Christmas Eve 2014. Kickin’ it here on St Kilda Beach pier with this view. Amazing start to the day and pretty spectacular!
While I am exhausted and still winding down from 6 months of 60-80 hour weeks (between agency work and my own biz), I am at peace.
Agency life has been insane having gone from overseeing the social media for 2 global brands to 6 brands with more on the way in the new year.
In the 2nd half of 2014, my first love and passion project Hot & Delicious Group, has also taken several significant steps with the launch of my “Photographic Tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant” photography travel series and the “Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet” podcast series, which captures 1-on-1 audio interviews with inspiring people and entrepreneurs across a range of industries that fuel the fire of my own inspiration, personal business ambitions and the desire to inspire up & coming dreamers who aspire to their own success.
I am quite excited for the year ahead and while I’m not a New Years resolution kind-of-guy, I already have a swag of plans for the ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ project including ramping up the profile of podcast & guests, kicking back into my own music, holding a “Photographic Tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant” photo exhibition, creating a new ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ website to start tapping into other revenue streams and sounding out global business opportunities.
Now to the outsider and friends who know me a little, this probably sounds like the standard year of unwavering ambition, but in reality, despite being exhausted right now I am at peace and energized all at the same time.
I’m at peace because if there’s one area of self that I’ve developed this year it is this… My ambition for the future is only strengthened by soaking up & living each moment. And what is the one key thing that’s helped me achieve this? Meditation. I shit you not.
In my very first post for 2014, “2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..” the final paragraph finished as follows:
Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..
Meditation started for me when I got to a point in my year and my life when exercise alone wasn’t enough to keep me fresh and clear-headed – I realized that despite living a wicked existence and working on many amazing projects over the past 20 years of my life, that I wasn’t happy, craved some quiet in my mind and inner peace in my heart.
Being time-poor and not a true-believer of meditation at the time, I began setting aside 10 minutes every morning after my daily workout and tried out free meditation app Smiling Mind, which was recommended to me by a friend of mine. This meant that the skeptic in me could trial meditation without giving up too much of my time.
After a period of meditating regularly using Smiling Mind, I began to get bored of just using the app all the time; in my life I crave variety and so I brought other styles of meditation in to combine with Smiling Mind so that I could mix it up and keep my meditation sessions fresh. I evolved to trying different forms of meditation including listening to a 10 minute track of waves washing gently upon a beach that I downloaded from iTunes, taking time out on my lunch-break to sit in the sunshine listening to relaxing songs I love and focusing on the music/lyrics whilst breathing steadily or quite simply even meditating in silence with my iPhone on timer.
Almost immediately I noticed the difference and over the coming weeks and months I found myself unplugging from music and podcasts whilst traveling to work or from place to place, varying my route to our South Melbourne office in search of visual inspiration and the peace of a few deep breaths whilst enjoying another Melbourne sunset. Come Christmas and I’ve spent the past 4 days pretty much hanging out by myself doing something new and different every day – chilling by the beach reading books, a long cafe breakfast and the morning paper while everyone else is at work, photography down by the water at St Kilda, lunchtime beers in the sunshine at Ponyfish Island, shopping down at the markets for fresh deli treats, summer fruits and veggies… so many simple everyday pleasures that make me happy.
Thence what started as daily 10 minute meditation sessions grew to me enjoying and being mindful of the peace and joy in everyday moments that can occur multiple times every single day. It’s even got to the stage where I’m conscious of when I haven’t had enough meditation or these moments and know exactly what I need to even myself out.
This sense of mindfulness and almost perpetual state of peace (with multiple daily sense-checks of course), has lead to one of my most productive years of late despite supposedly having less time to cram it in.
I can honestly say for the first time in my life that instead of spending my days wishing for my future successful self that we all envision and crave, that I am happy and thrive on the pure joy of the here & now, whilst still fuelled with my ambition for the future. And that’s made me a better, more efficient and more successful as a person, colleague, family member and friend.
I am truly excited for 2015 and have many goals that I wish to achieve including a serious increase in travel, personal business growth and a swag of others as stated above, but if I can keep on this path of mindfulness, appreciating and living everyday moments, whilst fuelling ambition for the future, I have no doubt this will be a very, very exciting year indeed 🙂
Thank you one and all for listening and reading, especially those who’ve supported myself, the blog and the podcast this year.
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
P.S. I will be taking the opportunity to recoup from the madness of 2014 from Xmas to New Years Day by switching off all social media technology and taking the opportunity for catch-ups with friends and little day trips to the beach and countryside to clear my head and get back a little bit of sanity. And yes, if you found this article via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, I scheduled this shit so feel free to message me but you won’t get a reply until January 😉
You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.
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