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A call for fewer walls

The transition from one year to another, which is marked by nothing other than the increment of a number in the calendar and a public holiday and overpriced events, is a fictional point in our timelines that has a majority of the people in the world embarking on new things. More so than at any other point in time.

Some call it resolutions, some call it taking stock and planning, and some refuse to put any label to it. But irrespective of that, the action is the same where a new practice or a habit or a hobby is embarked upon with the intent of seeing it through to the end.

A lot of these new things that we decide to take up or new changes that we intend to bring about involves deviating from the routine that we're accustomed to, challenging ourselves more than we have done before, stepping out of what we're traditionally comfortable with.

And we understand this very well.

So, it naturally becomes easy to give ourself outs. We can make use of external circumstances, like inclement weather on a few days, to shift responsibility to. We can make use of what we believe are our inherent strengths or weaknesses, "I've never been good at Math, learning Python isn't for me", to shift responsibility to. We can decide that our best effort is not enough to make a difference, "Nobody reads what I write, so might as well stop", and make that responsible for quitting.

But these are all walls that we make up to keep ourselves satisfied that we actually did something and were only prevented from going further by an insurmountable wall. It is just a coping mechanism, like religion or pessimism.

Because, if these walls weren't there to prevent us from going further, we would actually have to go ahead and turn up every day and make progress.

So, our biggest fear is that we are actually immensely capable of doing whatever it takes to make progress in anything that we want. If we were, no walls would be able to hold us back. And as a result, we can't believe in both the walls and impediments as well as the fact that we have what it takes to surmount them.

So, we quit. And we pretend to look for ways to surmount the wall that we already know how to. Because this feels like making progress.

Yes, if it is cold outside, it is harder to run at six in the morning. Yes, if we don't have a liking to basic math, it is harder to learn Python. Yes, it is harder to stay motivated to keep publishing when nobody reads what you write.

But, when was anything ever easy?

How much we want something determines how hard we are willing to give it a go.

As an alternative, we build walls and fool ourselves into thinking that the reason we aren't doing what we want is because of something that's outside our control.

This new year, let's have fewer such walls.

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