I recently had my 30th birthday and like any good milestone birthday I decided to throw a party. Personally I had never organised a birthday party for myself before, so I was determined to make it a great night surrounded by the people that I love most. It was a dress up party and everyone went far and beyond the call of duty to be dressed up in some amazing outfits. On the night I wanted to make a point of saying a few words of thanks for the efforts of all who made the night possible. As a side note to that, I also wanted everyone to just stop for a moment and acknowledge how rare it is that you are ever in the same room with all the people you cherish most in the world. I wanted them just to pause, appreciate and enjoy the moment.
Prior to the night I reflected on my life to date, identifying the principles and values that I respect most and the reason behind why I looked up to so many people in that room. I realized that the reason I had such a strong bond with all those people there, was because we share the values and principles I identified. I summarized these values in an acronym, and the only word that seemed to fit (after looking back over the course of my life to date) was: AWESOME.
What follows are the values and principles I believe, allow for an Awesome life. I shared these with my closest friends and family on my birthday night. I hope they resonate with you.
Accountability- The thing that I am most thankful for, being passed down to me from my parents and closest friends. Accountability for your actions in all that you do allows you to contribute back to society and have a positive impact on those around you. Likewise, being able to concede when you have done wrong (as we all do at some point) is the sign to me, of a person who is prepared to suffer the consequences of their actions and doesn’t shy away from taking responsibility.
Wealth- Not necessarily in a monetary capacity, but primarily in a health and relationship capacity. I realized at a young age that having a good degree of health (generally) buys you more time on earth and allows you to experience more things to a greater extent. If we are healthily poor then our time here is limited and we will ultimately lose out in time with loved ones and experiencing all the world has to offer. On the same note, the relationships we build with those closest to us, define the quality of our lives. If we don’t positively invest in our friends and family we miss out on sharing in the fruits of life with others.
Experiences- Allow us to appreciate what we have. The more experiences we have the richer our appreciation is for diversity and the greater our ability is to relate to people from all walks of life. It’s in our ability to be comfortable with being uncomfortable that determines how many experiences we ultimately have. Moreover, experiences, subsequently go on to define the story of our lives: what we did or didn’t do, where you end up or where you could’ve ended up. Don’t pass up the opportunity to experience something new, you just don’t know where it will lead you.
Sincerity- In everything that you do: from your work, to your relationships, to your life in general. Sincerity reveals the true intentions of a person and is something that I have always wanted to pride myself on. Through my life I have seen that it is the people who are sincere in all that they do, that prevail and attain the respect of those around them. Sincerity speaks volumes.
Overextend- Yourself! Push the boundaries, bite off more than you can chew and find a way to chew it. I have always found that so inspiring, seeing those around me leverage themselves in order to achieve more, contribute more or be more than they already are. Its only through great risk that we can achieve great gains and this is something I have always kept in mind, particularly from a business standpoint.
Memories- They are the lasting intangibles of a life lived. They are our connection with all that we hold dear to us (and not so dear to us). Memories are the things that bind. The more we make an effort to forge new memories with our loved ones, the richer our lives become. On this note I find in particular, that it is our preparedness to go out and forge memories face to face with loved ones, that makes our connections with people stronger. New memories continue to give you something to share and build on your relationships with people.
Effort- You get out of life, what you put into life. Throw your heart over the fence and let the rest follow. This is what I try and live my life by each day. If you surround yourself with the right people you will be constantly asked to ask more of yourself (not directly necessarily, but through peoples actions moreover) in all that you do.
This is what I have taken away from my life to date. What is the most prevalent principle in your life you live by daily?