Resolutions can work – with a little Buddha wisdom applied

We often see resolutions as doing something “out there” (outside of ourselves) to create a happier life “in here” – (our inner state of being).  Could  the exact opposite of this process maybe get the result we want?

Many have given up on the idea of even making a resolution, as we know from experience (and also research) that they just don’t last and generally don’t really make anything much shift or change in our lives.

However, shift happens and behavior changes more easily and effectively when certain “conditions” are in place that support such things happening.  This idea is not new.  The ancient yogis and the Buddha expounded this element of behavioral science thousands of years ago.  It is known as the theory of “dependent origination” and is quite straightforward and not at all mysterious.  In a nutshell it tells us that when certain conditions are in place (many of them – not just one or two), then certain things MIGHT be “born” into “manifestation” and we can drastically increase the odds by setting in motion those conditions that will support the change we want. Think of the “perfect storm” that happens sometimes.  Many variables go into its creation and they are not always identical.  And some factors are complete oddities that we’ve never seen before and could be real game changers.  But we do know that if about 80 percent of the known factors are in place then the chances of a storm happening are high.

And it is also true for our life in the future.  We really don’t know what will happen for sure and any odd variable could change things, but we do know that if certain conditions prevail then there is a pretty good chance of predicting, with some degree of accuracy, what might transpire. We can increase the odds of the things we want to change happening,  if we take care of setting up the “conditions” that might give “rise” to their happening.  This is sometimes knows as setting up the “conditions arising”.

If you look at my short video you will see how I applied this practice in my own life a few years ago and was very satisfied with the outcome.

A big part of the process is right at the beginning.  Getting clear on what you want to change – and this should be in the form of a RESULT you want and not thing you DO.  Here’s a quick guide to help that clarity.

  1. What have you experienced in the past year that gives rise to a desire for change? Example:  You may have noticed that several times in interactions with your co-workers you did and said things that created strained relationships that took a long time to mend.
  2. What is it that you want to create in your life as a result – your intention?  Example:  You will create more harmonious relationships with your co-workers.
  3. If my you were to manifest this Intention what would it look like, feel like, or be like in your life?  Try it on.  Visualize it, feel it, experience it in your body as well as your thoughts. Example: You notice spending more time having fun at work and enjoying the company of your colleagues.  At the end of each day, you’ll be able look back and honestly say to yourself “That was a great day! I feel connected to my colleagues”
  4. What action steps do you need to take now to manifest your Intention?  Think small to begin with and then scale up.  It’s more important that the action step is achievable, realistic, and time bounded.  One example:  You will ask more questions of your colleagues to take a genuine interest in their well-being. You will do this with one colleague each week for four weeks and have two or three of these conversations with each person each week.
  5. How can you set up a daily practice to focus and support your daily Intention?  Example: You will breathe and move your body vigorously for 10 minutes right after you wake up each morning. Then you close your eyes and set your Intention for the day.  You then imagine a visceral embodied experience of this intention being manifest and as it comes to me you breathe and feel it more and then take the feeling with you into you day.

Good luck!   Let me know how it goes.

May you enjoy a meaningful New Year.  May your intentions manifest and your resolutions bear fruit.

Please share this post with your colleagues, friends, and others if you think it may serve them.   I’d love to hear from you too, so please leave a comment below.  Thanks.  

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