Hello from London! I’m celebrating my NYE here with my relatives in delay. If my guess is right we ring in the New Year 11 hours later that Australia. A lot of you in are baking in shorts, tees or pretty dresses while I’m wrapped in a cotton and wool blends from head to toe watching David Attenborough in a cosy home in Angel, Islington.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so fulfilled and excited about prospects of a New Year as I have this past week. I wanted to reflect on some things I’ve learnt this year. Perhaps some may resonate with you.
Only hang out with people you like
I remember hearing Karen O (front woman of New York based band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) say this in an interview a few years back while researching her for Video Hits. She said after hearing this simple advice life for her became a lot easier.
I’ve been fortunate this year to be around good people. I’ve made a bunch of new friendships, particularly from taking on new roles in media through my travels. And I’m done with feeling bad about making time for people who I’d prefer not to be around. Not a mean thing, just an acknowledgement that there we’re on different vibes. Our lenses on life are markedly different to one another and in turn so too is our vernacular. Which makes my decisions easier and days happier with those I do get along well with.
Do what makes you happy
Again another simple principle but how many of us live by this? And how much of the day, our weeks, months or the year are we doing what we love? Are we doing what's right for us or what we think is right for someone else?
For a lot of us this could take a huge transition that may take time and a heck of a lot of work. I think these two components make people hesitant or not even take that leap of faith at all. Stepping into unknown territory and then putting in all the research and work to fulfill their utmost potential. Yet those who do what they love don’t even see it as work. So life should be a joy.
For me, I’ve taken so much time out and abroad to work on areas of my life that I know will not only bring me happiness now but for decades later. This picture (above) was taken after meetings across the U.S. at my last stop in Washington D.C. - all this time spent abroad and awake for many time zones is part of the longer term goals I have. As a result I've turned down a lot of opportunities that I know wouldn't be happy doing (I’d rather create my own) and I’m reluctant to walk into anything too similar to what I’ve done previously. I have other passions and a body of academic work that I choose to grow on.
The glass is not half full, nor is it half empty.
It’s overflowing for a lot of us.
I’ve had my fair share crap situations, really bad. And I too have helped family and friends through some ugly times this past year. I don’t want to dwell on it but I can tell you that I’ve lived on both sides - down and out, happiness and even somewhere in between - the anxiety with change. And what I know is that optimism is a choice. How we respond to events around us is a choice. When we choose to be grateful for what we do have it’s like the world continues to open up for us.
This is not some sort of pollyanna attitude towards life. It’s true for so many of us. Think about it, most of us have relatively good health. Big tick. You’re reading this blog - you therefore have the skills to read and I’m sure, to write - which for so many other people in Australia alone can’t do (see the ALNF). This would therefore make you employable, it also means that you can access an infinite amount of information and opportunities that’s on offer for you to follow your passions. You're far more empowered than so many in Australia and millions of others in the world.
In focusing on being grateful for life, I’m sure if you sit down for 20 minutes today or even sometime during the first week of 2013 your list would be quite long. Do you have things in your life that you're greatful for that you'd like to share with me? And what are you looking forward to in the New Year?
Have a safe and happy NYE and best wishes for what will be a stellar 2013.