New Year's resolutions leave an empty feeling in my gut. Perhaps because I am quite a focused person, having long ago embraced mindfulness as a lifestyle, the idea of delaying gratification makes me feel uneasy. Every day is filled with new possibilities and purpose, and this gives me the passion to live life fully... every day
Perhaps you began the year promising to exercise more frequently, eat healthier, call your mom more regularly, drink only the recommended two glasses of wine daily... All of this requires a lot of self-control.
Self-control is tough. It feels like hard work to deny yourself what you really want. So after a few days, your resolution disappears and you feel somewhat shameful about your lack of self-control.
Yet we know that the road to success is better self-control. There are a million self-help books that talk to self-control. They insist that we invest rather than spend money in the moment, exercise rather than lie in bed in the mornings, work punishing hours and become a vegan for optimal health. We have to consider why this kind of self-control does not work.
Working with infidelity has taught me that one of the very common reasons that people cheat is because they feel that their lives have no purpose. They feel empty of passion; that feeling of being alive and connected. They live according to the many resolutions they set for themselves, determined by a society bent on materialism as the sign of success, and this leaves them empty and exhausted. And most significantly, disconnected from self and others –– mostly their intimate partner.
I invite you to my solution to this empty, emotionally and physically unsustainable way of living. I have created a daily guide to living 2018 with purpose and passion. This guide is a daily tip that pops up on all my social media platforms.
My basic belief is that passion comes from living with purpose. If you're a mom whose only purpose is raising children; if you're an executive, a clerk, a professional, a sportsperson whose primary purpose is to achieve accolades, advancement and money –– begin considering the emotions that guide one to purposeful living, and thus success.
Quietening the mind is when purpose and passion can be achieved.
Exciting research by Professor David DeSteno indicates that the human emotions of self-pride, compassion and gratitude motivate people to succeed. I love the idea of this. He states that feeling pride or compassion has been shown to increase perseverance on difficult tasks by over 30 percent. Likewise, gratitude and compassion have been tied to better academic performance, a greater willingness to exercise and eat more healthily, and lower levels of consumerism, impulsivity and tobacco and alcohol use.
Basically we want to connect and please others – and through emotions of compassion for others, pride in oneself and gratitude for what one has, we are motivated to cooperate; and in this way we achieve what we resolve to achieve.
Hence my purpose and passion guide provides you with tools to better develop these emotions. For example, keeping a daily journal flexes all three of these emotions -- you document your self-pride, your gratitude and compassion shown to others through small deeds. Writing develops imagination and allows creative thinking. This is further enriched through sharing with rich friendships that you have developed... through your compassion.
Intimate relationships require purposeful intentions. I like the notion of both individual purpose and couple purpose. Dream together about people you want in your lives as a couple, places you want to make love, books and movies you wish to share together -- and a lot of Netflix-and-chill together! The passion between the sheets happens when there is passion in each one of your hearts.
Quietening the mind is when purpose and passion can be achieved. To this end, exchange any unwanted Christmas gift for a yoga mat. Buy each other classes to yoga and find inner calm and passion, as you lie side by side in a yoga class, breathing in rhythm together.
Sleep hygiene, financial purpose, self-care and honest expression of your sexuality is the way to go to make 2018 a year worth living.
Please stay with me in 2018. I plan to make it a year of purpose and passion.