Why New Year resolutions fail to materialise, but random myths do.


It was December 30th, 2011and the Cyclone “Thane” was raging outside.  The trees swayed, the wind blew away the curtains, and it was raining cats and dogs. But in no way could it dampen my spirit nor my roommates’.  An animated discussion was going on about the New Year resolutions for 2012, and we agreed on working out every morning at 7:00 AM.

Out of the blue, the mirror hanging on the wall fell down smashing into a million pieces. We were left dumbstruck by the impact of the crash and shattered glass glistened on the floor as if saying ode to its glorious past.

After the initial astonishment passed, we started contemplating on the superstitions associated with the breaking of mirrors.

“Myth says breaking of mirrors brings bad luck”, Jasmine said.

“Oh, come on, let this not spoil our New Year celebrations”, I replied.

We were debating on what to do next, while our friend Deepthi was frantically searching in Google about the myths on broken mirror.

“It says 7 years of bad luck or some bad incident will happen in next 7 days”, said Deepthi without tearing her eyes away from the system.

She scrolled down the page to show hundreds of incidents from the past, representations of it in literature and movies and real life examples quoted by people around the world.

“Google is not God! Come on, we have better things to worry about”, I said, concealing my apprehensions. But the girls looked unconvinced.

Just then Gowry returned home from work and we explained to her about the situation at hand.

She brushed away our arguments saying-

“Tomorrow is New Year Eve and instead of planning the celebrations, you are worrying about all this non sense. Let us get this mess out of our room and out of our mind, once and forever”.

As if waiting for a nudge, we started cleaning up the place and tried to put the episode at the back of our mind. But some misgivings lingered, though none of us wanted to talk about it and spoil the fun.

***********

It was New Year Eve and Deepthi was adamant that we have to cut a cake when clock struck twelve. Just as we gave in to her relentless pleas to go shopping for a cake, Gowry got a call from her office.

“Guys, I have to go to work. A ticket has been raised and I have to resolve it. Got to go”, she said.

“Come on, its New Year Eve, do you really have to go?” we asked her, though we knew that there is no other alternative.

The whole of Chennai was out on the roads, chasing their New Year hopes and dreams.  We three, headed towards the shop and Gowry headed to her office.

We were crossing the road and a car that sped past us splashed rain water, leaving the three of us drenched.  Cursing the driver under breath, we were about to enter the bakers, when the power went off.

Standing in pitch darkness, I heard Jasmine say “Is this bad luck due to the breaking of mirror?”

Cutting short our shopping trip, we hurriedly purchased a cake and fought our way back home, in the dark street amidst the crowd that clogged up lanes.

By the time we reached back, we came up with a theory connecting the broken mirror and all the mishaps. Like we see in final destination movie series, bad luck had just affected the three of us and skipped Gowry who was absent when the mirror broke. Random events that could have zero significance on a normal day got new dimensions because we tried to associate it with the myth.

It might sound absolutely ridiculous to you, but I can tell you that sometimes even the most rational person can succumb to what is called “Self-fulfilling Prophecy”. It was a false belief that we had about the broken mirror and the bad luck it would bring, which resulted in our behaviour that tended to make it come true.

I tried applying the same concept to New Year resolutions. It’s a popular belief or rather an understood fact that New Year resolutions are not to be followed.  May be, again the self-fulfilling prophecy comes to play while taking a New Year resolution, as mind already believes that  it is not to be followed. Perhaps that is why our behaviour is such that, we don’t even put an effort in trying to make the resolution come true.

Are you wondering why I am saying this with such conviction?

Because 4 days have passed and we still have not even moved a muscle and the whole “We will work out every morning at 7.00 AM was gone with the wind”. The same wind that blew on that cyclonic night the mirror crashed.

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Why New Year resolutions fail to materialise, but random myths do.”

