Last week, after a long and arduous hour of grocery [aka junk food] shopping, I decided to unwind at a nearby bookstore. The moment I entered the store, I felt euphoric. Because here, much to my delight, there was an entire section dedicated to stationeries, or to be more precise – diaries.
Now, I have a condition. I cannot have enough of pretty diaries. My room is stacked with such half or hardly used diaries & notebooks. Because every time I fail to keep up with some writing routine and decide to start afresh, I feel like I need a new one for that. The previous, unfinished one seems way too ‘tainted’ for a new start.
There’s something about a new diary and its blank pages. It makes me feel giddy, thinking of all the cool things I could write in it. I’ll definitely make good use of this one. I tell myself. This is exactly what I was looking for! And the vicious cycle continues.
Few things are as intoxicating as the promise of a new start.
A new habit. A new journey. A new job. A new relationship. A new phone. A new friend. Even a new lipstick can make you feel invincible for a while.
Forget happy endings. Actually, we are suckers for happy beginnings.
New beginnings are like my new diaries – the blank pages fill you with euphoric optimism. Plus, there is no history of unfinished business or abandoned resolutions staring up at you, making you uncomfortable. Hence, it’s easy to convince yourself that this time, you’ll definitely do it right.
This is why the guy who skips gymming after just 3 days out of laziness, gets all pumped up about his new cardio classes – because he’s convinced it’ll be better this time. It’s a new start.
The writer, who discards incomplete drafts every time he hits a bump, promptly forgets about them and starts a new one, because he feels this new idea will be way better and he will definitely finish this.
The girl, who abandons a relationship when it becomes difficult, jumps to the next one with renewed vigour, believing that this time she’ll get to do it right because it’s a clean slate.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it isn’t.
Unless you’re just born, you do not really have a clean slate. The start may be new, but YOU are not.
You can begin a new workout routine. But on day 3, your old friend laziness will pop up again.You can begin a new write up, but that familiar bump will be waiting for you down the road.You can begin a new relationship, but the very habits that spelled doom for the previous one will rear their ugly heads again.
Unless you stop the root cause that’s dragging you down, no amount of new chances can help you succeed. Thing is, you can run to a new start. But you can’t escape the old one you abandoned half way. Or the reasons that made you abandon it.
Because then, you’ll be ignoring the most important law of all – for something to successfully begin, something else must truly end.
Leaving something half-way is not ending it. Ignoring it is not ending it.
We lose ourselves in the high of a new start, often forgetting that soon enough, this new will become old. And once it does, it’d be no different than the old start we had left behind. What’s important is to put a stop to the reasons that made that old start a failure.
So unless you find a way to stop the laziness, you’ll never stick with any workout routine. Unless you stop discarding incomplete drafts, you’ll never gain the confidence to complete any of your writings.Unless you stop ignoring the issues that kill your relationships, you’ll never be able to sustain any bond.
Failures are never pretty. But they are surprisingly helpful. They tell you, quite clearly, what you need to stop doing. You need to be willing to hang back for a while and listen, instead of blocking it from your sight and running to a new, promising beginning.
It’s not easy to resist a shiny new start. And I’m not asking you to.
But before you commit to a new notebook for a brand new story of your life, make sure you don’t leave any incomplete endings in the old one, that may come back and lure you down the rabbit hole again!