Today is my birthday, I’m becoming a 40 year old chap. Last year, on my 39th anniversary, I wrote a list of 39 things I learned in 39 years. Since doing a 40 things list on my 40th anniversary would have been ridiculously predictable, I decided to do something else today.
Namely, to write in free form whatever crosses my mind. Well, more or less in free form. There are already a few things that I’d like to talk about, they just won’t be in the form of a list.
First of all, the way I feel today is the most consistent proof that numbers are misleading. Not only I do not feel like the “common” image of a 40 year old, but I highly doubt that this number-age combination has any meaning whatsoever. In terms of physical health, I’m 25 (and I mean it). In terms of mental freshness, I don’t think I ever crossed over my first 16 years. I still have the ability to see everything as brand new just as I did when I was 16. And when it comes to experience, if I take a look at everything I did, good or bad, clever or foolish, profitable or not, inspiring or boring, if I look at all the mistakes and all the breakthroughs, all the miracles I created and the disasters I survived, well, I could be easily taken from a 100 years guy. I’ve been through a real war, I created and sold and online business, I flew around the world to open a business in New Zealand, I wrote books and iPhone apps, I loved and have been loved, I got married (twice) and divorced (once, with the second one unfolding as we speak), I created and spent fortunes.
Good thing I kept my mental freshness, because otherwise I would have spent the rest of my life only thinking at what I did until now. Which will be not only boring, but utterly stupid too. And I hate stupid.
To make a long story short, I can testify that this linear, measurable way of seeing time is only an illusion. There’s no difference between 30, 40 and 50 years. Other than the difference you’re willing to assign to these numbers yourself. If you think people at 20 are stupid, then you’ll do stupid things in your twenties. And so on.
They say that if you want to make God laugh, you gotta tell him your plans. I think this is true. But that also means that if you don’t make any plans, God won’t laugh. He’ll be sad, in other words. And I don’t want a God who frowns at me because I’m not entertaining. So, I’ll continue to make plans, if only to put a smile on the face of my creator.
That being said, I still want to move to New Zealand, but this time by myself. Which will make this move a little more impermanent than I initially thought. Basically, I just want to live a few months a year there and the rest of the time in Romania, where my kids will be (most likely).
I also want to grow this blog and to continue to create a business ecosystem around it. In the last few weeks, things have turned out in a very strange direction for me and this change affected my usual posting routine. Just rest assured I’m not going to stop it. On the contrary, I do have, like I said, big plans for it.
Now, the last plan may sound strange to you. For a few days, it seemed really strange to me too. But, after I looked back in time at other times when I had this type of sudden goals, I realized it’s ok. It’s just the way I am. Basically, I want an airplane. A jet, to be more specific. I don’t care if it costs 17.9 millions dollars. It’s an experience I want to have in this life. I’ve been in a similar position before, wanting something that seemed incredibly distantÂ from my current position. And yet, eventually, I had it. In the next post I’ll describe how goal settings works for me and I’ll hopefully give more details for the curious ones.
The third thing I want to talk about is gratitude. Because this is the dominant feeling for this birthday. I am grateful for my kids. Grateful for the time I got to spend with them. Grateful for their mothers, for their love for me that allowed those kids to exist. I am grateful for my friends, even some of them I’ve never seen in real life. I still consider them my friends. Sometimes more reliable than those yesmen who are just hanging around until they get a loan they forget to pay for years.
Gratitude is a very special type of fuel. A fuel for the things you’re enjoying. The more grateful you are, the farther you can go along with those things.
And if I had to pick only one thing that I’m really, really grateful for, that would be the ability to start fresh. To ignite a new adventure every time everything seemed like a total and definitive disaster. And that’s what I call the art of new beginnings. That’s what kept my mind to the freshness level of a 16 year old.
If you came to this article because of its title, now it’s the moment to find out what the art of new beginnings really is. Don’t hold your breath, because this art is much, much simpler than you think. It’s made of only 3 simple sentences:
- Accept defeat as well as victory.
- Trust yourself and move forward.
- It will be ok.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.