Reconsidering the Drive of Resolutions: Individual and Collective


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One thing most of us can agree on, is that resolutions are a pain to deal with. A resolution represents a marker for change, which can be difficult when we are steeped in the rut of habit. Observe the aunty who has the resolution to move to Australia or that MLM friend who has a resolution to peak in sales and retire at 30. More often than not, our dreams and desires may not come true, nor will they result in the happiness we expect to gain.

Instead, most resolutions are insufficient when contrasted to the bigger picture. Many of us do experience disappointment in pursuing something that does not provide the fulfillment we expect. When we enter such a stage, our resolutions falter and disappear, our confessions and failures become shamefully hidden, only written in white space or in denial. In our over-expectations, our dreams become swallowed by the collective. That is, our dreams can easily be uprooted by external influence — such as fads, cultural expectations, and peer pressure.

Interestingly enough, there is a way to utilize the collective to our advantage. There is something we have been exercising as a collective, in which we dream together. In that unity, we manage to draw a dream into reality. Many of us already know this but, of course, there are two stark obstacles to consider in our endeavors for fulfilling goals and dreams.

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We have evolved in general to be very attuned to negativity. You might have recently heard of the phrase, 'If you expect disappointment, then you can never really be disappointed'. Logically speaking, bracing oneself for emotional loss is a valid way to prevent a higher loss — the loss of control. But the very act of negativity does have consequences. It kills the collective drive we need as an individual, a team and a nation, for fulfilling dreams.

We see that any fulfillment of our dreams can be tinged with undesirability when we do not recognize the fact that hate is stronger than love. Imagine that we had the chance to dine at the worst and the best restaurant in the world. While we would enjoy the best, the worst would make a better and more interesting story. Many of us are constructively designed and programmed as such by natural selection. The optimists — who wished and saw the best of the world — did not survive. After all, we are mostly the descendants of pessimists that survived because they assumed the worst and ran from any rustle in the bushes. Our genes ultimately recognize the world as a brutal place.

Unfortunately, such a predisposition has its limitations — and in pursuing dreams, we often neglect the negativity bias that has been wired into us. Considering the complexities of the post-industrial world, we have to be very conscious of our biological propensities, especially when some of them begin to do more harm than good in wellbeing and productivity beyond the primitive sense.

We’re only okay if everyone is okay. We should be mindful that any amount of negativity becomes volatile in this new world that exceedingly amplifies all our connections. All our experiences are relevant, and our spaces of life and learning should be as fluid and adaptable to those who occupy them. As generations and cultures continue to grow; the depth of our knowledge and understanding should expand accordingly.

If not, we will fail to achieve the balance of contentment we want in our dreams. When we examine the other side of the coin of our resolutions, perhaps we will see that the idea of individual freedom embedded within is so easily compromised by the individual themselves. When we want to achieve our dreams collectively, the position to consider would be: We all have our own (mostly) ignorant frames of reference — our default biases. Some might call that 'personal truth', but it conventionally is a very specific and malleable fragment of the whole. One more step before the act of dreaming a reality together. We have to settle the struggle faced by generations upon generations: Can there be a collective truth when every person interprets the world with their own eyes?

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Would we have to compromise the idea of truth to include experience? The pursuit of truth is experience. No one has the truth, we can only get a fraction closer to It. I think the reverence of the idea of truth has distracted us from it being a fickle mistress, borne out of the messy emotions of our minds (not hearts).

Of course, we should focus more on describing life as closely as possible. Truths are important to us, and also a source of great power, but if we are utilizing personal truths, we start focusing on what we disagree on rather than what connects us. If we could stop calling our own experiences the immutable truth, and try to knit together our differences to find commonality, we can tap into the plurality of experiences to learn more of ourselves in a more reliable way. We will have a much better chance at undoing our negative presumptions to realize and enjoy, together, the fruition of our dreams, and resolutions, to the fullest. Did you learn anything useful from this article? Let us know in the comments and have a great day!



By: Faith Foo

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