It was December 13th 2014. Relaxing in a pool during my Hong Kong trip, it dawned on me: 2014 is almost over, and I have nothing to show for it.
I sat there for the longest time, wondering where 2014 had gone. I had accomplished nothing. Nothing to showcase. Nothing to be proud of. Had I been so lazy? So ineffectual? So oblivious?
The truth is… in 2014, I traveled to a new continent. I met new friends. I learned scuba diving. I started my first job. I took one course on the US higher education system. I traveled some more. I visited waterfalls and island paradises and cultural heritages. I learned more about the environmental movement.
The truth ALSO is… that 2014 was not good enough for me. I did not travel the way I want. I did not grow as much as I want. I did not get closer to my dreams. A wise woman once told me: “Pete, you have to stop judging yourself by a higher moral standard than the one you use to judge others.” She is on point. I am my harshest critic. But I’m not really willing to lower my standard. I am simply striving to be the man I want to be. And is it wrong to hope that collectively the world will ascend to a higher moral ground? After all, our current one is destroying our planet.
I want my life to mean something. I want to always be in relentless pursuit of a goal and waste no time. One tiny problem – I have no idea what my goal in life is, and I was too tired to keep looking.
In 2014, I gave up. And now, as I judge myself with my lofty moral standard, I feel guilty.
Have you ever felt like this?
So in 2015, my resolution is simple: to keep fighting to be the best version of me, and to continue questioning whether my perception of ‘best’ can still be elevated.
Here’s to 2015!
“At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.” –Goethe
I heard this quote a few days ago from Tom Root, an entrepreneur, a partner of Zingerman’s Mail Order and founder of Maker Works. Talk about awesome people saying awesome things in Ann Arbor.
So how does–or how can–the universe conspire to assist someone like you or me?
My mentor once told me that he sometimes say things to have it heard by the life force and imprinted on the grand tablet of the universe. There really is something special about the moment when you say “Hell yes, I’m going to do this.” I can still recall the moment when I decided that I’ve had enough with conforming with expectations and wanted to pursue my own passions and values. It was as if some mysterious life force injected some magical boost in me that invigorated me and got me believing in my future. I committed myself to staying true to my passions and values and serving the greater good. Granted, I did not have an easy path from that moment to now, but every moment in life is an opportunity to learn, especially those that hurt you the most.
You really just have to make the first move.
When I did take that first step, I had no idea where I’d end up. Life really has steered me to paths I’d never imagined I would be on. I remembered the day when I tried to steal a pack of cards from the department store. Fast forward 15 years later–after my commitment, I found a $20 bill in the parking lot and donated it to charity. Not once was I tempted to keep it for myself. I was… shocked. And proud.
Change is possible. You just gotta believe.
Just wanted to share an image I found:
Ironically or not, it has a verydemotivational.com label on it. I actually find this to be quite motivational. Often times, I find myself in a situation when I feel alone: either I have issues with the way we operate (like how GDP doesn’t really make us happy), or when nobody seems to care.
The very least I can do…really is to make the first move. Who cares what’s next as long as I’m sticking to my values and doing what I love.
Happiness is the journey, not the destination.