I Want to Feel Effective

Throughout my entire life, one recurring theme has dominated the choices I’ve made, detours I’ve taken and convictions I’ve latched onto—the need for efficacy. I crave that sense of influence, achievement, validation, agency. To feel command over setbacks. Invincibility over hardships. An upper-hand over karma.

Even when the feeling is tenuous or contrived, I want to believe it’s there.

Why this desperation for control? I have a few guesses, but one sticks out—fear that my contributions don’t matter. That my existence lacks purpose. That I’m destined for mediocrity when this heart of mine clamors for passion and inspiration. That I’m just not effective.

Call it a “futility phobia,” but I often wonder if that desire for impact will ever come to fruition. After all, I can’t dictate the course of social justice. I can’t force another person to embrace the potential I know lives inside them. I can’t transform our culture.

True. But I can shift my own attitudes and perceptions.

Instead of being a defeatist who second guesses where my life is headed and what significance it could possibly have, I gotta do some major mental rewiring. Exchange the hesitance for confidence. The cynicism for enthusiasm. The anxiety for vitality.

Perhaps in the future, these words flowing from my spirit won’t get trapped in the obscurity of time and space. They won’t seem like a rambling stream-of-consciousness without focus, intent or direction. Maybe this urge to write—to express, to create meaning—will change the world someday.

Or not. I can’t predict an outcome. Nor can I control it. But to become more effective, I don’t need all the answers. I just need faith.

Faith that adversity forges empowerment.

Faith that mistakes build wisdom and character.

Faith that dedication reaps accomplishment.

Faith that each story—even mine, even yours—is worthwhile.

change-yourself-effectively

New Year. New Moi.

2015

image courtesy of specialevents.com

On the off-chance that anyone will bother reading this (or, find it remotely interesting, for that matter)…behold, my Resolutions for 2015:

  1. I will integrate a 30-minute yoga practice into my regular routine, starting with once per week, then gradually increasing to every day.
  2. I will divorce my tendency to restrict calories and, instead, eat balanced portions of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
  3. I will put a small sum of money aside each month in order to afford an adventure abroad by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.
  4. I will learn how to play a musical instrument or explore a potential new hobby that I’ve wanted to try but have never made time for.
  5. I will curb my sarcastic tongue, compulsive need for control, superiority complex and judgmental attitude in my dealings with others.
  6. I will root excessive anxiety, stress or fear of the future out of my life, and focus on counting my blessings instead of uncertainties.
  7. I will make a conscious effort to form new friendships in my area, as well as reconnect with old friends, with whom I’ve lost touch.
  8. I will pursue professional writing opportunities, learn how to become marketable in this industry and, of course, network my ass off.
  9. I will participate in the Whole-30 nutrition program at least once, which will be an extraordinary feat, considering my love for wine.
  10. I will get back into the habit of regularly posting on this [sniff…sniff…all-too-often neglected] blog, at a minimum of twice per week.
  11. I will become more sensitive and respectful toward my significant other’s needs, and flex my “romantic muscles” more frequently.
  12. I will practice open communication with loved ones, demonstrate vulnerability and accept help, instead of  relying solely on myself.
  13. I will read 5-10 classic novels from Time Magazine’s 100 All-Time Best Literary Works list, even if this makes me sound pretentious.
  14. I will continue my current exercise regimen of 5 days per week–1 hour per day, focusing on a balance of cardio and strength training.
  15. I will regularly attend a local Bible study and set aside between 10-15 minutes on a daily basis for spiritual “quiet time” and meditation.

Got any Resolutions of your own? Discuss…