It’s January. January is known for cheaper turkeys at the supermarket, cheaper toys at the toy store, and leftover winter clothes. January, is also known as the “Resolution” month. There is something magical about the clock going from 11:59 pm to 12:00 am on December 31st, and many might say it is merely a social construct; but I think it’s more than that. The idea that the end of that day does not only mark the end of a daily cycle, but also marks the end of an annual one, makes us humans feel invincible. Endings and new beginnings rejuvenate us; endings and beginnings give us the opportunity to start again. January 1st is not a normal day, it is a new year, a new chance to start over, to set our minds to do something –and feel like we have the power to do it.
Ambition is one of my favorite words. I like it because it correlates to ideas like “earnest desire”, “seeking”, and “passion”. Being passionate and ambitious are traits we all possess; the trick, is to find them as soon as possible; to tap into that version of ourselves we’ve never met, and exhaust all the ideas we have.
Everyone is ambitious in January. We just need to work on being ambitious all the way to December.
But to be ambitious about something, you need to find your passion. And finding something to be passionate about, out of the myriad of options in this world, is hard. It is an overwhelming thought to be looking for an abstract idea, without knowing where to start. It wasn’t until recently that I was finally able to tap into that version of myself, that allowed me to “earnestly desire” more, to “seek” for more opportunities to do what I loved, and to be as “passionate” as I could be. And now that I look back, I realize how hard it is to find something so precious. So I want to share with you three tips you can add to your ambitious New Year’s resolutions, that will hopefully trigger the discovery of something greater, that will tap into your passion, and introduce you to the version of yourself you’ve been wanting to meet for a while now.
1. Be curious
Look for random things to engage on. You can be curious anywhere. Watch a TED Talk about a topic you’ve never heard of, read a book whose author’s name you can’t pronounce. Watch a YouTube tutorial and learn how to do silly things. A single click, a single video, a single book, can spark a great idea. And if it is not an idea you find on the Internet, then be curious outside as well. Visit a place you’ve never been to in your own city, join a club at school, go to a performance at your local theater, or try out a new sport. The more curious you are, the more you will expose yourself to things you’ve never seen before, and there is nothing better than finding something great, in an unexpected place.
2. Try things that you don’t necessarily love
This is really important. Normally, when we think of finding our passion, we think of finding everything we love doing right away. But maybe, our passion is waiting for us in a place far away from the things we “love” doing. Not because you dislike at first, does it mean you won’t grow to love it. Passion comes in gradual steps, and starting from scratch means you have to include activities that you are not necessarily in love with. Whether or not you enjoy every moment of it, trying new things has a domino effect. You will come across new activities, new ideas for more projects, and that constant creativity will motivate you to keep looking until you find your passion.
3. Don’t think long term
Passion is a process, an adventure; not an endpoint or a concrete goal. Ideas are abstract and passion is too. The fun is in the climb and you shouldn’t always think about the end result, about how you will change the world, or how you will use this project to improve everyone’s lifestyle. Starting small is the best way to start, and the less you think about a final result, the more efficient you will become at enjoying the struggles while you get there.
I have come to notice that being passionate about your ideas is very much like falling in love. When you love someone you do things for the sake of doing them. You don’t plan to go to dinner because you are thinking about satisfying your human need to nurture your body. You plan a dinner date because you love that person and you want to talk to them, and share that moment with them. Just like loving someone feels like, loving an idea works the same way. You will find yourself moving out of your comfort zone to accomplish things that are greater than you, you will find yourself meeting new people, engaging in new activities, and loving every moment of it.
So include these three tips on your New Year’s resolution, and you’ll see how the “January Ambition” extends well past February and March.
(image credit – http://timemanagementninja.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/New-Year_s-Wishes.jpg)