If I learned anything in 2017 it was that sometimes your best just isn’t the right kind of stuff, and life has lessons other than success for us. 2016 had been a real peach and so I had set my sites pretty high and finished the year a great deal below where I started, despite having had some pretty reasonable goals. Ain’t no shame in it. But this year I ain’t gonna taunt myself with so much damn expectation.
In fact, rather than resolve to achieve specific goals in 2018, I have decided to revise my narrative of 2017 so that it appears to have been outstandingly successful. In fact I may partake in a grand historical revision to turn all of my past failures into breath-taking achievements.
Think about it. Consider how much your sense of failure holds you back. It erodes your confidence and depletes you. Especially considering people’s tendency to erroneously reason by induction; many people see their probable future as just a forward echo of their past. Forecasting from your past is illogical. It is circular reasoning which becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. The prover proves what the thinker thinks.
However it would also be unreasonable to ignore this habit, so given our tendency to think forward in terms of what is behind us, perhaps it is best if we flavor our historical narratives with tales of triumph and inspiration. Then we do our improper reasoning with adaptive tools that take advantage of our errors.
All of us have learned how to lie to ourselves. Even the most mindful of people bolster their sense of selves with a little healthy self-delusion. We just need to be able to do it more intentionally and creatively, rather than as a mask to hide ourselves from others. Most of our current self-delusion is for the benefit of external appearances, where it isn’t doing much good for us. Why not just adapt a habit we are already adept at to our own benefit?
Those who believe in themselves are more likely to achieve than those who do not. How much confidence is a cause of success is hard to say, but there can be little doubt that the correlation is a bit too strong to be merely a coincidence.
So why not bolster self-belief by bullshitting yourself in a way that cannot fail? If you try to bullshit yourself into what will happen in the year to come, you might end being the one to prove yourself wrong. But if you conveniently rewrite your past, well, you cannot jinx what is behind you!
I am only half serious here, and that half may or may not be the trustworthy half. I recommend that you either take this advice with a grain of salt, or jump into it like a motherfucker and let it roar!
Happy New Year, ya’all, and a peaceful and prosperous 2018 to each of you!