Thousands of blogs, newspaper articles and much else besides will be endorsing, articulating and advocating all kinds of steps to take to improve your life. Yes, the dreaded “New Year’s Resolutions” (NYR). Well, fcuk resolutions, New Year’s or otherwise. Why? Well, there’s evidence a-plenty that says that most people who make resolutions (whether to lose weight – the biggest one, no pun intended – and more, besides) fail within the first few months. I suspect this is one major reason that I, among others, hate the BS about NYR. Or even simply just “R”.
Why is there such failure? I mean, why do vows and determinations to commit to a new, positive action, to overturn a bad habit, to be a better person in some sort of way, end up in failure?
We know that society and its innumerable institutions and social conditioning coerce us to become not better but less of ourselves. Education is not about education, but rather about conforming to accepting the status quo. And where has that left the new generation? With Sweet F. A. Governments across the globe spout on about achieving a beneficial understanding to succeed in society, according to certain prescribed criteria they dish out in curricula et al, but all such governments typically fail – and brilliantly so (i.e., miserably). Well, apart from the Northern European ones, who are so successful it’s embarrassing to the other governments and outsiders are just simply relieved that some of them instead suffer from bouts of depression, suicide/suicidal behaviour and alcoholism way above the “happiness” factor measurements would otherwise show) itself fails and we fail with it. (Facts: Typically Western societies fail to help children to achieve what they advocate: They espouse the importance of the fundamental needs for children to read, write and do basic maths, yet XX% children are coming out of school at the age of 16 with poor skills in these three areas. Studies have shown that universities are deeply troubled at the inadequacy of candidates who apply to prove capabilities in these areas. And these conclusions are about the teenagers who succeed in achieving qualifications that supposedly show the very abilities that the universities say are absent. WTF?!)
So, let’s focus on the fundamentals, then, in a real way. Let’s take a philosophical approach that demands definitions and examines behavioural attitudes and the consequences of such attitudes. Let’s understand the societal impositions, the social conditioning, the infrastructures of child development, the inadequacies of State education (and Private – the muppets – after all: Oh, yes, I want my child to have the best, that’s why s/he’s in private school. That’s all that matters – a solid grounding to have more opportunities available to him/her. [Subtext: Actually, frig/fcuk the fact that my child may end up highly qualified but will be an absolutely HUMONGOUS TWATTING, CONDESCENDING, UPPITY PRI*CKLESS PRI*CKS FROM TWATLAND – read: David Cameron‘s/New Gingrich’s ilk – because of their innate sense of superiority that Private School affords them.]).
Actually, let’s not. First key point: Normally, I’m incredibly anally-retentively keen to give evidence-based arguments. So all those points above that are listed in bold italic should, ordinarily, be annotated with evidence from many Western governments‘ own departmental research, independent think tanks’ research, UN’s various bodies of research evidence, and never ending. Fcuk it. The research is there but, let me be like all the Neo-Conservative/small-C conservatives out there and not cite such research. If you want to find it, it’s available. Check the web. Equally, if you’re a Neo-Con, anti-liberal, anti-libertarian etc., you will find evidence to support those views.
So let’s get back to basics (a phrase you’ll recall is often fondly used by Neo-Cons throughout UK, Europe and the US to discuss returning to a fascistic, less liberal, less tolerant, less understanding, less supportive way of life: well, let me qualify: LESS supportive of those disenfranchised, dispossessed, alienated, alone, segregated, misunderstood, misconceived, and more besides – again.
How do you then achieve real self-help? The self-help industry is worth billions of dollars every year. It follows swiftly behind pornography and oil and other such fun exploits of life and the earth and such.
SO! How do you achieve self-help, how do you make sure you are REALLY going to achieve POSITIVE CHANGE?
Well, HERE’S THE SECRET: BE FASCISTIC. YES! SERIOUSLY! (Erm, that’s one bold italic that will never be substantiated by evidence and, if it is, the person who presents it to me can go frig themselves, if they’re lucky.)
Ok, first perhaps I should define terms, as that’s otherwise going to lead us to a slippery slope of misunderstanding and I’ll end up writing a book like John Gray and men are aliens and women are other types of aliens and it becomes a horrendous bestseller that millions believe.
FASCISTIC: DEFINITION: I’m going to take the highly web-popular dictionary definition from Dictionary.com, definition 3:
“a person who is dictatorial or has extreme right-wing views.”
Still sounds awful? How does this connect with self-help? Simple. Most of us all pretty much agree (I hope) that we are our “own worst enemies”, our “own worst critics” and – so, surely, we agree that we are our own BEST “self-sabatoeurs” to self-help.
Most NYRs or even Rs for self-transformation (whether complete or singular of an aspect of oneself), are sabotaged by none other than, YES, you guessed it – NO – you KNEW: ourselves.
OUR UNIVERSAL BULLSHIT TO OTHERS AND TO OURSELVES: We are the most brilliant creatures at making excuses for our pathetic, inexcusable behaviour. We self-deceive, we prevaricate, we obfuscate, we obliterate (usually others, including good friends’ and family’s arguments to the contrary), we deny, we go at tangents, we circumnavigate, we look beyond, underneath, other-which-way, play sleight of hand, fall asleep, get tired, yawn, explain that we are too tired, too low, too miserable, too dejected, had a bad week/day/month, say we’re too busy, say there are more important things to focus on, say that YES I WILL STOP – BUT NOT RIGHT NOW – TOMORROW/NEXT WEEK/NEXT MONTH when life is less stressful, when the Xmas Season is over, when I’m adjusted to my new job, when I’ve done this, that or the other. And so it goes. Ad infinitum. And there’s always the other. We all know that, right?
