There’s no doubt that 2014 was a crazy year in my life. It was a year that literally touched on all corners of the globe and rarely had quiet moments. I saw amazing things, felt every emotion from astonishment to heartbreak to pure happiness and everything in between and among all of those emotions I learned a lot of really valuable lessons, lessons that I hope I can carry with me into 2015 and ones that I thought I’d share with you.
1) Reward is Worth The Risk
I tend to be an impulsive person at times. I think I’m quick to react because over time I’ve learned that over thinking things usually means talking myself out of something. This year I learned that jumping in with both feet and taking the risk was certainly worth it every time. From a last-minute decision to swim with sea turtles all the way to the rather sudden decision to relocate to the United Kingdom, I decided that 2014 was my year to live as fully as I could, and that meant taking risks. Now looking back on it, I’ve learned that sometimes we need to break free from our routine, our usual mindsets that limit our possibilities just because we don’t see it as feasible or truly doable. You can do anything your heart desires, it just takes risk. It’s scary to make a jump, no matter how small or big it is, but trust in yourself and in that in the end it will all be ok is all it takes!
2)Numbers Don’t Really Matter.
How much money have, what you weigh, how many followers you have on Facebook/Instagram/whateveryoucallit….none of it matters. I’ve never been one to put emphasis on those numbers to begin with but this year I truly was able to learn that those numbers have absolutely no true value. Your worth is not determined in your bank statement, in how much you do or don’t weigh or how many people have added a heart next to your photo of your breakfast. The only number that really matters is the number of hours in the day and what you choose do with those hours. You’ll always be able to find “value” in other things but the true value comes from making the most of all the things that you are, right now.
3)Small Acts Can Equal Big Smiles
It doesn’t take a lot to put a smile on someone’s face. This year I’ve tried to payback my good fortune by making a big effort to give back to not only family and friends but to anyone that I come across that could use a rush of positivity. When I was working on the FIFA World CUp Tour this year, we gave out small FIFA World Cup Trophy key chains, worth a few cents but shiny and desirable to a true football. I would make it an effort to clean out my pockets of these key chains each day and surprise people with them. In Los Angeles I gave a key chain to a young boy and he quickly asked if I had another for his little brother. I didn’t, but I had more down the block in my hotel room. I told his parents to wait and I ran back to my room, even though it was hot and I was exhausted. I came back a bit out of breath and handed a key chain and two Coca-Cola bandanas to both of them and they were so excited that the parents asked to take a group photo together. It made my heart happy to see them so happy and that’s what life is about, spending a bit of time to really make the life of someone else just a bit happier. It comes from a letter in the mail, a thoughtful Facebook message, buying someone a coffee, it all adds up to a beautiful orchestra of karmic goodness.
4) Objects Can Weigh You Down.
This year I lived out of a random assortment of backpacks, duffel bags, and airport overhead bins. I spent about 20 days over the course of 12 months in my own home. With all that travel and routine of packing and unpacking you realize that you don’t really have room for a lot of…things. I’ve always been a collector of sorts, I like to see my life around me but this year I realized that I couldn’t really do that, I had to collect those moments internally. When I moved out of my house in June I saw it as a chance to really clean out all the clutter. I gave away almost everything, all the furniture, most of my clothes and belongings. I whittled my house’s worth of belongings to a few boxes. And it felt amazing. I felt like I was really helping myself transform into a lighter, cleaner version. I’ve kept things that remind me of who I am, where I’ve been, but I’ve realized that even without those objects I know what I’ve done in my life and that’s the best souvenir of all.
5. You Are All You Have
It’s sounds a bit scary or sad at first but your mind, your heart, your internal voice, those are all you, and really all you can rely on. Spending so much time this year with people I didn’t know a year ago, but quickly formed a bond with was a chance for me to see that people will come in and out of your life and at the end of the day, it’s you that lays your head on the pillow and is accountable for your heartbeat and your actions and words. In the times I was feeling my worst this year, I felt totally alone and while at the time it was a terrible feeling, I’ve learned from it. I’ve learned to trust myself, to find strength in my independence and to realize that being by myself doesn’t mean that I’m less, it opens me up to being able to be more authentic for the people who do come into my life. Now, I’m living in a happy house, in a new and loving relationship and feeling pride in myself and in realizing that me on my own is just fine.
This year was a learning year for sure and I hope that you found your own positive lessons in the last 12 months and that the next 12 months see you happy, healthy and filled with adventures to tell next December!