The Year of Fidelity

Welcome to 2019! How are those New Years resolutions going?

Ok, I’m a bit late with my greeting. As I write this, the year is starting the third week of February. February contains an inflection point for New Years resolutions. According to some sources, 80% of New Years Resolutions tend to fail by the 2nd week of February. Those are pretty bad odds. If you’re still going strong, kudos to you! Welcome to the top 20%. If you’re not going strong, you are in the majority so don’t feel too bad.

With odds like thes, why does anyone bother making resolutions? Back in 2016, I understood this. Instead of making resolutions, I declared 2016 to be The Year of Better Decisions. No more resolutions, no more failures, just constant better decisions. After all, isn’t that what resolutions really are? Just better decisions?

The trouble arises when you fail to realize that you are making a decision. After all, you make thousands of decisions everyday. With all those decisions, we have become almost blind to our processes of making decisions. As a result we often don’t make good decisions. We need to be more mindful, and more aware of the decisions we make. Mindfulness became one of the 5 rules towards better decisions in 2017.

I had no new insights for 2018, but also no new advancements. I was pretty much stalled for 2018. Towards the end of the year I got some new insights; one from the HBO TV series Westworld and one from a podcast I listen to regularly, The Art of Charm podcast.

The Westworld series on HBO traces it roots to a Michael Crichton sci-fi movie from 1973. The IMDB synopsis describes it pretty well: “A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.” (In the HBO series, the plot is easily 10x more complex.) In the newer version, we find out in season two that the artificially intelligent robots, or hosts, are not released into service until they are “tested for fidelity.” That’s an interesting concept. What if people weren’t released into the world until they were tested for fidelity? I think we’d all be better off.

But what is “fidelity”?

On the podcast, episode 729, Self Esteem is Bullshit, the hosts, AJ and Johnny, discussed the topic of confidence with Dr. Steven Hayes. Dr. Hayes shares the etymology of the word “confidence”, which comes from the Latin, “con”, meaning “with” and “fidelis” meaning “fidelity”. Being confident means acting with fidelity. In turn we see that fidelity can mean two different things; it can refer to the degree of detail and resolution, and it can also refer to faithfulness. But detailed to what? And faithful to whom?

When it comes to New Years resolutions, there’s really only one person you need to be faithful to: your true and authentic self. Do you have sufficient detail and resolution of your true nature that you can act faithfully to your authentic self? If you can answer this question, then you can make better decisions that are aligned with your true, authentic self.

This makes every year going forward The Year Of Fidelity.

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I am a deep thinker, an avid reader, and seeker of manhood.

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