Happy New Year 2009!
Yes I know I am four days late on the whole New Year's blog post however I have just arrived back in the confines of San Diego from a 2-week 'unplugged' visit in Colorado visiting family. By unplugged, I mean without much use of internet, it was great being with family and seeing old friends. However, this time home with family was a good time for me to objectively view my current place in my life and what lies ahead. After a year of great travel and cultural experiences, I have a sizable amount of financial debt to go along with the rich experience and perspective gained in the last year. 2009 will surely be a great year as I am faced with new challenges, more responsibility and more expectations.
My way of transitioning the calendar years is to ponder on what I learned in 2008 and how it can be applied in 2009:
You really are what you eat: This was by far the most healthy year I've lived on average in my short 24 years. Much of this had to do with being on my own in a new country and relying on a healthy diet to keep me out of 3rd world hospitals due to illness. From what I've read and lived, two simple things may help you avoid costly medical bills, prescriptions, etc.; healthy diet and exercise... bet you've never heard that before :) . I look forward to being even more healthy in '09 in regards to my diet and I also plan on running a marathon. Due to convincing of a great friend, I've also decided to take up the practice of boxing and muay thai, just to keep in shape. Look for more posts on the martial arts game and marathon training this year.
The most interesting person in your life is the one most interested in you: This is a paraphrase from the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and has been repeated many times by my good friend Amit. Nothing can be more true if you sit and think about it. Think of those people in your life right now, friends or family. Do you really want to spend any energy or worry on people who could care less about you? I'm a firm believer that you always have to take care of yourself before you can care for others but in some instances caring for others has a direct correlation in self-care. Studies show that volunteering and helping other human beings creates a natural feel-good effect on the conciousness and may strengthen your immune system. Moral? As Jimi Hendrix said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace."
I dislike losing money twice as much as I enjoy earning it: Not that I've really ever earned a substantial amount of money but I do know one thing; it's easier to get into financial debt than to get out. I currently sit with nearly twelve grand of debt that I didn't have a year ago and am mapping how I can pay it off in one year, it's not easy but it will be sweet to be in a financial surplus this time next year. However if you were to ask me if I were to go back a year and change anything, I would not, the last year was the most educational year of my life and the education you receive from living in foreign lands and travelling is more than a college education, it's priceless.
In any struggle, creativity is your friend: In hard times with relatively high national unemployment and a struggling economy, this is where we must be most creative and I believe many more entrepreneurs will flourish in the coming years. If history repeats itself, think of the '70's when Carter was President and the economy was in a slump after Vietnam. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs seized their opportunities and are sure-handed role models for today's striving entrepreneurs. Always strive to work smarter not harder... hopefully I'll follow my own advice.
Es Como es: Now that I consider myself fluent in Spanish, I look to apply it as much as possible since I really do enjoy speaking Spanish more than English. However this is not where I'm going with this. Es como es translates to ''that's how it is.'' When things aren't going your way, try to see it as a breakthrough instead of the world against you because in life, es como es, it is what it is. You can't change anything that has already happened, it is what it is and look for any positive that you can from the situation. My good friend Mike taught me this just by living with him, he seemed to always find the positive in any 'es como es' situation. I look to find the positive in even the most unfortunate situations that I'll surely encounter this year. 2008 was a year for the ages in which we elected our first African American President, our economy is on the rocks, my favorite comedian George Carlin passed away, people were scammed into a $50 billion dollar ponzi scheme, Fidel passed the reigns to his brother and the US further polished its unfavorable reputation in the international community.... es como es. Here's to a great 2009: Cheers, Prost, Salude, Salud!