We are fast closing in on the end of January. My happiness project is now in full swing so, with that in mind I thought it was time to publish how I have set about making 2013 my best year on record.
The first step in the process was establishing a set of ten commandments that I will follow religiously throughout 2013.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT
Just be David: It’s a well known fact in life that not everyone will get along. What is also well established is that we often change who we are in the hope of being accepted by others. For 2013 I will work at just being myself no matter what the circumstances. Being yourself can at times be the hardest hurdle to mount however it can come with the most rewards. Learn to allow people to love and enjoy you for who you are not what you think they want you to be.
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
Be a better person to other people: How often do we see an elderly lady or mum standing on the bus whilst school children and able bodied adults take up the seats? Or when was the last time someone offered to do a household chore for you? And why is it that nobody says hello to their neighbours any more?
In 2013 I am going to go out of my way to do as much as I can for others. Be it hanging out a flat mates washing, opening a door for a stranger, offering my seat on the bus or paying for the cups of tea when out with friends. By doing good for others I hope to encourage the domino effect and have more and more people performing kind gestures to others, even strangers!
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT
Learn something new: Over recent years I have had a list of “things to do” which for varied reasons have fallen by the wayside, In 2013 I am going to follow through on my desire to acquire French as a second language and learn to play the guitar. It will be interesting to see where it leads.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
Indulge in the things you love and follow your dreams and passions: Work and life often take us away from doing the things we love. As we progress through our twenties and beyond we gradually stop chasing our dreams and doing the things we love. Why is this so? There are some things in life that run thickly through my blood. Travel, music, art, literature, fitness and theatre are the six main passions in my life. In 2013 I will put more effort into enjoying my hobbies and passions like never before. Setting aside dedicated time to enjoy my hobbies will be the key.
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
Focus on what you can control: Things are going to happen each and every day that are out of our control. So why do we let them worry us as much as they do? When you focus on what you can control in your life and not worry about what isn’t in your control then you will find there is less stress and worry. Simple yes? Let’s see how this evolves as the year progresses.
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
Commence a series of small projects: We all have them right? Those odds and ends jobs around the house or the little bits and bobs relating to your hobbies that you never seem to get around to completing? Well, in 2013 I am going to set aside regular blocks of time to get everything in order. From framing old concert posters to cataloguing my entire CD and record collection and getting roles of film developed that have been sitting stagnant in a draw for the past twelve years. To achieve these results I am going to break each task down into small sections and set aside particular nights of the week or days to get them done little by little. Instead of trying to do it all yesterday I shall chip away each week on different projects. The final results are sure to be interesting.
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
Surround yourself with the right people: It is common knowledge that if you surround yourself with negative people then you in turn will become negative as well. So the answer to this one is simple. Be positive at all times and surround myself in equally driven and positive people. Allow the frustrations of life to become a thing of the past.
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT
Forgive and forget: Another simple commandment. Instead of holding resentment and animosity towards others for wrong doing in 2013 I am going to forgive and move on. I recently heard the phrase “The days are long but the years are short” which rings true on so many levels. Why bother living with anger and hatred when it will only drag you down? Focus on the good things in life.
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT
Step outside the square: We often pull up short when it comes to doing things that make us feel uncomfortable. For me the simple task of drinking a cup of coffee has always been off putting. As too, the idea of learning how to drive. By years end I plan to have a license and at some stage enjoyed my first ever cup of coffee. Both unfamiliar elements but all part of getting outside my comfort zone. And I am sure there will be other things that I will take a punt on in 2013 and will happily report them through this bog.
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT
Re-build broken bridges: There are some dear friends, who, for various reason I have allowed to fall by the wayside. In 2013 I am planning on working to re-establish those lost friendships and broken connections with family members. There is sure to be some pride swallowed but none the less I will be a better person for it.
BREAKING IT ALL DOWN
So what is it that we love doing? What creates the fire in the belly? The passion in our eyes? Often we get lost in the day to day happenings and simply forget about pursuing our keen interests. In 2013 I have decided to draw up a list of all the objectives I want to achieve and projects that I shall complete. I’ve broken them down into categories in an effort to simplify things.
