It’s 2008

It’s strange that I’ve seen for many years now a lack of boldness in my character. At least, I’ve seen that as a a weakness and wished to change it.

In 2005, my New Year’s resolution was “seize the day.” In 2006, one of my resolutions was “Every move is a killing move.” In 2007, my resolutions were 1) Get it done 2) Be impetuous, and 3) Live in the present. I notice a common thread through all of them: A desire to boldly do things.

But now, finally, I see a different weakness of mine that has prevented me from living fully: a lack of purpose. Bold actions mean nothing without a sense of purpose behind them. Like I wrote in my weblog the other day, “If you don’t have a strategy, you’re just moving your pieces around and you’re going to lose.” Actions should be informed by your goals. Tactics should be informed by strategy. Boldness isn’t enough. I’m reminded of the Law of Navigation from John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. You need vision in order to steer.

On October 18, 2007, I have a short weblog entry entitled “Telos,” where I stated that the first step to getting my life back on track, from releasing myself from feeling overwhelmed, was to set my goals. The day before, I thought the first step was eliminating my inefficient work habits. Boy am I glad I caught myself. Otherwise, eliminating inefficiency could’ve been my New Year’s resolution for 2008, and I would be back at square one. The word “telos,” though, no longer resonates with me. “Purpose” does. I will christen 2008 as the Year of Purpose. 2008 will be dedicated to the importance of goals and strategy.

So, what are my resolutions? I want my resolution to be: Have a goal in mind. Then, I need to fill out everything under it, like preparation and planning to the end. But the goal is step 1. I don’t want my goals to be my specific resolutions. I want my resolution to be to have goals in the first place. I want to accomplish things this year.

Secondly, I want a resolution to be “Keep reading.” I would not have learned the lessons I’ve learned this year if I didn’t read. Reading “Fiasco” gave me the distinction between tactics and strategy. Reading about chess made me really feel the importance of strategy. Books teach me, and then they reinforce the most important lessons about life. “Keep reading” is a reminder to keep learning and to keep improving. I want to read at least 50 books this year, including the ones I read for class.

The last thing is not a resolution, but a reminder: Brick by brick. It’s an image I want to keep in mind as I go about achieving my goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I must be willing to work brick by brick, and not think that I can take shortcuts and get everything done at once. I must be willing to do the small things that are necessary to my goals.

I’ve tended to think that my old resolutions were failures at the end of the year. But no aphorism can encompass all of life’s lessons. I recently read “Destruction and Creation” by John R. Boyd. No philosophy is complete, or all-encompassing. It is imperative to destroy old paradigms and create new ones. New insights lie outside old systems of thought. Our old systems of thought naturally increase in entropy; disorder increases and we must reject old systems before they become nonsensical. The decay of my resolutions’ value is natural. I must go beyond the resolutions and encompess them in a new philosophy, or I will go nowhere. So, out with the old and in with the new.

Finally, I believe that one year is too long to hold on to the types of resolutions I make. I’ll see you all in six months with an evalution and new resolutions.

For now, welcome 2008. I have great hope that I will accomplish great things.