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New Year’s Resolutions

The one

11:55 PM, December 31st…Something old.

The New Year’s Eve party roars around family and friends.

“Glad you asked”, replies Kayla. “Mine is probably very popular right about now.”

“Let me guess”, says Khloé. “Please do not take this the wrong way. When you said that your New Year’s resolution was ‘very popular right now’, the first thing I thought of was to get in shape or lose weight. Did I guess right?”

But before Kayla can respond, Tracy walks up to the group. “Hi everyone! Great to see you! What a party! Two guesses who I just saw.”

“Hmmm. Don’t tell me he’s here!” replies Brianna. “I only need one guess.”

“Your right! I am so predictable”, says Tracy. “It’s Jim. Has anyone talked about their New Year’s resolution yet? Mine is to date Jim. We’ve been close friends for years and I am now ready for a long-term relationship.”

“As a matter of fact, Kayla was about to reveal her resolution when you said hello, Tracy”, says Khloé.

Tracy turns to Kayla with curiosity and says, “Sooooo, do you have a ‘Jim’ in your sights?”

“No, not quite,” responds Kayla. “Mine is to spend more time with family and friends. We are all so busy, our lives are so overtaken by events and information that we spend most of our time researching, responding and writing on screens. I think we all need to carve out more time for the things that are important.”

“That’s deep!”, says Brianna. “Wow, I guess that is true for me too. My resolutions, however, are to quit smoking and enjoy life more. These sound simple but this time I am going to do it!”

“What about you Khloé?”, asks Brianna.

“Well … I’ve given this a lot of thought”, responds Khloé. “I really want to stop drinking, not tonight of course (everyone laughs), and I want to get out of debt. My license plate should read: ‘IO O IO’” (loud party laughter).

Brianna: “I just heard a few from those guys over there. One was saying his resolutions are to learn something new and help others. What a hunk! Perhaps I can help him with that!” (Group laughter)

Khloé: “Yea, I know what you mean. Let us know how that works out! I heard one say he wanted to get organized. That’s a weird one.”

Unknown to the group of friends, there is an elderly man sitting in the corner of the room listening to their conversation. His body, held up by his carved Afrormosia wood cane, leans towards them. He catches Kayla’s eyes and whispers: “P-u-r-p-o-s-e”.

Somewhat surprised, Kayla responds, “I’m sorry, were you talking to me?”

Elderly man: “Yes.”

Kayla: “Purpose? I do not understand?”

(About this time the group notices that Kayla and the elderly man have struck up a conversation and listens in.)

Elderly man: “Most people do not understand and that is why the likelihood is low that any of you will realize your New Year’s resolution.”

Tracy: “What is he talking about, Kayla?”

Kayla: “I think he is saying that none of us are likely to realize our resolutions because of something that has to do with purpose.”

The group of friends curiously approach the elderly man and almost in concert say: “Okay, so how can we increase our chances of realizing our New Year’s resolutions?”

Elderly man: “Before I can answer that question, I need to know the answer to this question from each of you (he pauses): What is your purpose in life? The answer needs to be nestled within a few words. Your response to this question will guide you toward the right path. Most people have not identified with their purpose in life and therefore set goals that are not aligned with ultimate happiness and success. Their resolutions year after year only represent a desire fostered in false hope with no beacon to encourage them toward achievement. Purpose is that beacon. So, will each of you tell me? What is your purpose in life?”

Brianna: “That’s easy! To get rich and sail all over the world”. (Laughter)

Khloé: “Yea, that would be nice! Mine is to find someone special that is loyal and love me unconditionally”. (Group awwwwwe)

Tracy: “Good one! My purpose in life is to be on time for work every morning! That is a chore!” (Bursts of laughter)

Kayla: “Well…mine is to leave this world a better place than when I came into it.” (Group pause)

Elderly man: “Only one of you has aligned your New Year’s resolution with your purpose in life. Know that purpose drives your perspective. Your perspective drives your priorities. Your priorities drive your behavior. Your behavior drives your level of perceived success. Getting these out-of-order will lead to meaningless resolutions which quickly fade with the season and lead to similar resolutions and disappointments next year. Getting these in order will offer the clarity of converting the possible into the probable.”

The man starts to walk away slowly. It is now a few seconds before midnight.

Kayla yells: “Wait …sir! But how do you know when you have found ‘The One’…your purpose in life?”

The elderly man turns and smiles: “You know you have found ‘The One’ when your dreams consistently come true, not by chance, but because you relentlessly willed them to be so.”

The small group of friends find themselves in thought as the countdown continues in the background, 3 …2 …1…, the elderly man disappears.

The party erupts around those gathered as the cycle of endings and beginnings continues! “Happy New Year!”, echoes throughout.

12:00 AM, January 1st…Something new?

By J.A. Rodriguez Jr. a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.