Akanna Okeke: New Year, New Me? You Bet!

Perhaps by now you would have seen a status update by a friend on any of the social media, saying “new year, new me!” and you would have scoffed at it.
Why do you scoff? Perhaps you don’t believe that your friend can change –can become new.  Perhaps you don’t even know what that means.  What does a “new me” even mean?
If I saw a friend who suffered some burns on his face, from an accident.  At first,  I may not recognise him because his face has changed.  But as we get talking, I will know who he is. And from what he says, I can determine that the incident did not change him.
However, if I saw a friend who I didn’t know was suffering from some form of amnesia, I would recognise him by his face rightaway but upon talking with him, I will get to find out that we cannot relate; he can’t seem to identify with many of the things I talk about, as though he didn’t share those memories with me.  Worse, he might not even be able to recognise me!
I would certainly leave that meeting with a firm conviction that my friend has “changed”.  He’s a new person now, and I want my old friend back!
Similarly, if I went to visit a friend who I always knew to be a morally upright person –a “holier than thou” brother who would not behold evil with his eyes.  Upon getting to his house, I meet him about to put on a ski mask to go with his suspicious-looking black-on-black outfit.  I ask him “what’s going on?” and he answers “oh the gang and I are going out to rob a bank this evening, you wanna join?”, as he puts on his mask and then holsters his gun.
I would probably run away from there convincced that I met the wrong person.  That is not the friend I used to know, he has “changed”!
My point? There are two broad things that make a person unrecognisable  and neither of them has to do with physical appearance.  They are the two Ms –Memory and Morality.  Changing anyone of these in any direction, positive or negative, will change how others see you, including yourself (being the last to notice most of the time though).  You become a “new you”.
Interestingly, these two areas broadly sum up the human mind.  Therefore, to change yourself, you have to change your mind.  You can only be transformed through the renewing of your mind.
This is 2017, a new year! I am committed to becoming a new me, a better version of myself, a person who is constantly trying to improve his mind and, consequently, his whole being as a human.  Not to worry, I won’t forget you. I will be posting some tips on how to achieve this, continuing next week, as we renew our minds together, choosing the road less traveled –the road to personal development.
Happy New Year, beautiful people!
Photo Credit: Tyler Olson |

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