Only Resolution for 2013: Taking Action

With 2013 just around the corner, people all over the world are preparing to welcome it in their own respective ways. While some people believe that New Year’s Eve is the time to remember the past to determine their shortcomings, others think that it should be about looking forward to the upcoming year.

A great majority of people make New Year’s resolutions at the end of every single year. However, most resolutions are never accomplished. The fact that nobody appears to keep or accomplish his or her resolutions has significantly lessened their charm over the years. Making resolutions for the coming year can be a terrific idea, but it is only valuable as long as there is an effective execution plan. Without the ability to take action, any kind of resolution is almost unattainable.

Positive Aspects of Resolutions

Making a New Year resolution can be quite useful for the following reasons:

A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

Everyone has certain aspects of life that he or she wishes to change….Take Action Now

Self-Assessment Opportunity: While making New Year’s resolutions, individuals get a perfect opportunity to evaluate their actual goals, aspirations, values, interests, and priorities. They get a better idea of what they want in life to make it more fulfilling and rewarding.

Chances of Improvement: Everyone has certain aspects of life that he or she wishes to change or improve. The creation of resolutions enables them to recognize such areas so as to experience transformation and growth. It actually lets you acknowledge your inherent power to change your life as per your interests.

Acknowledgment of Positives: While making resolutions, you may be able to realize the positive aspects of your life. Your self-esteem may get a significant boost when you are able to recognize your accomplishments and achievements. These resolutions give you some time to relish and rejoice the success that you may have made in the previous year.

Negative Aspects of Resolutions

In the absence of a convincing action plan, your New Year resolutions can prove to be pretty disastrous in any of the following ways:

Misaligned Goals: Your excessive efforts to force a change can occasionally backfire. The reason being you may be struggling to make a change that is not in your best interest. If your resolutions lack personally meaningful goals, then you have great chances of never accomplishing your resolutions. What matters the most is to identify the reasons for which you want to change yourself or your life.

Extreme Self-Criticism: Resolutions can often instill self-criticism and repentance in your personality. Individuals who stumble on the achievement of their resolutions not only criticize themselves, but also feel guilty or humiliated for their failed attempts. They usually visualize un-kept resolutions as failures which further urge them to not accomplish the aims.

Longer Time Frame: The resolutions you make at the starting of the year may not match your interests at later stages. With time, you are likely to change and develop new perceptions about life. With such changes, you may feel restricted by your resolutions. An active action strategy is the only thing that gives you enough strength to revise your resolutions according to your new interests and preferences.

Importance of Acting on Resolutions

If you do not formulate an effective action plan while making New Year’s resolutions, it is quite likely that you may never achieve your aims. A specific execution plan enables you to achieve your goals in a more efficient and better way. Your chances of getting successful in keeping your resolutions largely depend on how well-made, specific, and clear your action strategy is. Such plans make you better equipped to realize the clarity and quality of your goals.

The act of implementing your resolutions makes you more realistic and dynamic. You actually think about exclusive benefits that you can enjoy after completing every single step. It is the action strategy that makes you enjoy the process of goal accomplishment. It not only keeps you focused on the target, but also maintains your motivation level. When you are determined to take action on your resolutions, you may not lose your focus.

The most workable action plan motivates you to execute your resolutions one at a time. It gives you a realistic approach towards your target and makes you less likely to give up along the way. A passionate execution of goals gives you enough courage to not think about setbacks as utter failures.

While New Year’s resolutions can be encouraging and a means of promoting growth and self-advancement, their darker aspects can lead an individual to extreme levels of self-condemnation. However, if you are able to devise an effectual action strategy to realize your most important goals, then you can make the most of your resolution.

About Rakesh Malhotra

Rakesh Malhotra, founder of Five Global Values, is a world-traveled, values-driven business leader who specializes in organization behavior. Rakesh’s fascination with the connection between human behavior and core values was sparked many years ago. As a result of working, living, and traveling around the world to nearly  40 countries, Rakesh realized that the Five Global Values determine overall  human behavior  across all cultures. He is also the author of Adventures of Tornado Kid: Whirling Back Home Towards Timeless Values.

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The Purpose of Life is to Help Others

If you want to be happy, practice compassion

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” - Dalai Lama


Derived from the Latin, compassion technically means “to suffer with,” but compassion goes far beyond suffering. Combining empathy, sympathy, care and concern, compassion involves feeling for another person and a willingness to express or share that virtue. Compassion involves looking beyond one’s own life and plight and seeing into another’s eyes, circumstances and soul. In other words, compassion is caring put into action.

Compassion in action can be as simple as standing up to let someone else have your seat on the bus or allowing another car into your lane in traffic. It can be donating holiday gifts to a local family in need, writing a hand-written letter or card to let someone know that you’re thinking of them, or talking to a friend about a struggle that he or she is having. Compassion can be a word, a hand, a look, a thought or a notion.

Compassion knows no gender, no age, no nationality, no culture, no race and no religion. It is a universal value. Likewise, compassion is integral to the global values of love, peace, integrity, respect and responsibility, all human values that provide evidence of caring, of noticing, of a willingness to reach out and make a difference, regardless of any perceived differences.

Further, compassion offers both short- and long-term benefits; scientific studies have shown that compassionate people produce more of a hormone that can slow down the aging process and less of a stress hormone that can speed the process up. Likewise, compassion can engender more appreciation, happiness and better relationships. If you are a parent or caregiver, a leader in your community or simply a concerned citizen or friend, you can make yourself a paragon of compassion.

Following are five helpful ideas for sharing and showing compassion in your community:

1)    Make compassion a part of every single day. When you wake up each morning, simply hold the word or the idea of compassion in your mind for a few minutes, determining how you can offer a little more compassion during that particular day.

2)    Focus on what you have in common with others, rather than your differences. Teach your children to do the same through discussion and modeling. Most suffering occurs when we believe that we’re separate, rather than connected. Recognize that others are going through the same things you are – maybe not at the same time or in the same way, but everyone wants to feel safe, happy, secure and loved.

3)    Practice random acts of kindness. Pay for a stranger’s coffee, leave a thoughtful, anonymous note for someone who could use a boost, smile more, say “thank you” a lot. Small acts of kindness and compassion can add up to a pretty big deal.

4)    Practice loving-kindness meditation. Set aside five minutes to find a comfortable, quiet space, close your eyes and sit up tall. Repeat the following phrases silently to yourself: May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I be happy. May I live with ease. (You can substitute other statements that resonate more with you, if you prefer.) After three to five rounds, move on to someone you care about, envision that person in your mind’s eye, and repeat the same statements silently to them: May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be happy. May you live with ease. Then, do the same thing, without judgment, for someone who you struggle with. Lastly, send these thoughts of loving-kindness out on a global level. Notice a warm glow from within as you finish and sit silently for a few moments.

5)    While compassion in action is particularly powerful, don’t be afraid to talk about it and define it with your kids. Let them know that compassion is important.

In a recent study at Harvard Business School, social researcher Michael Norton gave undergraduates money to spend on themselves or on others. Interestingly, the ones who spent money on others – who gave money away – were happier than those who kept the money for themselves. Likewise, those who reported giving money to charity were happier than those who didn’t. The website helps people benefit others, and, in turn, themselves. Money can buy happiness – when you spend it on someone else. Indeed, compassion in action can have incredibly powerful internal and external applications and effects. Give, care, contribute – you’ll make your world better and contribute to more global happiness.



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