I often tell people that I tend to go with the flow. I imagine myself floating along rivers be it calm or frantic. Wherever they take me, I follow. Anything that comes by I take or I ignore. That much I have control over. Otherwise, I am just a floating being on a set course.

Lately, however, there are more “things” coming my way that is difficult to ignore or even take. They tend to knock me out but I do my best to bear the impact and carry on with the flow. But how much longer can I sustain this before I actually drown?

Not very long, I suspect. I would have to disengage with the flow and find a better way towards the vast and promising ocean. I would have to force myself to go against the current if need be but at the same time not ignoring my gut feeling. How am I to achieve this?

Maybe I need to make concrete plans.

I am not one to write down yearly resolutions let alone abide by them. Instead, I tend to jot down goals as and when I feel like it. However, looking at my progress (or lack thereof) up to 2016, my accomplishments (if they can be called such) are mediocre, and so defining my goals thoroughly and periodically may be necessary for my personal growth.

I might have mentioned the idea of goal-setting in the past. If I did it meant that I really had no clue back then. Now, I actually do write down my plans and ideas but because I am new to this, I feel like my plans aren’t detailed or concrete enough to be realised. It might also be due to a lack of focus or motivation at certain times.

But mostly, I think, it is the lack of accountability.

For the past 15 years or so of my life, I had been in an education system whereby at the end of each academic year, I’d have to take exams that would determine my next step. To get good grades and improve academically was my motivation. If I falter — and oh boy did I falter a great many times — I would’ve only had myself to blame and feel the consequences.

When I was done with that institution and in a transition state to another, I realised how big a role an institution actually plays. We are so used to being in a system that in a way drives us towards a certain goal that we have to achieve. The system is like a machine and we are just the cog, just following the rhythm.

But what happens if we are out of the system? Are we just mindless, aimless being seeking for the next system to work in or to be useful? Are we nothing without an external structure?

Those are the questions that have been in my mind, even now that I have just joined another institution — this time a professional one. Although I have defined myself as a person, I have yet to really define my exact purpose or direction. I know roughly which path to take but the view is still rather misty.

And generally, the lack of accountability is the reason why most of my plans and ideas never materialised. Those that did were because they needed to happen. For example, I needed a job after graduation to support myself financially. And so I searched for one and eventually I got it. In the process, I told myself that I wouldn’t be involved in any work that I wouldn’t enjoy or find value in. So I held myself — my life — accountable. If I can’t get a job (that I like) I would suffer financially and emotionally. And also my mum would have kept on pestering me.

Another example is that since I currently have a source of income, I could use it for my benefit. And so I signed up for Muay Thai classes. Because I am using my own money (not that of my parents), I know I had to attend as many classes as possible. If not, it will only be a waste of my money. But of course, I wouldn’t have signed up if I weren’t extremely keen on it. That in itself may be another accountability factor — I am keen on learning martial arts to be able to learn self-defence whilst increasing my fitness level. If I don’t do that now that I’m still young and able, I would definitely regret it later.

I have so many plans to cater to my interests and my career. It’s easy to rationalise the need for them, but it is difficult to make them happen. Besides work and fitness regime, I also want to improve on writing and speaking (blogging and YouTube-ing). But I somehow can’t stick to my schedule that I’ve drawn up. Are they actually not my priorities at the moment? Or am I not trying hard enough? What could be the accountability factor? Do I need an accountability partner to give me an earful each time I slack? Do I need to create some sort of challenge involving money (since that seems to drive every action)?

Well, I don’t know what will work. But I know I just have to keep on trying. Find what works. Abandon those that don’t. Be more strict with myself and perhaps reevaluate my intentions.

Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll do.


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