Ok, so let me get to “brass tacks/bottom line” cliché. The reason you have to be fascistic for self-change is to avoid the scenario immediately highlighted above. How?
By being absolutely intolerant – fascistically so – of anything other than absolute obedience to our own self-defined plan to change for the better.
Will this really help? Well, it depends on how fascistic you’re prepared to be with yourself. Your intolerance of prejudice, of sexism, of homophobia, of racism, ageism, of innumerable “scape goats”, should in turn be the fire and dragon breath to help you to decide to succeed in achieving real change. But you won’t, if you’re not absolutely, completely 100% intolerant of excuses/reasons/BS of any kind that will steer you away from your goal/plan.
Will it work? Well, when I chose the path of a fascist (noted, of course, that I was born a liberal baby as soon as I popped out of my mother and – besides being rather overwhelmed by the entire mess – ahem (I’m rather anal retentive, but there’s only such much one can endure – I hoisted a placard saying: What are these barbaric conditions of giving birth! Poor woman! Women unite! Protest!
I’m getting away from the point, I know. Let me say this, then: YES, CATEGORICALLY IT DOES WORK. As I said in the beginning of this post, and we all pretty much know this, the biggest universal NYR/R is to lose weight. OK. I vowed/R. But whereas I did so in the past with absolute tolerance of my innumerable infringements and faux-pas and eff-ups and excuses, this time I was – YES, DEAR READER: FASCISTIC.
Every time I came up with one or more of the three biggest self-sabotaging excuses below, I countermanded and overruled them immediately – an absolute promise/pact I made with myself always fascistically, relentlessly to find a solution and alternative to whatever the excuse was in order to ensure I stuck to the original commitment.
Classic self-sabotage excuses include one or more of the following and, after the dashes, typically what I said/did to keep my fascistic rules in place and, thereby, my behaviour also. Some of my fascist counterpoints are lengthy – I didn’t necessarily use/apply all of the responses, but used one or more, depending on the strength of feeling of the self-sabotating. Note: Unsurprisingly, fascists and fascistic talk are rarely if ever diplomatic, so don’t be aghast by the occasional nastiness of the fascistic counterpoint. It’s fascistic – hello!
Self-Sabotaging Excuses — Fascistic Counterpoint(s)
1. I’m just too tired from overwork/lack of sleep — So do your exercise [or whatever it is] more slowly but, if you do, it’ll take you twice as long. But even when you’re exhausted, you can stick to your rule. Otherwise you’re just making excuses. Plus, the more you fascistically commit to your plan, the less likely it is you will be so tired in future because you will have more energy and strength both physically and mentally from continuing to do what you’re doing now in your plan.
2.I just can’t be bothered — You friggin lazy bastard! This is why you’re in this mess. And how exactly are you going to feel about yourself in a week’s / month’s / six month’s time when you’re still facing the same problems in the future with absolutely no improvement. Pull your fat finger outta your fat arse and get a friggin move on. Move it, asshole!
3. An emergency/crisis has happened (at work / home / with a friend / family member). [Sounds like a solid reason, eh? NO – it ain’t!] — Fair enough. However, for any planned physical/time-involving action (e.g., going to gym, jogging, talking a fast-paced walk), then either immediately plan/put into your diary the necessary alternative date(s) to cover whichever ones you have to miss now, or (better) remain committed to your schedule but just do them earlier/later in your day/evening so you remain on track. Otherwise, you’re just making a friggin lazy MOFO excuse and exploiting the emergency in order to avoid respecting yourself and honouring your own integrity. You want to be a two-faced lying sonofabitch to yourself and build self-respect that way, huh? Stick with the plan, otherwise one day you’ll end up in emergency and it’ll be too late to help yourself. And don’t be such a hypocrite: always going on about helping others to help themselves and being there for your friends and family and how important it all is, but you can’t even remain committed to helping your own self. Who the fcuk are you to advise others when you can’t swallow your own healthy advice?!
As I result, I stuck to a healthy diet, physical exercise plan and routine and kept to it “religiously” as they say (a funny term, I think, considering “religiously” means nothing like such a meaning!). In three months I lost three stone, no stretch marks, no consequences, and I achieved an ‘ideal weight’. (Erm – it didn’t stop my face from looking like a slapped arse, but that’s nature and the weather conditions for you – ahem.)
CONCLUSION: If, in 2012, you want to achieve any sort of real change in your life, be FASCISTIC. Yes! Be truly intolerant of you making excuses, backsliding, saying you can’t because of this/that or the other (there’s always ‘the other’, eh? I know!). You can’t say, “never mind tonight, I’m going out with friends and so won’t have the energy to do it tomorrow, according to my schedule. I’ll just postpone it to another day/time”. If you’re going to commit to a particular aspect of yourself changing, then commit. If you really don’t want to, really just can’t be arsed? Fine, then don’t. But then don’t feel guilty – that’s a bloody stupid waste of time, energy and emotion better spent doing something else rather than feeling more negative because of your own stupid behaviour/backsliding [note I didn’t say you were stupid – a big, important difference in self-analysis/evaluation!] – but don’t friggin kid yourself, either, okay?
Meanwhile, Just promise me you’ll continue to be open-minded, liberal, liberated, questioning, challenging of the status quo, loving to all and fascistically hateful of true intolerance. Please?