Each year, come 31st December or 1st January, humanity seems to just want to drown into all kind of utopian commitments to the world, society and unto themselves, the result, well we have more stories of resolution failures and a more screwed up year than the previous one! Join me here, to understand what this “New Year Syndrome” is all about and what is that you and I can do to survive it and ensure that we cling on to sanity and rational pathways irrespective ho strong the temptation is to believe and try to follow meaningless promises of the utopian kind! So here we go!
The New Year is among the many reasons to celebrate for actually no real reason and perhaps one of the most compelling ones’! This is the time when uploading that picture, being on that trip, being at that venue and all those kind of crazy things tend to over ride any remaining sense of rationality and people go to no end to ensure that they have their annual post cards ready- even as they know well withing- all of this is just unwanted spectacle played out to the social audience sheer out of social conformation bias, compulsion and just to ensure that they are not seen and isolated as “the odd” ones’ and to feel that false sense of comfort being part of a larger social construct who all “believe in celebrating” something that has no real essence or relevance!
Well, no is denying or suggesting a sadist way of saying that there should be no celebrations- but the point here is what is that is being celebrated? I mean every nation on the planet, sure enough has their own “new years” aligned to religious and belief systems that they follow, a nation like India has over a dozen new years’ that are celebrated through the sections of the diverse society. Not to forget your own personal new year- yes- your “birth day”, actually if you ask me- that should be the most important one- simply because that is something against which you can benchmark you won personal growth- your rise and fall and there can be no dispute around that absolute space- because you know when you were born and even if the nation doesn’t join to celebrate and even if your family hates you, at least you have yourself to celebrate what you achieve or promise to and trust me doing even this much can add great and continuing value to your life then the countless birthdays and new years you would have ended up celebrating by now, for no real rhyme or reason! So what is it really about the “New Year Syndrome”?
Well “The New Year Syndrome” as the name suggests develops and emerges mid of December every year and lingers on until mid-Jan or in some rare case until end of Jan every year (that is the time till reality presents itself back and all utopian pledges and wishes bite the dust and people are brought back to their senses!). Why does this happen and recur every year with such accuracy and predictability if this such a wasteful and pointless experience? Well, the fact is that it is within these crashing utopian dreams and hallucinations that thread of the next big thing are woven and often then not these threads are picked up by watchers, bystanders and observers of humanity as they go about dabbling in the “New Year Circus” of humanity and once the party is over- these bystanders get a first seat insight into the emerging though process, behavioral patterns and can then move for the kill knowing which way and what direction humanity is probably going to move ahead!
You see, the social conformation bias , that eternal human urge for the sense of belonging, go a long way into getting the sea of humanity celebrate meaninglessly on the date every year- with nothing really ever changing in a meaningful or potent way either for them or the society that they move about in! Knowing well that there is nothing more that we can do about this space and accepting that this dumb way of celebrating nothing will go on as long as humanity exists and as long as people agree to this calendar date as being the one to adhere to , this mega-scale celebration of stupidity will go on with people celebrating and gong back to doing exactly the same dumb, un-serving ways and means to cling on to their lives what they have given to themselves without any direction or purpose to even wanting to make to that bit incrementally better! Well at least that is what the story will be, whether you agree to not and that is a fact- whether you like it that way or not! So what is the way to deal with this space and can this be avoided?
Well, if you really think you want to avoid the “New Year Syndrome” it will take a one-two punch approach, the first punch ironically enough will be about participating in the social dumbness- yes hitting the party floor- so that you get a first hand ticket to observe and record the levels of progress and regress that society around you has made and the second punch is about knowing what you need to do next to ensure that your next year part arena and list or people around you is a shade better than what you would have experienced! Sure no one is asking you to help everyone around you, in fact the whole idea is that you help yourself enough all through the next year so that you know exactly what you want to avoid the year next and that alone can help you create that essential operational manual for 2021 so that you hit the floor running doing everything that matters so that you end up with the party that you aspire for and not that you get stuck with!
Sure enough, there is no golden pill or “the way” to surviving the “New Year Syndrome” which gives you a high for the day and leaves you battered for the whole year that follows. But what you can do about it to survive is, simple and quick, as long as you are able to tag a purpose, meaning and direction to the celebration that you want to dive into, trust me you will be just fine as you emerge out of it and importantly probably you will be more focussed, rejuvenated and re-dedicated to the purpose and direction that you have set for yourself- perhaps it is a task, goal or a business objective- whatever that may be- rest assured you will excel and hit that goal only because you knew well about that bit even as you went into celebrating the new year and unlike the majority around you- you stay unique by this singular definition and this is what puts you in a small set of people who know why they are enjoying, what they will do post this break and when they will come back to enjoy further and what is that they will have on their mind then!
The essence of surviving the “New Year Syndrome” wherein you risk to end up creating similar experiences, face similar problems and encounter similar pathways in a never ending loop is all about being able to shift the control of the narratives that come towards you; to you rather than allowing that power to reside with those who serve you those narratives! Like someone has said it before, Life is more about how you choose to react to what Life throws at you rather than what and how you think and feel it should be! You see, Life has it’s won weird ways and whether we like it or not that is how it is going to always be! As long as you are able to understand this space and ensure that you will stay aligned and rooted to your purpose, goal with a directed intent, rest assured you will survive the “New Year Syndrome” well enough and will be able to connect with and create new meaningful pathways for the times ahead and escape the trap of ending up doing the same thing again and again (expecting a different outcome) and then calling that a life well lived! I mean seriously, sure enough a chef who cooks the same dish will end up doing the same thing again and again- but even while the chef does that, a different experience is created in the context- simply because the customer is almost always different! This is what is yet another important aspect to always remember and take note of! It is not about whether your approach to life has repetition or not, it is not about whether you are always doing new tasks and there is more vibrancy in what you do or not, it is more about how do you create and further value in what you choose to do, whether that is the only thing you choose to do in 2021 or whether it is the only thing that you want to do each day through 2021!
Each one of us is unique and it is the unfailing ability to harness that intrinsic uniqueness within which will empower each one of us to pursue and achieve what we seek and this is the way to ensure that we are away and over the “New Year Syndrome” because once we take this route; we are able to keep walking on a path that is aligned to our core belief systems and aspirations which are as meaningful as our aspirations are and as long as these are not utopian or some hallucinations, you will never find yourself in a loop and will never be bothered or preyed upon by the fatalistic and fabled, “New Year Syndrome”!
I leave you with these thoughts for now, even as you are gearing up to embrace 2021, the best possible way you can, just remember, make that bear hug memorable, inspiring and meaningful for yourself and others around you so that you don’t end up becoming another casualty of the “New Year Syndrome”!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise and take a path that propels you ahead!