After being dragged to a slimy night club, to celebrate the New Year. I realised a few things.
One, I have no idea how to whip or how to nae nae (is this actually classified as music?) Two, I don’t care that I don’t know how to do either. Thirdly and most importantly, I’m old! Actually let me rephrase, I’m a grown up. I have no inclination to whip or to nae nae on a sticky floor with a bunch of sweaty strangers.
I found this liberating more than anything. I realised that the value of the New Year lies in what it brings. Opportunity, new beginnings and the idea that anything is possible. It’s difficult to be filled with the spirit of potentiality while watching people too pissed to write their own names dry hump each other on the dance floor!
So what is a better way to bring in the New Year, instead of getting snot slinging drunk?
Review and Reflect.
Take stock of what you have achieved over the past year. What you experienced, what you discovered and what you accomplished. It allows us to be mindful and display gratitude, see what fears we have conquered, what relationships we have built, where we came from and how far we have come.
Here is a great exercise, I used myself, to review 2015 and set myself up for 2016.
(I know it says 2015, but just substitute the years). Reflecting on what you have achieved in 2015 will help you organise and prioritise a plan to accomplish what you want to in 2016.
Plan the year ahead.
The New Year offers the opportunity to look ahead and plan for what is to come. Planning is so critical and yet so often over looked. I’m reminded of a quote from Warren Buffet
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Plant your own tree now so you will have shade in the future. Like when planting a tree goals have the end result in mind (shade), you then work backwards to a starting point (planting a sapling).
There are loads of frameworks to define your goals and structure a plan to achieve them. I discussed a few in my previous post The 4 Questions to Understanding the Importance of Practice. Check them out or look for others online. How you go about it isn’t that important. The practice of writing down and planning out what excites you is! What you want to do and where you want to go is what plants the seed!
Be more critical regarding who you spend time with.
Instead of spending your time with sweaty, sticky, sloshed strangers engage with people who can help you get where you want to go. You might think this is difficult, I used to too. But I realised with books and modern technology you have NO FUCKING EXCUSE!
Follow inspiring blogs/magazines/people on twitter. Join Facebook groups and follow people who inspire you.
You will be surprised how willing people are to help, engage get involved, ask questions. The people who are where you want to be aren’t as far away as you think!
I’m a huge fan and advocate of reading. I prefer the old school bound books. I love to watch them pile up and having to make space for them. I want to design myself a library one day to house them all, to refer to them at any time. I like to stick to nonfiction. Self-development and biographies allow us to delve into the minds of those we would never usually be able to get an audience with, great minds that are no longer with us.
Podcasts / Audiobooks
This medium allows you to have some of the greatest thinkers of our time at your fingertips, at any time. In the car on the way to work, in your ears while you are training, waiting in line at the post office (do people still do that?). The point is anywhere any time!
There is an endless supply of content at your convenience. Great talks and great documentaries on any subject you can think of. Instead of spending your time looking at videos of cats doing stupid things find something worth watching and worth sharing! (If you do please go ahead and share on the Gentleman’s Evolution Facebook group all are welcome)
(Look out for the Gentleman’s Evolution Resource Guide coming soon. Available free to download when you join the mailing list and to all existing members. Details coming soon)
The principles of achievement and discipline (evolution) have not changed much for hundreds of years. But just like the image, idea and actions of a Gentleman have evolved to meet the times so should you. We are now the generation of the Modern Gentleman we evolve restlessly and endeavour to help and inspire others to do the same!
Are you a Modern Gentleman?