TRAVEL: One of my greatest loves is landing in a foreign city for the first time unaware of what lies beyond the confines of the airport, train station or bus depot. So far this year I have organised trips to Europe in April through to May and then again in October and November. During September I will embark on my long awaited trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I decided on this trek to raise funds and awareness for Amnesty International back in October 2011 but have hit hurdles along the way. These hurdles have now been removed and it is full steam ahead. To finish off the year on boxing day I will be in Melbourne for the Ashes test match between England and Australia. Somewhere amid this flurry of jet setting I hope to find myself in Vietnam for a couple of weeks.
The rugby league world cup is on in England over October and November and I have already booked tickets for the semi final double header at Wembley Stadium on November 23rd and the final at Old Trafford on November 30.
Part of my burning desire to travel includes watching Liverpool FC play home and away. My first match was Leeds V Liverpool at Elland Road in November 2000. Since that sunny autumn day in Yorkshire all those years ago my passion for watching the red men play has grown stronger with every match attended. I’ve seen them play in all corners of England as well as travelling to watch them play along the vast terrains of Europe. Following Liverpool FC is my main source of enjoyment aside from my love of Bowie. So why not do what I love doing ey?
FITNESS: Last year I ran my very first marathon on the Gold Coast. A month later I ran the Brisbane marathon after having completed the St Lucia half marathon in March.
For 2013 I have set a target of running twelve half marathons along with completing six full 42.2 km marathons including a return to the Gold Coast and Brisbane events before Sydney, Liverpool and Berlin. The destination for my sixth marathon is still under consideration.
The year has started well with a drastic reduction in my skin folds and and an increase in my beep test results, my best since 2008.
MUSIC: Since the age of 14 I have thrown myself head first into music, Jazz, electronic, classical, ambient, indie and of course David Bowie (he deserves his very own category) are just some of my musical loves. For those of you who don’t know me that well my all time top 5 favourite artists/bands are….
2. The Smiths/Morrissey
3. Suede/Brett Anderson
4. The Beatles
5. The Cure
In 2013 I am going to see to it that I discover new bands, attend many, many concerts and finally organise my music collection of CDs, vinyl, concert posters and bootlegs. I own over 500 hours of unreleased material by The Stones, Beatles, Bowie, Radiohead, The Cure, Oasis, Morrissey, Bob Dylan, Crowded House, The Who and The Kinks….just to name a few. One project will be to upload all this material so others can share in the wonders of studio out-takes, unreleased live shows and rare tracks that are yet to see the light of day. To do this I will be setting up a website with links to various albums and songs.
For the year ahead I also want to take in more live gigs. Too often in the past I have baulked at a boss gig because of the cost or choosing to simply stay in for a quiet night at home. In 2013 I will be grabbing my gig buddies and learning to love live gigs once more.
Lastly I want to cast open my net to new bands and artists. If you know of someone you think I would like feel free to drop me a line.
ARTS, LITERATURE & THEATRE: Part of my new year has seen me reading more than I have in many years. The three books I have on the hop at the moment are “On The Road” by Kerouac, “Here We Go Again. Gathering Cups In May” by selected authors about Liverpool FC’s triumphs in Europe and “50 Marathons 50 Days” by Dean Karnazes.
I have some beautiful prints collected from galleries around the world that I have not yet framed. These will be done, one by one as the year progresses. Another target is to read up and learn more about artists I love and adore. Too often I buy books on subjects and find myself neglecting them. This is one area that will be changing in 2013
Is there a more satisfying feeling than settling in for a dose of live theatre? In recent years I have enjoyed productions of King Leer, 1984, Phantom of The Opera, Animal Farm, Wicked and The Woman In Black at various theatres around Europe and Australia. Coupled with visits to art galleries and museums I find no better way to unwind than enjoying a live show or viewing a selection of works by artists. So again, 2013 will be a year where I spend as much spare time as possible attending shows and galleries.
An exciting year stands in wait for me. I do hope you can utilise this blog for a base construction to make 2013 a year to remember for yourself as well. If you have any views, questions or feedback please feel free to drop me a line.
Time to get cracking!