I turned 24 today. The disappearance of the manic high of birthdays past is conspicuous by its absence. It’s been a feature of the past few years – the ‘# of calls at midnight/early in the morning’ index is evidence of that. As a kid, you often feel like the world ought to stop and celebrate you. Now, it’s a lovely opportunity to take stock and celebrate this wonderful life.
The year that went past was among the most eventful years of the 24 that have gone by. I will remember it for many reasons – learning to play the guitar, seeing many new places, experiencing one big success and an accompanying failure; both of which taught me a lot, and getting engaged. Most of all, I think I will remember it as the year that taught me to calm down.
I’ve found myself discovering two insights that Seth Godin describes beautifully in his recent book – that of the infinite game and that of relishing the opportunity to dance.
My own synthesis of these past months involve learning to believe that, whether I understand it or not, the universe is unfolding as it should. We get to play our part in this process and our progress is typically correlated to the effort we put in. There isn’t much more we can do. The success in the game isn’t about making progress, but about just playing. If progress, as we define it, happens, that’s great. If it doesn’t, it’s typically life’s way of telling us to look at the situation differently. Things don’t always work ‘well’, but they tend to work out just fine. We just need to keep focus on plugging away and doing our bit to make the most of this life.. and enjoy the dance.
Voltaire said: “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”
His thought encapsulates my wishes for the year ahead. I am working hard on giving myself the gift of living well by getting the simple things right – exercising more, reflecting more, giving meditation a shot, continuing to read, and taking on as much as practically possible so I fail more, learn more, and give myself a chance to accidentally make a positive difference.