2019 has been a hard year. In many ways, it’s been a year of great progress. But there’s been a constant hardship throughout.
Like a dark shadow, it’s hung over me. Stopped me from seeing the light. Tempted that inner voice to focus on the negatives instead of search for the positive. At home, Imogen has been ill and struggled with her sleep. As such, I’ve found it hard to find routine and structure.
Anyone who knows me knows that this isn’t ideal.
I’m a man of structure. I like to keep control. I like to feel in control.
And it’s this that’s caused so much of my pain: me trying to control things I cannot.
At work, it’s been up and down. As great things happen, an unforeseen curveball flies my direction. Again, it’s been hard to keep consistency and focus on what I want to. It’s felt like I’ve made steps forward throughout the year, only to take continuous steps back.
Yet this is life.
This is how it goes…
But as I look back, breathe and think about what I’ve done, experienced and accomplished, I can hold my head high.
- I finished ‘Beyond The Pale‘ in its all-important first draft
- I experienced my first five-figure month
- I helped look after my family and keep us safe, clothed and sheltered
- I’ve worked with great clients and had the bravery to turn others away
- I cleared credit card debt
- I’ve shown up, every single day, as a father (not perfect, but as best as I can)
It’s been a hard year. But one not without pleasure.
Happy memories. Lots of growth. Many lessons learned…
Yet I’m ready to draw a line in the sand and transition into a fresh year and decade.
A NEW DECADE…
WOW… That feels strange to say. As I look back to 2009 and compare him to who I am today (and where I am), it’s hard to fathom it’s the same person living the same life. If I could sum up this decade, it would be to say it’s one of monumental firsts: first real relationship, first kid, first house, first car, first published book, first business…
I tried a lot of new things, but at no point have I felt like I’ve gone deep enough to call myself a master.
Well, that’s my vision for this coming decade: MASTERY.
To go deeper: within myself, with those I serve, into my craft and what I know I’m skilled at, with my family, with those who I love…
As I look back to now in ten years’ time, I want to feel like I’ve gone DEEP. Real deep. A mile deep. So deep that I feel like I’m a master at what I do. To know I’ve said no to a lot of things so I can truly say yes to what matters in life. And this new journey begins now as we step into a fresh new year… 2020.
2020 VISION + MANTRA
Going deep doesn’t just happen. You cannot dig a deep hole in an afternoon, not when there’s a lot of rock to break through. But you cannot begin to go deep until you commit to one hole and step away from the others you’ve started.
I believe this is what my focus needs to be moving forward… to let go and let what be, be.
Follow the process
Trust in the path ahead
Be still when the mind spirals.
My mantra for 2020 is simple: TO LET WHAT BE, BE.
To stop trying to control everything. To step back and trust in the process. To not tether myself to the outcome. To not feel like I’m out of control just because I’m not “in control”. Life will do its thing. A large part of who I am is determined by other people (Rosanna, my kids, clients, etc…). It’s fine. Let what be, be. It all works out. At least, it’s all worked out up until this point.
My vision for this year is as simple as committing to this one hole and going as deep as I can.
See where it takes me.
See what comes of it.
Adapt when I need to.
To simply enjoy the journey, no matter where it goes.
I first learned this from Chris Brogan. Each year, create a list of three words that help you focus on the journey you’re on.
A reminder, every day, of what you’re doing and where you’re heading.
My three words for 2020 are:
- LET GO: I cannot let what be, be, until I let go: of the outcome, of those past beliefs, of my own inner bullshit, of my ego, of my stubborn ways, of what I feel like it should be like, of those daily battles that are oh-so silly, of my need for routine, of those aspects of life I cannot control. In 2020, I will commit, each day, to let go as much as I can: of the past, of the future… to just be present and still in the moment.
- FAITH: I’ve never been religious, and I don’t intend to begin now. The idea that faith sits within a single set of rules doesn’t sit well with me. Yet the notion of spirituality continues to pluck at my inner-strings, curious as to what it all means. In his latest book, Stillness is The Key, Ryan Holiday talks about giving yourself to a higher being. Not a God, per se, but to trust and have faith in a grander purpose. In 2020, I desire to explore this and give myself to the path I’m on.
- 10K: In recent years, I’ve been reluctant to hold myself accountable to money. I’ve been afraid to. I still am, yet this is one of those fears I must face. I’ll never be able to let go of it until I do. So, each day I’ll remind myself of my mission to make $10,000 every single month. I believe this amount will seem small by the time we edge toward 2021. Yet this amount is significant because it gives me what I NEED, which, in turn, allows me to let go and find true flow.
I commit myself to these three words so they can keep me grounded. I will fail. I will lose my way. I will have bad days. I am human, after all. Yet with these three words, I can continue to let what be, be.
From here, well, my path can unravel as it needs to 🙂
I have no core objective or goal for 2020. I don’t wish to tether myself to an outcome like that. I’d rather commit to my mantra and these three words, and take each day, week and month as it comes. I believe (truly believe) that if I continue to commit to this daily, I’ll be in a grander place this time next year: mind+body+spirit, as well as financially and at home with my family.
That’s enough. What more could I ask for?
Although saying this, there are a few things I’d like to achieve in the next twelve months. Not a goal or objective, but rather a 2020 Bucket List:
- Publish Beyond The Pale (or if not publish, have a traditional publisher sorted)
- Validate and Establish [eso reo] (this is the experience that accompanies the book. I plan to have 20-25 people involved by the end of 2020)
- Keep a Full Client Roster Month-on-Month (to go deep with 3-4 clients at any one time, at all times)
- To Establish a Degree of Financial Freedom (I have certain “buckets” I wish to fill, and 2020 is the year to start filling them)
- Invest More into My Personal Development (I plan to join a community or mastermind, and to also do more for my own development — retreats, events, etc…)
- Establish Greater Boundaries at Home (less time on my phone, less access to email, dive deep into work when I’m working and disconnect from it completely when I’m not)
Another aspect of life I’m committed to moving forward (and is linked to my work with [eso reo]), is to find greater alignment between my mind+body+spirit.
More running, on a consistent basis. A better diet with less emotional eating. Get back into yoga. Work with a PA and hit the gym for the first time in years. And learn… I wish to commit myself to a diet of philosophy, mythology, spirituality and psychology. No “how-to” books or courses. Just good old fiction, history and pieces of work that dive into the finest minds our species has ever produced.
But all this comes down to a daily commitment to stay on the right path. Whether I have a good night’s sleep or not. Whether life is going as I want it or not. Whether I feel stressed or not… just breathe, slow it down and let what be, be.
Here’s to 2020… not just a new year of growth, but a fresh decade of mastery.