  1. I agree with you. This can be related to self confidence. We should have self belief that we can crack the code. Post which we can solve all the hurdles that come. if we lack confidence then we shall find difficult to solve even the smallest obstruction. In order to fulfill new year resolution we must first belive we can do it!

    Like

  2. i feel a very few people make new year resolutions with a strong conviction to follow it..usually people for things that are not important to their life or that they themselves don’t want to do…otherwise why should anyone has to wait for a new year to come to do what is needed…for me..i only think of a new year resolution when somebody asks me what it is…

    By the way,,i enjoyed reading your post.. 🙂

    Like

  3. Liked the thought you have conveyed. One thing is that with resolutions we tend not to linger on the thought for long, and the general human tendency is to let myths linger long enough in the mind to start co-relating things with these myths. Thanks for the article.

    Like

  4. First, I guess its a good sign that the mirror broke. Not for you girls, but for the mirror itself. It doesn’t have to look at all your faces every day and night. Secondly, the mirror broke on Dec 31. So it means that you must have replaced the mirror. And from Jan 1 the image you see on the mirror is new. You can see a new person( just a phrase), which you can take it as a sign of new beginning. Every thing that happen in this world has positive and negative sides. You just have see what you want to see,

    Like

    1. Srini,
      This is the best comment on this post so far..i am impressed by your perspective..A new image, a new beginning and a new year..Interesting..You reminded me of the saying, that you can look at a glass of water as half full or half empty.. 🙂 In you, I see the guy who does not debate on whether the glass is empty or full, but rather drink the water, enjoy it and live it..thank u friend

      Like

  5. If its a fact then obviously very well narrated to make it attractive..and if its an imagination then it requires little deeper twist. However, I want to appreciate the fact you supported about the superstition like, ‘Self-fulfilling Prophecy’.
    Thanks for sharing….

    Like

  6. Well…some of those myths just are so co-incidental that you beleive them blindly…for me…most of the time….nothing happens…and am not pretty enthused about that fact ‘coz you never know what happens..but in this case since Jasmin thinks so….i wouldn’t want to disagree..

    Like

    1. Ya, exactly Rakesh..I totally reciprocate both the things you said.. Firstly, if we try connecting all events, then there is no fun in awaiting the future..Second, its better not to disagree with Jas

      Like

  7. Would you be able to interpret the happenings if you were not aware of such a myth? 🙂 🙂

    We don’t know what the next moment unfolds before each one of us. But we can interpret them if we found something to which these incidents can be related. 😉

    There are many things that is beyond human mind’s understanding. They can often convey some messages.. You don’t have to believe them blindly; but you can’t ignore them too..

    Like

  8. Shruthi Blog written well.. New year events was gud one ..It was very adroit and ur words were ephereal and exemplified to read it .. With this style of writing u can become a gr8 author .U deserve a Accolade. Do write more blogs and in future u will be a ink slinger 🙂

    Like

  9. beautiful piece of writing.. loved the way yu have connected the incidents and pulled all the threads together in the end… A good take on thane, self fulfilling prophesy and new year resolution.. Bringing a positive note of keepin mew year resolutions out of of myths and beliefs, there u score a double century..!!! thanks for this piee of writing. Enjoyed the read completely!!

    Like

  10. Well, I have been sticking to my new year resolution. During the new year of 2009, I had take a new year resolution as to not to take any more resolutions & I have been doing a pretty good job I’d say. 🙂

    & Regarding the breaking of mirror, bad luck and stuff…. Come on… Life is too short to be worrying about all this. Brush all these things aside and live life everyday to the fullest. These things are so insignificant and trivial. Its all in the mind.

    Good job cartoon (a.k.a Shruthi) 🙂

    Like

  11. It is good that you mentioned the real names and incidences…..

    so what do u think about Broken glasses that bring to you this new year …

    If you think you can , you are right . If you think you cant , again you are right.

    So always and live in what you really wants 🙂

    Keep writing dear author. You can think of publishing your book after some time 🙂

    Do Have Big dreams :

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s