Happy new year everyone!
Wanted to tell you guys a story to kick off the new year.
Back when I was in high school in Phoenixville Pennsylvania I had a friend named Chris Jacobs. We were never the closest of friends, but something he said to me one new years eve stuck with me ever since…
It was around 1998 or so… I remember we were discussing New Years Resolutions. Someone asked him what his was and in a cynical and sad tone Chris said “better than last year”. Chris was saying this implying that last year sucked. I remember thinking that was such a shitty way to look at things. I never wanted that for myself…
Yet somehow, every single New Years has reminded me of that.
This year was no exception. But when the thought “better than last year” came up this time around, it had an entirely different feeling to me. Last year was a year of exponential growth for me.
I learned a ton about business, about life, and most importantly about myself. I started a business and quit my day job. I became sort of famous in this little world of entrepreneurs (thanks to the foundation). I began to see that what I wanted in life was attainable and then I went after it.
It was not all rainbows and unicorns though… I went through a few crappy things too. My father was committed to a hospital because a bad reaction to some medicine he was prescribed made him crazy. Then my parents separated. Trying to support my family while going through all this, on top of trying to meet my goals and start my business was really hard.
In past years, things like that would have stopped me in my tracks and made this year turn to shit. Not this year… This year I learned the most important lesson of my life. I learned that being emotionally aware allows you to see where you need to change. I learned that beliefs are chosen. And in learning those two things, I realized I was the only thing stopping me from getting what I want out of life. This helped me push through despite some pretty awful shit happening.
It was such an incredible year that when my old friend Chris’s statement “better than last year” popped into my head, it felt great. Thinking back on the year I can see that it’s the best one I’ve ever had, and if I can grow as much as I did last year, it’d be fucking amazing.
“Better than last year…” I’ll never think of it the same way again… Anyways, it’s crazy to me how an amazing year can change your perspective in such a positive way. I wish that kind of year for all of you.
My theme for 2014
After hearing my friend Andy Drish talk about how he sets a theme for each year I decided I was going to give that a shot. Last year I did not. I’ve always been more a fan of setting more tangible goals, but if I had to name the theme for me last year it’d probably be “Go after what you really want and get out of your own way”.
This year I really want to be more real with you, with my friends, and with everyone who interacts with me by not holding back when I want to share something or do something. I know I’ve have an issue putting myself out there because I’m sometimes afraid of what others will think of me. People thank me for being real all the time and I love that. But truth is, I could be more real by sharing more because sometimes I still hold back.
I recognize that last year I got 100% better at this, but there is still a long way to go. I also recognize that the times I say fuck it, and put myself out there, are the times that I make the biggest leaps forward. They are also the times when I feel the most awesome.
So this year I want to say “fuck it” way more often. I want to put my thoughts and myself out there way more often. Because when I don’t, I’m cheating both myself and the world by not giving as much value back as I can.
My friend Mike Hrostoski said in a facebook post a while back that he gives “zero shits” about if people hate on what he says. I want to give “zero shits” too. Because all I want to do is give as much value as I can to the world and I’ve been constraining myself way too long.
With all that said my theme for 2014 is “Recklessly share yourself and give your gifts to the world”.
Happy new year 🙂
PS: If you have a theme for the year, I’d love if you’d share it with me in the comments below.