Naturally, man is not infallible. Only Allah, the Almighty Omnipotent God, our Creator, Author and Finisher of our lives and to whom all beings submit is the only Being to whom infallibility can be ascribed. Our infirmity or weakness is borne out of the insatiability of our material needs or acquisition, whether of the mundane physical or of the subsistence essence. Man, no matter how gifted, is limited.
In our bid to overcome our limitations or in our striving to scale the ladder of life which Abraham Maslow conveniently described as a hierarchy of needs we can become desperate. In our desperation, therefore, we may appear over-ambitious and can be sometimes stupid in our pursuit.
Inevitably, we are very ignorant even when we think we know how to achieve our dream. Often too, we can be negligent of the basics including the spiritual while trying to attain the material, because in our pursuit our success usually manifested. So in our drive to arrive, we can trample on the rights of others or we can be corrupted, injuring our soul.
When we are corrupt, we are likely to get depressed or feel certain hollowness, avoid that that can also heighten and fretfulness, leading us to begin a search for ways and means of filling the void. It is usually the quest to fill this void that we feel that we seek reconnection with our God.
If we must succeed, we marshal plans, strategize, layout elaborate plans or roadmaps to accomplish what we intend. All these steps we take are the contents of resolutions that we often make, either when a year is withering or another one is blooming. But, a new year is nothing but continuation or transition of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks or months.
The paradox of this new year resolutions is that many people hardly succeed at it because they lack the conviction or the willpower sustain the change they desire in their lives, and I ask must resolutions be made at the beginning or at the end of the year? What many people fail to understand is that resolution is about commitment to change and God will not change the condition of a person until he attunes himself to the requirements of the Change process.
The fundamentals of these are faith, conviction, commitment, patience and steadfastness. And, there is no hypocrisy or self-deception in embarking the process as change is not something you stumble upon. It is a deliberate process, acculturation over a length of time, a behavioural journey which we do not leave to chance or gamble about. It is purposeful.
Those who wait till the end of a year or the beginning of another year to seek to change themselves, through mere wishful thinking, hardly last beyond the first few weeks of the year before they return to their old ways of life that they used to.
If you wish to change it is like weaning yourself, it is gradual, not suddenly so that you will not suffer withdrawal syndrome. Do you really need to wait till the end of a year or the beginning of another year to resolve to change?
Hence, I think those who engage in such ritual as new year resolutions are merely deceiving themselves when the moment you realize that there’s something wrong with you, that is when you begin to change in attitude on thinking.
For instance, if you are alcoholic, must you wait till the end of the year before you stop hanging out at pubs and beer joints or hanging your life on a bottle? Where perhaps you have less than six months grace to stop. If you are somebody that luxuriates in zinah (Adultery), must you be infected at the end of the year before you stop going after anything in a skirt?
The truth is that it is lack of conviction or faith that would make anybody to be postponing his/her redemption or change. You may never have the opportunity to achieve that redemption or change or salvation if you are in the habit of pushing forward when you will stop negative habits.
If I’ve focused more on the negative side, let me now discuss the positive. For instance, you want to acquire additional qualifications, you want to gain new experience, you want to change career or you want to change your lifestyle, you do not need to wait till the beginning of another year.
The moment you realise these needs is when you must resolve for it and be resolute in its pursuit because opportunities are often indeterminable.
You may think they are long in coming, and you push your forward your resolution to start on it, but they might just be around the corner and when they surface, you are ill-prepared to grab them. Do not blame anybody when you flop because you only had wishful thinking of what you want and not really committed to its achievement.
In anything in life, whether spiritual or material, do not give time or postpone when you want to have or start it. The moment you realise that something is wrong or something is essential for you, that is when you have to commit yourself to change or pursue it.
This is borne out of conviction, not wishful thinking, so if you take the beginning of a year as the starting point of your journey in change or pursuing success, don’t fool yourself that the change will be dramatic or immediate, you must start in a small way, like water dropping into a bucket. If at the end of the day, the bucket is not full, at least you have reached a level. Continue in dropping the water into the bucket.
The most important thing is starting a process and consolidating on it over time with full conviction and firmness of purpose resolute, not minding the challenges or the difficulties. Do not look for the big or dramatic changes, but count the little successes that come your way. Do not over-burden yourself but start building in small ways. The gathering of little pebbles can make a mountain over time.
The interesting thing is that you cannot give God deadline but He can look into your heart if you are sincere and you are convinced in the righteousness of your efforts, the correctness of your approach, and in your steadfastness or patience in challenging times and surprise you when you least expected. This is not about a new year. This is an everyday opportunity to change, to climb the ladder or achieve your dream. Do not delay when to start a new life.
By Abdulwarees Solanke, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Diplomacy & Management, is Assistant Director, Strategic Planning & Corporate Development, Voice of Nigeria and also serve on the Management Board of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre as Director, Media & Strategic Communications. email@example.com 08090585723