If you’re like most people, you struggle to keep to your New Year resolutions.
Sure, you might stick to it for a few days, or even a few weeks, but eventually, old habits die hard and you’re back doing the same old things you said you wouldn’t do.
But if you think that you’re a failure for doing so, think again.
Zen master Osho says that an enlightened person wouldn’t set New Year resolutions. Why? Because they wouldn’t set goals in the first place.
According to Osho, goal-orientation only exists in the mind. And an enlightened person is no-mind. Check out his thought provoking words here:
“No enlightened person has ever been goal-oriented; he cannot be. Goal-orientation is the way of the mind. Mind exists through goals, mind exists in the future, mind exists in ambition. Mind is always an achieving mind…
“The enlightened person lives in no-mind. No-mind is enlightenment. Hence, the enlightened one cannot be goal-oriented; he has no future, for him all is present. And that’s why he’s continuously misunderstood. He talks of the present but people hear him through their minds, and minds immediately distort. Minds immediately change it into a goal, into some ideas that has to be achieved in the future.
“Perfection is not a goal but a reality. It has not to be achieved but only recognized. All that is needed is a recognition of something which is already present. You are perfect – it is not that you have to become perfect. There is no should implied in it, you already it. It has only to be recognized, you have to become alert to it, you have to be aware of it – what you are. Perfection is already the case.
“But people go on making it a goal. They say, ” We have to be perfecT. We have to become enlightened. We have to attain nirvana. We have to enter into paradise.” They make a faraway beautiful goal and then the mind can continue.”
According to Osho, the mind exists primarily because of the future. As a result, the mind causes us problems like anxiety, anguish and fear:
“Mind needs future – any kind of future will do. You have to become rich, you have to become powerful, you have to become beautiful, you have to become wise, you have to become enlightened – it doesn’t matter.
If becoming is there – mind will persist. And the persistence of mind is your whole misery. It keeps you tense. It keeps you in anxiety, anguish, a continuous fear of missing the goal. It keeps you greedy – a continuous lust to attain the goal. And whatever the goal is, it does not matter – money or God, success or samadhi – it doesn’t matter at all. Let it sink deep in your heart: wherever the goal is, the mind is; wherever the future is, the mind is. Tomorrow is another name for the mind. Tomorrow exists nowhere else except in the mind; they are dependent on each other. If you drop tomorrows, mind will simply evaporate; it cannot exists.
“Mind has no present tense; it cannot be herenow, so it goes on giving you new ideas. If you are tired of the world, it says there is another world. If you are tired of this life, it says, “Don’t be worried, there is an after-life, but go on running.”
Osho goes onto say that the mind makes us believe that perfection is always close. But this is an illusion that only prolongs our suffering:
“This running, this continuous running after the horizon which exists nowhere, which is an illusion, but it appears to be there. And so close and so alluring, so tempting, so magnetic, and so close, that is seems just a little effort, just a little effort more. It is just a few miles ahead. And it is so clearly there, so radiantly there – how can you remain untempted? It appears within reach, but you can go on running and running and you never arrive. The distance between you and the horizon will always remain the same, because the horizon exists nowhere except in your mind. It is an appearance, it is an illusion. All goals are illusory – worldy, other-worldy.”
So, what’s the answer? According to Osho, forget about setting goals and focus on the present moment. This is the only way you can be truly happy:
“To be herenow is the way of being in truth, in reality. It is not a question of becoming – you are already perfect. Perfect is your being. Becoming is running after a goal; being is relaxing into your nature, relaxing herenow, resting in the moment and suddenly that which was not available becomes available. You were not ware of it; suddenly you are awakened to it. Perfection is an awakening.”