New Years Eve
For as long as I can remember NYE has involved one or more parties, amazing locations, djing to friends and strangers and a wonderful recklessness that helps round out one good year and make way for a new one.
This new year something changed, or I changed something. Probably a bit of both.
People who have known me a while probably know that I set a theme for my years, a directional goal that is settled upon sometime between Dec 1 and Jan 31 and sets a focal point around which I can iteratively explore and hopefully improve.
This year just gone was the year of the mind, the previous one was the year of sleep.
At 5pm last night something about the night I had loosely planned felt wrong. It felt like going out again, meeting a bunch of new and probably lovely people, being around friends and djing music while the sun rose on a new year was at complete odds with that road ahead.
2014 represented a pivotal year. It was a year of tough decisions, decisive actions and considerable progress, primarily around work, but also more broadly.
As a result the opportunity that 2015 presents is vivid.
The company I came to the US to start is in the best position it has ever been in, we are on the verge of having something that is unique, important and valuable. With the clarity this opportunity brings, very little else seems important.
It was clear that this year is to be the year of priorities.
For the 36 something years I’ve been alive on this planet I’ve been quick to help and quick to say yes to most anything. These traits are the core of my character, perhaps unfortunately so.
Sometimes that which defines us as people can confine us as people.
This year to fully realize the potential in the venture I run will require me to say no to anything that is not a priority. Existing commitments aside, if you have come to this page by way of me politely declining to help, attend, advise, invest, listen or introduce then I hope for your understanding.
I came to this conclusion last night so I reached out to my friends and excused myself from their respective soirees, and took an early night.
The road ahead
With my plan for today clear, I slept soundly and set out early from home.
I took a train and a bus, along the coast about an hour south to a place called Pacifica. A sleepy coastal city which butts up against some wonderful ridge lines that divide San Francisco bay from the expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Roughly speaking if you draw a line from Pacifica to my home in Potrero Hill you will hit three major ridges. I decided the three peaks of these ridges would represent the three things I will prioritize for 2015.
Health, Work & Love
The first peak that I reached today in my hike represents health. It combined solitude, nature, fresh air, the trail ahead and the ocean behind me. It was the first thing to be tackled and its completion would give me the view of the greater road ahead.
From there to the second peak and the long and windy road out, with line of site to my home, represents work. The longest part of the hike as I wound from hilltop to suburbs, sharp inclines and a mix of terrain. This part of the hike I barely knew but for the most part I never lost site of the overall objective.
The last stage, both shortest and sweetest, embraced the local streets of San Francisco and the hill that sits a mere mile from my home. This part of the hike represents love. As I took in the bench overlooking the final descent I was surrounded by children and families with their pets.
It was a serene and playful mood in the first sunset of the new year with a soft winter dusk light casting its shadow across the city I’ve come to call home these last 4 years.
It can be tempting to confuse coincidence for meaning but as I hiked today, largely alone and in silence I observed 3 things from my hike that relate to my year ahead.
- Progress towards the first peak contributed to progress towards the two that would follow it. Your priorities or goals do not likely standalone, but it can be hard to realize this when you are focused on the task at hand.
- When the objective is in plain sight you will find making progress the hardest as the nature of the road, that was windy all along, will feel more so when you can see what it is that you are chasing.
- A peak attained opened up a view of a numerous other peaks, which all presented their own temptation. Being able to stay the course as you complete one goal is your measure of strength and focus, this is actually where & when you are most vulnerable.
I’m not sure what you have planned for 2015 but I wish for you the best. In the more lucky of years we can be successful despite ourselves, but I have a feeling to achieve our potential the rest of the time requires our focus, awareness and dedication.
Go get yours.