Resolutions. Broken so quickly, with so little resolve behind them, the word is almost meaningless. In fact, this age old tradition upon the arrival of a new year, once viewed as an opportunity to double-down and make that big, meaningful change in life, is now reduced to cheap punchlines and a reminder of how little we truly value the limited time we have to really live.
And I’m just as guilty as everyone else! In my 35 years on this planet, I’ve only kept one resolution – to quit smoking – which I did last year. Sure, I cheated now and again, smoking a total of 8 cigarettes in 2012, but compared to the over 9,000 I smoked in 2011, I’m calling it a success.
For 2013, I thought I’d resolve to quit drinking sodas – diet or otherwise. As I sit here typing this up off-the-cuff on the 3rd of January, I’ve already averaged two sodas per day for every day of the year. This isn’t to say I’m going to give up, though. It’s not an all-or-nothing affair. I don’t have to wait another year to realize the benefits of cutting caustic, chemical-laden beverages from my diet.
ASK YOURSELF ONE QUESTION
I saw something kinda remarkable on Facebook this morning. (Seriously. Don’t laugh.) A guy I went to high school with, and with whom I’ve had no contact beyond the generic “friend request,” pointed out that every single moment in our lives – including right now, as you’re reading these words – is an opportunity for us to take actions which steer us toward our dreams. You don’t need some giant, corporate holiday to give you permission to change your life. You can do it right now. And it’s as simple as asking yourself one question you can’t forget.
Is this getting me closer to what I want?
That’s it. That’s the question. And the more you ask it, the more powerful it gets. Here, I’ll even give you a personal example. You know what I really want for my life? I want this little magazine project to evolve into something I can do full time, so I can spend my days talking to other gearheads, visiting them all over the world, all while building and playing with my own cars back at home with my daughter, who I hope grows up to be a gearhead too.
Is this – writing another article for GBXM – getting me closer to what I want? Yes. Other sites might churn out dozens of stories every day in an effort to keep you coming back for more (because they make their money based on the number of times they put advertising in front of you), but I’m in this to get you thinking about how you’re much, much more than just that guy or gal who “plays with cars” at the office. Damnit, you’re part of a truly worldwide community which transcends geo-political borders. You’re self-sufficient, well-connected, and empowered through your experiences. Am I writing another review of some generic, commuter appliance or the latest industry news you can find on 100 websites in less than 10 seconds? No. I’m trying to help you snap out of the consumer mindset and realize the stuff that matters TO YOU.
Which is why I’m sitting in here typing this up on a sunny afternoon off work, while my daily driver sits in the driveway with a partially torn-down engine under the hood, still waiting on me to relocate the front differential, remove the oil pan, and get the front case off so I can replace that oil pump what jammed up and started popping oil filters all over my driveway. This is getting me closer to what I want to do – serve my fellow automotive enthusiasts for a living.
COMMITMENTS > RESOLUTIONS > DREAMS
At the risk of sounding like some kind of poof, you are worth it. Don’t let yourself fall into the resolutions trap. Every unrealized dream is a travesty. If you can come up with the idea, you can make it happen. Asking that one simple question is the easy part. Doing the work is the hard part. The more we ask ourselves that question, the more tension we create inside our heads to roll up our sleeves and just get it over with – whatever it is that’s standing between us and those dreams. Commit to achieving something epic for yourself this year. You can do it.
I quit smoking last year. That’s big shoes for me to fill, but I’m going to fill ’em. I’m going to get my Pajero, Rocinante the Fun Cooker, back together and running better than it ever has. I’m going to take it camping and see just what those fancy, “Aussie Crawler Gears” I bought with a truck attached to them can really do. I’m going to get 195, my Galant VR4 rally/race car, back together and out to a race track or two. And I’m going to get this magazine looking like a real magazine, printed if at all possible, before the year is done. Is this getting me closer to what I want? You tell me.
Then tell me what you want to do this year. You feel lucky? Well, do ya?