American Basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, who claimed that he slept with 20,000 different women in his life, once made a New Year’s resolution to stop fooling around so much. Upon hearing this, Jay Leno quipped, “He wants to find the right two or three hundred women and settle down!”
I don’t know whether Wilt Chamberlain kept his word but I do know that not many people do. According to one study by an American University, only eight per cent of the people who make resolutions stick to them. In fact, 25 per cent give up even before a week has passed. What’s more, our propensity to achieve resolutions weakens as we grow older. Those in their 20s are three times more likely to achieve their resolution compared to those in their 50s.
What makes resolutions so difficult to keep, despite their enormous popularity? Assuming that our goals aren’t unrealistic or vague, there’s only one reason that keeps anyone from persisting in their resolve—failing at self-discipline. But not anymore.
This New Year, we bring to you a radical approach to self-discipline—an approach that actually works. And it’s nothing like you can imagine.
In this month’s cover story, authors and Zen practitioners Cheri Huber and Ashwini Narayanan turn the traditional concept of self-discipline on its head. Pointing to the problems of the old idea of self-discipline, they tell us why it is designed to fail from the beginning. The authors then introduce us to what they call Compassionate Self-Discipline—a counter-intuitive technique that is gentle and non-judgemental. Their way helps us to transcend the real reasons that keep us stuck, and puts us on a path of self-mastery.
What do you want to achieve in 2014? Do you want to eat right? Exercise regularly? Sleep on time? Get organised, save more money, spend more time with family, start writing that book, finish that painting, visit Kilimanjaro…? Whatever it is, you can be assured that once you’ve mastered yourself, you will be able to keep every resolution. Because, promises are meant to be kept.
Happy New Year!
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