The Only New Year’s Resolution You Will Ever Need

“The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit.” — Nietzsche

Once again we’ve reached that time of the year where it’s socially acceptable to hate your current situation enough to recognize that changes must be made. It’s time to renew and update your New Year’s resolutions!

But don’t be like everyone else. Sure, perhaps you could be a couple pounds lighter, and perhaps this is the year when your abs will finally get a six-pack. But don’t let those silly little resolutions be the focus of this new coming year.

Think bigger!

Get out your notebook and write the only resolution you will ever need:

“Shed my skin!”

A little biology lesson — a snake sheds its skin 4 to 12 times a year for TWO main reasons:
1) While the snake’s body continues to grow, the skin does not. In order to continue growing, it must shed its skin.
2) Shedding the skin removes harmful parasites.

A snake’s growth would be impossible if it decides to keep its old skin forever. If it wants to evolve, it needs to shed its skin… regardless of how attached the snake may be to it.

As humans, we also need to grow and evolve, and our metaphorical skins may be keeping us back. Worse yet, the parasites in our old skin may be intoxicating our thoughts, goals, and outlook of life.

Your skin represents all your beliefs and ideas about the world you assume to be true.

Our main stretch of “skin” develops during childhood and adolescence. This “skin” is mainly provided to us courtesy of all the humans within our circle and our life experiences. Our skin is highly malleable at this point. It is constantly changing, adapting itself to the exigencies of life and to the whims of adolescence.

But once we hit adulthood, we grow comfortable with our skin and stop evolving it. Once we develop a set of beliefs about ourselves, about the world, and about the people that surround us, we do NOTHING to change it. We complacently and erroneously believe, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But just because the system appears to be working, doesn’t mean it’s not broken.

Nietzsche, the rebel of the 19th-century philosophy, wholeheartedly believed that we must constantly challenge what the world ASSUMES to be true. This means challenging your most cherished beliefs about life and how it’s supposed to be lived.

Easier said than done.

Most people actively avoid questioning their beliefs and ideas because their identity is so tightly bound to them. Challenging, or worse yet, changing any of these principles or convictions would turn their world upside down, potentially destroying their entire life and leaving them naked in the winter.

But according to Nietzsche, this is where things start to get good:

“Make it a rule never to withhold or conceal from yourself anything that may be thought against your own thoughts… This is the essential requirement of honest thinking. You must undertake such a campaign against yourself every day” — Dawn of Day

Life isn’t about living under someone else’s tenets and ideals. Life, a life that’s truly yours, is led by your own ideals after you’ve tested them time and again to prove to yourself that they’re worth something.

We may be the only creature in nature with the precious capacity to change our beliefs. However, this capacity must be continually exercised. Otherwise, our minds will wither and ossify.

Nietzsche described the free spirit as a “monster of courage and curiosity…a born adventurer and discoverer.”

Often, adulthood signifies the loss of curiosity. We stop wondering, we stop seeking. Life becomes nothing but an endless cycle of responsibilities, few of them fun. We become “bound spirits,” prisoners of beliefs imposed on us by society and by others. Prisoners of our old skin.

And then we die… tragically having lived someone else’s life, and not our own.

In order to shed your skin you must be constantly LEARNING. Education and knowledge are essential to the shedding of your skin, because how can you change if you don’t know any better? How can you become a better you if you surround yourself with the same things day after day after day?

Is there something you’re passionate about? Go and learn about it!

Are your current beliefs based on proven truth, or are you running on faith?

Examine your beliefs, your principles, your ideals. Check to see if they still fit your growing mentality and your goals. And more importantly, be brave enough to let them go if they can be proven wrong.

“That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.” — P.C. Hodgell.

Shed your skin, keep growing, and rid yourself of the parasites that keep holding you back.

May the new year be full of growth and freedom for you and your loved ones!



I’m always curious, always looking for something new to learn, using life as a learning canvas.

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Gabriella H.

I’m always curious, always looking for something new to learn, using life as a learning canvas.