**Click play and listen while reading
This post is meant to be a reflective experience, not just a bunch of words. Hopefully it will inspire you to reflect on your own life. “A life not examined is a life not worth living.” In my opinion, and Plato’s, there is literally nothing more important than introspection and reflection. I encourage you to click play, and enjoy this amazing song while reading and reflecting on your own year. Engage.
2011 in Review
2011 was a great year for me to say the least. I feel blessed, lucky, and also proud. I was able to make major strides in many areas of my life. My body, my emotions, my professional life and finances, my spiritual outlook, my personal relationships, and the overall quality of lifestyle I live have all expanded. This isn’t because I’m so awesome, it’s because I made a conscious decisions that included unwavering intent. From there I used my creative imagination which allowed me to make solid decisions, take correct actions, and create empowering habits to make it happen. Anyone can do this. No one is cut from a different cloth in this regard. We are all creative beings. It’s true we were all handed a different set of cards, but how you play those cards is up to every individual. How and if you create is up to you. Your background, genetics, or any other excuse simply isn’t relevant.
This site, which I spend massive amounts of energy on, is finally the way I like it (thanks for hanging around through all the design revisions!). I’m sure it will continue to change (for the better always) so stay tuned! I’ve learned a lot about writing, consistency, photography, design, among many other other skill sets.
Overall, I’m very grateful for the path I’ve had the opportunity to travel this past year and I hope you are too. Always remember, there is no failure, only feedback. Many lessons were learned, many dumb mistakes were made. Much self-inflicted suffering was had. Needless to say there were many ups and downs, but as I reflect on this last year the person I evolved from has been significant.
Ebb and flow will always exist. Ups and downs are necessary for this existence. Learning to love and appreciate the storm as much as the rainbow is the goal.
Cause and Effect
I wrote about cause and effect previously, and I want to revisit this concept:
To me, life is nothing but a series of causes and effects. What I mean by that is certain inputs produce certain outputs. For example, if you eat 10 Mcdonald’s big-macs per day (cause) you are almost certain to end up obese with a host of illnesses (effect). The interesting thing to me is that the amount of joy we experience in this life comes down to what effects we experience on a regular basis. If the effects you are experiencing are low energy, no money, no passion, life = hell. If the effects you are experiencing are physical vitality, abundance financially, and passion emotionally, life = heaven.
2011 was the fruition of effects to many many causes that were previously set into motion. Whether those effects were positive, neutral, or negative depends on the causes that were set into motion. What a beautiful thing this reality provides. Cause and effect is a law. “The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state…Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”
“A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.” -James Allen
The power of goals
Last year was the first year I had the balls to set some real goals and where I actually knew that I had the ability and power to make them happen. An epiphany I’ve had is that creating goals with unwavering intent takes balls (not literally but you get the idea). It takes putting yourself on the line and shutting the door to other possibilities. It takes a willingness to make major sacrifices and do whatever it takes to create your reality. Engaging in this can be scary. Well it is scary. “What if I fail?” your lizard brain will quickly pipe up. What if this, what if that. Scenarios are likely to begin running through your head. You know what, I say screw that voice. Work to overcome your lizard brain and squash it. It no longer serves us (generally speaking of course).
Last year my goals were very simple. Nothing complicated or elaborate. No BS. Just a straight shot to the top things I wanted to change/evolve. Check out the simple list I made last year. Here’s what I put into evernote verbatim (highly recommend you start using that program/service or something similar, don’t worry it’s free).
1. Become more established (car, dog, house)
2. Ridiculous modeling pictures (6% bf)
3. Travel at least 2 trips (Hawaii if possible)
4. Stay away from meaningless sex, stay firm in what I really want in a relationship
5. Continue to build out my site and develop tactical marketing skills
6. Make over $50,000
Pretty simple list right? Nothing complicated, nothing elaborate. So here’s what happened.
1. Become more established (car, dog, house). I got a new car (see below), randomly had someone who breeds labradoodles ask me to build them a website in exchange for a dog (check out the site). I had my sights set on one of these dogs when I set this goal. I will be getting my puppy within a few months, in the mean time I’m finding a new house to live where I can have one (I can finally afford it).
2. Ridiculous modeling pictures (6% bf). A year ago, this site was pretty sparse when it came to photos. Now it is filled with cool pics. Funny story is I actually had a coworker who did photography on the side take them after an out-of-the-blue offer from him. He also convinced me to buy my own camera and started teaching me some stuff (the tactical marketing skills goal). Imagine that.
3. Travel at least 2 trips (Hawaii if possible). I took 2 major trips which included Hawaii. Along with those there were quite a few minor trips as well. So here’s the story behind Hawaii. One of my best friends moved there (randomly) and I had a free place to stay for a trip. He invited me down and I jumped on the opportunity. Random again right….or is it? I’m starting to wonder.
4. Stay away from meaningless sex, stay firm in what I really want in a relationship. No picture for this one! haha. But yes, it was accomplished (well sorta….;). I had some dumb moments, but overall I think I’m on track to attracting an amazing girl into my life. You want amazing? Be amazing. Simple.
5. Continue to build out my site and develop tactical marketing skills. I got into photography and photo editing (as mentioned above). I further developed my design, wordpress and SEO skills. I began learning the art of filming and video editing (will be expanding on this in 2012). And of course, this site has been completely overhauled. I have twice the skill sets I had a year ago in these regards.
6. Make over $50,000. This was accomplished and exceeded (very little came from this site if you’re wondering). A year ago at this time I wasn’t making very much money. I had no savings with debt piled up. Through personal hustle, a great online resume, and bringing the energy and passion to work everyday, I’ve been promoted many times (4 to be exact) all of them resulting in significant salary increases. This has allowed me to build up a savings cushion, pay off all my debts, and generally have a bit less stress in regards to finances.
Even though I had forgotten about my little list most of the time, I had these in the back of my mind/subconscious all year long and guess what, I achieved everything I set out to do, or am on track to. “Random” things happened over and over that aided my intentions. I’m not going to claim that I believe in “The Secret” but I do know with absolute certainty that when you consciously decide something, use your creative imagination to make it happen, and therefore make the correct decisions, take the right actions, and create habit structures, your intentions end up manifesting into reality. No doubt about it.
I hope this post has inspired you to reflect on your year. I will be doing another post on goal setting for 2012 in the next few days. Stay tuned.