Moving Forward

By Hui Qi

New Year Resolution One : To have the courage to change things and move on

And I wonder, that with age, what have I reaped? Years and years later, am I a better person? Am I wiser? The truth is that with constant relentless and deep reflection, I see the person for who I am. I see all my flaws and the attendant shame and if I am not careful, I fall into that dark abyss of depression and self-contempt. On more than one occasion, the truth of my intentions as a result of ruthless reflection has left me paralysed with fear and shame and the inability to innovate and lead. 

This is when I must take a deep breath, gather every atom of courage and strength I possess and move on, and try to make things work. 

New Year Resolution Two : To overcome fear of failure and to be more pro-active in the spread of the Dharma

When I was small, I had time to look at dust glinting in the sunlight and to wonder long and hard about the origin of dust. To look at the sea and think about swimming to the other side. I imagined that the world was my oyster and possibilities, limitless. A few decades later, that curiosity, sunny optimism and drive seems to have dissipated like dust into the wind. I remember that courage and boundless energy from my childhood and I ask myself, what happened to all that curiosity and positivity? 

As a Buddhist practitioner, I have to remind myself be more courageous and pro-active in helping to spread the Dharma to others. After all, the Buddha showed us how he left everything behind to seek the truth. That is, great courage and I take inspiration from that. 

New Year Resolution Three: Take responsibility for my thoughts, speech and action.

When confronted, it is a natural instinct to defend and that usually results in pushing the blame. I want to break out of this vicious cycle, this victim mentality. After all, we are taught the law of causality and that everything is a result of past actions. No more blaming the environment and my present circumstances for any negativity in thought, speech and action. This new year, I will acknowledge, take responsibility and make the best out of any situation I find myself in. 

New Year Resolution Four : Practise humility 

I realise that as I get older, I have a tendency to think that my views and opinions are better than those of the younger people or people with less experience than myself in handling a certain task. Often, the reason why I discount other opinions or solutions is because I did not think of them first (LOL) or that I have already thought of a solution and do not want to spend time exploring options and possibilities that may be better.  I can be rather brusque and brush aside rather impatiently good advice and suggestions. This arrogance goes very much against the grain of the teachings of the Buddha and is something I must watch and manage. 

New Year Resolution Five : To manage my time wisely

When I am not occupied with a task, I have the habit of looking for people, thoughts or things to fill up that gap. It may be a whole chain of meaningless, or even worse, unwholesome thoughts , it may be a movie or a mindless surfing of the internet. I strive to be more aware this new year of how I react to empty pockets of time. 

I am fast approaching the fourth decade of my life and I feel that it is time to stocktake and reflect seriously on how I would like to live out the rest of my life. Indulging in worldly pleasures at the expense of spiritual growth is my greatest temptation and I must be mindful not to give in to greed and avarice that will deepen my attachment to the material and take time away from my spiritual cultivation. 

How about you, dear reader? What are your resolutions for this new year? Whatever they may be, may you be blessed with the wisdom to make good choices. Let’s all work hard to make the world a better place to live in, one baby step at a time. Be with Buddha.