03.43: Why do our resolutions crash between takeoff and landing?

by May 19, 2012

Some of us may have noticed that our resolutions for self-improvement often have a high mortality rate in the flight from conception to implementation.

Often, the cause of their premature demise lies not in the flight, but in the takeoff. We frequently try to externalize our resolutions without internalizing them adequately. This means that we start attempting to do a thing externally without doing enough to convince ourselves internally about why we should do it.

Usually, we start our internal journey for self-improvement due to an external stimulus: we may hear an electrifying talk or read a stirring passage or witness a moving event. An external stimulus may be enough to initiate our self-improvement journey, but it is rarely enough to sustain the journey. To sustain the journey, we need an adequate stock of the fuel of internal conviction. Unfortunately, at the start of the flight, we neglect to boost our conviction adequately; we are too eager to take off.  This unwarranted haste causes our resolution to run out of fuel in mid-air and crash to a premature death.

If we wish to prevent this tragic fate for our resolutions, we need to adopt the inside-out approach to self-improvement recommended by Gita wisdom. The Bhagavad-gita (3.43) indicates that the conviction of our intelligence developed by conscious deliberation is critical for self-conquest. When an external stimulus inspires us to make a resolution, we can before takeoff seriously contemplate and systematically note the rationale for the resolution: why this resolution is important and how will implement it.

Thereafter, whenever our conviction-fuel meter starts showing a low, we can replenish it by meditating on those dynamics. This replenishment will not only prevent the crashing of the resolution, but also facilitate its smooth, swift and successful landing at the destination of self-mastery.



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