Your convictions will trump your resolutions every time.
This week is the eighth week of the year and sadly many people fail to see their resolutions through and there might just be a better way to approach it. (Check out the list of 21 disciplines of highly successful people in the link, it’s fantastic.) A better question to ask yourself in the early stages of a year would be, “What am I convinced of?” rather than “What do I want?”
By now, more than half of the resolutions made have been discarded already. My friend at Hi Josh thinks it’s more like this, and I have at many times, resembled this level of commitment.
So how does real, lasting and transformative change really take place?
It takes more than resolutions. It takes a conviction.
Convictions come from the same place as your values. They reside in that deep place of belief no matter what. They have strength, personality and an energy of their own.
Convictions are better than resolutions.
Convictions transcend circumstances. In fact, they can change circumstances.
You can hold to a conviction in the middle of challenges. They surpass your immediate environment. They sit deep IN you and help you make sense of what is happening around you, and what is true within you.
Jim Collins famously reflects on this apparent optimism, calling it the Stockdale Paradox – facing brutal facts yet remaining optimistic. In his eight-year imprisonment in Vietnam and having suffered at least twenty tortures he and many other POW’s were able to emerge alive and able to re-establish life after this ordeal. In his own words Admiral Jim Stockdale summarises the conviction by saying “I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which in retrospect, I would not trade.”
Convictions transcend feelings. In fact, convictions determine your feelings.
What we are convinced of, stays true in and through the challenging emotions. It’s the difference between joy (a possession) and happiness (an emotion) – you can be both unhappy and joyful at the same time. You can’t lose your joy and expect to stay happy for long. When you have a conviction you have the emotion that is attached to it no matter what.
Convictions outrun time. In fact, they overrun time.
As you become more aware of your convictions you begin to see them outworked in the passage rather than being time-bound. Yes, we all have deadlines, priorities and timeframes, AND you can stay consistent over time by holding to your convictions by embedding them in your rituals, behaviours and routines.
In her Book and TED Talk GRIT that has exploded off our screens and pages, Angela Lee Duckworth argues that it’s not how smart we are that makes the biggest difference, its how we get “grittier about grit.” That’s a way we can enhance traction of our convictions. Lucretia Mott affirms this by saying “Let our lives be in accordance with our convictions of right, each striving to carry out our principles.” We will live aligned to our convictions and THAT is the difference between faking it and making it.
What are you convinced of? These things will be your resolutions.
Leaders. Leadership. Everywhere.