? Should we set ourselves resolutions to improve or should we be happy with the person we are now? Change is inevitable, but do WE have to change? Do we have to improve ourselves? Is this just a self deprecating way to make ourselves feel guilty for who we are? By accepting we need to improve, is this not a denigration of who we are now?
I would go with what Ray Kroc, former CEO of McDonalds, said, “As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot.” Which to me effectively says we should never be happy with who we are. That doesn’t mean self-loathing or any other negative connotation, but that we should always be striving to improve. Just like businesses should constantly strive to improve, so should we. Otherwise we begin to rot, complacency is often a large factor in the failure of once successful businesses, it can also be true for people!
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