“… a modern problem is a question which has just arisen and whose answer lies in the future.”
— Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
I recently attended a holiday gathering where we all sat in a circle at one point and were asked to discuss our goals for the new year. This seems a little odd to me. You see, I don’t think in terms of the new year. I think in terms of what I need to work on right now, how feasible it is, and what I need in order to get started. I didn’t decide to wait for 2020 to learn to code; I began learning back in August. I didn’t wait until 2020 to launch CORE; I launched it as soon as it was ready back in mid-February. I didn’t wait until 2020 to pick up a hammer and begin training with it; I began earlier this year, when it became viable.
All things, as soon as they are viable. I had to learn to code in order to develop an administrative bot to help me with CORE. So I learned to code. Developing the bot is now viable. I’m not waiting for 2020 to do it, I’m doing the work now.
A new year is coming. It’s right around the corner. And while I personally don’t take much stock in the new year, enough people do that it’s become a big deal. Current problems are packed into New Year’s Resolutions for, well, future resolution. And as a result, everyone’s looking to the new year with hope.
Now, I’m not suggesting this is a bad thing, necessarily. However, this mentality does put off for the future work that can be started today. And given that there is no deadline, this work can be put off indefinitely. After all, “next year” rarely ever means “as soon as next year begins.” Mostly, it means “sometime next year,” which really comes to mean “never.”
“A modern problem is a question which has just arisen and whose answer lies in the future.” Here’s the crux of that statement: most of your problems are not modern. Most of the problems you face are problems you have dealt with time and time again. And the answer doesn’t lie in the future. Nay, you KNOW what the answers are. The problem with your perceived solutions isn’t with the problems themselves, but is rather a matter of motivation. These problems are recurring because you don’t want to deal with them right now.
Except, now’s the time to deal with them.
Whatever it is that you have in mind to do, whether it’s build more muscle, practice more yoga, sleep better, write that letter, make that phone call, clean out the garage, build a bookcase, learn to code, anything, the best time isn’t “next year.” The best time isn’t “when conditions are perfect.” The best time is now.
You don’t need a resolution to get to work.
You just need to get to work.