Every year, in the beginning of January, I come up with an amazing resolution, a big list of awesome things I plan to do to make my life better throughout the year. In the past, these fantastic lists motivated me a lot, and they did sort of direct me to the goals I wanted to attain. But honestly, these lists seemed too much to handle, and sometimes, when I looked closely, they were kind of superficial. At the end of every year, I feel disappointed because I didn’t really achieve the things on the list.
Last year for example, I had a big list on my New Year Resolution as usual. I only remember one thing on the list— Learn to drive a car, which I didn’t accomplished in the end. So what did I do all year? Did I achieve something great? Did I win the race? All these questions came up to me today. These nagging enquiries made me feel uncomfortable and disappointed. I tried to comfort myself by simply realizing that I did “all right”. But then my overambitious brain told me I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t finish everything on the list. So I was bothered all day, and I felt so overwhelmed with guilt, disappointment and deprivation. I still can’t drive a car, I didn’t finish editing all my novels, I didn’t open a restaurant, I didn’t go to Turkey, etc.
I was tired of being disappointed so I made myself a cup of tea and walk to a small balcony next to my living room. We recently had a small project up on our balcony wall. If you followed us on Facebook Page, you would know that Sadik and I had put the wooden shelves on the wall last weekend so we could have more space to plant things. I designed the shelves myself. It was a great idea. And Sadik actually purchased the drilling machine to finish the work. The result is beautiful, and it makes my balcony look spacious. It becomes a happy place in my home. I serve breakfast there in the morning, and we have candlelight dinner there as well. I love spending my alone-time there— listening to music or writing blog posts. It’s such a peaceful space.
While admiring this beautiful project, I realized something. This year, I achieved far beyond the list I made. I accomplished greater things and things that were important. Although they weren’t on the list, they were great, too. And I did a lot. It was awesome revelation. I immediately smiled thinking about the time I spent with my mom for 6 months here in India. I laughed thinking about how Yaseen called the bats in the ancient cave in Chitradurga Town “Vampires.” It made me happy thinking about the movies I watched last year. I was proud of the progress I made on my novels although they weren’t ready to be on the shelves. I created something good for my home, a place we all love to hangout in. How could I not instantly recognize and appreciate these things? Why did I give myself a grief all day about the list? Why did I doubt myself and compare myself with the past?
Okay, I know what the problem is! If I didn’t have the list, I would never have to be disappointed. If I didn’t have the list, I wouldn’t have to strive and burden myself with expectation. I believe great things happen in the right moment— its perfect destined moment. It doesn’t matter if I couldn’t drive until 2016 ended. I can go anywhere in the city using Uber cab service, and I can learn to drive when it’s my priority.
It doesn’t matter this year isn’t systematically formulated into the awesome list filled with goals, ideas, purposes and plans. Here is something I am recently interested in— minimalism. I need to give my life a little more freedom and stop burden it with plans and schedules. You see; I don’t do well with pressure so it makes sense to just go with the flow.
Having no plan isn’t equal to doing nothing. Having no plan is just the opportunity for me to indulge in free time so I can discover more and experience more. I stop fill my head with all the plans and make space for new important ideas that will arrive in the future. Having no plan doesn’t mean I’m going to live my life recklessly, floating in the air with no ambition. I don’t make a list because I want to be free to explore new opportunities and options, to pursue something without the deadline of the list chasing me, and to save myself from disappointment. I think it’s time for me to realize my success is not equal to other people’s success. We all want different things, but ultimately we want to be happy. So instead of striving for success, I aspire for happiness. My happiness depends on what’s important to me, not the number of things I have. So I let go of the goals and the lists, and walk into 2016 completely free and clear.
I don’t have any plan this year. Do you have any plan today? Want to go get a cup of coffee?